On Friday, April 21st, Raw Elementz held their annual Spring Showcase in Roone Auditorium. What ensued was a night of high-energy dancing, fun, and heart-warming camaraderie. 

On Friday, April 21st, Columbia’s oldest hip hop dance organization Raw Elementz put on their annual spring showcase featuring a variety of performances spotlighting their work throughout the past year as well as featuring other dance groups Ijoya, Sabor, and CU Generation. 

The showcase, aptly titled Rawcus for its high energy and incredibly well-executed assortment of performances, walked the audience through a year with Raw. Alternating between home-video style memories from the year–whether it be “Spotify Rawpped”, senior speeches commemorating the future graduates and their contributions to the team, or every team member’s birthday that they’ve celebrated together–and varying themed dances. 

The night began with the showing of the team’s recently released promotional video which gave the audience a taste of what the rest of the night would look like–extremely coordinated, enthralling, and entertaining dancing with loads of personality and charm. Among others, this was followed by a strong and nostalgic 2000s-themed performance commemorating the Black artist on whose shoulders so many y2k songs are built, Missy Elliot. Eventually, the show would close on a performance creatively titled “Raw X Fenty” celebrating Rihanna and the influence she has had on hip hop.

The first guest performance in the showcase was made by Ijoya, Columbia’s recently established African dance group. Later on in the evening would be individual performances from Latin dance troupe Sabor and K-Pop inspired CU Generation, but among the most notable performances of the night was Ijoya, Sabor, and Raw’s collaboration on a Caribbean dance set. It was truly exciting and invigorating for everyone involved to see so many talented dancers get the opportunity to feed off of one another’s passionate energy in a group dance, especially considering the overlap in membership between the three organizations. 

At some point in the night, two very lucky members of the audience had the opportunity to pull inspiration from Raw and the accompanying groups by having a dance battle of their own. This was one of the many ways in which the showcase kept the crowd on its toes and on the edge of our seats. As the night came closer to the end, we had the opportunity to hear speeches honoring the few graduating seniors on the team, Dahlia Luongo, Ainsley Walker, Shyanne Francis, and Danny Lam. Additionally, the team honored Artistic Director Jean Slaughter for going above and beyond to make the night possible through not only expert choreography but also hard work and team spirit.

Overall, Raw Elementz did not disappoint. From the professional level promotional video to the seemingly effortless but incredibly powerful choreography, not to mention the extremely clever set names, Raw gave everyone in the audience an experience they will not be forgetting any time soon.

Header via Bwog Staff