If you didn’t see this you really missed out, so I very much hope you saw it.

CU Generation (CU Gen), an on-campus dance team founded in 2010, had their annual showcase this Saturday afternoon in the Roone Auditorium. The name of this year’s show was “GENESIS,” and let me tell you, I feel like it was truly the genesis of my new passion: watching this group dance. Their choreographies were incredible and their moves were so on-beat it was truly scary.

The show was divided into 12 sets and each of them had a unifying theme, genre, or artist. The opening set, “After Hours” featured the members of CU Gen dressed all in white while dancing to the rhythm of CL’s “Hello Bitches,” Yo Gotti’s “Rake It Up,” Amaarae’s “Angels in Tibet” and Pop Smoke’s “Dior.” I was immediately blown away. But I had no idea of what awaited me… 

The following sets were combinations of three to five songs each, featuring smaller groups of dancers. In total, they danced to 49 songs (yes, I counted them) and each of them was essentially perfect. An audience favorite (which I base on the loudness of their screams) was the K-pop set, especially the choreographies to Seventeen’s “Super” and LE SSERAFIM’s “Eve, Psyche, and the Bluebeard’s Wife.” Given that CU Gen started as a K-pop dance group which later expanded to all sorts of music genres, it’s no wonder that their K-pop set was so incredible.

K-pop set

There were three sets that I particularly loved, both because of their themes and their song choices. The Avatar set, inspired in Avatar: The Last Airbender, was composed of four dances, each representing one of the elements. The “fire” dance to BIBI’s “BIBI Vengeance” was as gripping as you would expect a Fire Nation dance-off to be. Their choreographies essentially retold the whole plot of the TV show and really made me want to rewatch it. I also enjoyed the Drake set, and I don’t even listen to Drake so you can imagine how good it was. “Not You Too” and “God’s Plan” were so nice that someone should send a recording of these performances to Drake and have those be the official videos. My third favorite set was Spider-Verse, which featured songs from the soundtrack of Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse and Across the Spider-Verse movies. These are two of my favorite movies of all time, so needless to say I first knew happiness during this set. I would also like to submit a petition for CU Gen to dance to “What’s Up Danger” for next year’s showcase.

Spider-Verse set

I want to point out that this group’s creativity even extended to their choice of costumes since each set had specific color combinations or clothing items that brought a cohesive and aesthetically pleasing aspect to their dances. In addition, they prepared multiple introductory videos to their sets, which were funny, and sweet, and evidenced not only their attention to detail and commitment to the preparation of this showcase but also demonstrated that friendship and dedication are some of the group’s foundations.

CU Gen also invited a group of Alumni and three other dance groups on campus to each perform a set as guests: Taal, which is Columbia’s South Asian Classical fusion dance team; Raw Elementz, a hip-hop dance group; and Sabor, a Latino dance troupe. These groups brought a wide range of songs and rhythms to the stage, all of which only confirmed to me that students in this school can dance amazingly to pretty much everything. I especially loved Raw Elementz’s set and the way they danced to Chris Brown’s “Under the Influence,” as well as their array of costumes, from formal red ties to reflective vests.

The show reached an emotional peak with the Senior Set, where the seniors of CU Gen danced to classics such as Jason Derulo’s “Talk Dirty” and Pitbull’s “Hotel Room Service.” We at the hotel, motel, Holiday Inn basically became a chant. However, it was right after the set itself when I started literally sobbing. Members of CU Gen delivered heartfelt speeches and gifted a rose to each senior. Granted, studying nonstop for my Roman Empire midterm had me feeling emotional already, but the genuine appreciation and gratefulness that CU Gen showed to its seniors were very moving and would have made anyone cry.

The showcase ended with a Collab set in which all members dressed in matching CU Gen baseball jerseys and danced away an amazing wrap-up to an evening of already great performances. I can’t wait to see what CU Gen prepares next. I will make sure not to miss it and you shouldn’t either.

All images via Author