By Daniela Raymond
Students poured into Glitz Auditorium, showing their tickets and chattering in anticipation of the showcase students have been discussing all week. This past Saturday, April 30, JEDI Dance Production hosted their first showcase event. The event integrated a Coachella theme featuring dance performances, strolls and rap artists. Stroll, a rock and roll dance where men and women line up and dance facing one another, was invented in the late 1950s. Dusty Locane, a drill rap artist from Brooklyn, also put on a performance.
JEDI surprised the audience with a number of performances featuring three sections. The first included a taste of the five boroughs, with Bronx whine, Caribbean and African dances, and stepping. The second section had a level of sultriness, portraying the romanticism that New York City can depict. The third section featured throwback R&B and rap songs.
The show opened with JEDI’s first set of dances, setting the tone of the night with a high energy performance. With skits and stepping the crowd went wild. Axel Rodriquez, who goes by stage name A TRIPLE R, rapped and sang keeping the hype of the crowd elevated as they waved their phone flashlights to his songs. His performance was followed by Phi Chapter of Lambda Pi Upsilon Sorority, who strolled and showed their passion for their organization. The event also included a lip sync section performed by JEDI members Journey Myricks, Tyquan Fuller and Milagros Ilarraza. Spicy Island Tings, the Caribbean dance team, also brought some heat to the stage, showcasing their Caribbean flags tied around their waists.
“This event gave the team and me a lot of anxiety in the preparation of the event. With the time approaching so quickly, I wanted the event to go perfectly,” Fuller, the president of JEDI, said.
The showcase was the first performance post-quarantine featuring a celebrity guest performance. This made stakes and tension around the event even higher.
Getting Dusty Locane to perform was also a risky move taken by the e-board.
“It was pretty hard considering that we didn’t know if the school was going to give us the money to pay for him — that was my biggest worry,” Fuller said.
For the BIPOC community at Plattsburgh, Dusty Locane’s performance was a special treat.
For many of the dancers on the team this was their first performance on campus.
“The experience was nerve-racking but I had so much fun,” Yisselli Sandoval, a dancer on the team, said. “Performing is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, but I was too afraid to really put myself out there.”
JEDI productions put on a show to remember, leaving audience members with memories that they’ll carry with time throughout their career era here as students.
“I loved watching the performances,” Amoudiatou Aboudoulaye, a senior fitness and wellness major, said. “The dance teams were my favorite. The energy and effort they exuded was amazing.”
The behind-the-scenes work put into bringing this production to life is what made this event stand out. Dancers on each team dedicated hours of practice perfecting their routines.
“The three weeks of long practice hours we put into the show was definitely a bonding experience,” Fuller said. “With emotions high and stress increasing with the show approaching we really had to find a way to come together and make it work as a family.”
Feedback from the show was nothing but positive remarks. As a dance team JEDI has often been overlooked as being one of the smallest dance teams at the university.
“We definitely set the record high for campus events, surprising students and other dance team members,” JEDI dancer Chanalle Wilson said. “The bar is high now, so next semester I hope the campus pays some more attention, because this was just a taste of what JEDI can bring to the table.”