Dancers performed sharp, popping movements in sync with one another as different styles of hip-hop music played throughout the room.
The SINI-HHA, a dance crew combining the WWU Hip-Hop Association with Sini-Gang, hosted a dance showcase on Sunday, May 7, at the Performing Arts Center. The event highlighted different dance crews from Bellingham, Seattle, Tacoma and Lynnwood.
The showcase began with SINI-HHA, who performed a routine depicting dance students during class.
“This set will be in the eyes of a student dancer and what they would think while the professor is rambling,” senior Justin Yang, officer for SINI-HHA, said.
Dancers sat in desks on stage while a narration of what the dancers were thinking played through the speakers. After it ended, SINI-HHA members ran onto the stage and began to dance.
“Hip-hop is an outlet allows us to do that and I think it’s really important, especially because it’s not really anywhere else in the [Bellingham] community.”
Melina Sergent, president of SINI-HHA
Along with choreographing some of SINI-HHA’s dance sets, Yang also helps crews with directing dancers and making sure crews arrive on schedule.
Junior Austin Langsy, another officer for SINI-HHA, was responsible for announcing and introducing dance crews for the showcase.
Due to an injury to his ankle from dance practice, Langsy said he was unable to perform at the event.
“I still showed up to practice everyday,” Langsy said. “I have that dance experience to let people [SINI-HHA members] know what is wrong and how to improve.”
Langsy said SINI-HHA is a second home for those who enjoy the hip-hop movement.
“This is one of the places [SINI-HHA] where I look for hip-hop music, and not many places on campus offer that,” Langsy said.
President of SINI-HHA, senior Melina Sergent, said this hip-hop culture is important.
“SINI-HHA is a home we can be free to express ourselves whenever we want,” Sergent said. “Hip-hop is an outlet allows us to do that and I think it’s really important, especially because it’s not really anywhere else in the [Bellingham] community.”
SINI-HHA started choreographing for the showcase in the middle of winter quarter. Practice was three times a week, but two weeks before the event, practice was held every day.
During intermission, all of the dance crews and some of the audience were invited to participate in a dance circle that encompassed the entire stage.
The circle of participants and audience cheered whenever a dancer entered the center of the circle to show off their moves.
Albee Abigania, director for the dance crew Kontagious Performing Company, choreographed most of the sets that were performed by the crew, and also helped the crews Angels and Sick.
“[Angels and Sick] have been training a lot so they’ve been empowered to create their own choreography and come up with their own routines that they teach themselves,” Abigania said. “It’s pretty great to see them come on board as dancers in the beginning and now they’re making up their own routines.”
Abigania describes himself as an improv choreographer because he is able to create a set on the spot.
“Naturally, that’s how I choreograph and it didn’t take much time,” Abigania said.
Based out of Tacoma, T.O.W.N. is another dance crew who performed a dance routine to the song “Angel” by A$AP Rocky. T.O.W.N. members were dressed in loose, vintage Tommy Hilfiger clothing.
SINI-HHA also adopted an old-school hip-hop feel with one of their routines. Yang, who choreographed the set, used the song “Run it” by Chris Brown.
“It’s pretty old-school hip-hop so I wanted to bring that song back in. All the kids who danced when that song first came out are probably a lot older,” Yang said.
SINI-HHA will be performing at the UW Hip Hop Association showcase, Undivided, on Friday, May 26, at University of Washington Kane Hall.