Thunder and lightning were no match for the highly anticipated “Battle Zone” dance competition, which allowed the audience to judge the best dance group. Despite severe winds and tornado watches, people lined up as early as 6:30 p.m. Tuesday night in Lee Auditorium.
The event was hosted by the Boyz of Poison and featured performances by Torque, Divas Dance Team, Elite, the Venom Dancers, House Arrest II, Ezili Dance Troupe, Boyz of Poison and special invited guest Total Chaos from Tampa. Modeling troupes Faces and Images were present also.
House Arrest II opened the show with some of their signature moves, such as “footworking,” and solos were incorporated in their routine. Following HA2 was a battle between Faces and Images modeling troupes. Both groups incorporated modeling in two contrasting styles. Faces sported a look that was edgy and sophisticated, while Images modeled a street style that was accented with chains, blazers, baseball bats and other items of clothing that expressed a more urban style.
Divas versus Torque followed the modeling troupes. Both routines included creative moves and surprises, while team members went back and forth competing with each other to master specific styles of dance. Torque’s smooth moves, sometimes sexually charged, prompted wide reactions from the audience. Divas showed off its ability to perform intricate choreography to fast eight counts. Both groups had two different styles of dancing but enthralled the viewers just the same.
Many of the participants had no problem sizing up their competitors. “I don’t consider them competition,” said Divas member Makita Phillips, 21, a senior mechanical engineering student from St. Augustine.
Crystal Hall, captain of Divas, agreed with Phillips, explaining that Divas and Torque have different dancing styles. “We’re in two completely different ballgames,” Hall said.
Boyz of Poison battled Ezili Dance Troupe, receiving one of the loudest reactions from the crowd. Both teams performed complicated dance steps. While EDT performed notable tricks and complicated formations, Boyz of Poison attempted to be clean and precise with their movements.
Venom and Divas was one of the last performances.
“Elite has always been like a rival to us,” said Ashley Dixon, 17, a freshman public relations student from Tampa and Venom member. This was apparent in their performances. Both used signature moves that they regularly perform at football games, then went on to show off individual routines.
Venom made use of props like chairs and umbrellas, while Elite’s use of arrangements and new dance styles kept the audience on edge.
Tensions rose at the end of the performance, however, when both teams joined the stage at the end of Divas’ routine.The show was topped off with a very steamy performance by female dance group Torque and the Boyz of Poison. Both male and female audience members were shocked at their antics on stage. The grand finale included a very explicit, eye-opening chair routine that included boxers, silly string and throwing objects into the crowd.
Overall, there were mixed reactions from the crowd. Some students had their minds made up from the start. Alayna Moore, a business administration student from Daytona Beach, said she knew Boyz of Poison were going to take it.
WANM 90.5 radio host Byron J. praised Boyz of Poison for organizing such a great show. “They really had the crowd going,” he said.