Take the dancing from ‘You Got Served,’ ‘Stomp The Yard’ and any Chris Brown music video and throw it into the Bren Events Center, and you get Vibe. Perhaps one of the most legitimate dance competitions on the West Coast is held here at UC Irvine every year.
On Sunday, Jan. 27 the brothers of Lambda Theta Delta fraternity held their 13th annual hip-hop dance competition at the Bren.
Thousands flocked from all over Southern California, and among them were the elite of the hip-hop dance community. Aside from the legitimacy from those in the crowd, the presentation was captivating.
When walking into the Bren, one can immediately feel the bass within. There is so much bass that if one had a heart attack, the bass alone could help jump-start one’s heartbeat.
A giant halo hung tilted over the stage, showering it with various colors. Each light show was coordinated with the themes and colors of each performance.
Two projection screens were set up in the stands on either side of the stage to display videos and advertisements throughout the show. The many advertisements, one of which was an extended trailer for the feature film ‘Step Up 2,’ shows the legitimacy and progress Vibe has attained.
‘Vibe was first held in parking lots in Japanese towns back in the day. More and more people started coming out and we had to move to a bigger venue. So we came to the Bren. It’s getting bigger and bigger, as we get more teams to compete and word gets out there,’ said John Hong, an LTD pledge educator. Hong even sees the event moving to the Honda Center within the next five to 10 years.
What started out as a college-only event has expanded into a full-fledged exhibition competition. Vibe brings together teams from cities as far as San Francisco, like Funkanometry SF who danced to various songs representing the Bay Area, and teams like Culture Shock Los Angeles.
Culture Shock L.A. is a non-profit organization that promotes hip-hop dance to children who may fall into the spiral of drugs, gangs and violence.
‘We are based in Torrance, but we go to high schools and schools all over the area. We put on performances and workshops to get these kids away from the perils of the street, and to use dance as their outlet,’ said Culture Shock, L.A.’s Arlene Aficial.
The teams that really matter in this competition are the collegiate competitors. They compete for the prestigious title of Vibe Champions. The UCs were represented on the roster by UC Riverside, UCLA, UC San Diego and our very own UC Irvine.
Team Millenia is a team made up of collegiate players trained by the best choreographers in the dance industry. They are reigning two-time Vibe Champions, taking it away from one of the nations best dance crews, UCI’s Kaba Modern.
Kaba Modern is currently competing in MTV’s ‘America’s Best Dance Crew,’ and was named one of the 15 finalists last week.
‘I don’t know what to think of that. People have already started coming up to us on the street and recognizing us from the show. I’m not used to that,’ said fourth-year economics major Mike Song of Kaba Modern.
Kaba were clearly the crowd favorite and most of the audience came to see them. They electrified the crowd with a performance that was unexplainably better than the already talent-rich performances ahead of them.
‘Vibe feels the best [out of all the competitions we are in]. It’s our home turf. We practice at Crawford Court regularly, and at Vibe we just practice before and walk over [to the Bren],’ Song said.
However, this was not the case for the most prolific dance group on campus. Team Milennia won its third consecutive Vibe Championship with a Michael Jackson ‘Thriller,’ Rocky Horror Picture Show-inspired set.
Despite there being only one winner, the event was an impressive showcase of the level of hip-hop dance in southern California.
Vibe is a show everyone must see at least once in their four years at UCI, and a must-see for any hip-hop fan. With most of the proceeds going to the Boys and Girls Club of Orange County, there is no reason not to go.