We at Community Artistry had the pleasure of covering the NJIT Reign or Shine Dance Competition in Newark, NJ on November 15, 2015. The event is hosted by the NJIT Filipino Student Association (NJIT FSA) and was hosted by NJ-host extraordinaire, Anthony Sachs. We hosted a set of workshops the day before on November 14 and produced the workshop video above. We’d first like to thank everybody who came out to the workshops and congratulate all of those who performed at the competition. We are truly happy to see how robust the dance community in New York / New Jersey is.
This competition is long-running and has been hosted consecutively without fail since 2006 where Rhythmology took the show (now known as, ARC – A Rhythm Company). Over 21 teams participated this year, with 6 teams competing for the 1st place trophy. You may watch all of the participating team’s performances in one place here!
The judges assigned to determine the winning teams at this competition were: Bo Belza (UFP), Mark Kasper Choi (The Society), and Antony Chu (Epic Motion). We’ve reproduced their biographies below:
Judge: Antony Chu
Hailing from Taiwan, Antony started dancing during his late high school years in his hometown, Taipei. Fast-forward a year and many dance classes later, he made his move to New York City in 2011 to pursue his undergraduate education at New York University. Hoping to continue his new-found passion in dance, he co-founded Synchronic Dance Team with a group of likeminded peers and continued his training in the vibrant New York dance scene. Having always been a fan of EPIC Motion, Antony joined the company in 2012 and served as an Artistic Director from 2014 to 2015. During this past summer, he was selected to train intensively with Artistic Director/Choreographer, Dana Foglia, in the 2015 DFD International Mentorship Program, and had the privilege of performing alongside her company at Dancerpalooza. Antony aspires to continually refine and redefine his artistry and is grateful for being able to share his experience with the NY/NJ dance community. Credits include: Oryane Wilson and D-Pryde.
Judge: Bo Belza
Bo has been in the NJ dance community since 2006 when he first danced on FR3SH. He continued to dance with the company, while directing their junior team – Fr3sh Jrs, for 3 years. During this time, Bo also danced on teams such as RDT, Balls to the Wall, and has made numerous appearances on Ven15 and to do projects with Jake Pesquira as well as Dennis Caindec. With his passion for teaching and directing, he led small projects with some of his friends for UFP’s carnivals – Ladies w/ Guns, If you want you are can, and sexBObombs. In the many years of dancing, teaching and directing, Bo has been privileged enough to teach in numerous places around the United States, including California, Las Vegas, New York, Boston, Rhode Island, as well as in New Jersey. This past year, Bo had the opportunity to teach a weekly open hip hop class for Rise Dance, in New York City and is now back teaching for House of Movement. Now in his 6th year teaching for Arts in Motion Dance Academy, and 6th year directing UFP/ UFPx, Bo hopes to continue to grow in his craft and to inspire the rest of the community.Bo loves teaching and hopes that anyone taking his classes has fun and keeps their mind open to exploring new movement.
Judge: Mark Kasper Choi
The New Jersey native, Kasper, first started dancing with his friends in elementary school mainly focusing on popping and breaking. From this inspiration, he began to cultivate his own style of dance. Starting his journey as a dancer, Kasper held many other roles – an artistic director of sic and a member of STFU crew. He is now the founder, a director and a choreographer of The Society. He and his group performed in many events, such as Prelude (East Coast) and Elements XV. Kasper’s focus when teaching his craft is to search and develop one’s own style and expression through simplicity. His style includes a mixture of hip hop with his own flavor, inspired by various artists. Kasper is never settled with his current level as a choreographer; he strives to improve daily. He also believes that a “dancer’s growth” may not always be a linear increase but advises to still look ahead, keeping in mind what first led us to dance.
We hope you enjoy our coverage of the dance competition, with an exclusive look at the talent that graced the floor! Let us know what you think about this performance in the comments below and feel free to watch the others as well!