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Capital Funk pops and locks for 10th anniversary showcase

Sam Johnson | Hatchet Photographer
Sam Johnson | Hatchet Photographer

Dancers twerked to the sounds of DJ Funk’s “Booty Bounce” and poets oscillated between self-deprecating comedic larks and darker, socially centered verses in a series of performances Saturday night.

Capital Funk, a student organization dedicated to hip-hop dancing that launched in 2004, celebrated its 10th anniversary by hosting a hip-hop showcase that was a kinetic celebration of hip-hop, slam poetry and dance.

Junior member Tavyen Williams-Jackson said the group had to practice more than usual, with rehearsals running from 8 p.m. until they “looked good enough.”

“You just have to be mentally prepared. You’re in a state where you have to be focused to get through everything you need to get through. But Red Bull and coffee definitely help,” Williams-Jackson said.

To help commemorate Capital Funk’s anniversary, the alumni-based dance crew Good Toilet Paper performed at the ceremony. Popping and locking to songs like 112’s “Dance with Me” and Yo Gotti’s “Act Right,” the team celebrated the Capital Funk legacy.

Elizabeth Kirschenbaum, the captain of Capital Funk, said in the last 10 years the group has stayed true to its mission while its popularity has grown.

Media Credit: Sam Johnson | Hatchet Photographer
Group: alumni-based dance crew Good Toilet Paper performs at Capital Funk’s showcase.

“I think we have done a good job of maintaining the Capital Funk attitude, character and spirit, which is just having a good time learning to dance and not worrying so much about making it too serious,” Kirschenbaum said. “We really have a good time with ourselves and make sure we enjoy each other’s company. Over the last 10 years, Capital Funk is like a family.”

Capital Funk alumni director James Bayoti was tasked with picking the acts for the showcase. He said he tried to balance the number of dance crews with the other acts like the spoken-word artists and beat boxers.

Other dance teams like Infinity Dance and Creative Monsterz performed sets with songs like Bloodhound Gang’s “The Bad Touch” and J. Cole’s “Villuminati.”

Lillian Dawit, who sang Beyonce’s “End of Time” and Sara Niemietz’s “Fallin’,” and slam poet Drew Law, who lightheartedly joked about his personal issues, punctuated the first half of this year’s showcase with their performances.

“We weren’t able to find this year more rappers and beat-boxers, so that will be a point of emphasis next year,” Bayoti said.

The highlight of the show was the final 10-minute set by Capital Funk, which featured hits like Florence + the Machine’s “Dog Days are Over.” Filled with complex popping and locking choreography, pulsating lights and rapid dancing, the group ended the showcase on a high note.

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