Life on Campus / Summer 2016
Ain’t No Half-Steppin’

This hip-hop crew “killed it” at U of T’s first Urban Dance Competition

Photo of hip-hop dance group 9M5 performing onstage

Photo: Courtesy of Urban Dance Revolution

In March, hip-hop dance crew 9M5 took to the Hart House Theatre stage in the final freestyle round of U of T’s first Urban Dance Competition. Battling against two remaining crews, 9M5 locked and popped to Justin Bieber’s “No Sense” – and their sharp formation and expressive personalities snagged them the win. “They just killed it in freestyling,” says Kangbin Zhou, president of Urban Dance Revolution (the U of T club that put on the event) and a PhD student in pharmacology.

Five teams made up of U of T students competed in the event. Similar to the TV show So You Think You Can Dance, audience members and a panel of judges were involved in the voting.

Although the crews’ perfected routines may have looked seamless, the training was long and arduous. Getting the formation precise – everyone in perfect sync – in a hip-hop crew is the tricky part, says Zhou: “About one second [of performance] equals one hour of training or more.”

Watch: U of T’s first Urban Dance Competition:

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