A legacy for the ages
If you’ve ever been walking through the concourse late at night or even through the science building on a weekend afternoon, you have probably seen a group of hardworking individuals relentlessly working on a hip-hop dance routine. They are usually breaking, popping and locking over and over again in attempts to make their group choreography perfect. This group is known as ALIAS and they are gearing up for one of the biggest hip-hop dance competitions in Ontario.
“ALIAS stands for A Legacy to Inspire Achieve and Share,” stated co-founder and dancer Kang Tran. Three now-alumni and Tran started ALIAS in Fall 2012 as they saw major potential at Laurier.
“Our purpose is to inspire others, achieve greatness and share with others in selflessness,” he said.
Tran is a second year BBA student who wanted to capitalize on his passion as well as the amount of dance talent offered here at Laurier.
“I was a first year student last year, so it was a bit intimidating at first, but I knew that I had something special that I could truly offer back to the community. I had an amazing executive team to start with who were already full time students at Laurier, so my transition into coming to Laurier and starting ALIAS was made much easier,” he added.
This year, ALIAS may be in for the most prestigious hip-hop dance competition they have ever entered. ALIAS has entered themselves into the Ontario Universities Competition for Hip-Hop, otherwise known as O.U.C.H. 2013. It is labelled as “the biggest hip-hop dance event of the year.” It is happening on Saturday, November 23rd at Toronto’s Centre for the Arts. It was founded by a student from University of Waterloo back in 2003. Furthermore, O.U.C.H. seeks to establish friendly competition amongst post-secondary students to promote the exciting, growing, and influential culture of hip-hop. This year, it includes 14 different school dance crews who all have one goal: to be the best.
Last year, the title went to Durham College and ALIAS placed third. Even with settling for bronze, it was a definite achievement as it was their first performance and competition. “This year we are truly pushing to pump out something new, fresh and unique for the competition. It’s going to be an amazing show, I can guarantee it,” mentioned Tran.
However, even with a small group of only nine members, ALIAS needs to make sure their preparation is on point. “I teach all of the choreography for the routine then clean it until it’s perfected. It’s a rigorous and tiring process but after performing and competing, it’s always well worth it. ALIAS is not just a dance crew, to us, it is a lifestyle,” enthused Tran.
Even though winning is a large factor in why they compete it isn’t everything. At the end of the day, it is the culture that wins. “Hip hop dance is a lifestyle for many, so for it to be covered by the media so well, it gives everyone an opportunity to share with others their love for hip hop dance and culture,” said Tran.