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Team ‘Madd Shott” makes UAlbany debut

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(Source: Karishma Persaud)
(Source: Karishma Persaud)

By KARISHMA PERSAUD

4/5/16

The University at Albany’s Jamaican Student Association (JAMSA) hit a huge milestone on Friday, April 1 when their first dancehall team, “Madd Shott,” performed for JAMSA’s sixth annual Dancehall show event.

More than 100 students filled up Lecture Center 18 as DJ Vibez kept a hair-raising atmosphere from the moment students walked in and found their seats to when the show ended.

The event kicked off with Jamaican comedian, “Prince Marni,” who flew in from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida to host the event. For those who are unaware of “Prince Marni,” he’s widely known throughout the Caribbean community for his short-comedy videos on Instagram that mostly pertain to the daily lives of Caribbeans.

“I love it man, it’s my first time hosting a college event and I had a great experience tonight. The place full ah talent, meh really wan come back again,” Prince Marni said.

Dancehall is a style of dance music that originated in Jamaica and derived from reggae. Team “Madd Shott” made their debut, opening the show in black T-shirts with a Jamaican flag on each shoulder.

Following team “Madd Shott,” team “Under Construction,” dressed in all black, showed off their wicked dancehall moves. Team “Onyx,” dressed in red crop-tops and shorts, performed mostly hip-hop songs with one dancehall song.

One fascinating thing about dancehall is the ability to choreograph it into other genres of music because of its flexibility in its moves. The last team, “VXR,” showed creativity in their dancing when they dispersed into the audience as a part of their routine and danced their way to the stage.

According to the president of JAMSA, Khadisha Smikle, the idea of creating team “Madd Shott” happened in the fall of 2015. Smikle was always inspired by the African Student Association’s dance team, “Umoja,” and always had a big vision for something “new and different” in JAMSA.

During an E-board meeting, Secretary Vanessa Jean suggested that JAMSA should create their own dancehall team so the board members made it happen. Once JAMSA finished their original plans for fall 2015, they began developing “Madd Shott” during the following spring. With the hard work of Romario McDowell, “Madd Shott’s” instructor and founder, as well as JAMSA’s board members, they gathered their most talented dancers to perform in this year’s Dancehall show.

“I wanted this year to be big and I feel like me, along my e-board members have accomplished that so I am very proud,” Smikle said.

After the teams put on a thrilling show, students in the audience were welcomed on stage to show off their own unique dancehall moves with Prince Marni. The event ended with a short recognition for each of the board members who were commenwded with flowers for their hard work in keeping JAMSA together and successful.

JAMSA’s dancehall show created a lively atmosphere and “Madd Shott” proved itself to live up to Smikle’s vision. Just when everyone thought the festivities were over for the night, it continued in the Campus Center Ballroom where everyone had a chance to show off their own dancehall moves.

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