On Nov. 15, the Barn played host to the Illerside B-Boys Jam Out! Dance, during which dancers throughout UCR and the Inland Empire came together to display their groovy and outrageous dance skills. Illerside B-Boys is just one of the few dance crews on the UCR campus, but they accomplished their mission by establishing a positive environment in which they could help people bring out their inner dancer.
The event kicked off at 8 p.m., but I arrived 30 minutes early to witness some extreme warm-ups, which involved two jam circles where dancers cheered one another on as one dancer after another showed off their talent. The air was filled with the aroma of hot wings provided by the Barn, but there were more people dancing in the cyphers than eating. In addition to B-Boys, there were also pop-lockers who avoided the ground techniques in favor of solely focusing on jerking their bodies between moments of frozen poses.
Things got real around 8 p.m. as the event gained momentum. Once the rules had been explained, the dancers took the floor; in the first round, groups of three to four contestants went head to head in dance battles. Judges picked the best performer from each group, and that person qualified for the next round. Alyssa Palencia was the only female participant in the dance off, but she was more than capable of holding it down for the ladies. She was one of the few dancers to make it to the Semi-Finals, and she later jokingly described the event as a “big sausage fest,” and added that, “It doesn’t matter what gender you are; it’s just about having fun.” The music was provided by the Inland Empire’s very own DJ Megatone, who provided a wide variety of music from old school hip hop to house music.
The finalists of the competition were Junior Guzman a.k.a. Starscreen, a 17-year-old high school student and B-Boy from Riverside, and his opponent Way Funkshui Chen, a pop-locker and freshman at Cal State Fullerton. After an intense dance battle, Funkshui pulled off the win and $100; Starscreen earned a snapback hat for his dynamic performance.