UK 101: Rock the Runway Fashion Show 2011

It’s bittersweet writing this post because this performance was my favorite, but also the last one, for the year.  :'( Everything about the show was great: the story, the underlying message, the dancers, the practices, the real show, and the after party! This is our second time performing at GMU’s annual Fashion Show to spread the awareness of HIV and AIDS, organized by the Student Involvement Office.  After the models melted the audience with their hot red and white outfits, we took on the stage along with Noteworthy (our female a capella group), V (student rapper and poet), and recording artist Rashida.

Take a look at our final product below, thanks to Tony Marquez (watch in 1080p HD!):

Rock the Runway Fashion Show 12/2/2011 | Songs: “Headlines” by Drake, “Party” by Beyonce, “We Found Love” by Rihanna, “One Night Stand” by Chris Brown, “Fantasy” by Timbaland feat. Money, “Fall for Your Type” by Jamie Foxx feat. Drake, “Little Bit” by Drake, “Cold” by Aziatix | Choreographers: Kathy Lopes, Catie Brown, Cina McKenna, Olivia Jeffords, Jia Zheng, Brittany Hill, Demetirus White, Tri Le | Performer: Urbanknowlogy 101

It may have been a little difficult to hear the spoken word and narration of the show, so I’ll provide a summary of what our wonderful Vice President, Pierre Durant, communicates to the audience:

  • In the beginning we are given the description of AIDS (represented by the red handkerchief), and how it can be transferred to anyone anywhere.  The story starts with a guy who is too confident for his own good (played by Tigre Fortune) and doesn’t really care about what anyone says.  He then meets a girl at a party (Bethanne Sours) where she retrieves AIDS from the player after a hook up.
  • The party girl then takes drugs with the heroine addict (Olivia Jeffords) who transfers it to three other friends.  Upon returning from their state, the homosexual man (Demetirus White) transmits AIDS to another man (Lawrence Broadway).
  • The prostitute (Catie Brown) flaunts her charm and tries to seduce a nonchalant guy (Tommy Le), who decides to take the offer.  The girl he is involved with (me) is angry and tries to make their relationship work, but he (Tommy) doesn’t care and manipulates her, resulting in another transmission.

  • The story then turns to a man (Travis Carey) who proposes to his girlfriend (Rebecca Barbush) but ends up having an affair with three other women, one who already has AIDS (Kathy Lopes), goes back to his fiance, spreading the disease to her, too.  One of the affairs (Cina McKenna) is upset about her mistake, and she tries to hide it from her boyfriend (Tri Le) but in the end, he receives AIDS as well.

  • An angel (Megan Ellard) sees all these affected individuals and is sad about how quickly and effortlessly this disease was transferred from one person to the next, sending the message that people should always stay strapped and be prepared all the time, because the next person could be you.

Yes, the plot is a little exaggerated, but our goal was to show how dangerous AIDS can be through our dancing.  This particular show required some more acting, which I think we pulled off by showtime.  Even from the beginning stages of putting this together, I knew that it was going to be a great performance.  My personal favorite was “Fantasy” choreographed by Sasha, a member from our founding group.  I was so upset that I wasn’t able to be in this one, but Catie did such a good job portraying her character it didn’t even matter!

I was honored to be dancing in Catie’s “Fall for Your Type” because I connected with this piece so much.  Every time I performed this, in practice and the show, I got an adrenaline rush of just putting out all my emotions into those few seconds.  I was so happy I was able to show this side of me on stage, because it’s certainly different from what I’ve been doing with UK 101 in the past.  Tommy was also a great actor; I couldn’t have done it without him!

I’m still waiting for my official acceptance, but I’m most likely studying abroad in China next year, which means this would be my last time performing with UK 101 until I return to GMU in the fall.  I am truly grateful for some of my closest friends who attended the show.  It meant a lot that they were able to come and support.  Even though this isn’t the end of my journey in UK 101, I feel like I’m leaving it for eternity.  Though, next year, I’ll be back as an even better dancer and hopefully sharing what I learn from overseas.

Note: All photos are courtesy of Jenny Pan

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