Mid Atlantic reigns supreme at Hampton U. battle of states


On Tuesday, March 16, history repeated itself at Hampton University’s “Battle of the States” as the Mid-Atlantic [Virginia, Maryland, District of Columbia and Delaware] won for the second year in a row.

The place, Ogden Hall the time, 7:09 p.m. formation, a single file line teeth chattering and hands rubbing together because of the weather and anticipation. Head director of the Mid Atlantic team Maya Barnes was asked if she was nervous. She simply said “No.” 

The night was filled with excitement as each region ran in with music that represented their homes. I ran in with the Mid Atlantic as we busted through the doors of Ogden Hall to the song “Keep It Gangsta” by Backyard Band, a Go-Go band. With gory makeup and a sort of Michael Jackson “Thriller” theme, the Mid-Atlantic theme was “The Mad House.”

The first event was fashion which was opened up with a song by singer Rhianna called “Welcome to The Mad House.” They also had a ringleader who hosted the show, Kiara Joyner, a freshman from Prince George’s County, Md.

The next showcase was dance. Again they kept the “Mad House” theme going with the costumes they wore. Partnered dance was incorporated and also dance to Go-Go music.

There were also dancers that pop locked and were very skilled at the art form. There were a lot of wide eyes as one dancer did a form of pop locking called bone breaking. Bone breaking looks just as the name suggests. The dancer actually twists in ways that look as if the bones are actually breaking.

This was interesting to me because I feel that this also tied into the type of “thriller” theme that was being portrayed. There were also classical ballet forms of dance as well.

Toward the end of the performance, Baltimore was represented and students danced to Baltimore club music. The dance routines not only showcased music from the Mid-Atlantic but also skilled dance which I think gave them an edge above other regions.

Finally, it was the end of the show and it was time for all regions to display their talent.

The Mid Atlantic chose to keep it simple with two displays of talent, but even though it was simple in a sense of numbers but it was the complete opposite of the word. The talent started off with violinist Jerenda Manley from Chesapeake, Va., who played a classical mix of music as a ballet dancer, freshman Laurencia from Washington, D.C., pirouetted to her music. It was a very graceful performance. Her musical talents seemed to wow the judges, but this was just a warm-up to what was soon to come.

As the two sets of performers walked off stage, a second curtain was drawn to reveal a full Go- Go band. The band consisted of: Two lead mics David Baskin and Darryl Able, singer Zainab Mustapha, drummer Donnell Hines, keyboardists Bryan Austin and Gabriel Olaiya, conga player Shahim Body, bass player Justin Boyd, saxophone player Jared Ford and electric guitarist Jonathan Easter. The band played three songs, Aaliyah’s “At Your Best,” Rihanna’s “So Hard” and “Is it the Way” by Jill Scott.

 With the musical expertise, the exceptional dancing and modeling talent and the continued theme throughout the show the Mid Atlantic took home the first place trophy, and it was very much deserved.