Spencer Nestico-Semianiw / The Silhouette

McMaster's ImMACculate dance team came away with a first-place finish at last weekend's North American Culture Show (NACS) competition in Brampton, ON.

On Mar. 9, dance teams from ten universities and six colleges across Ontario competed at the NACS.  The show featured four types of South Asian dance forms: Bollywood, Classical, Bhangra and Western Fusion. McMaster’s team, consisting of 30 undergraduate students and 10 executive members, travelled to Brampton’s Powerade Centre. The team ended up receiving the competition's top award, beating out last year’s winners, Waterloo-Laurier.

McMaster’s team has been practicing since November 2012 for the NACS competition. After winning the competition two years ago, the team hoped to reclaim their position as Ontario’s best NACS team.

Jasleen Singh, one of McMaster’s dance team coordinators, attributed the success of the team to specializing in all four styles of dance.

“We do everything across the board, all the way from South-East Asian to Western dance styles, so we offer a competitive dance team that provides you with the opportunity of learning different styles of dance," said Singh.

Because of low funding, many NACS team students needed to purchase their own costumes this year, costs that rose to more than $100 per person. Due to community sponsorship and receiving a $5,000 prize for their performance, however, the team’s financial status remains stable.

On the morning of the competition, Brampton’s Powerade Centre, which has a capacity of 5,000 people, began to fill up as students, parents and friends from all over Ontario filtered in. The competition opened with Western University’s performance, followed by Brock University's and then McMaster's.

Despite the size of the arena and turnout from fans, McMaster choreographer Avani Dave explained how McMasters’s team, especially its new members, retained their composure.

“You’re never alone, and that motivation and enthusiasm that we all have pushes anybody who is in first year into doing it for their first time as well," said Dave.

Aside from the competing dance teams, performances by Canadian singers Jonita, Joti Dhillon and Karl Wolf were included, in addition to a dance performance by Canada’s Got Talent finalists, Broken Dance.

The announcement of McMaster’s first-place finish was met with ecstatic relief from ImMACculate team members and the over 200 fans who came out to support them. Both Singh and Avani attribute their success to past dance members returning to the school to provide advice and wisdom. As they both graduate this coming spring, there's no doubt they will do the same.

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