Behind the Wicked Scene With Suffolk’s Hip-Hop Dance Crew
Published: Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Updated: Thursday, August 9, 2012 17:08
"I want it to be bigger, I want it to get better. I want Wicked to have a presence in the Boston dance community. We have a small one right now but I would like to see Wicked competing like other schools." - Kendra Eddy, Captain of Wicked.
As another academic year is coming to an end, many students will be leaving Suffolk as many will also be entering. Since the moment you first step foot on Suffolk campus you are told various times to get involved. And a crucial part of the Suffolk community is that people take advantage of all the opportunities and do exactly what they are told -- get involved.
In 2008, Courtney Halas (Suffolk alumni) decided that she wanted to start a hip-hop dance crew at Suffolk. She coined the group with the name “Wicked” and since then they have grown to be one of the most popular -- and biggest -- performing arts groups at Suffolk University.
“When I became captain we had 19 members and the numbers just keep getting bigger every year,” said Kendra Eddy, senior, who started with Wicked and became captain her sophomore year.
But what is it about this group of dancers that makes people want to keep joining?
“I saw them perform at orientation and knew I wanted to join,” said Isatta Coomber.
She added, “Kendra screamed at me at the Temple Street fair. Her personality is so big that I figured Wicked must be filled with energetic people like her.”
Energy is definitely something that Wicked brings to the stage and strives on as a team. However, with such a large and enthusiastic team, many hours of hard practice go into preparation for a performance/show. Kendra admitted that keeping control of such a big group could be challenging at times but Wicked always does their best to maintain an enjoyable atmosphere.
“It’s always a positive environment, positive energy. It’s always a great environment to be in,” said Samienta Pierre-Vil who has been part of Wicked for three years. “Kendra is motivational. You can ask her any question you’d like and she would go through the dance step, slow, fast or step-by-step, however you need it to be done for you to learn it.”
And with the energy of the group also comes the energy of the crowd. Wicked encourages loud audiences at their performances, and some members even benefit from it.
“I feel like I dance my best with people watching. Instead of getting nervous, I get more excited. If it’s [at Suffolk] there are usually people I know in the audience and it’s nice if I hear my name,” said Sabrina Morton, sophomore, who joined Wicked her freshman year.
Not only does Wicked do shows on campus, but they have also done many other shows around the Boston area. They opened for a Ludacris concert at the House of Blues, they’ve performed at Celtics games and most memorably to some, they placed in MIT’s Ring the Alarm Competition last year.
Alex Soto, next year’s captain, is sad about losing some of the seniors this year but is also excited about gaining new members. She had some words of encouragement for prospective dancers, saying, “Just go for it. A lot of people that are in Wicked have not really ever danced much before Wicked. As long as you have determination and drive, we see that. We see potential.”
Pierre-Vil added, “Don’t hesitate -- definitely try out for the team. Even if you don't make it the first time, try out again because we have plenty of members who didn't make it the first time and tried out the second time and made it. And it’s going to be a fun environment to be in. You’ll become friends with people you never expected to be friends with.”
So while Soto is preparing to take over as captain next year, Eddy is leaving behind sweat, tears and many remembrances of being part of the Wicked family.
“My favorite memory is playing red light green light in the studio. Random times!”
Wicked always incorporates new styles of dances into their sets, so they encourage any type of dancers to try-out. Whether it’s the stressful times, the fun times or the random times, Wicked is a group that enjoys what they do and most importantly enjoy each other.