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Hip hop auditions attract many hopefuls

More than 90 students in tennis shoes and sweat pants crowded the University Center Sunday and Monday anxious for their turn to hip hop their way into KAOS, the UM Hip Hop Club.

KAOS held auditions for two days in an effort to give everyone the opportunity to try out for a position on the team.

Only five were chosen.

“There was an overwhelming number of people who signed up for KAOS during ‘Cane Fest,” Gilbertson Cuffy, member of KAOS said. “Even President Shalala signed up and said she was interested in hip hop.”

The new members of KAOS were named Monday after midnight while they still tried to catch their breath from the exhausting hip-hop workout that began at 8:30 p.m.

Among those admitted into the dance club were freshmen Jodi Kuhlman and Grace Badiola, sophomores Tanique Cambell and James Carpenter, and graduate student Cory L. Cain.

Two of the five had been pre-selected the day before in a previous four-hour-long audition along with the other students who tried out. They were required to compete against the finalists of Monday night’s audition.

By 10 p.m. Monday, these five, along with 30 other students had already learned and memorized two complex dance choreographies put together by the members of KAOS.

Contestants kicked and danced to the music in groups of three or four and waited for the judges to begin their process of elimination.

“We want people that have attitude, that look like they’re having fun, that are willing to do anything and that catch people’s attention,” said Ntiense Inokon, KAOS treasurer and one of the judges.

“We want people that if they make a mistake, they make it bold,” Inokon said.

According to the judges, Kuhlman, one of the dancers chosen looked like she was having fun and hit every move with a lot of attitude brought with her from Dallas, Texas, and her past experiences with hip hop dancing.

“In high school I took a year and a half of hip hop classes but my teacher left on tour with Janet Jackson,” Kuhlman said. “This is awesome. I love hip hop.”

Derek Middlebrooks, president and choreographer of KAOS, said that this is a very prestigious group that has had many of its members go on to work as professional dancers.

“Wendy Simmons danced with Trina [The Diamond Princess] and went on tour with her,” Middlebrooks said. “She also danced for Missy Elliot and currently dances for Miami Sol as well as Gilbertson.”

Simmons is also a UM cheerleader.

KAOS is now composed of 20 members, 14 girls and six boys, and will now practice twice a week in order to put on a showcase at the end of the semester.

“Last semester we also danced at Senor Frog’s and danced for the Miami Hurricane video,” Middlebrooks said.

“This is like a family. It doesn’t matter what you look like-if you can dance, you are here,” Inokon said.

September 20, 2002

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The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.