Dance teams from universities all over the country will descend upon the city this weekend for the third annual Miami Mayhem dance competition organized by the Indian Student Association (ISA) at the University of Miami. While there are many different forms of traditional Indian folk dance, the focus of the weekend will be on “Raas,” a style centered on intense choreography and decorative sticks embellished with tassels and bells.
According to UM junior Ashish Shah, the public relations chair of ISA, the March 6 showcase features the eight strongest Raas teams from across the nation.
“Some of the best teams will be performing this weekend,” Shah said. “We’ve spent a lot of time organizing this, but it’s going to be an incredible show.”
Raas teams are visiting for more than just a weekend in the Miami sun. The eight different squads will be competing for a $4,000 dollar first-place cash prize and a chance to earn the title of best Raas team in the nation.
“In our three years of working on the competition, we have turned Miami Mayhem into the most respected Raas competition there is,” ISA president and Mayhem vice-chair Swapnil Patel said.
The competition will also feature exhibitions by both Hurricane Bhangra and Hurricane Raas, who will not be competing in the main event.
Tickets will be available in the Breezeway on both Thursday and Friday in anticipation of Saturday’s main event, and UM students receive a discount on their purchase with a Cane Card. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Ratna Nidhi, a charitable fund that battles poverty in third-world countries.
What: Miami Mayhem Dance Competition, the pre-eminent Indian dance competition in the nation
Where: Julius Littman Performing Arts Center, 17011 NE 19 Avenue, North Miami Beach
When: Sat., March 6
Cost: $10 student tickets with Cane Card, available in the Breezeway on Thursday and Friday