On June 26, the Indian Students Association (ISA) brought mayhem to Miami Beach.
Coming off a victory at a recent dance competition in Texas, ISA hosted the fourth annual Miami Mayhem dance event, at the Julius Litman Performing Arts Center on North Miami Beach.
The competition included performances from eight Raas dance teams from universities from around the country.
Raas originated in west India in honor of Amba, a fearless 10-armed goddess. Eighteen-inch sticks, called dandiyas are used to portray a battle between Amba and the demon king Mahisura.
The top three teams were Boston University Fatakada, Purdue University Raas, and University of Illinois Urbana Champaign Raas. These teams bid points that put them in the running to compete for the title of national champions at the third annual All-Stars National Championships in Dallas, Texas.
Hosting Miami Mayhem was a full time job for Sawpnil Patel, ISA president and executive chair of Miami Mayhem.
“It’s pretty much going to be the last thing I do as a senior,” Patel said.
The 16 members of Swaggeraas, the University of Miami’s Raas team, also performed in an exhibition after the competitors completed their routines.
According to Patel, their organization has been working hard to put on a good show.
“We made a point to make our choreography really intricate,” he said. “We didn’t stop thinking of ideas until we were very happy.”
Dancing is important to ISA students, who spend a lot of time together. Winning is just a bonus for students like senior Priya Panara, who appreciates the bonding associated with being on a team that works to “achieve the same goal.”
Beyond being an Indian dance show, Miami Mayhem also donated proceeds to Miami Children’s Hospital to support the purchase of medical equipment and provide support for doctors, nurses and children.
“Miami Children’s Hospital Foundation is incredibly grateful to students of the University of Miami,” said Jeremy Katzman, spokesman for MCHF.
ISA also received a S.O.A.R. Award for the event.