The “League of Collegiate Dancerz” is known for congregating some of Boston’s baddest b-boys and b-girls in one place with a whisper of just three words. College. Mock. Jam. These jams are usually hosted at one of Boston’s many colleges every couple weeks. Not only do the mock jams gift street dancers the opportunity to bust a move, break it down, and battle it out in what the League refers to as a “light-hearted environment,” but they gift spectators the opportunity to enjoy some wicked cool entertainment. The League’s placing emphasis on its all-inclusive intentions tends to hone in not just college students, but high schoolers and six year olds who hit the floor and completely steal the show as well. After several years of successful jams, the League is still going strong, hoping that these mock jams will provide a stage for hip hop dancers of all styles and levels to show off and show out.
On Saturday February 6, at about 6:00 pm, my roommate and I strolled through the large double doors of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s main lobby. Initially unsure of how to get to the room in which the jam where the jam is set to be held, we decide to follow a guy decked out in black and white adidas sweatpants, a fitted cap, and a plaid flannel. A few footsteps later, we descend a staircase, and are standing right in the middle of dance heaven. We look around and realize that we are surrounded by people decked out in black and white adidas sweatpants, fitted caps, and plaid flannels. Several circles of dancers are scattered around the large room, stretching, tutting, and krumping. I take notice of the dancefloor outlined with blue masking tape, the dj’s incredibly powerful speaker, and the stacks of Domino’s pizza seated on top of a table in the corners.
After about an hour of moving from circle to circle and wondering who will be willing to be asked a few quick questions, the jam’s MC, a loud and lively young man with dreads arrives. After few rounds the judges select sixteen of the crowd’s favorites. One of them is Jacob, a local high schooler, who tells me that he remembers watching MTV’s hit show America’s Best Dance Crew to learn some moves that would impress his class crush. Not too long after I thank Jacob for his interview, he kisses my hand, a true charmer ladies and gents. I walk around a bit, now curious about how all of the other dancers got started. One dancer sates that he began while in a gang at age fourteen, soon after dropping the gang and sticking to dance. Another says she was influenced by her friends, an answer similar the one I got from Fredson Sossavi, a junior at Suffolk University, who drifts around the room armed with a video camera. “Not only do my friends compete in the jams, but some of them are judges as well.” After seeing one of Sossavi’s videos on Instagram I quickly contacted him about when the next jam would be, and I’m glad I did.