Toxic invites Brandeis to ‘Pick Your Poison’
This is a historic year for the Toxic Majorette Dance Line. Formed in 2015 under the umbrella of the Brandeis Black Student Organization, this year the team became an independent, University-chartered club. They celebrated this acheivement in Saturday’s enormous showcase “Pick your Poison,” demonstrating not only their skills but also those of a variety of other dance and music groups.
Aside from majorette dancing, performances featured Afro-Caribbean, Latin, Bollywood, ballet, tap and modern dance. Music included Ghanaian drumming, a cappella, a pep band performance and a duet by a pianist and a singer who switched halfway through to playing a saxophone. Finally, there was a spoken word piece. As the program for “Pick your Poison” states, and as was clearly shown that night, “The team’s mission is to bring all students with a love of dance together. They strive for inclusivity and promote multiculturalism in order to strengthen team multiculturalism and cultural competence.”
Majorette dancing has a style similar to cheerleading, originating in the southern United States and often performed with marching bands at sporting and parade events. As such, it was fitting that they performed in the Auerbach Arena in Gosman Sports and Convocation Center. Although there were a diverse range of performances, majorette dancing was the main theme of the show. Toxic performed multiple times and, for the last act of the show, joined with Boston majorette group Area 51 to create a massive performance.
Due to the undeniable difficulty of organizing the many groups in the showcase, there were some hitches in “Pick your Poison.” The event was scheduled to start at 6 p.m., but actually began 30 minutes late. As we realized once the show started, this may have been due to some of the groups in Act I switching with some of the groups in Act II. The bleachers — not comfortable seats to begin with — became very uncomfortable after two and a half hours.
Despite its logistical struggles, the arena was filled with supporters — students coming to cheer on their friends and parents coming to see their children perform. The emcees were great as well, tying everything together through their exaggerated yet respectful awe of each event. At the end, the members of Toxic came onto the stage and gave glowing acknowledgements and flowers to the founding members and to their new coach, who “has pushed us beyond what we thought we could do in practice.”
Overall, “Pick your Poison” was a treat to watch. Although the event admittedly had some detracting elements, it blasted through with enthusiasm and flair.