Raas Chaos rocks Lisner

More than 1,000 students and friends cheered and clapped for their favorite South Asian performance teams at the second annual “Raas Chaos” competition in Lisner Auditorium Saturday night.

Tufts, with the only all-female group in competition, grabbed the $1,250 grand prize at the end of the night. Georgetown came in second, bringing home $750. Only the first and second place teams were announced.

Students said they were attracted to the event, an intercollegiate South Asian dance competition featuring five East Coast universities, because of its unique performances and spirited atmosphere.

“I came out to get the Raas Chaos experience,” grad student Nina Ahujas said. “I wanted to get some culture while having a good time. It is important to show support for an event like this.”

Ahujas described the Raas “experience” as supporting her heritage and culture by immersing herself in the traditional South Asian environment.

Rutgers, Tufts and Georgetown universities, the University of Maryland and GW competed in the event.

Cheers such as “Go G-Dub” and “Hoya Saxa” echoed through the packed auditorium, while dancers’ friends and families waved signs with individuals’ and schools’ names.

Several teams of dancers moved around the stage to create formations, wearing colorful and traditional costumes. Men and women joined in circles, playing and singing in pairs with traditional bamboo sticks decorated with ribbons called dandiyas.

Dancers and organizers said they have been preparing for the event since the summer and are happy to see it grow since its first time at GW last year.

“We practice three days a week for four hours at a time,” junior Amish Patel said. “In the last two months, we increased our schedule to every day for six hours in order to prepare for this event.”

Some fans said GW performed better than the results reflected.

“I am shocked,” sophomore Shikha Nigam said. “I really thought we should have placed. I was not expecting an all-girl team to beat any coed team. They all performed well, but I just thought GW was better.”

“I had an amazing time on stage. I felt the fan support, and the crowd was definitely into it,” Patel said. “We really had a great performance. We definitely did our best, and I am looking forward to next year.”

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