At the beginning of the year, it seemed Cal Poly’s chapter of the Hip Hop Congress was lost to the school. But through the work of some dedicated members, both affiliated with the school and others, the club managed to regain their charter in time for one dancing event this quarter.
Club president and computer science senior Ryan Badilla attributed losing the charter to lack of members. He said former members graduated, and not many current members wanted to take positions.
Cal Poly alumnus and former Hip Hop Congress member Joey Chung disagreed, though.
He said the club lost the charter because the last president didn’t renew it and gave up when he couldn’t find enough people. Though Chung is no longer a part of Cal Poly, he said he plans to help the club and “get the gears moving.”
“We have a lot of talent in here, and it would be a real shame not to have a club,” he said.
According to Chung, starting a club is not the hard part; the battle is to get the proper number of members.
Despite the club having problems acquiring members, somebody did step up and take a position: a new member, in fact. Biological chemistry freshman Cheyenne Liu took on the role of vice president.
“I went to dance sessions a lot and just really started liking the club members and how we were bonding,” Liu said. “I wanted to promote that.”
Liu knew she wanted to do something hip-hop related when coming to Cal Poly. She found out about the Hip Hop Congress during Week of Welcome’s club showcase and decided to become vice president, she said.
Hip Hop Congress is a national organization which promotes awareness of positive hip-hop culture. The purpose is to unite communities using the four elements of hip-hop: break dancing, MC, DJ and graffiti art, Chung said.
“Our main concentration is b-boying, or break dancing, because the most people we get dance,” he said. “But we’re open to any style of dance.”
This year, the club has approximately seven new members. Badilla said most of the members happen to be break dancers, because the club is very vocal about its dance group. But anyone who shows interest can join, he said.
On May 5, the Hip Hop Congress will have their third break dancing competition, SLO Underground 3 feature one-on-one break dancing battles. Andrew Vu, electrical engineering senior and Hip-Hop Congress member, is organizing the event.
Vu invited top break dancers from the Bay Area, San Diego, Los Angeles and Riverside, Calif., to judge the competitions.
Attending dancers include: Yroc (Cory Howell), Kid Nasty (Anthony Manzon), Kaotyk (Joey Kao) and Infinite (Hermes Arriola). According to Vu, he invited them because they have built names for themselves around California and the United States.
“Overall we just want to have fun,” Vu said.
Since the Congress received its charter late in the year, it can only throw one event for its dancers. Because of this, Chung said he wants to throw an event for every aspect of hip-hop next year.
“My vision is to keep some center of communication in the community for future generations,” Chung said. “As of now, I’m staying optimistic and saying ‘No (it won’t lose its charter again).’ Six or seven freshmen are hard to lose, and I’ll stick around.”