The Tomato

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Dance groups fight over who gets to perform in front of big mirror

Photo: Rémi Yuan.

Students who regularly pass through the University Centre (UCU) are still reeling from a violent brawl that resulted in more than a dozen injuries.

The roughhousing involved the various groups that normally use the large hallways of the UCU to practise their funky dance moves. Reports vary on what exactly triggered the incident, but several eyewitnesses claim it was caused by a turf dispute.

“It was definitely our turn to practice in front of the big mirror, and they knew it,” said Casey Nicholls, head of the University of Ottawa’s unisex twerk team. “There was no way that I was going to back down from a bunch of lousy swing dancers.”

Things escalated quickly when each side decided to call for back-up, which drew the attention of various groups, including local breakdance crews and the U of O’s pole dance society.

Innocent bystanders report that once the brawl got underway, a variety of dance-based fighting styles were deployed to maximize the level of carnage. These ranged from Zoolander-esque breakdance fighting techniques to the aggressive ballet moves from West Side Story. Some students even recalled seeing hints of Michael Jackson mimicry in the melee, with some taking cues from hard-edged music videos like “Bad” and “Smooth Criminal.”

“It sure sucks that people got hurt, but you still had to admire the artistry and athleticism on display,” said student Mark Jacobs, who recorded the entire event on his phone. “It was like watching a fight scene from a Jackie Chan movie.”

The event marks the first time the various UCU dance groups have decided to take up arms since the Great Macarena Massacre of 1996. Ever since then, these groups have been kept in fragile harmony through the signing of a peace treaty that partitioned out different areas of the UCU to the various dance crews.

But for some, this division was deemed severely unfair.

“My people have been banished to the outskirts of the Alumni Auditorium for far too long,” said Jason Wise, leader of U of O’s Jazzercise club. “It was about time someone shook up the established order.”

As punishment for breaking the 19-year truce, all the individuals involved are expected to undergo the university’s extensive dance rehabilitation program.

“This mostly involves forcing them to listen to and perform ‘The Safety Dance’ by Men Without Hats over and over again,” said the head of the U of O’s disciplinary committee. “This might be a little harsh, but it is the only way to guarantee that this kind of thing will never happen again.”