By Samuel Manilla, senior
TRADITION UNITES US.
As of writing this, BHS Week of Wishes is coming to its dramatic climax: Jam the Dam. This intense and entertaining basketball game has been a beloved tradition at BHS for over a decade and always brings a massive crowd.
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One of the more interesting (or awkward; I feel like both words are applicable) elements of Jam the Dam is the Rhythm Boys, a legion of dancing, prancing, fishnet-wearing senior boys that storm the court and dance their hearts out, achieving what everybody wants out of life: fifteen seconds of fame. Girls love them. Freshmen want to be them. The rival team is kind of weirded out by them. It’s legendary.
Yet even though they are loved by students and community members alike, few viewers really understand the trials and hardships that these scantily-clad men must go through in order to end up on that court. It is because of this that I, Sam Manilla, a Rhythm Boy myself, have decided to detail for you, the reader, the first of six Rhythm Boys’ rehearsals leading up to Jam the Dam, so you and everyone else who reads this blog may have a better understanding of what it truly means to be a Rhythm Boy.
Rhythm Boyz: Day 1
As I walked down the hallway to the gym, I could already smell the angst and testosterone wafting through the evening air. It was going to be a good day. I felt my stomach knotting up, and I strongly considered turning around and running away and never looking back. I had fully accepted the thought of having to face my friends, and having them tease me (as friends often do) for wimping out and ditching rehearsal.
All of my fears faded away when I saw two of my best friends, Sam and John, standing at the end of the hallway. We obnoxiously greeted each other from across the hall, and started conversing about how PUMPED we were to be starting our brief Rhythm Boys careers. We spotted some of our other friends, and much socializing was had.
Suddenly, we were all startled by a shrill “HEY” resonating through the air. It was Lindsey, the captain of the Rhythm Bs. She asked all to be seated, and so it was. She welcomed us all to the first rehearsal of the Rhythm Boys, stating how excited she was to have a group as large as we were.
After Lindsey came the man, the myth, the legend himself, Mr. Jason Sarmiento. He told us of his days as a Rhythm Boy, and about how excited he was to see us all carrying on the tradition of wearing skirts and dancing around. He then gave us some spiel about the dress code, but (to be totally honest) I didn’t really pay attention.
We were asked to split up into teams of six, and each group would be assigned a pair of Rhythm Bs to teach us the dance. As if by instinct, Sam, John, and I clumped as close as we could to each other, as if challenging the world to try to separate us; it was kind of weird now that I say it out loud, but whatever. We also managed to assimilate our friends Matt, Alex, and Hari. A group made up of band kids! We were going to be amazing.
After all groups were together, we were assigned our Bs: Kali, whom I knew from the school’s Theater department, and a girl named Samantha (who I shall only refer to as Samantha, because there are already too many Sams in this story). We immediately fled to the upper levels of the school, so that we could rehearse in peace. We started out with a quick introduction, then we immediately started doing work, which was a perfect emulation of the band kid discipline we had all become so used to over the years.
As we were running through the moves, Kali suggested that we come up with “call outs” (names for the moves that we shout at each other in order to stay with the dance). I’ll spare you some of the details, but a few of my personal favorite call outs we came with were (in no particular order):
Vote for Trump
- #$%@ and @#$%&
Not to say that our other call outs weren’t amazing, these ones just happen to be my favorites. At one point, we had Mr. Sarmiento rolling on the floor laughing because of the ridiculousness and uniformity of our fantastic call outs. He then said that we weren’t allowed to say them during the performance, but whatever, I still think they’re great.
The day was ended with a group performance of our dance (or as much of it as we knew). Suffice it to say, nobody really knew what was going on, so we were pretty abysmal. I nearly hit somebody in the face; I think John had his ankle curb-stomped; and I’m pretty sure Hari blacked out for a few seconds.
Regardless of our possible injuries, sweaty bodies, and probably-eternal stank, we all had a fantastic first day at Rhythm Boys, and couldn’t wait for Jam the Dam.