The annual Beta’s Best Dance Crew, hosted by Beta Theta Pi fraternity, drew about 2,500 students to The Venue at UCF on Feb. 29 to watch the dance competition between 10 of UCF’s 12 Panhellenic organizations unfold. All proceeds from the event benefited the Ian Supra Memorial Foundation.
Delta Delta Delta won the top dance prize. Coming in at second place was Kappa Delta and, in third, Zeta Tau Alpha. The first place overall prize went to Chi Omega.
It was an upbeat, exciting night with a touch of sadness. In years past, proceeds from BBDC benefited the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. This year, the fraternity went a different route by choosing to instead raise money in honor of Ian Supra, a beloved friend of many UCF students.
Supra, who attended the nearby Dr. Phillips High School, lost his battle with stage IV esophageal cancer in November 2015, after nearly two years of battling the disease. He was 20 years old.
One of the Beta brothers attended high school with Supra, said Ian Cano, one of this year’s BBDC organizers. When the brother suggested that this year’s proceeds go toward the recently formed foundation, the rest of the fraternity was immediately on board.
“The foundation is just starting to be recognized by the state,” Cano said. “We want to help contribute and build it up to where it should be.”
The foundation was established by Supra’s friends and family with a goal to help other cancer-stricken youths, especially those in the Central Florida area.
Beta Theta Pi member Austin Adams worked alongside Cano to plan this year’s event. He pointed out that while all of the UCF Greek community’s chosen philanthropies are great causes, the locality of the Ian Supra Memorial Foundation should entice students to take notice.
“A lot of charities that the other fraternities and sororities donate to are bigger organizations that receive money from all across the nation,” Adams said. “To me, this foundation is small, and it’s helping kids in the Central Florida community, which is something we wanted to get behind. I think the whole UCF community should get behind it.”
Greek Life dance competitions usually have fun, creative themes, but BBDC’s chosen theme this year holds special significance. It was “Superheroes versus Supervillains,” drawn from the foundation’s motto "SupraStrong." Competing sororities tailored their dances around famous heroes and villains including Superman, The Joker and Captain America.
“We really wanted to see how creative the organizations could get,” Cano said. “It might be corny, but it does change the game up a little bit.”
As a senior, the event was Devin Hludzik’s last-ever Greek dance competition. Hludzik is a member of Delta Delta Delta, which came in first place with its dance that was themed after the Transformers movie. This year, she said, she and her sisters aimed to approach the competition with a shared focus on winning and having a genuinely good time.
“It’s easy to get so caught up in the competitive nature of these events that you forget to just enjoy it,” Hludzik said. “Practicing the routine non-stop with my sisters, working so many hours to create something together -- those are memories that I’ll keep long past college. And it’s great that those memories are tied into helping a really great cause.”
With the event now behind him, Cano sees only greater opportunities for future BBDC installments.
“Beta's Best Dance Crew has always been big, but something about this year is different,” Cano said. “I think we’re making bigger strides to spread a message.”
Editor's note: This article was originally published Feb. 29.
Jennifer Kline is a contributing writer for the Central Florida Future.