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Business students claim title of Mr. and Ms. RBS with fancy footwork

The stakes were high at last weeks “Mr. and Ms. RBS” pageant, and while there were no exploding crowns or handguns as in Ms. Congeniality, the talents displayed were unforgettable. 

The Rutgers Business School Governing Association held it’s fourth annual “Mr. and Ms. RBS” pageant on Thursday, February 26 in the Rutgers Student Center. The organization was able to raise more than $2,550 for Dance Marathon as a result of the money raised from the Date Auction, as well as the $5 door fee paid by attendees.

The pageant was divided into four categories; Professional dress, talent, date auction and a Q&A. The judges were comprised of a student, faculty member, guest judge and the audience. For the remainder of the evening, 10 Rutgers Business School students would compete in each category for a chance to be considered for the title of "Mr. and Ms. RBS."

For the “professional dress” portion of the pageant, the students used fashion skills acquired from their business courses and opted for dark suits and ties instead of the rhinestone encrusted gowns and tiaras traditionally expected at a pageant.

The “talent” portion of the pageant was definitely the most exciting part of the night. I was amazed at the amount of creativity and talent possessed by these students.

Arjun Bains, a Rutgers Business School junior, opened the talent show with an exhilarating dance performance alongside a few of his friends. They bumped to a collaboration of music by Nicki Minaj and Jay-Z and got the crowd pumped for the evening. One thing is for sure: his anaconda don’t.

The crowd longed for love after a beautiful rendition of Ariana Grande’s Honeymoon Ave” sung by Rani Chacko, a Rutgers Business School junior, who serenaded the crowd while her friend accompanied her with an acoustic guitar.

David Kenji Shah, a Rutgers Business School junior, brought some Latin flair to the night while chopping onions and tomatoes for his homemade salsa recipe. A few audience members were lucky enough to taste the salsa while Shah dropped his apron and twirled his partner around for a quick salsa performance that was muy caliente. 

The nostalgia was high as Sheryl Wan, a Rutgers Business School junior, sang Alicia Keys' “If I Ain't Got You” while her friend played the piano.

The Rutgers Student Center felt like the streets of New Deli as Sunny Sheth, a Rutgers Business School sophomore, performed an amazing Bollywood inspired dance with a few friends, all dressed in traditional clothing. The precision and excitement beaming from Sheth and his group made for an unforgettable performance.

Gopi Patolia, a Rutgers Business School senior, brought us back to childhood and gave everyone in the crowd a good laugh with a step-by-step tutorial on how to perform the chicken dance.

Ryan Szemple, a Rutgers Business School junior, ran and dove across the stage with his mouth wide open for his talent. This would seem kind of strange if it weren’t for the fact that audience members were throwing Haribo gummy bears from extraordinary distances and they were landing in his mouth.

Performing a self-choreographed solo dance, Kelly Stimmel, a Rutgers Business School sophomore, won the crowd over as she twirled, balanced and flipped in mid-air to "I'm an Albatraoz" by AronChupa.

Jordan Blancaflor, a Rutgers Business School senior, brought the house down with his self-choreographed performance. He showed off his smooth moves while dancing to a compilation of Ne-Yo and Drake.

Last, but certainly not least, Barak Shnaidman, a Rutgers Business School senior, closed the show with an empowering freestyle rap.

Next on the agenda was the Q&A, where each contestant was asked one question. Inquiries like; “If you could have celebrities for parents, who would they be?” “What house would you be in if you went to Hogwarts?” and “If you could remove a state, which would it be?” gave the audience a chance to get to know each contestant.

The two hosts of the pageant served as auctioneers for the “Date Auction” that followed. They shot off numbers back and forth to entice members of the audience to bid on each candidate. All proceeds went toward dance marathon.

As the pageant came to a close and the fate of the candidates was placed in the hands of the judges and their peers, contestants anxiously awaited for the results. While the judges deliberated, a short video featuring past Mr. and Ms. RBS winners played for the audience.

After careful consideration and an evaluation of the candidate’s performance in each category, they came to a conclusion. Jordan Blancaflor and Kelly Stimmel would be bestowed the prestigious title of Mr. and Ms. RBS 2015.

The crowd cheered as Blancaflor and Stimmel were given their sashes and awards. Family and friends rushed to the stage to congratulate and photograph the victors.

Soon after the pageant, I had the opportunity to get to know the winners a little better.

Stimmel, otherwise known as Ms. RBS, is majoring in finance. She said she was inspired to pursue this major because growing up, both of her parents owned their own businesses. She grew up in a business environment and always had a knack for numbers.

“Growing up, my favorite board game was monopoly,” she laughed.

A member of Alpha Kappa Psi, Stimmel was encouraged by her peers to compete in the “Mr. and Ms. RBS” pageant.

Interestingly enough, this was not Stimmel's first time participating in a pageant. She had previously competed in the Miss Teen New Jersey pageant, but was not as fortunate to win that title.

Dancing since the age of four, Stimmel is no stranger to the spotlight and choreographed her own dance routine for the show.

“It was really hectic, the dance rooms here are never open and you have to reserve them way in advance,” she said. “I actually finished my choreography an hour before the show started.”

Stimmel loves to dance because she believes it is therapeutic and brings people together.

“You know that feeling you get after you workout?” she asked, “Dancing is like that … it’s creative, expressive and therapeutic.”

At the moment, Stimmel works as a dance teacher and a choreographer, but doesn’t think she would ever pursue dancing as a career.

 She found that when she danced competitively it lost its value and that she enjoys it a lot more when it’s just for fun.

Some of Stimmel's other hobbies include lifting weights, skiing, writing poetry and running.

“I ran track in high school, I was actually recruited for it in college,” she added.

During the Date Auction, Stimmel was able to raise $350 for Dance Marathon. Members of her fraternity assisted in raising the stakes for her bid.

“I can’t believe it, it makes me feel pretty good,” she said.

If she could pick her dream job, Stimmel said she would love to have her own talk show, like Ellen DeGeneres.

She said she would want to interview Britney Spears, Lady Gaga and Khloe Kardashian on her show. 

Prior to our interview, Stimmel had just come from a dance session with Mr. RBS, and fellow fraternity brother, Jordan Blancaflor.

“I’m one of the newer brothers,” she said. “We had this instant connection because we both danced.”

She said the two went to one of the dance rooms on campus with a few other fraternity brothers and just danced together.

“He’s more hip-hop and I’m more ‘So You Think You Can Dance’,” she said.

A fellow dancer, Blancaflor, agreed with this sentiment, stating that she has a more contemporary style while he is into hip-hop.

Blancaflor taught himself how to dance when he was in high school, something he kept as a secret for the most part.

“When I got to college I got into it,” he admitted. “I’m actually known as one of the main dancers at AKPsi.”

He is on two different dance teams, “The Society” and “The Academy,” which is the official dance team of Alpha Kappa Psi.

It was actually a few members of Alpha Kappa Psi who danced alongside Blancaflor during the pageant.

“I made all of the (choreography) … we practiced a couple times,” he said “I’m really bad when it comes to being on stage. My heart was pounding right when I was waiting on line to go.”

When he’s not dancing, Blancaflor enjoys playing a good game of poker. Although he admits he does not have the best poker face, on account of the fact that he is always smiling.

During the Q&A, he was asked what the movie of his life would be. He answered “Step Up 3” because there is a dancer in the movie named Moose who Blancaflor aspires to dance like.

Blancaflor was also able to raise $350 during the date auction.

“AK supported Kelly and I a lot,” he said. “It feels really good.”

Majoring in economics, Blancaflor said he sees a lot of members from Alpha Kappa Psi in his classes.

Although he chose to major in economics because of its wide range of application, Blancaflor said he also thought about being a nurse or chef. But his dream job would be to choreograph for celebrities.

“I feel like that would be like a really fun life,” he said.

Blancaflor and Stimmel stole the show with their fancy footwork and will certainly carry the legacy of Mr. and Ms. RBS with grace and success.

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