Sugars and Spice: The 35th annual Mr. Sugar ‘Cane Show
November 2, 2018
Dancing and fashion and fun, oh my. The Mr. Sugar ‘Cane fashion show put on by the Manatee Sugar ‘Cane dance team on Oct. 25 kicked off the two-part spectacle for the show’s 35th anniversary. Featuring senior boys that were nominated by the dancers, this program is a fun way to help the team raise money to go to the national competition in the spring.
The varsity dance team nominated 13 senior boys that competed for the title of Mr. Sugar ‘Cane. In order to win, they had to raise the most money for the Sugar ‘Canes. Raising $2,000 exactly for the dance team, Hanson Rickert went home with the title of Mr. Sugar ‘Cane. Nico Martin won runner-up with just over $1,000 and Jackson Beyer won dancer’s choice by being voted as the guy who the Sugar ‘Canes wanted to win. The 13 boys raised a grand total of $8,223 for the Sugar ‘Canes program.
“We have to select the gentlemen, we had to set up several fundraisers for them- sponsorship’s, carwashes- and then we have to put the choreography together,” Angela Babroski, director of Sugar ‘Canes, informs about the type of planning that went into the show, “and then we also have to create the set, we have to create the program, we have to do all of that, it all takes about three months.”
The program featured many other performances along with the Sugar ‘Cane dancers, including the Braden River Middle School Dance Team, the Palmetto Dazzlers, the Manatee High School Company Dance Class, the MHS Jazz Band and the MHS Unity Steppers. All of which displayed great routines that showed just how much effort they put into learning them.
Sponsors from Charly’s Boutique, Madeline’s Boutique, Island Cabana and Men’s Warehouse displayed their merchandise. These sponsors made the production a full-fledged fashion show as well as a dance program.
A fashion show is what the Mr. Sugar ‘Cane program usually is, however, since this year is the 35th anniversary, Babroski also wanted to have a reunion that featured former Sugar ‘Canes and Mr. Sugar ‘Canes, and even little boys dancing on stage as future Mr. Sugar ‘Canes. The reunion show on Oct. 26 was a different spectacle altogether. In contrast with the previous night’s anticipation for who would be deemed Mr. Sugar ‘Cane, and the fancy, formal suits and dresses that the gentlemen and varsity dancers wore, the reunion show was informal, humorous, and an overall fun program. It was the entertainment that people needed after a long week of work and school.
Featuring the same dance routines from the previous night, the show also displayed the talents of the MHS Fiddlers, MHS Company Class, MHS Drumline, MHS Unity Steppers, future Mr. Sugar ‘Cane dancers and MHS Alumni. The finale also presented a special performance from Tina Turner (played by Ms. Boone, the founder of the Mr. Sugar ‘Cane show in 1984).
Babroski said that her favorite aspect of the show was because it was a family affair for many people to enjoy. Sugar ‘Canes from the past, present and future displayed the spirit and pride that alumni carry with them and pass on through generations. The Mr. Sugar ‘Cane show brought people together, providing entertainment and fun for people of all ages, while also showing off some Manatee High spirit.
“My brother was a Mr. Sugar ‘Cane nominee back in the day, so he will be joining us onstage, I will be onstage because I was a Sugar ‘Cane growing up, my son is doing the future Mr. Sugar ‘Canes dance, so it’s really just a family affair,” states Babroski. “It’s kind of like a connection of how this program has been around for so long and how it follows through family generations.”