Students get ‘animated’ at Lip Sync and Dance

Where else but the Homecoming Lip Sync and Dance competition would you find Inspector Gadget, Batman and Patti Mayonnaise in the same room singing along to “Dirrty” and “SexyBack”?

The competition, which took place Thursday night in the Packer Hall gymnasium, paired fraternities and sororities together, as well as a group consisting of College Ambassadors. The eight teams lip synced to pre-recorded musical skits in one segment and danced in another, both of which were judged separately.

The team of the Sigma Pi fraternity and Kappa Delta and Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) sororities were crowned the victors in both the lip sync and dance categories.

The Homecoming theme this year was cartoons, resulting in a curious mixture of farce and childhood nostalgia, as female Ghostbusters bumped and grinded and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles crooned along to Nelly Furtado. The themes chosen included Doug, the Flintstones, Scooby Doo, Captain Planet, Ghostbusters, Batman, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Inspector Gadget.

Each team sent eight members, four men and four women, to perform either the lip sync or dance, as the remaining members shouted a deafening cacophony of encouragement and team chants from the sidelines while wearing their organization’s official Homecoming Week T-shirt, which read slogans like “From 30-packs to Scooby snacks.”

The lip sync sketches generally involved the kidnapping or sabotage of either the team’s mascot or the College football team’s quarterback by evil William Paterson students, the College’s opponent in the Homecoming football game. The organization’s mascot, be it Captain Planet or Quail Man, ultimately saved the day – and the football team – from defeat, all while singing along to popular songs.

Many of the skits parodied events and trademarks of the College, from budget cuts, which were portrayed as causing the College’s downfall, to the steam vents to food from Eickhoff, resulting in laughter from viewers in the packed gym of close to 950 students.

The dance portion of the competition was relatively similar, as students dressed in character danced to music medleys. Many teams had similar music to one another, resulting in some muffled booing, which the teams could be fined for, but overall the spirit was one of competitive fun.

Screams of “Kappa Delta, Kappa Delta, AKA, Sig Pi!” erupted after the judges’ announcement of the winners.

“I’m glad all of those endless nights of practice paid off! Sigma Pi and Kappa Delta were an awesome group to work with,” said Kamaria Byrd, junior English and philosophy major and president of AKA.

“One great advantage was the support of the rest of the members of our organizations who weren’t on the teams. They helped us practice and they also made the props and costumes so we owe it all to them,” Ryan Cummings, senior secondary education/math major and president of Sigma Pi, and Gabe Alonso, senior business administration and music major and sergeant at arms of Sigma Pi, said in an e-mail.

Others, however, were less enthusiastic.

“I’m definitely disappointed,” Steve Noon, sophomore accounting major and member of the Alpha Psi Chi fraternity, which placed seventh in lip sync and fifth in dance, said.

There were grumbles of judge favoritism as some said Inter-Greek Council politics were more responsible for the judges’ decision than actual talent.

“I think it ran very well,” fraternity and sorority programs director Pam Mirabelli said.

She dismissed notions of judge favoritism, saying, “I don’t judge, I just advise. It’s up to the judges and I just add the scores.” The judging panel is made up of “10 very professional staff members of student organizations,” Mirabelli said, not students that could be more biased toward a team.

The lip sync and dance competition was only one in a week of Homecoming contests and events targeted toward Greek Life. Others included “Sneak Prevue” at the beginning of the week and “Yell Like Hell” on Friday night, where the sorority and fraternity teams gathered and shouted chants and cheers outside residence halls and buildings on campus.