Disney characters take to the stage

A whirlwind of Tinkerbells, Little Mermaids and even a mad hatter transformed Packer Hall into the magical world of Disney. Hosting the annual Homecoming Lip Sync and Dance competition on Thursday, Oct. 18., Packer Hall was filled with over 1,000 excited spectators by 8 p.m. They all came out to watch various student organizations, fraternities and sororities perform their best dance moves and lip sync to Disney favorites.

As part of this year’s Disney theme for Homecoming Spirit Week, favorite Disney heroes and heroines were seen securing the College’s win against Western Connecticut State University (WCSU) in the Homecoming football game throughout the night’s lip sync acts. Some acts featured classic characters scoring the game winning touchdown, including Woody from Toy Story, or as Lions cheerleaders.

Classic Disney villains, such as Captain Hook and Jafar of Aladdin, were portrayed as rival WCSU football players.

The competitive nature of Homecoming was not only in the spirit of the College versus WCSU, but between the nine teams of fraternities, sororities and student organizations who performed.

The lip sync and dance event is one of 10 spirit week events in which teams compete in hopes of winning a $150 cash prize, the President’s Traveling Spirit Week Trophy and campus bragging rights, according to Clare Krulewicz, Homecoming Spirit Week co-chair and junior mathematics secondary education major.

For the organizations involved, this Homecoming event is taken more seriously than any other. “It is the one that we practice for and have the most involvement in. It’s also the one that people get the most excited about … since it’s a show for everyone to see, we all want it to be good,” Denise Guardino, member of the Theta Phi Alpha, Phi Alpha Delta and Lambda Tau Omega Aladdin team and junior music education major, said.

For some, it is this type of spirit that makes them come out to the event. “I attended the lip sync event because it’s always fun. There’s so much enthusiasm and excitement in the air,” Stephanie Joyce, junior business administration major and third time attendee to the event, said.

The Alice in Wonderland team of Sigma Pi, Alpha Kappa Alpha and the defending spirit week champions, Delta Phi Epsilon, seemed to dominate. They chanted the loudest and proudest throughout the night. The Alice in Wonderland performers backed up the boisterous chants of their team, taking first in both the lip sync and dance competitions that night.

For the second part of the night’s event, the dance competition, it was harder to see a clear winner. The Pocahontas team, composed of Zeta Tau Alpha and Phi Kappa Tau, the Hercules team, made up of the Stars and Stripes coalition of Ambassadors and the Synergy Dance Company and Co., and the Alice in Wonderland team all gave standout performances. Each group had well-choreographed and in sync dance moves that ranged from break dancing to pirouettes to step.

It was the acrobatic dance moves and classic styling of Stars and Stripes that seemed to make them stand out and secure a second place finish. “I loved the Stars and Stripes dance. I liked how the Stars and Stripes dance was a variety of types of dance and not just the normal club dancing,” Joyce said.

With only two weeks to prepare for the lip sync and dance competition, and a thick rule book to abide by, the pressure to deliver a good performance was quite high. The practices were often long and intense. “We started practicing as soon as the decision was made as to who would be in the dance. From that day forward, we had practice pretty much every day. They were usually at least two hours long or so … The day before, it was an all day long practice,” Janna Raudenbush, Stars and Stripes dance performer and junior communication studies major, said.

With only a modest 3 ?- 4 minutes to perform, it took a lot to stand out to the judges. “I just knew we had to smile a lot, stand out and pretty much be perfect,” Raudenbush said. The judges look for school spirit, lip sync ability, choreography, humor, appropriateness to theme, music choice and mix and creativity, according to Krulewicz.

Though the commitment is large and the judging is strict, this year’s event has inspired some to partake next year. Guardino said, “It made me want to be part of the dance competition next year. If I have time to do it I will.”