Lip Sync contest pumps up students for Homecoming Week

GVL / Nathan Kalinowski    
2013 Homecoming Lipsync

GVL / Nathan Kalinowski 2013 Homecoming Lipsync

Erika Collin

It’s not very often that audiences get to experience groups of college students dancing around in pig tails, tutus and face paint to the tune of pre-wrecking ball Miley Cyrus’ “Can’t Be Tamed.” At the Lip Sync Contest, though, the packed Fieldhouse of Grand Valley State University got to witness just that and more.

“It was really cool to see how creative everyone was,” freshman Nicole Buchmann said. “The fact that all of the teams could take the simple theme of The Wizard of Oz and make a six-minute mash-up of different songs and dances was really fun to watch.”

The Lip Sync Contest, a GVSU tradition, was held Oct. 16 and ran for two hours, featuring 15 teams who danced and lip synced their way around the brightly lit stage. The teams consisted of fraternity and sorority members, along with other campus organizations, and they were required to perform a dance routine that fit this year’s Homecoming theme of “No Place Like the Valley.”

The competition was critiqued by a panel of five judges that were made up of faculty and staff members. Judges announced their picks for the top seven at the event, but finishing in third place was the Lions Tougers and Bears, in second place The Kappas of Oz, and in first place We’re Off to See the Greeks.

This year the Lip Sync Contest was coordinated for the first time by the new-to-campus Laker Traditions Team. The competition is usually most popular with fraternities and sororities, though anyone can participate as long as they have a team of at least four people. Because of this, a goal of the Laker Traditions Team is to ensure that other campus organizations choose to get involved in future years.

“We want other people to get involved and to do it,” said Ellerie Ambrose, the Homecoming event coordinator. “(The competition is not) just exclusive to housing and Greeks.”

Other organizations, in fact, did choose to get involved this year, but performed after the competing groups while the judges deliberated. The Office of Student Life performed its rendition of “What Does the Fox Say?” while Move 2 the Beat also put on its own dance number.

The first place winners, We’re Off to See the Greeks, were made up of fraternity members from Delta Sigma Phi and Sorority members from Gamma Phi Beta.

“Everyone had so many different ideas, and we collaborated it all into one,” said Shawn Mueller, the new member educator of Delta Sigma Phi. “It really came out (well).”

The mix of students practiced their dance routine Monday through Friday for at least two hours a day for the past two weeks. The dance was choreographed by seniors and Gamma Phi Beta sisters Briana Bock and Jessica Faleni.

“We’ve been waiting four years to win Homecoming, and this is our last Homecoming,” Faleni said. “So to win it is the most exciting thing that could have happened.”

The event coordinators said they achieved their goal of getting students excited and pumped up for Homecoming week.

“Everybody gets so excited about something so simple, and it really shows that people are excited to be at Grand Valley,” said Alyssa Smith, the overall chair of the Laker Traditions Team. “It’s such a big deal just for people to go out and blow off steam for one night and have fun.”

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