ZZZ inspires laughs for a good cause in annual Zing performance

Members of Zeta Zigga Zamma, an unofficial Baylor "fraternity," perform the opening number at their annual "Zing" performance. Meredith Wagner | Arts & Life Editor

By Meredith Wagner | Arts & Life Editor

The unofficial Baylor organization that imitates official fraternities, Zeta Zigga Zamma, maintains a reputation for its alcohol-free parties, Christian mission and goofy performances. One of ZZZ’s biggest organized events of the year, “Zing,” is a spin-off of All-University Sing, the annual theatrical performance put on by approved fraternities and sororities.

Zing is a hodgepodge of per`formances that prompt rolling laughter from the packed auditorium and officially welcome new members into the non-exclusive group. Both new and old members of ZZZ took to the Midway ISD Performing Arts Center’s stage Saturday night for this year’s “Back to the Zwamp,” bringing with them, unsurprisingly, hover board tennis matches, hip hop dance-offs and footage of exclusive, new-member interviews in — where else? — the bathroom.

Dallas junior Troy Dixon, president of Zeta Zigga Zamma, introduced the night of fun and games by explaining the members’ intentions in putting on the show year after year. Dixon said Zing’s ultimate purpose is to express the freedom the members find in their relationships with Jesus.

“We want to express that joy and that freedom tonight through a really, really dumb show,” Dixon said, adding, sarcastically, “I don’t know why y’all bought tickets. That was a mistake.”

ZZZ imitates official fraternities and sororities’ philanthropic missions by raising money for its own philanthropic partner, Mission Waco. Mission Waco is a local nonprofit that seeks to empower the poor and marginalized, address systematic issues that disempower the poor and mobilize middle-class Christians to get involved in the community.

Lewisville junior Matthew Swan, Zing chair, said aside from having a good time and expressing their love for Jesus, ZZZ’s primary mission is to raise money for Mission Waco.

“We are Christian men who just want to be representing God in the way we best can,” Swan said. “And we do this to, one, be stupid and funny and have a good time, but also to raise money. We want to really just raise a whole lot of money for [Mission Waco].”

Swan said members of ZZZ begin preparing for the show in February, practicing a couple times each week in Baylor parking garages. As Zing chair, he said he is always impressed by the members’ creativity.

“I’m very impressed by what I see every single time I come to practice,” Swan said. “They create the dances themselves.”

To put on the show, Swan is accompanied by Converse sophomore Josh Aguirre and Jefferson City, Mo., sophomore Davis Misloski, who both serve as co-chairs.

“They’ve been a huge help to me,” Swanson said. “It is a lot of work, but I love it so much.”

Dixon described their mission similarly, emphasizing the group’s love for having fun, expressing joy and raising money for a good cause.

“We want to just be who we are. We want to do what we do best, which is have fun and express that joy,” Dixon said. “Z is here to serve. We’re here to be a place where people just feel comfortable and accepted.”

ZZZ hosts off-campus parties and events throughout the year at various locations. Their next event, Noche, is an alcohol-free “pre-party” for Diadeloso, Baylor’s annual holiday. Noche is at 9 p.m. April 16 at the Dr Pepper Museum. Attendance is $5, but all proceeds go directly to Mission Waco.

Swan said Zing has only been established for about five years, but will continue to be a tradition that prioritizes having a good time for a good cause.

As prompted by one of the performers, only one question remained unanswered at the end of the long night of Zing performances: “Jesus can walk on water, but can he swim on land?”

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