Students, Mayborn Museum staff to record video for fourth annual dance-off contest

Graduate museum studies students are set to join Mayborn Museum staff to record an entry at the Mayborn Museum for the “When You Work at a Museum” blog. Photo credit: Liesje Powers

By Rachel Smith | Reporter

Mayborn Museum Complex staff and graduate museum studies students met Wednesday to begin planning their video for “When You Work at a Museum” blog’s fourth annual international Museum Dance-Off competition.

Their core project team consists of graduate students in the museum studies program, but participation in the video is open to Mayborn staff as well as all Baylor students. Dr. Kim McCray, lecturer of museum studies and part of the core project team, said they will film the video sometime in March to submit by the contest deadline on March 31.

“For me, it’s a great opportunity to get the chance to work with everyone in this kind of collaborative format where we have the opportunity to create something together and to get to know each other during that process as well,” McCray said.

After online voting, which begins April 17, winners from nine global regions will compete in the final Thunderdome Round. Prizes include a trophy and bragging rights, and the blog will announce categories for Judges’ Choice Awards at a later date.

“Our first goal, first and foremost, is just to have fun,” McCray said, “to create something that allows us to use our different creative energies to highlight the magic of the Mayborn and the strength that the museum offers people as an asset to the university, the community and the museum studies program.”

Videos from past years have gone viral, including Monticello’s rendition of Flo Rida’s “My House” and the National Museum of American History’s performance to MC Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This.”

“I think this is another way to illustrate what everyone’s trying to work on here at the Mayborn,” McCray said.

Design den coordinator Emily Clark said she likes showing people that the Mayborn Museum staff enjoys the work they do because visitors then have more fun interacting with the museum.

“I’m always trying to tell people it’s just fun to work at a museum,” Clark said. “I think this is a good way to showcase that we have really fun jobs. I think that makes us a more fun place to visit.”

During its first planning meeting, the team discussed potential songs and themes for the video, which must last between two and five minutes.

“It’s going to be fun to make it and promote it,” Clark said. “I’m kind of excited for pushing for votes. I think that’s going to be kind of fun.”

Graduate museum studies student Madeleine Calcote will contribute to the project with choreography.

“I think it’s a really fun activity, and it draws a lot on my dance background,” Calcote said. “I really am excited to be back and thinking about that kind of stuff. It just shows that literally any job that you do, you can always use those skills from it because I never thought I would use my choreography skills in graduate school.”

Students who are interested in participating in or creating the video can contact Clark at or McCray at

“I’m excited to see everybody’s energy level in it,” Calcote said. “I think that’s going to be fun to see everybody let loose a little bit because you don’t normally dance around the museum, in most cases. It’ll be fun to watch everybody have their own experience with it.”