Students shift focus to next competition

By Rider Farris | Reporter

For many Baylor students, the obligation to practice and create a stage-worthy act ends with the final performance of All-University Sing in Waco Hall. For others, the end of Sing marks a new beginning. Each year, student groups on campus participate in StompFest, Baylor’s annual stomp show held in collaboration with the National Pan-Hellenic Council sorority Zeta Phi Beta. Proceeds from ticket sales benefit Zeta Phi Beta’s national philanthropy, ZHope, and prize money goes to each group’s unique philanthropy.

As Sing comes to a close, many groups are beginning to practice for StompFest, which will be held at 7:20 p.m. April 6 in Waco Hall. Wickoff, N.J., junior Lauren Boardman, cultural chair and StompFest captain of Alpha Chi Omega, said she is looking forward to participating this year.

“I’m excited,” Boardman said. “I think that we have a chance to win — a chance to place. If not that and if all else fails, a chance to prove ourselves and show that Alpha Chi is talented.”

After taking a three-year hiatus from the festival, Alpha Chi Omega is back in the competition this year. The group kicked off practices the Sunday after the first weekend of Sing and has been working on improving their routine under the direction of Boardman and their appointed coach.

“It’s a lot of mental preparation because it’s a dance style that’s very different from anything I’ve ever done and my team’s every done,” Boardman said. “And then there’s a lot of physical preparation with the stepping itself.”

Boardman said she worked to get her organization to enter StompFest this year after attending the festival in 2017. She attended her president’s office hours to discuss the possibility of her group participating. She then talked to girls in her sorority to gauge interest in the festival.

“This is so cool,” Boardman said. “It’s such an awesome experience for us to get involved in. From last year, right after StompFest, I’ve kind of been wanting to have this position, so I’ve kind of been fighting for it.”

Boardman has been a dancer since she was 2 years old. She said she likes the opportunity StompFest gives her to learn new dancing techniques, such as stepping and clapping, and to apply new techniques to her own knowledge of dance.

“I kind of love applying my knowledge of dance to things I’ve never done before,” Boardman said. “It’s kind of like pushing myself out of my comfort zone and learning something new that I can apply to a whole hobby that I’ve had my entire life.”

She said the StompFest practices are fun because all members of the team encourage each other and they work together to learn the new choreography. She brings snacks and ensures there are plenty of breaks to keep her team members motivated. Hurst sophomore Niki Mutz said she, too, enjoys Stomp because of the team environment.

“One of my favorite things about Stomp so far is just the friendships and the positivity,” Mutz said. “It’s such a happy environment because of the women on the team.”

Boardman also said she is looking forward to seeing the final product on stage at Waco Hall. She has been looking forward to the final performance for a very long time.

“I’m beaming with excitement. I really cannot wait,” Boardman said. “It’s been like a dream of mine since I saw StompFest last year. Honestly, since I’ve seen the movie ‘Stomp the Yard,’ it’s been like a dream of mine.”