By Avery Ballmann | Staff Writer
All-University Sing, a long-standing competition at Baylor, involves not only vocals but also choreography. Being one out of 18 groups competing this year, it is key to have dance moves that stand out. How does each group maintain their tried and true moves while keeping the audience and judges captivated? Some groups stick to their signature moves, while others try to spice the old moves up with new techniques.
Sing Alliance, a group who is not affiliated with Greek Life, uses their signature moves in new ways to continue being progressive but also because they know what looks good on stage.
Maumelle, Ark., senior Carly Faulk has been a part of Sing Alliance for four years and is excited for the upcoming competition.
“We have been working on this act for two years, since the last Sing that happened,” Faulk said. “It’s going to be super exciting to see what we’ve been working on for so long come to life.”
Faulk said Sing Alliance has a running list of signature moves, but the one that is most prominent is the Turkey Lurkey, which began in their 2010 act, “A News Sensation.” Faulk said the Turkey Lurkey is where the performers flail their arms and legs at the same time, which she said, “feels weird when you’re doing it, but it looks amazing on stage.”
Zeta Tau Alpha’s move, coined The Zeta Move, is incorporated at the end of their shows. Tomball junior Manning Thrower, administrative Sing chair and performer, said The Zeta Move is a traditional and sharp move.
“I think ending with that move ties it all together and has a happy ending to it, and it gets the crowd super excited,” Thrower said. “I know all of us as a chapter feel super excited to do that move at the end because it’s our one last hoorah, big dance move before we hit our final pose.”
The move consists of the entire group being on stage with each performer moving their legs and arms oppositely, while their arms create an “L” shape. Every other count, the girls shout “woo,” which gets the crowd excited at the end of their act.
Kappa Chi Alpha, another non-Panhellenic group, is a nondenominational Christian sorority that is also performing at Sing. Since Kappa Chi Alpha does not have a chapter room on campus, the group has been practicing at theCENTER at Columbus Avenue Baptist Church.
Houston junior and Sing chair Rachel Harsley said it is a unique opportunity for their sorority to be able to perform in Sing.
“We are a Christ-centered sorority, which I think is really cool,” Harsley said. “We definitely place that emphasis on doing it all for the glory of God. Singing and dancing and having fun together, goofing around, that’s all great, but ultimately it’s all for him.”
Kappa Chi Alpha does not have a name for their signature move, but Harsley said it like this: the back foot of the performer pushes off of the ground while their arms are “pushing air” back and forth. After this motion, the girls bring their arm up to their head and shake their hips four times while the arm falls down to their side. They then switch to the opposite side and repeat the move. This is performed toward the end of their act so fellow members recognize the move and feel united.
Beta Upsilon Chi, also known as BYX, is another Christian group taking on the Sing stage. The difference with BYX in comparison to other groups is that they have created a new dance move that no one has seen them do before. Houston freshman Lauryn Edwards created this move over Christmas break while she was listening to BYX’s music choices for the competition.
“It’s really fun when you hit it exactly right,” Edwards said.
This move has no official name, but it’s done at the beginning of one of their final dance breaks, cueing the audience to get excited because BYX is about to go all in. Edwards said this move looks really good because it goes exactly with the music. In this dance move, the boys do a patch step where they lean on one foot to the side, then shift that weight to the back foot, like a rocking motion. They then move their right arm bent with their hand making a fist while their left arm is down, and they repeat this step with the opposite feet and arms. This move gives a swagger vibe and is easy to teach to a group of 45 boys.
Houston sophomore and head Sing chair for BYX Caleb Balladares said only 10 people in BYX have done Sing previously, so they have basically started from scratch.
“While it does seem small compared to other acts, I would say it’s definitely a little bigger than some of our previous acts,” Balladares said. “We are growing exponentially in number.”
What makes Sing unique is that all groups, big and small, have a chance to showcase their talents and their best moves on stage in front of their professors, peers and family. For the judges, choreography alone is worth 20 points, but for these groups, these dance moves are worth more than that.