Megan Simpson is a junior at Chapman University studying Creative Writing and Psychology. She loves movies, food, and cats, like any normal college girl. Her main goal in life is to finally get her dad to admit that she’s funnier than him.
So let’s face it: Chapman students are pretty freaking talented. We knew that. I mean, have you seen the stats on our film school?
Yet another way Chapman kids can show off their mad dance skills is through the yearly performance, appropriately titled, “Airbands.” Chapman University Airbands is a dance slash lip-syncing competition put on every year by the lovely ladies of Gamma Phi Beta, a sorority on Chapman’s campus. The event combines dance, theatrics, costuming, and friendly competition into a spectacle you just have to see. Some have even gone as far as to say it is “broadway caliber.” Whaddup.
Here’s the lowdown: most commonly, two organizations (some Greek chapters, some clubs, some dance groups) are paired with each other–though organizations can perform without a partner–and they have a few weeks to choose a theme, audition their members, get costumes together, choreograph a routine, then present their finished product on a Friday and Saturday night in October.
This year, Gamma Phi Beta decided to create a theme for the event: Video Music Awards. That yielded some amazing results: the groups stuck to performing classic songs ranging from Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” to Britney’s new track, “Work B*tch.”
That’s right, kids. We’re talking props, music editing systems, and a LOT of glitter. It’s like Ke$ha threw up all over the auditorium. Personally, this is one of my favorite nights of the year. I always go with my roommates and we cheer on our friends and sororities as loud as humanly possible. It’s also a great opportunity to hear all of the Greek chapters’ new chants. You probably hear just as much choreographed chanting from the audience as you see choreographed dancing onstage.
It’s also the perfect time to see what other organizations your friends are a part of. Sometimes, I’ll hear people next to turn to each other and yell, “IS THAT SALLY? OH MY GOSH, I DIDN’T KNOW SHE WAS IN THAT CLUB! OR THAT SHE CAN EVEN DANCE!”
It is a night of great discovery.
Speaking of discovery, after each show, my roommates and I always seem to develop kick-butt dance moves whilst exiting the theater. I am not proud to say that, last year, I did a high kick in the lobby and booted a guy in the back of the head. Totally pretended like it wasn’t me, too. Whoops. Next time, I’ll leave the dancing to the professionals.
Everyone involved in Airbands really seems to be a professional. I have yet to figure out how they edit their music so perfectly, and the performers always know exactly what words to mouth and when to mouth them. Their timing is perfect, their rhythm is perfect, they are perfect.
The best part of the whole thing? All the proceeds from ticket sales go to Gamma Phi Beta’s philanthropy, “Campfire USA,” a non-profit organization that helps young boys and girls to explore and develop interests through camp and after school programs. This year, Gamma Phi Beta expects that, when the final count comes in, the event will have raised around $10,000. If that doesn’t scream “YOU MUST SEE THIS” then I don’t know what does.
Oh sure, Chapman has “Skit” in the spring, but Airbands is special because it allows organizations to team up and work together to create awesome performances. We’re used to the usual competition on campus, but, as cheesy as this sounds, Airbands is a great way for members of different groups to get to know people they may not have even met otherwise.
Plus, who doesn’t like to show off?
Ladies and Gentlemen, my big bro, Conner, and other members of Beta Theta Pi fraternity. I’m such a proud little. (photo via)
The cherry on top of the evening is the amazing Nathan Worden, Chapman’s unofficial (but really, should be official) photographer. He graduated from Chapman last spring and blessed us all when he decided to become a Resident Director this year, so we didn’t have to say goodbye. These are all his pictures. Beautiful, huh? Side note, Nathan did a photoshoot for my roommates and I last year, and let me just tell you, we’re the most photogenic people I know…
Roomies and I striking a pose. I’m the blonde one, in case you’re curious. Duck face ’til I die and I’m not sorry. (photo via)
But I digress.
The winner of the night? Black Student Union and Delta Tau Delta fraternity! In second place was Delta Delta Delta sorority paired with Phi Delta Theta, and third place went to Delta Gamma sorority paired with Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity.