Alpha Upsilon, Bradley University, hosted the first annual PCAA’s Best Dance Crew, a dance competition between sororities, on February 26, 2014, to raise awareness and over $800 for PCAA. It was the first serious dance competition held on the campus, so it was very exciting for everyone who attended and participated. This year’s music theme was 90s.
PCAA’s Best Dance Crew was inspired by Eta Chapter (University of Georgia) which has an annual fundraising event called SDT’s Greek Grind. Some chapter sisters saw the videos on YouTube and thought it would be fun to create a similar event on a smaller scale. They chose to start this year with only sororities and hope the event will grow over the years to involve fraternities and groups outside of Greek life. In addition to awarding the Best Dance Crew, Alpha Upsilon also offered a $100 prize toward the winning sorority’s philanthropy.
Six of the seven Panhellenic sororities on campus (Alpha Chi Omega, Chi Omega, Gamma Phi Beta, Kappa Delta, Sigma Kappa and Sigma Delta Tau) participated. Sigma Delta Tau did not compete for the prize since it was their own event, but still performed a dance to a mix of songs. The participating teams from each sorority were made up of 8 to 15 women, most with some dance experience. There was a $25 fee for each participating team. That money, along with ticket sales, benefits Prevent Child Abuse America.
Each team chose their own music. The only rule regarding song selection was that at least one song in the mix had to be from the 90s or early 2000s, although most teams chose to incorporate more than just one. “Most teams had only been working on the dances for a couple of weeks, so it was exciting to see what they came up with in a short period of time!” said Laura Vecchetti, Alpha Upsilon’s philanthropy chair.
To raise awareness for the event, sisters sold candy grams for Valentine’s Day. Each candy gram included an advertisement for PCAA’s Best Dance Crew. The money raised from candy grams also went toward the PCAA donation. Flyers and announcements around campus also helped promote the dance competition.
As audience members entered the venue, they signed a banner pledging to prevent child abuse. During the event, Laura talked with the audience about Prevent Child Abuse America’s mission and how their money will be benefitting the organization. Each dance was judged based on the following categories: attention to guidelines, difficulty, creativity and expression, group execution and synchronization, and overall impression. A member of The Lost Soles (a hip hop dance team at Bradley), the Director of Student Activities, and the Interfraternity Council President were the judges. Gamma Phi Beta won first place.
After the event, Alpha Upsilon received only positive feedback. “The gym was packed to the max with audience members, and many people suggested that we move to a bigger venue next year!” said Laura.
The day after the event, Laura received an email from a Kappa Delta member who participated in the competition: “I wanted to send you an email to tell you what an awesome job you did last night hosting and organizing. I had so much fun participating and the performance court looked great. It was obvious how much time you put into the event. I think that the Best Dance Crew is going to be a great staple for your sorority and will be even more successful in years to come. How exciting that you were the one who acted as the catalyst for that change and this event to allow your sorority to really make a name for itself on campus!”
That email summarized the response the chapter wanted as they hoped that the campus and sororities would enjoy the event and it would be a catalyst to refresh their philanthropy efforts.