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‘Genius Lyrics’ Analysis Of The 2016 Line Dance, Explaining The References

You know things are about to get a little more energetic when you hear “Dance Relations Captains, to the stage!” The line dance always includes a number of references that we belt out and dance along to, and by the 46th repetition everyone in the BJC will surely have most if not all of the lyrics memorized.

But, in the words of Justin Bieber, what do they mean? Some of the references are sly and cleverly snuck in, so we broke down some of they best lyrics so that next time the folks in yellow take the stage, you get what they’re getting at, if you get what we’re getting at.

Verse 1: Penn State

“5 home games in a row / Names on jerseys had to go”

Early in the 2015 season, Penn State football played five (primarily rainy) home games in a row, from September 12 to October 10. The Nittany Lions pulled out wins for all five, but fans certainly felt the grind of getting up and going to Beaver Stadium week after week. Additionally, over the summer Penn State announced that it would return to the “no names, all game” mantra and removed names from the backs of the jerseys.

“Penn State Hockey keeps it chill / DI ranking is a thrill”

Two weeks in a row, Penn State men’s hockey achieved its highest DI ranking, which became more of a rule than an exception for the program, which is celebrating its fourth year in Division I. The team is currently ranked No. 15.

“Women’s Soccer at the top / Don’t like a class? LATE DROP!”

Penn State women’s soccer took home the NCAA crown for the first time as well as the Big Ten title. UPUA had a victory, too, in advocating for the removal of the late drop limit that was passed by Faculty Senate, meaning that students can now late drop a class (up to three times) without having to worry about their 16-credit bank running out.

“Neeeeeew HUB is packed all day / Penn State seal, GET OUT THE WAY”

Though the HUB opened last year, anyone who’s visited this year (particularly at lunch time) knows it can be hard to find a spot (or even food with how long the lines can get). Another thing that’s hard to find is the old Penn State logo, which was switched out with a new (admittedly bad) one over the summer.

“CAPS funding is the key / To open doors for you and me”

The senior class chose CAPS funding as the 2016 gift over some other, more artistic options, but as the line dance notes, seniors made the heavily-supported choice that will help the Penn State community be happier and healthier.

Verse 2: Current Events/Sports

“Refuges seek relief / Worldwide we aim for peace”

Numbers of refugees started pouring into Europe in 2015, and the crisis garnered international attention when five boats carrying almost 2,000 refugees sank, killing upwards of 1,200 people. In January, Canada hosted a worldwide peace conference in the hopes of resolving conflict between nations.

“Climate Change, take a stand / Love wins across the land”

France hosted the United Nations Climate Change Conference late in 2015, and after the attacks in other parts of the country, beefed up security to make sure nothing went wrong. Back on US turf, the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states on June 26, 2015.

“Deflated footballs gain more yards / FIFA Board — Red Card!”

In “Deflategate,” New England Patriots’ Quaterback Tom Brady was suspended four games by the NFL before for playing with allegedly deflated footballs in the 2014 AFC Championship, but a federal court later vacated the suspension, citing a lack of due process. FIFA got a red card of its own when a small group of federal agents brought down the organization for its corruption.

“Kobe hangs up his shoes / ‘Merican Pharaoh just can’t lose”

Kobe Bryant announced his pending retirement at the end of this NBA season, noting that “this season is all [he has] left to give.” On the horse racing front, American Pharaoh was not only spelled wrong repeatedly, but the horse also took home the prestigious American Triple Crown.

“Manny, Mayweather in the ring / Spieth — the new golf king”

Billed as the “Fight of the Century,” Manny Pacquiao took on Floyd Mayweather last May in a highly-anticipated fight where Mayweather won the contest by unanimous decision. Jordan Spieth won a different kind of title, the Masters, and at age 22, becoming the second youngest to do so.

Verse 3: Culture

“Adele is back, ‘Hello’ to all / Idol has its curtain call”

Adele took the music world by storm with her widely popular single “Hello” followed by her third studio album, “25.” American Idol is currently in the midst of its 15th and final season on air, a finale that some would argue is a long time in the making. I don’t even know who the judges are anymore.

“1D drama getting old / Blue and black or white and gold”

Zayn Malik finally decides to leave One Direction, sparking an 18-month break for the band. The internet went crazy when a dress was posted on social media that revealed the differences in human color perception, as some people saw it as black and blue and some swore it was white and gold. It turned out the dress itself is actually blue and black, but that didn’t stop the thousands of tweets and numerous other social media posts.

“Hoverboards, watch your toes / Quick one question, WHAT ARE THOSE!?”

Walking down on the sidewalk got a whole lot easier when hoverboards, a motorized skateboard of sorts, came out, but didn’t stay in the public’s good graces when it was discovered that they were prone to spontaneous combustion. A police officer was the original butt of one of the biggest social media trends on the internet, when a vine mocking his funny-looking shoes (saying “WHAT ARE THOSE?!”) took off, inspiring hundreds of remakes.

“Egg McMuffins served all day / ESPY goes to Caitlyn J.”

McDonalds announced in October that it will serve breakfast all day, much to the joy of those who love their most popular breakfast sandwich. Caitlyn Jenner accepted the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2015 ESPYs for her strength as a transgender woman. She was surely in good company at the show, where Penn State’s own Devon Still accepted the Jimmy V Perseverance Award on behalf of his daughter Leah.

“Wrong name read by Harvey / Is it too late to say sorry now?”

Steve Harvey accidentally (and now notoriously) crowned the wrong Miss Universe, somehow, forcing him to take the crown away from first runner-up Miss Columbia to give to to the real winner, Miss Philippines. If you don’t know Justin Bieber’s hit “Sorry” by now, you’re not ready for the dance break that follows this line. The line comes from Bieber’s song, and people love it.

There you have it! If there’s any lines you still need clarification on, Tweet at us (or just follow our THON coverage for fun) @THONwardState and, of course, @OnwardState. Now you’ll be ready next time you hear “Dancer Relations Captains, to the stage!”

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About the Author

Lexi Shimkonis

Lexi is an editor-turned-staff writer who can often be found at either Irving's or the Phyrst (with the chances she'll have her backpack being the same). Lexi is a senior hailing from Spring City, PA (kind of) and studying Civil Engineering. Please email questions and/or pleas for an Instagram caption to [email protected], or for a more intimate bond, follow her on Twitter @lexshimko.

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