Penn State Dance Alliance Takes First Place In Homecoming’s For The Glory Talent Show

Penn State Homecoming held its annual For The Glory Talent Show Tuesday evening in Schwab Auditorium. Penn State Dance Alliance took first place ahead of the Lion Ambassadors and acapella group Coda Conduct.

This event commemorates Homecoming while, also celebrating the talent that can be found within every corner of Penn State.

This year’s judges included THON 2020 executive director Regina Duesler, Penn State Alumni Association CEO Paul Clifford, Performing Arts Council president Connor Pardoe, and Society of Women Engineers president Kayli Rentzel.

The panel selected Penn State Dance Alliance as show’s winner, followed by the Lion Ambassadors and Coda Conduct, respectively. These top three groups will have the chance to show their skills again with a performance at THON 2020.

The 2019 Homecoming Court opened the night with a fun dance routine to a soundtrack that took the audience through the years, beginning with Louis Armstrong’s “What A Wonderful World” and ending with Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road.” The Court took things off the stage and into the crowd as “I’ve Got A Feeling” pulsed through the auditorium. The routine was well-executed and set the stage for the evening’s following performances. 

George Liu | Onward State

The first competitor to take the stage was acapella group Shades of Blue. The group performed a powerful rendition of Ariana Grande’s “Greedy” that left the audience coveting more. Shades smashed “Pitch Perfect”-level expectations. 

George Liu | Onward State

Outcast Dance Team took the stage next with a set that satisfied every 2000s music fan. The team pop-and-locked to hits including “Low,” “Pon De Replay,” and “Wasn’t Me.” Of course, no 2000’s mashup would be complete without some “Fergalicious,” and Outcast delivered.

George Liu | Onward State

Special interest THON org Atlas impressed the crowd with another trip down memory lane. Members danced their hearts out to a mix of all your favorite childhood TV theme songs. They began with iCarly’s iconic “5…4…3…2..”, took the audience back to The Tipton Hotel with Zach and Cody, let it live the best of both worlds with Hannah Montana, and finished with a tribute to Nick’s most iconic brother duo — Drake and Josh. 

George Liu | Onward State

When it came to fashion, Reve Dance Company was the star of the show. The company’s talented dancers each sported a superhero cape and costume. Any dance that starts with an aerial move usually proves to be an entertaining performance, and Reve didn’t disappoint. Tuesday’s show marked Reve’s fourth For the Glory performance.

George Liu | Onward State

PSUkulele brought a sweet rendition of “I’m Yours” and “Soul Sister” to the Schwab audience. Their easy-going strumming offered a calming, melodic change of pace.

Savoir Faire, Penn State’s original all-female acapella group, returned the show to vocals-only with soulful renditions of “Waiting On The World To Change” and Carole King’s “A Natural Woman” 

George Liu | Onward State

Following Savoir Faire was Penn State’s oldest dance company, Orchesis, joined by some friends from Greek life. Together, the groups brought back some more childhood Disney memories with their High School Musical theme complete with “Breaking Free” and “We’re All In This Together.”

George Liu | Onward State

Pennharmonics is no stranger to the stage, and the group showed its experience as it belted and moved with ease. This acapella group put on a fun and powerful performance full of current tracks before transitioning into a slower, smooth rendition of “(Lover) You Don’t Treat Me No Good”. 

Volé dance company stuck to the THON theme of “A Century of Stories” and told a fierce, powerful story centered on the message of “Ready or Not,” the future is coming.

George Liu | Onward State

K-POP Music and Dance meant business with sharp and sassy moves. The group’s original and high-energy style stood out.

George Liu | Onward State

Tapestry Dance Company took the audience back to simpler times once again. The group of tap dancers took its performance “Under the Sea” as Ariel and her friends, including an oven mitt-wearing Sebastian, told a story with taps. Tapestry also gave everyone’s favorite mermaid show, H2O, a shoutout. 

Do you miss summer already? So does Phi Sigma Sigma. Two sisters sang Lana Del Rey’s “Summertime Sadness” accompanied by a guitarist and a ukulele player.

George Liu | Onward State

The Penn State Dance Alliance was next. This group of 25 dancers jammed to a set that included “September,” “I Wanna Dance With Somebody,” and hits from the Spice Girls. Besides songs, PSDA also won the crowd over with their lifts and everyone’s favorite, a kick line. 

No talent show would be complete without an appearance from the Lion Ambassadors. This year the group presented a skit series titled “So You Think You Can Story: Penn State Edition.”

In this production, past Penn State presidents had to tell their favorite stories from Penn State in either song or dance form. James Beaver shared his frustration about how so many things are named after him. He asked “Would the real Beaver please stand up?” before getting shut down by the judges.

Next came John Thomas, who was greeted with some disgruntled “boos” from the crowd. President Thomas performed an interpretive dance that reminded the crowd that he left Penn State for Rutgers.

Finally, “Eric Barron” showed up and shut the contest down. Barron sang about his time at Penn State with a catchy presentation of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song. Barron shared how proud he was of Penn Staters for making change and leaving a mark on their campus. 

George Liu | Onward State

Coda Conduct rounded out the night with another excellent acapella performance. Their breakdown of “Yes Girl” by Bea Miller left me saying one thing: YAS GIRL! 

George Liu | Onward State

Finally, Whiplash came to entertain as the judges made their final decisions. Whiplash performed at Monday Night’s Allen Street Jam, where it won the dance competition.

It wouldn’t be a Penn State event without the “Lion King Trap Remix.” This dance company filled that gap while also making up for the lack of Cardi B throughout the weekend. Another great way to win over a Penn State crowd? Include a “and the Nittany Lions Score!” soundbite. Whiplash knows how to play to their audience. 

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About the Author

Dana June Nunemacher

Dana is a senior, who is studying public relations. She is from the 570 and yes, she has watched The Office. Her passions in life include drinking unsweetened iced tea and spreading her love for agriculture (yee haw)!

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