Urban Dance Troupe Wins 2023 ‘For The Glory’ Homecoming Talent Show
Urban Dance Troupe, Penn State’s first official hip-hop dance group, was the winner of the 2023 “For The Glory” Homecoming Talent Show. This victory entitles the group to a performance slot at THON 2023.
The annual “For the Glory” talent show highlighted 13 different organizations at the Schwab Auditorium on Tuesday evening.
The first performance of the night was by “Nittany Dance Project,” which specializes in jazz and hip-hop. The dancers wore black pants and black tank tops and offered a high-energy hip-hop-style routine with multiple different popular rap and pop songs. Some of the songs played during the routine were “Jump” by Kris Kross and “Pon de Replay” by Rihanna.
The second group to perform at the talent show was Rêve, a group that normally blends jazz, hip-hop, and contemporary styles. It danced to Billie Eilish’s “Barbie” movie soundtrack staple “What Was I Made For.”
The 13 dancers wore white tops and pink flowy pants with their hair up and white bows. The dance, which was intended to illustrate the role Penn State plays in students’ journeys of self-discovery, showcased slow and soft movements.
For the third performance, Savoir Faire, the university’s only all-female a cappella group, performed “How Far I’ll Go,” a song featured in the movie “Moana.” The a cappella group performance included 14 members, with one soloist, all dressed in elegant black dresses.
The fourth group to perform was Atlas, a co-ed special interest group specifically related to THON. The 20-plus member team took the stage with enthusiasm and danced to a set of songs from “High School Musical.”
Members were dressed in a mix of jerseys, long shirts, ties, and sweats. Although this wasn’t a singing performance, some members belted out certain parts of the songs, creating an energetic atmosphere.
The fifth group to go on stage was Coda Conduct, an all-inclusive acapella group that was established in 2012. Its performance featured a male soloist, which was supported by a member beatboxing, creating a unique touch for their rendition of “Skate,” a song by Anderson .Paak, Bruno Mars, and Silk Sonic. All members were dressed in sleek black shirts and pants.
Tapestry, the sixth performance of the night, is a performing tap company at Univesity Park. Before the group began, the introduction given by the emcees was infused with plenty of Taylor Swift puns, which seamlessly flowed into an audio clip of Taylor Swift at one of her previous concerts to start the dance.
With around 16 members, the dance had a mix of Taylor Swift songs, including renditions of “Story of Us,” “I Knew You Were Trouble,” and “Love Story.” The dancers were dressed in a striking ensemble of sparkles, glittery purple tops, and light blue shirts from various “eras” of Taylor Swift.
The seventh performance of the night and the winner of the entire competition was Urban Dance Troupe, who came to the stage as the previous champion of last year’s talent show.
The student-run hip-hop team paid tribute to old-school hip-hop artists while dressed in various styles of baggy blue jeans, reminiscent of 90s fashion. Other accessories included a backward bejeweled cap and silver hoop earrings.
Taking the stage as the eighth performance was Volé, the largest dance group on campus. Its members wore black biker shorts paired with futuristic black tops that included white ruffled lines on the shoulders. The performance incorporated a techno-like soundtrack and voice-over narration in the middle of the dance.
The Statesmen, the only all-male a cappella group on campus, was the ninth group to perform. The ensemble featured 10 members, and it sang its own rendition of “Wagon Wheel.”
Approximately 30 seconds into the act, the audience began to cheer enthusiastically and clapped in rhythm. The group was dressed in dark blue shirts, light blue jeans, and white sneakers.
The 10th group to perform was the Penn State Dance Alliance (PSDA), which showcased 25 members dressed in black leggings and blue PSDA shirts. Its performance included a variety of songs, including “All of the Lights” by Kanye West and “Maria” by Justin Bieber.
The 11th group of the night was Blue in the Face, a co-ed a cappella ensemble that sang its own version of the song “Centuries” by Fall Out Boy. The group consisted of 17 members dressed in black or blue jeans.
The 12th performance of the night was by Orchesis Dance Company, the oldest dance group on campus. The ensemble, made up entirely of female members, danced a mix of contemporary and jazz styles.
The dancers wore black, thick-strapped tank tops paired with blue skirts and small silver hoops while styling their hair into medium-height ponytails.
The final performance of the night was Rince Da Leon, Penn State’s Irish dance group. With over 15 dancers, the performance included a mix of Irish dance and DJ-like tracks. All of the dancers wore black shirts featuring their group’s name and flowing black skirts. Their dance concluded with a “We Are” chant, a fitting conclusion to the night.
After the last group, there were two “guest” dances that weren’t involved in the competition aspect of the talent show.
The first guest group to perform was the 2023 Homecoming Court, which included the song “What Makes You Beautiful” by One Direction.
The second guest group and the last performance of the night was by Whiplash, the dance organization that won the 2023 Allen Street Jam Monday night. The group delivered a high-energy performance that incorporated an array of hip-hop songs, including hits by Beyoncé and Kanye West.
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