A beloved Wellesley tradition, the House Presidents’ Council (HPC)’s biannual LipSync event returned on Tuesday, March 6. This semester’s theme, “What the Funk,” featured 25 groups representing a variety of student organizations, athletic teams and and residence halls. Alumnae Hall was abuzz with groups performing their routines, audience members supporting their favorite dancers and a panel of judges ready to evaluate the performances. According to Erin Doherty, the area coordinator (AC) for Stone Davis, Dower and French House, LipSync is about 15 years old. When Schneider used to be the student center, the event was held there and has since moved across campus to Alumnae Hall. Dower House President and LipSync co-organizer, Nicole Anderson ’18 revealed some of the history and inner workings of LipSync.
“The event is organized by a sub-group of House Presidents’ Council and after narrowing some options for the theme,” Anderson said. “It’s voted on by all of the HPs (House Presidents).”
Apart from the obvious change in theme from semester to semester, each LipSync event has its own set of unique surprises, both on and off the stage. This semester, Anderson pointed out that “What the Funk” featured an after party at Punch’s Alley, which included a tab provided by the HPC. Another change this semester was the addition of scoring outlines to help judges remain consistent in their evaluations and consolidate their thoughts.
Anderson expressed her enthusiasm regarding the judges for Tuesday’s event. “One is a recent alum, Meghan Peterson, who’s a field hockey coach and won LipSync while she was at Wellesley. Katie Hall of the physics department is also an alum. Additionally, our final judge is Petra Rivera-Rideau of the American studies department who knows a lot about music,” Anderson said.
Amongst the diverse panel of judges, Rivera-Rideau certainly brought a lot of expertise to the table with her own research, which focuses on Black and Latinx identities in popular music.
Ariana Gonzalez-Bonillas ’18, house president of Beebe Hall, was required to perform in LipSync. Although last semester was the first time she participated, she has truly embraced the tradition and attended LipSync every semester during her time at Wellesley.
Leading up to the event, she expressed that she was “looking forward to seeing what everyone else has planned and seeing the fun storylines that people come up with.” As for her own routine, she said, “I don’t know the dance yet for this upcoming LipSync and am learning tomorrow night during the hour and a half that HPC meets.”
Many groups claim to enjoy the process of preparation, despite the stress. Olivia Holbrook ’20 represented the crew team after participating in last year’s event as well.
“We got a bit of a late start with our LipSync rehearsals, but we have made a lot of progress in the last couple of days,” Holbrook said. “About five of us got together to choreograph it, and none of us have any dancing experience, so it was hard, but we had a really good time.”
From group to group, each LipSync showcases a diverse set of talent and themes. Both Gonzalez-Bonillas and Holbrook acknowledged the fun in seeing the creativity, costumes, dancing and general goofiness shine through on stage.