The Daily Gamecock

Spurs and Struts creates 'Unity in Diversity' at USC

As one of this year’s homecoming week events, 12 of USC’s best dance groups performed at the annual Spurs and Struts dance competition on Tuesday.

This year, the event was run by the 2017 Homecoming Commission instead of Student Government and Dance Marathon, as it has been in the past. With this change in management came a few changes to the event’s production.

Planning for this event took place over the past six months and included efforts from Homecoming Commission Event Director Lisa Sanchez, “another member of the Homecoming Leadership Commission Team, and a member of Student Government,” Sanchez said.

One component of the competition that remained the same is that dancers were judged on their use of spirit, synchronization, pep and spirit of Carolina in their routine. The spirit of Carolina is one of the most important areas for judgement, and Sanchez sought to make it as much of a part of the event itself as the performances.

“For me, the Spirit of Carolina is really just loving our school and our community here. That includes supporting all of our athletic teams ... student organizations, and student body in any way possible,” Sanchez said.

First-year physics student Jane Vista's group's routine was centered around the idea of "'Unity in Diversity,'" she said. These three words exemplified the new perspective for the competition.

Event planners reached out to several different organizations across campus who they thought would make good participants. This diversity in organization representation is a big change from last year.

“This is the first year the show has been opened up to all student organizations instead of just Greek life, and I think that made it much more competitive,” Vista said.

Such a wide range of participants has brought an equally wide range of dances, with “some ballet, tap, and modern dancing … No two performances look the same,” Sanchez said.

The homecoming dance competition that was once limited to just Greek life created a stage big enough for USC students from all areas of campus.

After a chilly night filled with loud music, bright lights and competitive dances, a group consisting of Kappa Delta and Kappa Sigma members took the win, further proving the power of unity in competition.

"Our routine embodied the spirit of Carolina just through ... our representation, you know, through both the fraternities and the sororities," said fourth-year hospitality student Anna Grace Pruitt.

This theme of inclusion in friendly competition will resonate throughout the campus and bring the student body closer than ever, whether it be in sports, academics or arts. According to Sanchez, the spirit of Carolina goes beyond just school spirit.

"In dance, it's reflecting on our past as USC, living in the current moment, and looking forward to a bright future," Sanchez said.