Fourteen teams of USC students competed in front of a crowd Monday evening at Blatt Fields for the annual Spurs and Struts homecoming dance competition, with Alpha Delta Pi and Kappa Alpha winning the event.
The teams had to come up with their own original routines that centered around homecoming’s overall theme of “Sweet Home Carolina.”
The routines were prepared weeks in advance of the competition and judged based on overall enthusiasm and excitement, uniqueness of routine, synchronization, technique and difficulty. Davia Bunch, the current Miss South Carolina and a political science student at USC, returned to Carolina from her year off of school to judge the competition.
“She actually reached out to us ... I was so flattered that she even knew what this event was,” fourth-year English student Cat Carter said.
Carter, who serves as the Homecoming 2018 Vice Commissioner of Marketing and Outreach, said that Bunch’s return is symbolic of homecoming in and of itself.
“It’s all about reciprocation and coming back. It’s really cool about Homecoming, how it brings everyone back,” Carter said.
Bunch echoed the same sentiment in describing her history with the event.
“I actually used to come to this event a lot when I was a freshman and a sophomore and a junior. It’s so much fun. I’m not in a sorority or a fraternity so for me it was just a lot of fun to see my friends up there. And then now as a judge, since I never got involved in Greek life, it’s a good way for me to come back and become involved,” Bunch said.
The three-minute routines were put together entirely by USC students, with no professional choreography permitted. This aspect of the event allows members of organizations to showcase their creativity.
“This really brings organizations together and lets them kind of form a communal bond over what they like to do. So if there’s dancers in a group, then they can show that,” Carter said.
First-year public health student Emma Roof, the co-dance chair for the sorority Kappa Kappa Gamma, was able to put her background in dance to use in the planning for this event.
“I got to choreograph, pick out the girls who were going to be in the dance, and the guys ... we had practices two or three times a week,” Roof said. “We just wanted to have a fun dance, that actually is a good choreographed dance and that also is appealing to the audience.”
“It’s basically just Carolina ... we did things about teams, and being in a group,” Roof said about the theme of her routine.
Caroline O’Looney, a second-year public relations student and event director for Spurs and Struts, noted that many student organizations partake in the event.
“This is 14 teams, 13 Greek organizations, and one non-Greek team. And then Dance Marathon is dancing during the intermission-type period,” O’Looney said. “This event is a long-standing tradition within homecoming ... a fun way to get everyone involved, have a group where you get to actually collaborate.”