Members of the Ball State Dance Team performed in the first show of Air Jam on Oct. 20 at 7 p.m. The groups danced to choreographed songs and lip-synched performances. Grace Ramey // DN
Air Jam audiences go wild for 'Blast from the Past'
Students jumped from their seats as the 2016 Air Jam dance crews exploded onto the stage with choreographed songs and lip-synced performances.
This year’s Air Jam was a little different than previous years, though. Due to ongoing construction in John R. Emens Auditorium, Air Jam was split into two separate shows.
The 7 p.m. show was nearly sold out, and the 9 p.m. show sold out entirely with 1,400 people in the audience.
7 p.m. show winners:
Residence hall: DeHority Complex
Overall & Independent: Outlet
Greek & Crowd favorite: : Alpha Gamma Delta & Lambda Chi Alpha
9 p.m. Show Winners
Overall & Independent: University Singers
Greek & Crowd Favorite: Pi Beta Phi & Theta Chi
Outlet, an on-campus hip-hop dance troupe, was the overall winner of the first show. The group wowed the audience with their light-up shoes and on-point dance moves, and they've claimed the overall winner title for eight years now. Outlet also took home the award in the “Independent” category.
Alyssa Morgan, president of Outlet, said she was excited about the team’s win and credited the team's hard work to their success.
“I’m feeling awesome right now. It was a lot of hard work — even though people sometimes give us the reputation that we know we’re going to win, we don’t,” Morgan said. “We come here and we just do our best and we do what we’re good at. We are a hip-hop group so that’s kind of like what it is.”
In the “Crowd Favorite” category, the audience favorite was determined by the team that got the most retweets on Twitter. The Alpha Gamma Delta and Lambda Chi Alpha duo was the audience favorite in the first show and also took home the award in the “Greek Life” category.
The group received an overwhelming amount of applause from the audience while dressed in outfits from an array of decades and danced to classic songs such as "Dancing Queen," "Hollaback Girl "and "Beat It."
“We just worked extremely, extremely hard. Our chemistry together has been great,” said Emily Mundell, the team leader of Alpha Gamma Delta and Lambda Chi Alpha. “We’ve all been friends first. It never got catty, it was always just ... we were determined but we made sure we had fun too.”
During the second show, chants from the different organizations continued to echo throughout the auditorium, as lights flashed and performers back flipped, somersaulted and twerked their way through other songs from the past, including music from the BackStreet Boys, Michael Jackson, Britney Spears and M.C. Hammer.
Pi Beta Phi and Theta Chi won the Greek category for the third year in a row and also picked up a win as the "Crowd Favorite" for the second show. Their performance not only included songs related to the past — such as music from the play 'Hamilton" and "Grease" — but also tied in more modern artists like Skrillex.
“We just wanted tie in the future and the blast from the past theme, and that’s where we kind of got our idea,” said team leader Kristin Fyffe, a senior elementary education major. ”We thought that would be something that would set us apart. Shoutout to my team because we’ve all worked so hard. I’m so glad that we were able to bring a three-peat this year.”
Tony Perez, a sophomore nursing major, was also excited about his team’s victory.
“I don’t even know, I can’t describe with words,” Perez said. “I’m so happy to be paired with Pi Phi — so happy to continue their tradition of winning.”
Of course, it wasn’t just Greek Life that won big.
For the second show, the University Singers team took home the gold and won in both the independent and overall winner categories, as decided by the judges.
Their performance involved songs by Jesse McCartney, Kanye West and Beyonce, which resulted in an overwhelming response from the audience.
“I cannot believe it — I mean, I don’t know, I just didn’t think that we would win,” said Karson Quarles, a senior speech pathology major and dance captain for University Singers. “We’ve always been so close to winning in the past but we’ve never gotten it, so this has been amazing. We were definitely really excited. We have a lot of new members so they weren’t prepared for what this was, but it was amazing.”
All the winners received plaques and will claim Air Jam fame until next year's Homecoming events.