September 09, 2011

Piper Boogie 2011

Hamline student leaders know how to lead discussions, play icebreakers, and show their Piper Pride.

They also know how to bust some moves.

The Piper Boogie, an annual tradition, is an intricately choreographed dance performed on the first night of the Piper Passages fall orientation by over 50 new student mentors and residence advisors. This year’s iteration included a medley of songs from Survivor, Lady Gaga, and Michael Jackson.

Ben Honda, a lead new student mentor, was in charge of the boogie’s development and the committee that brought the ambitious dance to fruition.

“I wanted the new students to laugh and enjoy themselves,” said Honda, a junior international business and Spanish major. “The point of the boogie is to show them this is a fun, welcoming place.”

The process of creating the dance sequence was long and arduous, requiring countless hours. Once the committee decided on the songs, they spent two full days on choreography and recording instructional videos for student leaders to practice with during the summer.

“We had to figure out the mood of each song,” Honda said. “Barbara Streisand, for instance, was supposed to look like a cheesy workout video, while Eye of the Tiger was meant to be a rousing fight song.”

During fall training, student leaders spent several hours each night practicing in small groups, then focusing on large-group choreography.

Anna Gresser, a junior social justice major, said the experience was intense but forged close bonds.

“While practicing I worked with student leaders I didn't know very well, but now we’re friends,” Gresser said. “Also I learned that there are pretty awesome, talented dancers in the group.”

Honda agrees, adding that he believes new students will feel inspired to get involved with the Hamline community.

“The big message is that leadership at Hamline is fun and you get to do some awesome things,” Honda said.

See the Piper Boogie for yourself by clicking on the video below. Don’t forget to check out Hamline’s YouTube channel to check out what our students, faculty, and staff are up to throughout the year.