Navy blue sweaters and gold Greek letters filled LaFetra Lecture Hall Tuesday at the Phi Sigma Sigma Annual Talent Show.
The event, which showcases an eclectic mix of talents from students, is held every year to raise money for the organization’s scholarship fund. This year’s event raised a little more than $450.
“In 2005 one of our sorority sisters, Nereyda Iniquez, passed away from leukemia,” junior and criminology major Stephany Lopez said. “The sisters around that time and the time of her death wanted to honor her memory.”
Lopez is the philanthropy chairwoman of Phi Sigma Sigma and the organizer of this year’s talent show.
A $2 contribution was required at the door. Food and snacks were also sold outside.
“We build on (the scholarship) every year and all our proceeds go to that,” junior radio broadcast major Caiti Helsper said.
The show started with a cover of the song “Lean on Me” by Bill Withers. All members of Phi Sigma Sigma sorority sang in memory of Iniquez.
The talent show included performances from the Lordsburg Brothers barbershop quartet, the University of La Verne dance team and Poetry Slam Club. Also featured were a band; solo and duet music performances ranging from rock, pop, rap and Mexican music; and a traditional Polynesian dance.
“We had variety and I hope our audience got their money’s worth and at the same time they did donate it to Phi Sigma Sigma,” said Lopez.
One of the night’s highlights came when Helsper, the show’s hostess, asked the audience for volunteers.
“I will give $5 to the best dancer right here right now,” she said.
There was hesitation from the audience and the price was raised to $20. Two volunteers came forward, Edwin Escobar and Maritza Williams.
“Remember ladies, no twerking in letters,” Helsper said.
The dance-off received loud claps, laughs and chants.
“I went up to have fun and not be worried that I didn’t have a routine,” Escobar, a freshman computer science major, said.
Helsper asked the audience to choose the winner by making noise for either participant. The dance-off continued for a second round later on the event, where eventually the participants tied.
“The level of support I felt from my peers made me feel comfortable rather than feeling like I was being scrutinized,” Escobar said.
With more than 17 performers the show lasted well into the night. After the intermission, the audience decreased.
Apart from the dance-off that was a small competition between audience members, the event showcased talent not winners.
“We didn’t want to promote competition between groups or anything, as you see nobody got first place or second place because we wanted to show everybody’s talent,” Lopez said.
Bernarda Carranza can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.