Dancing Gangnam and Other Styles at Wharton
- by Matthew Brodsky
Suffice to say, we cannot share all of the details of the first-ever Wharton MBA Cluster Cup Dance-Off. With neon, polka-dotted and sparkling gold boxers, business-casual garb and trench coats being torn off mid dance routine, uncanny couples’ choreography and unabashed attempts at Gangnam Style, flying cowboy hats and better-than hokey-pokey line dancing, the students decidedly went all into the competition and heated up Hoover Lounge in Vance Hall.
Here’s what we can share at the moment “in print.” Each cluster fielded two teams, and each team put on a dance skit based on a “Wharton Social” theme (such as Wharton 54, White Party, Walnut Walk, and Red & Blue Ball). Cluster spirit was in evidence in a big way. At the outset, the MCs called out each cluster with a “let’s hear it from cluster …”—and the members from each cluster deafened the room hollering back. Then after the performance from each cluster’s dance team, cluster members chanted their cluster number until nothing else could be heard. Luckily for campus, this raucous event took place in the evening.
But then again, rowdy in this case was good. Such bonding and team spirit are what was hoped for when the new cluster system launched this August with the new Wharton MBA curriculum. Cohorts still exist, but now the first-years are also grouped into one of four clusters, with four cohorts in each.
The Dance-Off represents the first challenge in the new Cluster Cup competition, whereas previous classes of MBA students had participated in a Cohort Cup.
One obvious difference is that with a Cluster Cup, the students will enjoy events with a lot more people in attendance and participation. And as Kembrel Jones, the vice dean of student life and judge at the event, simply explained after the Dance-Off, it is so much more fun when you have more people cheering.
Another difference with the Cluster Cup will be more events—more events to match the skills and interests of many more members of the clusters, said Howard Kaufold, vice dean of the Wharton MBA Program and another judge.
“It’s just a mixture of events throughout the year,” TJ Lawrence Olivier Castro Lim, second-year MBA and co-organizer of the Cluster Cup Dance-off with the Wharton Graduate Association, said about how new events have been planned. “Now we integrate community service. It’s very organic. It’s basically we’re trying to make sure every student interest is represented in the cup.”
As for the Dance-Off, Cluster Two was the winner. All of the teams, however, deserve commendation.
“We actually had a tough time judging,” Kaufold said of himself and fellow judges Jones and Jeff Klein, WG’05, executive director of the Wharton Graduate Leadership Program.
Stay tuned here at the Wharton Blog Network for upcoming Cluster Cup events as we continue to report on them. At the end of the competition, the winning cluster will be announced.
And as for what we could not describe in words, see for yourself in this video from the 2012 Wharton Cluster Cup Dance-Off.