By Isabella Darcy
Synergy Dance Company hosted their annual “Mr. Synergy” dance pageant where six contestants competed for a trophy, crown and the title of “Mr. Synergy” while raising money for childhood cancer.
The event was led by Synergy vice president Celeste Maneiro, a junior secondary education and English major, and Synergy treasurer Grace Sullivan, a sophomore economics major.
“Synergy is an audition-based, student-run dance company on campus and new members try out every fall,” explained Maneiro. “We perform at various events at TCNJ, including Homecoming, Dancing with the Greeks and TCNJam.”
“Mr. Synergy is just like a pageant, but dance-themed, which is different from the rest of the events we do around campus,” said junior English secondary education major Emma Duffy, Synergy's production manager. “The guys just compete and try out different dance moves, and whoever does it best wins the title of Mr. Synergy.”
Four judges graded contestants in various categories throughout the competition. Contestants could earn points by showcasing their dance moves or trivia knowledge.
In the first round of the competition, the contestants had to mirror skills that were demonstrated by dancers in Synergy Dance Company. Contestants could earn up to 10 points while attempting skills like the splits, kicks across the stage and leaps.
Contestants took a brief break from dancing to tackle trivia questions about Synergy.
Maneiro and Sullivan asked questions like, “how many Synergy dancers are there this year?” and “what year was Synergy founded at TCNJ?”
Whichever contestant shouted out the correct answer first earned extra points.
In the final round of the competition, contestants either performed a solo or brought supporting dancers onto the stage with them for a duet or group dance. One contestant wore a long black wig and performed a comical “romantic” duet with another member of the fraternity he was representing.
With the performances complete, the judges needed time to tally up each contestant’s points and compute who earned the most and therefore be crowned Mr. Synergy. In the meantime, Synergy Dance Company took the floor to perform their Homecoming dance routine.
Once all of the points were counted and compared, senior public health major Joshua Muenzer, who was representing Beta Theta Pi, was crowned Mr. Synergy.
The event took place on Nov. 7 in Brower Student Center and cost $5 for general admission. Proceeds went towards TCNJam and the Andrew McDonough B+ Foundation. Over $700 was raised.
TCNJam will take place in April 2023 and will support the Andrew McDonough B+ Foundation, an organization that raises money through events on college campuses to provide financial assistance to families of children with cancer, fund cancer research and increase awareness of childhood cancer.
“Thank you Synergy for hosting this event,” Muenzer said “If you can come out to more events that raise money for B+ please try and go — the organization is a great way to combat the struggles that come along with pediatric cancer.”