Black jeans and black shirt — a tradition for the male resident advisers performing in the annual finale performance at Woo Fest. Hours of practicing choreography for the performance culminated in this year’s Woo Fest.
Woo Fest is an annual event put on by the Residence Life Office. The tradition started in 2009, making this year’s performance Woo Fest’s seventh anniversary. The event started small with the inspiration of alumnus Jay Stovall when he was a resident adviser in University Place.
In 2009, more than 200 residents of University Place filled the Alumni Dining Commons on a Thursday night to watch the talent show. In its third year, Woo Fest grew to an all-Residence Life Office sponsored event. Stovall, now serving as the resident director of Tower Hall, has seen Woo Fest grow into an event that about 1,500 students attend each year.
The event has grown so large auditions are held for male students wishing to perform in Woo Fest, and only the top-10 acts are selected. Acts range from singing to magic tricks.
“It’s really fun,” Stovall said. “Some of these guys never get to perform in front of 1,500, and they’re all talented.”
Capping off the event with energy, the Residence Life performance has also become tradition. Stovall choreographs the act to some of the most popular songs from the year.
“He’s all about showmanship,” said Henty Van Der Merwe, senior applied theology major. “Jay never wants something to get out there (on stage) and it be kind of mediocre. Everything he puts out there, he wants to make sure is the greatest thing, so he puts a lot of time into it.”
The first Residence Life men’s performance at Woo Fest in 2009 featured popular songs such as Vanilla Ice’s “Ice Ice Baby,” which made an appearance again this year with the men of Residence Life performing a throwback theme.