Mock Rock groups anticipate Friday performance
If you search “Biola Mock Rock” on YouTube, you’ll discover a video of a routine performed 14 years ago in Sutherland auditorium to the Jackson 5 hit “I Want You Back.” This three minute performance with five young men –– including current art professor Jon Anderson –– reveals Mock Rock’s roots and how far it has come.
Now, in March 2011, Mock Rock has evolved into such a popular Biola event that people are willing to wait in line for hours just to ensure a good seat. Routines can be up to 10 minutes rather than three, and having only five people on one team is nearly out of the question. This year, the teams range from 25 to 60 members. The eight teams who will be performing their hearts out on Friday, March 25, include: XOPOC, BROPOC, Biola Ratio, Men of Honor, SOS, Biola Network, the Hipstars and the Walrus and the Carpenters.
Groups step up their preparation for event
As Mock Rock’s popularity rose over the years, so did the intensity of the preparation. Devoting hours and hours to practicing for the big night, the students involved are losing lots of sleep, yet gaining lasting memories.
“All day, I just want to go to Mock Rock practice,” said freshman Taylor Hart. “It’s definitely tiring and right now I’m averaging three hours of sleep a night, but I still look forward to it every day.”
Each team’s practice schedule looks a little different, but as the event inches closer, all are devoting at least three hours to their routines every night.
Earlier performance date impacts groups
In previous years, Mock Rock has taken place in late April, and the earlier performance date this year has affected all the teams, causing a need to work much harder in a short amount of time.
Two SOS choreographers, Hart and sophomore Elias Pacheco, shared that SOS practices Monday through Thursday from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. in Sutherland auditorium. Pacheco, who is the main role in SOS’s routine, said the 12 hours of practice a week are actually his time to relax.
“Practices are controlled, but it’s still a big dance party,” said Pacheco. “It’s a way for me to have fun throughout the week, especially when there’s other stresses. On Wednesdays, I am busy from noon to 9 at night, but then from 10 to 1 p.m. I get to de-stress.”
Groups confident that practice makes perfect
Pacheco and Hart are confident that their practices are paying off. They promise to deliver an entertaining performance on Friday.
“SOS is gonna rock it and you’re all gonna be blown away,” Pacheco said. “SOS has never done anything like this before — we’re really stepping it up this year. Our theme is unique. Our choreography is legit. And AS said they’ve never seen this theme before.”
Teams embrace individual goals
The teams have all come together in different ways — some are on-campus groups like SOS and XOPOC, while others are just made up of friends.
What XOPOC likes to bring to the table is excellence in dance.
“We don’t care so much about winning, but we like to challenge ourselves in the aspect of dance, bring excellence in that area and provide fun entertainment for everyone else,” said XOPOC vice president senior Kristin Arnesen. “We’ve been thanking the Lord because this is one of the best teams we’ve ever had for Mock Rock. The Lord has given us awesome dancers.”
While the members of XOPOC unite over a passion for the art of dance, other groups have formed because students with similar interests –– be that sports or even a common sense of humor –– decided to get involved.
On a team full of athletes, sophomore Alyssa Trammell of Walrus and the Carpenter said her group is comprised of students on volleyball and lacrosse. Last year, they chose an Alice in Wonderland theme, and Trammell said this year’s theme will be relevant to childhood as well.
“We hope to take you on a metaphorical trip back to your early years, delving into the deepest joys and emotions of your childhood,” said Trammell. “It’s gonna be an epic journey –– the likes of which make Lord of the Rings look like a light chick flick.”
Students invest in relationships through practices
This team initially practiced three times a week, but recently, the 30 of them have been practicing every night from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. to put the finishing touches on their routine.
In light of this intense practice schedule, Trammell said, “Mock Rock is not for the weak because it definitely takes a lot of commitment, hard work and passion. It’s not easy, and people might not give it as much credit as they should, but regardless of the stress and difficulties, it’s definitely worth it because you build such great relationships.”
Another believer in the friendships formed from Mock Rock is BROPOC team leader, senior Jeremy Pedron. BROPOC was created last year from a bunch of friends who wanted to have a good time.
“To dance with people is kind of nerve-wracking, especially when you’re not good at it,” said Pedron. “There’s this level of exposure that unifies a group and unifies friends. We cared about the connections and bringing people together so that was a huge part of creating it last year. Obviously XOPOC takes dancing seriously, and we want to take friendship seriously.”
Having fun, starting with a name
While one of BROPOC’s motives is to have fun with friends, another is to poke a little fun at XOPOC, but this is no secret –– their name gives that away.
“So we’re sitting at the Caf, and we’re thinking, ‘What should we name ourselves?’” said junior Jason Leith. “I just said ‘BROPOC’ and it stuck. And that is a completely true story.”
“There was just this long silence of, ‘Dang, that’s good.’ Then there were two seconds of, ‘Heck yeah,’” said senior Pedron. “That’s when legacy met destiny –– it was at that very moment.”
Pedron takes his BROPOC leadership role very seriously. He said he had nights where he lay awake for three hours in bed, realizing Mock Rock was just a few days away and that his team still had much progress to make.
“We are probably the most unprepared team. Out of the 45 of us, I can think of probably 3 people who are ready,” said sophomore Chris Tomes of BROPOC. “But, show up and see what happens with those three people. It might surprise you. I think as long as they do something we won’t have to do anything.”
Describing his experience so far, Tomes said, “Five stars way up.” And perhaps your experience on Friday, March 25, will be the same.