Regional Winner
Month: February 2011


Organization of the Month

School: SUNY New Paltz Region: NEACURH
Nominee: New Paltz Slam Team Nominator: Kris Pistillo

On-Campus Population: 2700 Chapter Size: 26

Please explain the outstanding contributions of the nominee during the month of nomination

So You Think you can Slam? The New Paltz slam team is skilled from hikus, to rhythm and rhyme and this year has been hotter than ever on the campus, especially in the month of February. The Slam Team consists of seven of the most talented slam poets on the New Paltz campus, being only voted on the team through a three month slam off. Their poems much like dance embraces a specific message and show cases personal or everyday experiences within their lives. In the month of February, our amazing “contestants” have been breaking it down and blowing it up in a number of ways:

Choreography and Rehearsal: Like dancing, poetry needs to be created and edited as well as practiced to get the perfect balance to impress the audience. This month the slam team has not only dedicated hours on top of hours creating new poems and movements within in their words but have been practicing new choreography a number of different days each week. Like any great dancer, they challenge themselves to take on new leaps and bounds, and so does our slam team. They are constantly giving themselves new “dance styles” to overcome and new partners to mix up dynamic.

Dress Rehearsals: No show can go on without a dress rehearsal, so for the last three weeks, on our campus, our slam team has been putting on their slamming shoes and doing a “dorm storm.” This is when they sway back and forth to all of our twelve residence halls on campus and show case their past and present work for attendees. This was not only their way to practice their new “moves” but to make our resident population aware of what slam poetry is. But their rehearsals didn’t stop there! They have also been promoting their upcoming events with random bursts of Slam poetry throughout the week on campus.

Collaboration: Dancing is all about working not only with another person but also being able to work and integrate other groups. This past month, the team worked with Eating Disorder Awareness week, where they opened for Mary Fonds, a nationally winning and recognized slam poet. They presented different poems around the theme of body image and stereotypes. This month, they have also been hard at work setting up the second annual Wade Lewis Slam Invitational,which is the second largest collegiate slam invitational in the nation, to raise money for the scholarships created in memory of one of our passed professors. They are not only performing with other slam teams across the region but working with professional slam poets to put on workshops to teach how to slam.

The Big Event: This past month, the Slam Team hosted the Slam regional’s here at New Paltz, where the winner got to go to Nationals for free. With such an event the completion was on. Each crew went head to head against each other sending up different members to show case their own slam type. Although our team didn’t dance to victory, they will still find themselves at Nationals in April. But that isn’t what needs to be recognized. Not only did our team host regionals but they also hosted members of the teams in their own rooms and accommodated them. They set up and promoted this event where over 200 people attended from our own campus.

This month the Slam Team has not only built community but has taught our campus that you don’t need to dance to express yourself! So Do You Think You Can SLAM?

Word Count: 591

Date of entry into database: 2011-03-03 07:39:54

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