students dancing on stage

On March 25, eight teams competed in the annual AS-sponsored Mock Rock lip-syncing competition, performing elaborate song and dance routines in front of a highly energized, sold-out crowd in Chase Gymnasium. This year’s winners — a team of 45 undergrads called “Bropoc” — recently shared some tips and advice for how to win at Mock Rock.

1) Have an original concept. In the early story-conceiving meetings, months before Mock Rock, a group of five Bropoc leaders hashed out story ideas and decided to go “meta” with a plot that poked fun at the Mock Rock process itself.

2) Don’t be a newbie. Don’t expect to win on your first try. Bropoc formed last year but didn’t win. This year, with the experience and lessons learned from last year, they knew where to focus and how to really stand out.

3) Find the right leads. To represent three distinct styles of music, Bropoc had to choose the right “stars,” and they did: Spencer Posey (“indie kid”), Casey Glass (“romantic girl”) and Joshua Lane (“bro”).

4) Share the burden of choreography. For Bropoc, the daunting task of creating elaborate choreography for more than 15 songs was shared by three teams of three people, who divided the songs up and created innovative dance moves in small groups.

5) Be open to critique. Bropoc had two team members whose sole job was to offer regular critiques at rehearsals, offering a perspective that the performers sometimes couldn’t see.

6) Don’t neglect the visuals. Good dancing is one thing, but team leader Jeremy Pedron said Bropoc was equally concerned with a great “second level visual experience,” which included set pieces, use of black light and trampolines.

7) Don’t neglect studying! For rehearsals, Bropoc took over several rooms in the business building every night for weeks in February and March. One room was always set aside as a “study room,” where those not currently practicing their section of the routine could catch up on homework.

8) Know pop culture. Bropoc’s winning performance included references to Black Swan, Bruno Mars, Rebecca Black, Miley Cyrus, Lupe Fiasco, Glee, Reality L.A. and fellow-Mock Rockers “XOPOC” and “Men of Honor.”

09) Have the best Bieber. Multiple Mock Rock teams lip-synced to Justin Bieber, but Bropoc’s Bieber — junior Chris Tomes — pulled it off best during his performance of “Baby,” complete with a prop limo, backup dancers and screaming fans.

10) Know your competition. What songs are the other teams doing? Which viral videos are they parodying? Informal conversation between team leaders to prevent too much overlap is a must.

11) Know the judges. Bropoc was savvy enough to know that a “too soon” reference to Michael Jackson’s death should be scrapped when they learned that one of the five judges was going to be Biola alumna Judith Hill, former backup singer for Michael Jackson.

12) Be caffeinated. The last two weeks before Mock Rock, Bropoc rehearsed from 9 p.m.–2 a.m. every day of the week except Saturdays, which were reserved for prop building. Their 2 a.m. post-rehearsal trips to Taco Bell were requisite.