Floor skits establish community

Hill Hall’s annual Decade Skate allows creative freedom

The scene is set: two Ursula-esque women are rulers of a planet with no understanding of love, when suddenly kidnapped earthlings appear in their world.

The aliens’ goal: to learn from the earthlings about love and to conduct various experiments.

This plot allowed Fourth Hill Women to take home the first place overall golden skate award at Hill Hall’s annual Decade Skate on Sunday, Feb. 26.

Ultimately, an asteroid hits their planet, making the two main characters realize that they feel a strong connection, and are experiencing love for the first time.

Amongst creatively designed costumes, a galaxy backdrop and props that included dry ice — Fourth Women’s outdid themselves.

Anticipated all year long by residents of Hill Hall, Decade Skate requires many months of preparation. As a residence hall on campus known for its strong community and overall friendliness, Hill Hall has put on Decade Skate each Winter Quarter since 1970.

Samantha Ledbetter | The Falcon
The men of Fourth Hill join hands and lift first-year Connor Gilbert as they circle across the stage at Hill Hall’s annual Decade Skate event on Sunday, Feb. 26.

Decade Skate’s Master of Ceremonies team consisted of the joke-cracking juniors Luke Farquhar, Mary Peggins and Nathan Bennett, all of whom are Hill Hall alumni.

“[Decade Skate] has a really rich history that we’re excited to be a part of,” Bennett said during the introduction of the evening.

Farquhar believes Decade Skate is unique because of the unlimited source material available to its participants.

“[You can include clips] of people from the floor, or YouTube clips or movies,” Farquhar said. “Other events are either just songs or just movies; Decade Skate is kind of the whole smattering of it.”

Each floor of the residence hall is given a song and a celebrity, then they make a skit out of it. Other than the song and celebrity that at least have to be mentioned, the floor has total creative freedom. The residents make up their own plots and control their own audio.

Other skits included a “Hot Rod”/”Star Wars” mashup, with Luke Skywalker raising money for his father’s mask so he could battle him, Amelia Earhart becoming a princess and Mary Poppins stalking girls on a roadtrip.

Even though all the skits had a positive reaction, First Women’s had a deeper meaning behind their performance.

The skit began as a young woman watched “Bob Ross: The Joy of Painting” on Netflix. Bob Ross came to life, and took the woman on an adventure through the decades, teaching her about the importance of keeping the earth clean.

The floor received an honorable mention from the judges for putting the attention on the importance of making a conscious effort to help the environment.

Samantha Ledbetter | The Falcon
Women of Fifth Hill cross the stage a in hand-crafted car.

This year, Decade Skate was done a little differently to honor the Oscars, as it was also the night of the 89th Academy Awards ceremony.

Between skits, the MCs had a few people from the floor on deck read lines from an Oscar-nominated film — these ranged from “La La Land” to “The Lobster” and “Zootopia.”

Hill Hall’s unofficial motto — “Hill is Home” — was made true at Decade Skate. Each floor presented itself as a family.

Throughout the evening, there were references to John Cena, Shia LaBeouf, memes and the appropriate amount of strobe light, along with many references to Hill’s resident life coordinator, Kevin Deschler.

Known for his bubbly personality and strong sense of humor, Deschler, a first-year Hill and Moyer RLC, was a fan favorite. Multiple floors paid tribute to his personality, and he watched from his seat next to the judge’s panel where he helped with audio.

One floor used props to recreate the Hill Hall front desk, with Deschler sitting at it. Another floor had a poster with Deshler’s face on it and signs with his name.

Deschler gave kudos to Hill Hall Council for the success of this year’s Decade Skate.

“My hall council is amazing; they put in such hard work,” Deschler said. “All the credit goes to them.”

The almost full Royal Brougham Gym erupted in laughter countless times.

“As a first-year, it was quite the experience,” said audience member Olivia Herndon. “It was all so creative.”

As the three-hour-long event came to a close, the winners and honorable mentions were announced.

The winners included Third Men’s for Best Soundtrack, Sixth Men’s for Best Costumes and Props, Fourth Women’s for Best Choreography, First Women’s for Best Message and Honorable Mention, Fifth Women’s for Third Overall, Second Women’s for Second Overall and, as mentioned earlier, Fourth Women’s for First Place Overall.

MC Nathan Bennett understands the great significance behind Decade Skate.

“It’s a way to get closer with your floor and to also come together as a Hill community.”

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