M. Eleanor Schmalzl ‘20
As another great year at UVa Law begins, the traditions of the Dandelion Parade continue. Started in 1984 as a calm and respectable parade, Dandelion now serves as the opportunity for upperclassmen to record videos of future attorneys at top jobs across the country doing ridiculous dances and is the nudge for all the 1Ls to realize that they truly can’t take themselves too seriously if they chose to come to school in Charlottesville. Beyond overcoming the nerves of dancing in front of all their peers,1 this year’s 1Ls faced an additional obstacle to their dream of gold medal finish in the form of heavy rain.2 Winners will get the best seeding in the upcoming 1L softball tournament, held on September 23, so a lot rides on each year’s competition.
Section A kicked off the rain dance, setting the bar high with scene changes and well-choreographed moves. While dancing to classics such as Uptown Funk, Wipeout, and Just Got Paid, “Rip’s RAngers” also threw 100 dolla dolla bills with CORDEL FAULK on the front3 into the crowd and delivered a handle of Jack Daniels to the NGSL commissioners with “This is not a bribe” written on the front. Securing second place by the NGSL judges, this crew walked away feeling rightfully pleased about their showing.
Section B was up next, and after a solid two minutes of trying to lift some of their sectionmates into a cheerleading elevator stunt, a member of the crowd was overheard asking, “Is that it?” After an effort to recover from their slow start, “Beyond a Reasonable Out” managed to avoid any booing and were seen heading to the keg for another round of beers, likely in an attempt to forget the embarrassment that was their 1L Dandelion performance.
Section C benefitted from the downpour, with a performance set to “Under the Sea” as the song for the section’s performance. While most of the section swayed back and forth making big C’s with their arms every time the chorus rang out, their merman stole the show by not only frolicking into the crowd but also worming on the wet concrete. And, as the grand finale, his bikini-shell top bust off the section’s performance. Clever idea and a solid effort by the “C’s and Desist” team, but I may be biased given my love of all things Little Mermaid.
Section D, known as “Docket Like It’s Hot,” really tried to be coordinated to their dance set to “Drop it Like It’s Hot,” but their only saving grace was the inclusion of a dog in the section performance. Big fan of dogs.
Section E, the “Legal E’s,” came with posters of giant E’s and danced to the classic “It’s Gonna Be Me.” While yelling “It’s Gonna Be E!” to the chorus, the section seemed to be having enough fun to make up for their overall lack of hard-core dance moves. I wrote “I’m a fan” in my notes about their skit, so they must’ve done something right.
Section F, the gold medalists of the event, grooved to “Fergalicious” in all black. They had men chugging beers and partial nudity—exposing their stomachs which had “DANDELION” spelled out across them—so the group really hit home on all the requirements for a solid placement in this year’s competition. While this unbiased PA thinks Section A’s Cordel Faulk dolla dolla bills were more clever than painting up, I’ll tip my hat and respect the “F Bombers.” But, as an aside, I’d just like to note that I’m not sure how the “F Bombers” got approved as y’all’s team name. Can’t wait to hear what professors think of that when you wear your jerseys to class. Good luck.
Section G had raining men . . . and that was it. With that, your team name is fitting: “Good, not Great.”
Section H was the only group to attempt the dreaded skit that can never be heard, but their spoof on Jeopardy! was at least appropriate given they have a sectionmate trying out for the show.4 I honestly had no clue what was happening throughout their entire performance, but they incorporated The Lion King soundtrack, The Beach Boys, and a guy in a Narwhale5 costume who slid into the giant puddle in front of the NGSL announcers. Respect for turning boos into cheers, “Habeas Porpoise,” well done.
Section I, cleverly named “Bam’s I’s” worked off of Britney’s “Oops! I Did It Again” classic. There’s not much to report except that it was, overall, a hot mess of a performance. And, unlike section D, they didn’t have a dog to wow the crowd. The dog always works, people. Always bring a dog!
Sections J and F had the same “all black” idea, but that didn't deter section J from standing out in the crowd. I don’t remember much about their dance other than the stripping and the great puddle smash at the end, but something impressed the judges, as the “Justice RBI’s” secured third by NGSL rankings.
To finish off, the LLMs pulled the ultimate power move by not even showing up to perform in the heavy rain that clouded the event. After attending the T-Pain concert last week, the LLMs clearly grasped the American mindset to disregard authority and do whatever they wanted. The LLMs are likely the only group to survive Dandelion without a cold or an extremely embarrassing video of their dance skills and, consequently, the traditional Dandelion winners secured another victory in my eyes.
While people may grumble about Dandelion, it’s a strong tradition that, like softball, sets UVa apart from several other law schools in the country. Here’s to hoping this class survives all the colds and flus they contracted during the rainy Saturday and keep the tradition alive for years to come.
1 Thank you, NGSL, for providing free kegs and pizza to enhance performances and viewing pleasure.
2 Weatherman Stephan T. Parr refuses to comment on why he has allowed such dreadful Dandelion weather two years straight, but promises sunshine for the 1L tournament.
3 Starting the petition now to make the official change on real paper money. I think Trump could be persuaded.
4 Would be better if they had the 1L who actually won Jeopardy! in his pre-law school career, but I digress.
5 Or dolphin? Again, no clue what was happening.