Mannequin challenge comes to KU at men’s basketball game

Viral trend surfaces at Keystone Arena

By Mikhaela Moher

The Mannequin Challenge has been sweeping across the nation, a trend that involves having people stopping whatever they are doing at the current moment and freezing, resembling a common, store mannequin.

The trend has come to KU as well, one such moment happening at the Men’s Basketball game on Nov. 19 against California (Pa.).

The KU cheer and dance team took part in the challenge during halftime, the action prompting the crowd to take out their cell phones and take pictures.

“It just got us involved with our school. It brought us all together,” said Casey Gruver, a sophomore KU cheerleader.

keystone-submission-story-11-photo-fall-2016Another instance of the trend happening at KU is when the sorority Theta Phi Alpha took part in it purely on a whim. Ashlee Luzetsky, senior member of Theta Phi Alpha, said they did it because “everybody else was doing it.”

A famed occurrence of the challenge is when Ellen DeGeneres was able to get a roomful of celebrities in the White House to take part in the challenge on November 22 when she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom awarded by President Obama.

Celebrities included DeGeneres, Tom Hanks, Robert DeNiro, Diana Ross, Michael Jordan, Bill Gates, Rita Wilson, Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Frank Gehry.

But why do these trends even happen at all? Why do people like to participate in them?

KU Communication Studies Assistant Professor Angela Cirucci provided some insight.

“I think that happens for a couple of reasons. It allows us to feel connected to something bigger, it makes us feel that we’re part of something that’s popular and liked,” she said.

Whether it makes us feel connected to the world, or because everybody else is doing it, we can be sure that the Mannequin Challenge isn’t going away any time soon.

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