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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


When you work in a museum, you got to dance


Center for Creative Photography preparators Lynn Richards, left, and Aimee Baker, right, in the UA’s Museum Dance Off 4 competition video. Voting for the UA’s region in the competition ends on April 25 at 5 a.m.

The University of Arizona Museum of Art, Center for Creative Photography and the Arizona State Museum teamed up to compete in the fourth annual Museum Dance Off, hosted by the blog, “When You Work At a Museum.”

Maggie Guzowski, operator of When You Work At a Museum, said the competition had its start in 2014. 

“It started in 2014 when Indiana State Museum sent me a video,” Guzowski said. “It was of their staff dancing through their museum to Pharrel’s ‘Happy.’”

Guzowski shared the video on her blog and other videos began to flood in from museums all around the country. 

“Before you know it, we had a dance off on our hands,” Guzowski said.

Museums from all around the world pick a song for everyone from staff to visitors to bust their best dance moves to in front of a camera before uploading it online. 

According to When You Work At a Museum’s website, this year’s competition is based on regions. Groups are competing in the regional championships for a chance to bust a move at the Thunderdome. 

According to Guzowski, there were approximately 41 teams that submitted videos. These videos were submitted by March 31, and voting for some regions began on April 17. 

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Voting for Arizona began April 24 at 8 a.m. The videos can be found on When You Work At a Museum’s website.  

“Many of us on staff at the various museums follow the blog and have been aware of the dance off for a few years,” said Gina Compitello-Moore, the marketing manager for the UA Museum of Art and Center for Creative Photography. 

“We’ve talked about entering before, but this is the first year we actually got it together,” Compitello-Moore said. “We thought it would be fun to enter as the three museums together so we could show off more of the museum awesomeness on campus.” 

The first Arizona museum to compete was The Phoenix Museum of Art in 2014. Since then there have been no Arizona submissions until 

this year.

It appears that the UA’s museums were one of few groups that entered as a team collaboration between museums.

However, there were video submissions that included local colleges, such as New Hampshire Telephone Museum’s collaboration with Northeast Catholic College.

To vote, visit to view the competing videos. After watching, select your favorite and submit. Voting is open until 5 a.m. on April 25. 

Individuals can also vote for their favorite video using the hashtag #MDO4 on Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook. 

After the voting polls close, the winners will be announced the next morning. There will also be a new round of videos available to vote on. 

The group with the most votes from April 24-25 will advance to take on the winner of the first Western U.S. regionals, the Mob Museum, on May 3.

The winner of that round will then take on the Eastern U.S. champion for the chance to advance to the international Thunderdome final. 

“The museum that wins is the one that gets the most votes, and you can vote as often as you like,” Compitello-Moore said. “We’re hoping that the UA community can help support its museums to beat out the other three competitors that day.”

The UA museums are competing against the Thanksgiving Point Institute, Manetti Shrem Museum at UC Davis and the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art at the University of Oklahoma.

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“This contest is a great way to showcase the people who make the museums what they are,” Compitello-Moore said. “We have staff from curatorial, education, library, exhibition prep, registration, marketing, membership, development, research and more in our video.” 

In the videos, the individuals highlight the many art pieces found throughout the museums. 

“We get to show off our pretty amazing collections, exhibitions and behind the scenes spots,” Compitello-Moore said.  “And it’s always fun to see fellow museum geeks from around the world dancing.”

Compitello-Moore said that Brigette Villasenor, a film major and student employee at the Center for Creative Photography, partially filmed and completely edited the video submitted by the UA museums. 

Visit the website before April 25, at 5 a.m. to vote for your favorite video for Arizona’s region. 

Also, don’t forget to share the fun, dance off videos with others.

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