June 23, 2024

Satire: JoJo Siwa to perform at the university’s 2024 graduation

The university announced that instead of the traditional commencement ceremony, former “Dance Moms” star JoJo Siwa will be brought in to celebrate the Class of 2024. 

The events will proceed as scheduled, but the Chapel Choir will be in attendance for backing vocals. For returning students of the Conservatory of Music, viewing this event will count as a recital hour credit for the 2024 fall semester.

JoJo Siwa will be an integral part of the procession leading up to the commencement ceremony, heading up the line of academics and administrators.

In their stead, Siwa will be performing her latest musical release, “Karma.” 

The university wishes to inform family and friends of graduating seniors in attendance that the performance will include explicit language. 

“Karma is performing for the #CapFam,” said the press release.

The university commencement ceremony is the perfect opportunity to expand the base of the star’s audience to people who may not interact with the content she pushes online.

Amidst the controversy around the single, Siwa has been dodging bad press about her ongoing court case.

Siwa and her “momager” Jessalyn Siwa initially started dance group XOMG Pop! on their reality TV show “Siwas Dance Pop Revolution,” but the group, composed of girls aged 8-14, became a full-time act once the show ended.

Allegations have surfaced for all of the following claims and more: producers tried to make the girls cry, the rehearsal schedule was overly-exerting, the participants were insulted by the Siwas and medical issues from the grueling effort were ignored and dismissed.

In light of the negativity surrounding Siwa in the dance sphere, she took the opportunity to announce her rebranded “bad girl” persona.

“No one has made this dramatic of a change yet,” said Siwa in her interview with Tetris Kelly of Billboard at the GLAAD Awards. “No one has made, in my generation, this extreme of a switch.”

The next step in her shift “from child star to adult artist” is to recreate her music video on the stage for the graduating Class of 2024 and their loved ones in attendance on May 11. 

Graduating seniors are now expected to return their caps to the campus bookstore and exchange them for a classic accessory from the “former” child star: a hair clip from the new bow line by the Siwas, Pomp and Siwa-stance.

The 20-year-old will be joining the university’s president, Kave Daufman, in giving a speech on the importance of growing up. Siwa has much self-proclaimed knowledge on this experience.

Her performance also aims to connect with students due to Siwa’s openness with her sexuality to the general public. Her attendance aligns with university values of inclusion of people with diverse backgrounds, like reality TV dancers.

Graduation ceremonies traditionally can feel like academic powerhouses talking to a group of young people as if they have yet to see the real world. However, by inviting a young person to speak and participate, university officials hope to facilitate a sense of community between students.

The overall goal is to create an environment to celebrate the achievements of the graduating class by integrating content that students will find relatable, personally relevant and engaging.

Unfortunately, this performance may not go as the university hopes. Due to the aggressive and overt nature of the dance featured in the music video  and the origins of her song “Karma,” Siwa has garnered criticism on and off-line.

In an interview with TMZ, Siwa affirmed that she did not steal the song but it was in fact pitched to her. The track is reportedly a rerecording of a 2012 unreleased Brit Smith song “Karma’s a Bitch,” written by popular song-writing group Radio Mafia.

Smith put out her version of the song under the original title and the track shot up in popularity almost instantaneously. As of April 15, Smith’s release has climbed all the way up to “No. 8 on the U.S. iTunes pop charts, while Siwa’s ‘Karma’ is No. 89.”

Whether this will affect the university’s decision to maintain or rescind the invitation remains unclear as the tide of public opinion of the dancer continues to ebb and flow.


  • Charlotte Keller

    Charlotte is a third-year English Literature major with a Spanish minor. She is secretary of the Capital Book Club, an AIM Change Advocate, and Capital’s Student Government Parliamentarian. In her free time, she likes to make Spotify playlists and watch rom-coms.

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