This past Saturday, UR was host to the Fifth-Annual Step Show, sponsored by the Black Students’ Union in Strong Auditorium. The show was a grand display of local talent, with competition regulars including the Wilson Pearls and Legacy from the School of the Arts as the crowd favorites. Other competitors included the only all-male group, which also hailed from the School of the Arts and an all-female group from the School Without Walls. The hosts for the event were local morning radio personalities who were excited to make a few announcements.
For the first time ever, the audience was allowed to cast a vote via applause at the conclusion of the competition to decide which group left with the title “Best of Show.” In addition, BSU took the show to the next level and hired an act from New York City to quell the intensity brewed by the performances through a brief intermission performance.
The Step-Off was filled with intensity from the beginning when a future stepping force, the Warriors, took the stage. Led by an adolescent with a scowl fiercer than any of the other competitors, the Warriors proved that, despite their youth, they knew how to stomp the stage and leave the audience howling.
After the Warriors made their exit, a young, new team took the stage. While their first performance may have left something to be desired, we can expect a reappearance from a more experienced team next year.
Third to make an appearance was the girls’ team from the School of the Arts, Legacy. Clearly a crowd favorite, Legacy overtook every inch of the stage and was dispersed throughout the aisles of the audience during their confident introduction.
The technical punctuality and intimidating persona of the group were unmatched by any other competitor. One highlight of Legacy’s performance included confetti and glitter that seemingly came out of nowhere as the audience watched in amazement.
Legacy was surely a hard act to follow, but someone had to do it. This someone was the girls’ team from the School Without Walls. The girls’ attire had some members of the audience marveling at the bright pinks and yellows accompanied by many forms of candy. The girls were riveting and left the audience impressed.
After this performance, the intermission act took the stage. Though forgettable, the rapper/backup dancer trio was a comical interruption leading up to the second half.
Next to take the stage were the Wilson Pearls. They claimed to be flawless, and they did not disappoint. Though not as technically sharp as the Legacy girls, their performance was packed with complex configurations and impressive steps.
Concluding the show was the only all-male group from the School of the Arts. At the beginning, the audience was confused by the ballet-like performance unfolding before them. However, the rest of the group joined the lone ballerina on stage and an impressive display followed.
A brief deliberation between the sorority and fraternity members hailing from UR and the Rochester Institute of Technology brought the show to a climax. The teams danced the time away until the judges finalized their decisions.
Legacy earned a surprising second spot, with the Wilson Pearls taking the top honor. The audience members were then poised to make their decision as to their favorite. They also chose to give their nod to the Wilson Pearls. The show came to a conclusion with the Pearls celebrating their victory as the packed house made their satisfied exit.
The Fifth-Annual Step Show at UR did not disappoint. Next year, the show can only improve, with a broader base of competitors and more excitement.
Ewing is a member of the class of 2011.