Stamping, clapping produce rhythms for dancing

Ruth Brown

Ruth Brown

In honor of Black History Month, on Feb. 9 at 7 p.m., SDSU’s Black Student Alliance (BSA) will be hosting the fifth annual Step and Drill Show in Doner Auditorium.

“Stepping is a dance that combines the elements of military drills with contemporary jazz and hip-hop moves, as well as some singing, chanting and verbal play,” Jodi Wuttke, academic coordinator of SDSU’s Upward Bound and one of the organizers for the Step and Drill Show, said. “In stepping, the body takes the place of the drum: clapping and slapping of the hands against various parts of the body and stomping the feet to produce the complex rhythmic foundation for the dance.”

As well as BSA, there will be five other step and drill teams coming to participate in the show. The teams performing include: Zeta Phi Beta-Tau Alpha from the University of Nebraska Omaha, Phi Beta Sigma-Alpha Alpha Delta from the University of Nebraska Omaha, Omega Psi Phi from the University of Minnesota, Kappa Alpha Psi from the University of Minnesota and the Show Stoppers from Southwest Minnesota State University.

Each group will have no less than five and no more than 12 performers on their team. Teams may consist of male or female dancers. All groups will have at least 15 minutes for their performance.

The Step and Drill Show is not a competition; it is only being held to entertain the students of SDSU. “We don’t really care about competing or anything; the show is just for entertainment and fun,” said Tanisha Sealey, a senior clinical laboratory science major and president of BSA, who will be dancing in the show.

The Step Show is meant to honor Black History Month because step and drill dancing is traditionally a dance preformed by the African American culture. “I think it’s great that they’re bringing in a little more diversity to SDSU; it sounds fun,” said Chelsea Popp, a sophomore interior design major.

This year’s Step and Drill Show is sponsored by BSA, SDSU’s Office of Multicultural Affairs and the Office of Diversity Enhancement. “The whole show was organized by the Black Student Alliance,” said Wuttke. “The entire show has come together really nicely because of them; it should have a great turnout.”

“Mostly I am excited for the show and not so much nervous,” said Sealey. “Last year it was a lot of fun for everyone, so this year should be really fun too.”

The weekend will be kicked off by the southern comedian Tracey Ashley on Feb. 8 at 9 p.m. in Jack’s Place. Following the Step and Drill Show, there will be a hip-hop dance that is open to everyone in Jack’s Place at 9 p.m. All of the weekend’s events are free and open to the public. “I hope a lot of people come this year,” said Sealey.

“I’ve never been to a Step Show before, but it looks really interesting,” said Melissa Johnson, a sophomore early childhood education and Spanish major. “I think I’ll probably go to it. It looks like it would be a lot of fun.”

#1.882884:2188140858.jpg:stepanddrill_JNweb.jpg:Freshman athletic training major Keyona Yeldell, junior English major Amanda Eastman and freshman biology major Marie Ngo Kaman practice their moves on Feb. 5 for the Step and Drill show on Feb. 9.: