Sunday, December 17, 2006

National Step Competition

I'm watching ESPNU, the National Step Competition specifically. Apparently it's a traditionally black college tradition among the various Greek fraternities and sororities. It's completely fascinating. There's lots of energy between the crowd and the performers; I couldn't even begin to score these dancers, or their dances. Dance is not even a good term for what they're doing; the music also comes from the performers. Each dance is original, and each fraternity or sorority has a unique style all its own. Some work with canes, sticks, and props; rhymes punctuate the dance steps, and the teams shout in unison. I haven't timed the routines, but each is several minutes long, with memorized dancing in elaborate patterns. I might not understand the scoring, or what the judgs are looking for in a good routine, but I can tell what I like, and I like them all. Each performance is so unique from the others that I can't decide who's better. Music is in the heels of the dancers, and in their clapping hands. I'm impressed. A team from Philadelphia wearing black won the sorority competition; they deserve the credit, but there was a lot of effort all around. A Phi Beta Sigma team from Michigan in blue won the fraternity competition. I will definitely watch stepping in the future.

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