It was standing room only in the Alfred Lawson Jr., Multipurpose Center Tuesday evening at 8 p.m. An excited buzz filled the gym, and the anticipation of those in attendance was nearly tangible. The annual Dorm Step Show was taking place, and students, already pumped for Homecoming, were ready to be amazed. It was, after all, common knowledge that at Florida A&M University, the Dorm Step Show is not just a competition, but a battle.
The first team to perform was the Palmetto team with steppers from Palmetto North, South and Phase III. The act had a Super Mario Bros. theme to it, and the steppers all dressed up as either Mario or Luigi. Princess Peach even put in an appearance at the end of the act. The ingenuity and creativity of the act apparently won over the judges, who awarded them third place.
TWC, made up of steppers from Truth, Wheatley, and Cropper Hall, was up next. The performers put a new spin on James Cameron’s Avatar in their routine, tweaking the plot to involve FAMU, the show, and, of course, stepping.
TWC was followed by Paddyfote, or P-Foot as the step team calls itself. For their routine, the members of P-Foot dressed as ninjas and declared themselves “the soldiers of Paddyfote.” They claimed to have been trained in the harshest, most unlivable conditions, i.e. Paddyfote, and that such an environment had shaped them into the best and most skilled. Apparently, the judges agreed with them, awarding them first place.
G- Phi, Gibbs Hall’s step team, was next, referencing Precious with their theme. The audience seemed more interested in the stepping than the previously filmed bits that had been prepared, however. A lot of effort had clearly gone into tightening up the choreography, and they made special effort to engage the audience via provocative facial expressions and appeals to the women in the audience. The judges seemed to have appreciated the effort, granting second place to the men of Gibbs Hall.
MAD, the step team comprised of residents from McGuinn Hall and Diamond Hall, brought up the rear with their rendition of “The Cell Block Tango” from the musical “Chicago.” The routine painted the steppers as women on trial for murdering people who hadn’t taken the step team seriously enough.
Most seemed happy with the competition results.
“I think everyone got what they deserved,” said 19-year-old Lila Mandela, a second-year engineering student from Tallahassee. “Some groups had nice outfits, but Paddyfote had clean stepping and were really precise. Overall, they had the whole package.”
The show was interspersed with other acts as well. Essence Dance Troup performed a haunting number, while later Mahogany and the Strikers performed a dance together. Then, as the highlight of the event for some students, Travis Porter put in an appearance to perform a few of the group’s most popular songs.
One student sitting in the crowd summed it up best. “I got to see some alright stepping, the Strikers and Travis Porter at one time. Not a bad night.”