I’ve never witnessed such creativity and community as I did Saturday, Jan. 15. When I walked into Swinney Recreation Center, I was overcome by the blasting music and the crowd dancing to the beat.
It was packed and everyone was excited for the TAKEOVER Step Show presented by The African American Student Union (TAASU) and The Lambda Epsilon City-Wide Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.
The show started after a well-crafted presentation of previous step performances displayed on a huge screen. They also played a short film set to Michael Jackson’s “They Don’t Really Care About Us” honoring Martin Luther King, Jr., as it was his birthday.
The F.L. Schlagle High School Marching Band then marched through the crowd and onto the stage. Wearing blue and yellow tracksuits and putting enthusiastically performing, they started the night off right.
Between performances, the host, Hot 103 Jamz’s Sean Tyler, helped set the atmosphere in his velvet blazer. He was amusing and charismatic, keeping the mood fun and energized.
The participants in the 2011 Greek Step Show were Alpha Phi Alpha, Kappa Tau Chapter from Kansas State, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Beta Psi Zeta Sorority, Tau Alpha Chapters from University of Nebraska, Phi Beta Sigma, Xi Iota Chapter from Southeast Missouri State University, Omega Psi Phi Omicron Sigma Chapter from St. Louis, and Delta Sigma Theta from St. Louis.
Along with stepping, Top Flite, a hip hop dance group, and Books Not B.A.A.R.S., a mentor program, performed.
Alpha Phi Alpha set the bar high with their take on “Mission Impossible.” In black shirts, vests, pants, and black bowtie, they were fascinating to watch. The audience especially liked how one of the members shouted the viral “hide your kids, hide your wife.”
Zeta Phi Beta entered the floor to Beyonce’s “Sweet Dreams.” In white T-shirts and jeans, they added something a little different by including a singing member. Everyone applauded at the end when they gracefully did the splits.
Top Flite, the hip hop dance group, was a particular treat. With nods to both Kansas City and St. Louis in their song choices, the group kept the liveliness up.
After the intermission, Phi Beta Sigma incorporated James Bond with their bulletproof vests. As with so many of the other performers, they too used comedic relief by breaking out a portion of Taylor Swift’s “You Belong with Me.”
Omega Psi Phi kept the audience entertained with their mix of acting and talented movements. One of the group’s members sang “Down by the River.” I think I am with everyone in attendance when I say that I could have listened to him sing all night long.
Delta Sigma Theta were the last Greeks to perform. In brightly colored tutus, they succeeded in telling a story through their performance. The crowd particularly enjoyed when one of the members humorously stated, “Real talk. All Day. On my momma.”
Not only did the performers put all of their hearts into the show, the crowd did, too. Before the show and during intermissions, the Greeks and non-Greeks had synchronized movements and traveled in and out of the crowd.
For the first time as a college student, I felt like this is what college is about. This is a college experience. People uniting through the dedication and passion of an art form was awe-inspiring. They don’t simply move in a coordinated manner; they utilize acting abilities, coordination and a sense of humor.
The crowd also interacted heavily with the performers, constantly yelling “get it” and “alright.” The performers had overwhelming support from their peers and family.
The TAKEOVER Step Show brought the entertainment and the a sense of pride amongst Greek students. It truly is a celebration of life through art, and I hope to see more of it at UMKC.