On Tuesday, Oct. 6, the LSC Ballroom was hopping with excitement. The enthusiasm for the night’s program began long before the scheduled time at 7 p.m. as hundreds of students filled the hallway and stairwells, creating a line that wrapped around the LSC. These students were pumped with adrenaline to attend Program Council’s “Sam Houston’s Best Dance Crew.”
Once students finally entered the Ballroom, extra seats were provided as the room reached beyond the capacity anticipated. The seats vibrated as the DJ played his tunes and students showed each other their moves while waiting for the event to begin. Melissa Stelter, a junior at SHSU, said “I have high expectations. Sam Houston has really good dancers.”
Three groups of SHSU student organizations made up the competitors who signed up in advance to be judged by three judges. The groups were Fade to Black, Stay Focused Promotion and the Newcomers. The format was similar to American Idol. After each performance, the judges shared their opinions, then let the crowd judge by filling out voting cards to turn in.
The competition began as Fade to Black took the stage with energy. The students responded well, getting involved in the performance with their cheers and applause. The dance was well choreographed and the music well chosen. While Fade to Black had the moves down, they lacked unity and often their facial expressions didn’t match. The judges seemed to agree as they told the four female dancers that they had the beauty and talent to go far individually, but needed to work on performing as a group.
The next group, Stay Focused Promotion, simply lacked focus. The five male dancers are very talented, but their performance lacked the organization and structure any dance should contain when carried out on a stage in front of an audience. The music seemed to drag on as the group continued to entertain the crowd. Stay Focused Promotion understood the importance of audience participation and incorporated this into the dance. The judges critiqued the group as sloppy and unorganized, but complimenting them on their individual skills.
The Newcomers finished off the event with an incredible performance. The group consisted of seven talented dancers who successfully combined their individual skills to create a dance with good transitions, synchronization, and rhythm. The dance was not as lengthy as the previous two, but the quality made up for the time lacked. The judges praised the Newcomers by telling them they had the “wow factor,” clean moves, great facial expressions, and good transitions. The group was encouraged to boost their enthusiasm to the next level.
While the votes were being tallied for the three groups, there was additional competion for $250 among students who formed into groups of at least four dancers. Several groups signed up, but the winner of the prize brought the house down with their interpretation of Beyonce’s “Single Ladies”. To pass the lulls between performances, lots of audience participation provided fun entertainment as students demonstrated how to do the “stanky leg,” some impressive breakdancing, the “YMCA,” and much more.
Stay Focused Promotion took home the victory. According to Stefanie Mellado, a sophomore at SHSU, and Uresa Forbes, a junior, the event was fun, but slightly disappointing. Forbes says “The Single Ladies dance was my favorite part. I enjoyed tonight, but the voting was manipulated.” Mellado also felt the outcome was unfair, as she said, “I thought the Newcomers deserved to win. However, I would come to the event again.”
Program Council once again outdid themselves on a fun and lively event. Though students will never agree on the outcome of a competition, the event was an ultimate success as the turnout and participation of the night was greater than anticipated.