Seton Hill steps up with campus showcase event to empower schools

Seton Hill University step team and invited dance and step teams pose for a photo after the April 12 step show event, with SHU stepping into a win and donating to their own step team fund to raise money to do bigger things. Photo by Samantha Zajdel.

Friday, April 12 Seton Hill University witnessed a showstopper event, the first step team show on campus.

SHU’s step team captain Brianna Green said she wanted to make a step show because, since the team’s commencement in 2016, given the amount of events they were performing at, she wanted something bigger for the school.

“I just wanted everyone, for Seton Hill to experience everything outside of Greensburg, because a lot of people are from here or have never seen a step team or have seen videos,” Green said. “And the first thing they think of would be ‘Stomp the Yard,’ the movie, and that’s more of like greek life, but this is college non-greek step, just stepping to have fun, that’s all it is.”

“I’ve been planning this since last spring, so it’s been a year planning this. A lot of teams dropped out at the last minute so I had to work with what I had and I think it was a good show,” Green said.

SHU step team member Ryan Jordan performing at the SHU step team show April 12. Photo by Samantha Zajdel.

SHU hosted eight university teams featuring dance and step teams including the Slippery Rock University step team and their Jamrock dance team, Pitt-Johnstown’s step team and the California University of Pennsylvania dance team. The event also included special guest performances by recent SHU graduate Lyn Starr, rappers and more. There was a $1 entry fee that was donated to a charity of the winners choice.

The crowd and judges were lost for words at the talent shown. Judge Keisha Jimmerson, the associate dean of students, multicultural and international services, said in regards to the Jamrock dance team, “I’m not usually speechless, but oh my goodness, that’s all I have to say. They did excellent.”

The teams supported SHU graduate student Jack Wardale, who co-founded his own clothing brand Impower, at the event by wearing his shirt. They opened the show stating what empower means, and closed with Antwon Rose’s poem. Green said it was a good message to everybody “but I think it opened up everybody’s eyes.”

SHU’s step team wanted to spread the message of empowerment using messages spoken throughout their dance. Though there was no official theme for the event, there was a push for different styles of dance shown. Green said it was just “because we’re used to seeing the same thing, I want them to see something outgoing, and for us, our theme was just us sticking together.”

Slippery Rock’s Jamrock team came in second place, with SHU in first, winning by a 10th of a point. The crowd cheered after every performance encouraging the message of empowerment.

The winning team donated toward their own step team fund to raise money to do bigger things at school.

California University of Pennsylvania dance team members perform at the Seton Hill University step team event April 12. Photo by A.Meyers/Setonian.

Green noted the teams were all very happy, making sure everyone was on good terms afterwards. “Everyone had fun and each team was like ‘we hope we can come next year, like, we hope we can be apart of it next year, thanks for inviting us.’”

The SHU step team recited Antwon Rose’s poem “I AM NOT WHAT YOU THINK” at the end of their performance.

“So your very own Seton Hill step team came in first place tonight!” Green said via Seton Hill’s Snapchat account, in regards to the win. “Thank you to everybody who came out and supported us it was a good turnout, we’re going to do it next year and it’s going to be popping.”

A last message from the captain: “We’re here to change the world, I mean, I feel like we’ve changed Seton Hill so much by starting this step team and everyone coming out and seeing something different.”  

Published by Caitlin Srager

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