An energetic, standing-room-only crowd packed into Lisner Auditorium on Saturday to cheer on local dance crews in the 12th “Step Your Game Up” step show, an annual high-energy dance showcase.
Eight high school and college step groups each performed before a panel of judges and an enthusiastic crowd. The event raised over $5,000 for the Black Genesis Fund and the Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Foundation, and the winning team, the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, took home a $1,500 prize.
People jammed into Lisner as lines formed in the lobby and onto the street. The excited crowd danced in their seats, the aisles and on stage before the show even began.
Step groups performed choreographed routines on stage, with most acts including music and scripted lines, as well as props including glow sticks, strobe lights, chairs and wigs.
An impromptu dance party broke out during intermission, when a DJ spun music and audience members again broke into dance. Emcee DJ Antonio Sykos Rooka from radio station 95.5 FM kept the crowd involved by asking audience members about their universities, Greek-letter organizations and hometowns.
Shaquira Cann Moye, an Alpha Phi Alpha alumnus and the organizer of the Step Show, said it has become a major annual event.
“I travel a lot to find the best step groups and they all know that every February we have a tradition here at GW where they all come together and perform,” he said.
Rudy Alvarez, a GW alumnus and member of Lambda Upsilon Lambda said he enjoyed the night immensely.
“This is a great event and I always enjoy watching people express themselves,” he said.
The two high school groups, from Charles H. Flowers High School in Prince George’s County, Md., and Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Greenbelt, Md., received some of the loudest applause.
In addition to Alpha Phi Alpha, Lambda Upsilon Lambda and Phi Beta Sigma fraternities participated, along with Sigma Gamma Rho, Zeta Phi Beta and Delta Sigma Theta sororities.
All the participants were brought on stage after the performances for the announcement of the winner. Delta Sigma Theta came in second place for the women and Phi Beta Sigma came in second place for the men. The runner-up teams each won $750 prizes.
Though GW students comprised the bulk of attendees, the performance groups included students from a variety of local schools – including Howard, American, Bowie State University, Maryland University and the University of the District of Columbia.