My first Step Sing experience happened while I was still waiting to come to Samford. I had heard so much about it beforehand. I even watched videos online because I wanted to prepare myself for what was to come. I had done musical theater in high school so from what I could tell, Step Sing was going to be right up my alley. Last spring, my mom and I were able to witness the wonders of Step Sing. The tradition, the excitement, the stepping, and singing. Although all the shows were incredible in their own ways, I was excited when my favorite show came out on top. When some “nerds” of Pi Kappa Phi won sweepstakes last year, it began my anxious anticipation until it was my turn.
A few months after school had started, I had heard so many stories about Step Sing from a variety of people around campus. Stories of how Samford radiated with a comradare that is unrivaled to many other institutions during Step Sing season. About the hours of practice go into perfecting a show for a packed Wright Center with some of your best friends. Teachers might give less homework because all of the commotion. How your mouth goes dry right as you walk on stage. I couldn’t wait to start.
I spent JanTerm working in Birmingham, living with one of the directors for our show. As January wore on, we started talking about Step Sing; about the rumors of what others are doing for their show (it’s supposed to be a secret), what he was planning for our themed Step Sing show, and what he thinks it takes to “sweep the stakes.” Late nights were spent watching step sing shows from decades ago, discussing what we did and didn’t like, and borrowing ideas from years past, all in preparation for something I had been anxiously waiting on.
At our first practice I realized what the big deal was. As 75 guys packed into a small room, all trying to sing in 4 part harmony that they just learned, I began understanding the “spirit of Step Sing”. Sometimes I got chills after we did something phenomenal. Other times I would cringe at how much work we have to do. It was so much fun being able to goof off, yet be serious by singing and dancing when we needed to, with some of your best friends. Step Sing is not something meant to be taken too seriously. Of course you would prefer not to embarrass yourself in front of a sold out Wright Center, so you definitely should put hard work and effort into it, but remember to have fun along the way.
I was very fortunate because I was allowed to come help choreograph some of the dances for this years show. It was a great opportunity for me to learn under some of the top knotch veterans learning the inside of how to make an incredible Step Sing show. Of course it consisted of long nights where we stayed up until 2 in the morning in a delusional state of mind attempting to choreograph. It turned into nights of hysterical ideas that were ruled out, handstand attempts producing kicks to the face, and plenty of memories created as a result. All of that hard work finally paid off.
The first night of dress rehearsal was such a fun night! Being able to see what everyone else’s theme was, and seeing what competition you were up against was a nerve-racking time but being down on stage for the first time is an unrivaled experience. It also put things into perspective, like what you needed to fix or when you realize you have a lot more work to do if you want to beat everyone else.
After nights of performing on the Wright Center stage, it was finally time for the judges to decide on a winner. As anticipation built up, so did the excitement. The results started being released, and hopes of a victory fell to the ground, but not for us. Third place was announced, and tensions rose. Second place was called, and we were anxious with suspense. For us, it was either all or nothing. After a short delay, we were crowned the winners of Step Sing 2014! We sprinted down from the top of the balcony to meet our directors who were waiting for us on stage. Countless photographs were taken, hugs were exchanged, and cheers of excitement were proclaimed. We had “swept the stakes” for the second year in a row. I know it will be nice having bragging rights around campus for one more year.