Step Fest was D.O.P.E

step festOn Friday February 26, 2016, Ithaca College’s one and only step filled Emerson Suites to showcase what stepping is all about.

At the event, the Ithaca step team only formerly known as the “IC Steppers” announced that the club will now be known as D.O.P.E Steppers which stands for “Dedicated, Overachieving, Precise, Entertaining” Steppers of Ithaca College.

Hosted by Elijahda Warner and featuring Pulse, Ground Up Crew, IC Beat Boxing, and Island Fusion, the audience was filled with a diverse and high-energy crowd.

Step Fest was put together by the members of the step team and it has been something they have been working on for months. Step is often known as a form of dance that is performed through using the body as a source of sound. The rhythms are created through fast claps, stomps, chants, and sometimes spoken word. Stepping is very popular in sororities and fraternities and originated from many African dances.

Step Fest was unique because it was the first of it’s kind ever happen at Ithaca College. “We’ve been planning this since last spring semester,” said Mariel Marshall a junior applied psychology major and captain of D.O.P.E. “We performed six routines. It’s special because when you see step shows, it’s usually one routine per team.”

The step team is it’s only of its kind of campus. “We’re the only step team on campus versus all the dance teams that we have!” added Marshall.

With Emerson Suites filled to capacity, the show spanned over a two-hour period. Throughout the performances, there were cheers from attendees from the fascination of stunts and choreography that D.O.P.E exhibited.

“I think that people are fascinated with the motion and muscle movement that it takes to rhythmically keep a step flowing,” said Margaurite Thorborne a sophomore sociology major that has been on the team for two years. “Even though it looks difficult at first when taking the time to practice and break it down and manipulate the step, its more exciting and interesting for one to gravitate the team.”

“When it comes down to step, it’s serious. Some people give up within the first few practices. It’s something that takes dedication. The people you see doing it really want to do it because it has a special meaning to them.” said Mariel.

The club practices on Friday night from 6-8pm and Saturday from 2:30-4pm in the Fitness Center and welcomes all to join!