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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


Cadence step team celebrates 10 years at Stony Brook

The Cadence step team hosted a celebratory event at the SAC Auditorium in honor of its 10th anniversary. (KEVIN URGILES / THE STATESMAN)

On March 28, Cadence Step Team held its celebration for its 10th anniversary in the Student Activities Center Auditorium. The stage, decorated with balloons in the team’s colors (turquoise, grey and black), was full of talent that captured the loving community that is a step team.

The event began with all the members of the Cadence Step Team coming onto the stage and filling the aisles while performing a dynamic and synchronized step routine to the song “Bottom of the River” by Delta Rae.

The team wore black zip-up hoodies and grey cargo pants. This simple attire made the team’s routine seem to flow smoothly, and its routine guaranteed that the audience was in for a treat for the rest of the night.

The hosts of the event were Nate the Great and Darien Bernal. Their quick improvisation skills throughout the night made the event seem spontaneous in nature and helped keep the audience interested between dance routines. After giving the Cadence Step Team its rightfully deserved recognition, the hosts introduced the four judges that would be determining the winner of the step competition.

The judges included three former Cadence members: Ryann Williams,  Robens Rodney and Shantel Isaacs, as well as one professional step judge, Lade Otulaja .

The first judged performance of the night was by Elite Step Team from West Haven, Conn. This team, from the University of New Haven, was led by their president, Edward Louis-Charles, and put on a step performance that successfully involved the audience without taking the spotlight away from the team members. Regardless, it would have been hard to take away the spotlight from the members of Elite due to the continuous shouts incorporated into their routine that demanded the audience’s attention. The members shouted several different things, but the line that sent the audience into a frenzy of approval was, “If you wanna be Elite you gotta use your feet.”

The team ended up receiving more applause as the audience also gave them a warm welcome to Stony Brook, which conveyed the real sentiment of the event: celebrating 10 years of Cadence and stepping as a whole.

Soon after the Elite Step Team finished their set, Strictly Steppin’ came on stage. This five-piece step team from Hofstra University made good use of the extra space they had on stage to perform a routine that lacked the customary continuous loud stomping, but was intricately executed.

Dressed in black and white prisoner outfits to fit the theme of their routine, the members of Strictly Steppin’ intertwined rhythmic stepping and dancing to show that shouting was not needed in a step routine to gain the audience’s respect.

As the team stepped off stage along to a Timbaland song it was hard to imagine that the night was far from being over.

The intermission of the event resembled a half-time show as Nate the Great kept the energy alive with a friendly dance-off for twenty dollars out of his own pocket. A Cadence member won the competition with his unique twist to the Nay Nay dance, but gave the prize money to a fellow competitor on the Elite Step Team who also put on a unique solo performance.

After the dance-off was over and some technical problems were resolved, Christel St. McCarey took the stage. The first song she sang was dedicated to all the couples present at the event and set the mood for what was expected to be a mellow intermission performance. However, this was not the case as her second song incorporated a much faster tempo with background dancers that helped amplify the energy in St. McCarey’s performance.

After St. McCarey shared her music and words of inspiration, Nate the Great announced that there would be a dance battle like the ones in the movie “Stomp the Yard.” In a joking fashion, he chose Elite Step Team as his team, leaving Pernal with Strictly Steppin’. There were three one-minute rounds in which each team had to come up with a different but powerful routine that proved to the audience that they, in fact, deserved to win the night’s event.

In the spirit of the event, both teams were just glad to be on stage again and shook hands before leaving to take their seats in the audience.

The time was getting late as the event neared its end, but the Cadence Step Team would not end the night before showing its gratitude to the Cadence alumni that made everything they had accomplished so far possible, in the words of the hosts. The auditorium went dark and the screen reflected a montage that captured the progression of Cadence from 2005 until 2013. After the video ended, Cadence stormed the stage to give the last performance of the night.

Members of Cadence were tasked with a routine that required them to stay still in certain positions as the audience members cheered at them to “hold it!” As the routine came to an end the entire auditorium was filled with the chant “C-A-D-E-N-C-E,” and there was a slight pause after to allow everyone to take in what had just happened.

In an interview, the President of the Cadence Step Team, Oludayisi Otulaja mentioned how over the past three years she has seen the team progress in many ways and that the montage had truly captured that. In her final words of acknowledgement she wanted to make it clear that “we evolved.”

It seemed as if the night was over after this routine. Both teams came off stage with a look of delight, showing how in a community that focuses on self-improvement and teamwork, one can never really lose, they can only evolve.


Correction: April 5, 2014: An earlier version of this article incorrectly named on of the step competition judges. His name was Robens Rodney, not Rodney Robens. Shantel Isaac is a Cadence alumni and Lade Otulaja is a professional judge- not the other way around.  The article has been updated to accommodate these changes.

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    CharismaApr 2, 2014 at 11:20 am

    Hi, I’m Charisma the secretary of Cadence. We appreciate the article, but that’s not our picture. And many facts in the article are wrong.