As Halloween slowly creeps around the corner, The University for Women and The Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science student bodies organized a Fright Fest competition on Saturday, Oct. 21 to celebrate their passion for dance and the upcoming Hallows’ Eve.
Alongside commentary from two entertaining MUW students, the MSMS Fashion Board presented a fashion walk, costumed in eerie outfits of decades past and painted in masks of bloody red. While the local Passion Elite Dance Company and MUW’s Audacity Dance Team showed off their dance moves, the competitors of the step competition were MSMS’s very own Blu Diamondz and Blue Knights.
Both teams have been hard at work preparing for the step show for weeks. Blu Diamondz advisor, LaToya Bledsoe, describes the practice efforts of the team.
“They practice on Tuesdays and Thursdays weekly; however, leading up to the show practices were a bit intense to prepare for the event. The Blu Diamondz also sent videos of the steps, etc. to the members to help prepare outside of actual practice time, which was helpful,” Bledsoe stated.
Similarly, junior member of Blue Knights, Ezra McWilliams, explains that lots of teamwork and determination is put into the team’s performances.
“To prepare for the show, we split up into groups where we can get the routine done efficiently, and then we would come up together to see everyone’s progress. We would continue our routine until we perfected it. Sometimes, we would start off slow and gradually build our speed and power, making our presence felt and making a bold statement,” McWilliams described.
After both teams strolled down the aisles of Nissan Auditorium and stomped to the beat of their creative steps, the judges deemed Blue Knights as the winners of the competition and Blu Diamondz were close behind in second place.
“The performance was great; it was not only an honor to compete with the likes of Blu Diamondz, but also a pleasure of triumphing over them as well. I have a feeling that they will come back stronger, better, and more united against adversity. I have no doubt in my mind they are going to bring the fight to the Blue Knights and any other step team that even dares rival them,” McWilliams commented.
Blu Diamondz and Blue Knights bring unique entertainment and a sense of family to the members of these step teams.
Ta’Kiya Moore, co-captain of Blu Diamondz, describes her involvement as a senior who stepped for the group throughout her MSMS years.
“My experience participating in step shows as a member of Blu Diamondz has been the same since I’ve arrived at MSMS. You spend a lot of time practicing and teaching to make sure everything is perfect. On the day of performance, you get butterflies because you’re anxious, excited, and nervous, but after you actually perform, you realize it wasn’t as bad as you expected it to be,” Moore said.
The Fright Fest concluded with both teams celebrating their victories, their hard-work and effort showcased to a supportive audience of local community members.