Steps Made Xcellent members, along with guest organizations, told the story of two feuding dance groups at SMX Evolution, its second annual showcase March 30 in Giltz Auditorium in Hawkins Hall at Plattsburgh State.
The event told the story of a dancer named Simone and her friends trying out for a dance group, but later starting their own after they are rejected for the way they add music to the classic step-dancing style that is traditionally done without it. They bring this story to life through expressive movement, vibrant costuming and dialogue from a voice-over.
The show was comprised of seven acts with guest performers like Dance Corps, African Unity and rapper WE$.
“We have a lot of new performers this year especially solo performers,” SMX President Natasha Winston Clarke said. “If we see the talent is there, we’ll ask.”
Dance Corps member Jeraya Kelly said SMX worked hard on its routine.
“We had to learn how to execute our dance so that we made ourselves look good, but also so that we made SMX look good,” Kelly said.
The host for the evening was PSUC alumnus Darlloyd Petteway, founder and creator of SMX. He provided lively commentary between each act, introducing the next act as well as voicing his opinions on the previous act.
Petteway kept the crowd of about 70 people enthused and participating, occasionally asking if anyone could rap or sing, inviting them on stage. Only a couple people volunteered to come up, but the two-sided communication made it feel more intimate. About halfway into the show, he had the entire audience singing “Act Up” by City Girls.
“We’re really enjoying listening to the guy talk,” freshman Sandra Shchegol who attended the event said. “He has the most interesting commentary on everything.”
The show finished with a dance battle between the two dance groups in a final act titled “The Battle.” After it was over, Petteway had the audience vote for the winner by clapping the loudest for the team they prefer. Simone’s team, or Steps Made Visionary, won by a landslide.
“The objective of the show is in the title, its SMX evolution,” Winston Clarke said. “It’s to evolve from our previous show. We’re back, we’re better [and] we’re here. It’s supposed to exemplify the whole club and where we are now. We were just getting things going, but now we’re trying to define our place here and also hopefully compete at other schools and nationally.”