By Mallory Sherwood, Managing Editor
Shades found the true meaning it its name as seven new members were added to the step squad Sept. 16, allowing the 24-member club to include members from Latino, Philippino, African-American, Japanese and Caucasian descent.
“Shades is really starting to be what it was intended to be,” said Marie Thomas, Shades adviser and Nelson Hall residence director. “It is meant for all shades of people and finally in the past few years we are becoming a mixture of people.”
More than 36 students ranging from freshmen to graduate students tried out before a panel of judges, but most had to be cut.
“The judges are asked to consider their precision, technique, if they perform the steps correct, their cohesiveness with the other members, if they can recover quickly and their personality,” Thomas said.
Nichelle Wall, Shades head captain and clinical psychology graduate student agreed.
“We look at their personality and see if it matched how we are,” Wall said. “We are fun, we like to laugh and joke around. Their talent comes second because if they can’t dance and step in sync then it defeats the purpose.”
Students who auditioned were taught the moves to a step routine and a choreographed hip-hop piece and then they had four days to practice before they performed in front of the judges’ panel
“Tryouts went surprisingly smooth,” Sarah Eligado said, women’s co-captain and sophomore nursing major from San Jose, Calif., said in an e-mail. “The new members this year are a great addition to our squad. It makes me happy that they get this opportunity to experience what Shades is, beyond stepping and dancing.”
Eligado joined Shades last fall as a freshman and has loved being a part of it.
“I had never done step before, and I thought that maybe I could give it a shot,” Eligado said. “To this day, I have come to know that Shades is more than just a squad, but a family.”
Others echo this same sentiment.
“Our motto is to be a family,” Wall said. “We can talk to each other about anything, and we’re there for each other.”
She also said that Shades is more than a step squad.
“A lot of people don’t know that we work with Community in Schools,” Wall said. “We work to teach at-risk kids how to step and we try to be role models for them.”
Currently, it is working on the step routine for the Homecoming Parade and for its fall semester production in November.
“I have a feeling our audience is going to be surprised when they see what we have put together this semester,” Eligado said.