Step Sing has been a Samford tradition since 1951. For over 70 years, students from across campus have come together to sing and dance for family and friends. Now, in 2021, it has grown into a three-week, campus-wide phenomenon. Directors work tirelessly to execute iconic dances that will be show-stopping, and audiences now come from all over the country to watch their favorite teams compete. However, this year, there is new tension in the air. The COVID-19 Omicron variant is on the rise in Alabama, and students do not want Step Sing to be canceled again like it was last year. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, if a certain number of people in a Step Sing group test positive for the virus, the entire team will be cut entirely from the program.
Despite the looming possibility of being cut, students all across campus and in all four years of study are excited for the upcoming show.
Allie Blain, freshman and first time Step Sing member and director, said she’s experiencing mixed emotions.
“I am overwhelmed but so excited! It is an honor to get to serve in this way and I love seeing ideas that we have had turn into these amazing dance routines,” she said.
Other students said the sheer magnitude of the production is especially exciting.
“It feels so great to be with a group of guys to work on something this big. The atmosphere is great,” Will Mason, member of the Dudes-A-Plenty group, said.
Directors and dancers alike have adapted protocols to ensure the safety and participation hopes of their entire team. Every group is required to wear masks while they practice, yet many participants have commented that this has not inhibited their excitement for the show.
“We are wearing masks,” Dudes-A-Plenty member Andrew Mintz said “However, it honestly has not turned out to be too much of an issue, and all the guys still make it a blast.”
Freshman Grace Koester agreed that wearing masks has not affected the positive experience that she has had so far.
“It is so fun to sing and dance with friends and make new friendships every day. Although we have to wear masks and it is a possibility we will have to wear them in the show, the overall experience has not been affected!” Koester said.
Older students, such as Maci Johnsey and Bayley Levine, said they couldn’t believe it has been two years since the last Step Sing.
“Everyone is in high spirits about the show and doing their part so we can continue,” Johnsey said.
For some, this Samford tradition has been a formative part of their time at Samford.
“I am so grateful that I get to do Step Sing one last time before I graduate in April,” Levine said.
Even behind the scenes, there are safety measures in place to encourage safety throughout the entire show.
“It is really important that we all stay protected because if one person is sick, the entire crew is affected. Every person on the team has a really important role,” Wheaton Bailey, Chief Engineer for Samford’s Media Center said.
The overall mood on campus is one of positivity and excitement as students prepare for the show.
“Being apart of Step Sing again and watching the campus fall back in love with it has been so sweet,” Mary Kate McCrudden, a prop girl for Dudes-A-Plenty, said.
Step Sing 2022 is set for Jan. 27-29 in the Wright Center. Tickets can be purchased on Samford’s website.