There is an unparalleled fervor in Homewood during January. All across Samford’s campus, students of all ages and groups have been preparing for Step Sing, Samford’s great tradition that seems to quite literally take over the school. From the two hosts to group directors to participants themselves, students have been putting in unparalleled dedication to what can only be described as High School Musical on steroids.
With this dedication comes inevitable wear and tear, with the strain of Step Sing beginning to catch up to participants and directors alike.
“Step Sing is so stressful,” Chi Omega participant Sophie McRoy said. “It’s a huge time commitment. It’s been hard to find free time recently, which certainly creates some fatigue.”
When you look at it, Step Sing is quite an undertaking. Students who participate must learn a fully choreographed, complex dance routine accompanied by strong vocals. They must learn various signature moves to incorporate into their shows and be judged by a committee that last year included Simon Lythgoe, American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance producer and other premier experts in the theater/dance field. Family members from all over the country travel to watch them perform.
All this happens in addition to a full-time college schedule that includes strenuous classes, jobs and other extracurricular activities.
Directors, perhaps, have an even bigger responsibility and time commitment than the participants themselves. They are selected months before Step Sing, and are consistently preparing, planning, and organizing their shows to a T.
“As a director, it’s my complete life. 24/7,” Phi Mu Director Kate Gunn said. “It’s been months of preparation. It’s fun and rewarding, but I haven’t slept well in a long time.”
However, Step Sing participants are not the only ones feeling the burn. Those who aren’t in the show, such as Dray Tennant, a Lambda Chi, think that “there is a social strain for sure. I can’t hang out with the people I normally hang out with. I can see the fatigue on my friends’ faces in the mornings, and it’s tough, but they’re resilient. It’s a hard time for everybody.”
Despite all of the stress, Step Sing is not a detriment to campus. On the contrary, it adds so much color and cheer to students and their families alike, and seeing the shows executed come Step Sing week is truly a sight to behold. Unfortunately, the burnout and stress it brings is very much real and should not be ignored.
Unless, of course, you have the mentality of Dudes-A-Plenty member Brady Blackburn.
“It’s really not that stressful. It’s everything you make it.”