The lights dim after the first half of the home basketball game versus Central Missouri. Students immediately began grabbing their things, heading for the concession stand, thinking that this half-time will be just like any other. Instead, the students are surprised by an energetic group of seven girls making huge noise, wearing big boots and an even bigger attitude. Students were amazed at Western’s new step team called “Sounds of Ambition” during their breakout performance at the basketball game just a couple weeks ago. And since this game, the noise hasn’t stopped.
“I was actually a stepper in high school, and we used to perform during half-time at basketball games,” DeNae’ Williams, team captain said while recapping the half-time performance. “It was like going back down memory lane for me.”
Williams said that Sounds of Ambition was created to give the girls a way to express themselves with a unique form of art and show others what they are about.
“I chose the name Sounds of Ambition because we’re all ambitious young ladies, and we’re all striving for different goals, but we all want the same thing: we want to reach success in what we’re doing,” Williams said.
Sounds of Ambition, which is sponsored by Western’s Green Dot program, has performed at numerous competitions, schools and places in both Kansas City and St. Joseph, such as East Hills Mall and the step shows here on campus. The girls also won the Big 12 step show conference at the University of Missouri, which was their first competition and first performance. In addition to this, the girls won the female division of the Alpha step show at Western last year and took home $1,000.
New team member Amber Anaya feels that the step team was a great opportunity to be a part of something, which was what made her sign up for it.
“DeNae’ and I used to be suitemates, and when she told me she was on a step team I was like ‘Sweet! I would love to be on a step team!’” Anaya said. “I love it. All the teammates are just awesome, and I can’t wait to perform again.”
Basketball player Charlonda Bozeman, who saw the half-time performance, said she felt the step team really has something to offer with a unique blend of dance and step, along with raw talent.
“The step team had a unique collaboration of putting all the steps together,” Bozeman said. “They all have talent and it shows that they have been working very hard to perform on this campus. You have to be dedicated to step like that.”
The team currently has seven members, yet welcomes anyone to come give it a try. They are looking to obtain recognition as a campus organization and are currently preparing for their next competition, which is the Alpha step show held on campus March 31.