Step Squad and Hip Hop Club Mingle with Sports Teams at Annual Pep Rally


On Friday, November 11, the Worthington Johnson Athletic Center erupted in cheer.  The annual Pep Rally, put on the night before Deerfield Day, prepared the Choate community for the athletic feats ahead by featuring onstage performances and videos from select fall sports teams. However, Pep Rally also showcased the talents of two groups absent from the athletic fields: Step Squad and Hip Hop Club.

“I really liked the aspect of doing something live,” explained Alexis Walker ’17, a co-president of Step Squad. The group, which started choreographing their Pep Rally dance in mid-September, combined elements of dexterity and vocal chants to wow the Choate community.

“We actually prepared a dance specifically for Pep Rally,” stated Walker. She continued, “It wasn’t anything we had done before.” The performance consisted of Step Squad’s distinguished brand of footwork and choreography, emphasized by flashing lights and smoke. “A lot of the steps and transitions were based off a lineage of steps we’ve acquired from performances in the past,” added Shamari Harrington ’18. “We put the dance together as a group and decided to add chants to hype the crowd up while still sticking to the basics of Step’s origins.”

The appearance of Hip Hop Club was similarly eye-catching. The group, which performed later in the rally, amazed the crowd with their variety of styles and forms. Madi Epstein-O’Halloran ’18, president of Hip Hop Club, said, “Our goal with the performance was definitely to make the crowd really excited and hyped. It was a pretty long process, but I’m proud of what came of it.”

Hip Hop Club performed four dances, each set to a different song. Those songs included “Mad City” by Kendrick Lamar, “Worl’Boss” by Ape Drums, “Fight Night” by Migos, and a remix of “Needed Me” by DJ Taj.

“Onstage, it’s a little hard to gauge what people’s reactions are,” said Epstein-O’Halloran. “But I think it really hyped up the crowd. Pep Rally is a really subtle but powerful way to mix the arts and sports in something that culminates in a lot of school spirit. So, if there was ever a time when the crowd was a little dead, our work helped to get them excited again.”

Indeed, the work of Step Squad and Hip Hop Club helped bring the arts into Pep Rally. “Since videos were an option for Pep Rally this year, a lot of groups chose that over a live performance,” concluded Walker. “Seeing live dance groups onstage was especially important in bringing out pep and getting people pumped up.”


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