Diversity Showcase: Elements of Hip Hop

Samantha Mathewson

Dodds Theater filled up fast Oct. 25 for Diversity Showcase: Elements of Hip Hop, sponsored by the Elite Step Team, MEISA and the Audio Engineering Society.

The Elite Step Team opened the show with an intense performance that set the bar high and got the crowd excited for more.

The showcase started at 9 p.m. and included 12 spectacular acts. Joni Powel, a former UNH student and Elite Step Team member, visited to host the event along with senior Brittany Smith.

The Elite Step Team opened the show with an intense performance that set the bar high and got the crowd excited for more.

For freshman Danielle Cuervo, this was her second performance with the team. “I was nervous at first, but the crowd got me going,” she said. Danielle had the perfect attitude and rhythm along with the rest of the team as they stepped an awe-inspiring routine.

“Being a part of the step team feels like a second family,” Cuervo said. One could tell from their precise and in sync routine that they have spent enough time together practicing to be considered a family.

Other acts included other styles of dance, singing and performance from growing artists.

Junior Tyler Dillard, a previous performer at UNH idol, sang a heartfelt love song that moved the audience. Sophomore Marvin Fleurant changed the tempo a bit with an original rap and a surprise appearance from Nadia, who rapped along with him as they got the crowd’s hands in the air. Senior Gerald Lovelace performed third with a smoothly choreographed solo dance.

Senior James Zap, along with Benny the Bear, performed a couple songs morphed together in a fun rendition, some of which included the crowd pleasers “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” “Stand by Me,” “Beautiful Girls,” and “You’re Body is a Wonderland.” Zap made a touchingly sarcastic dedication to all of his supporters—the teachers that said he would never amount to anything and the people that used to live above him that repeatedly called the cops on him.

Following Zap, there was a special guest singer Kashmir Closs, who sang two originals.

During intermission, the Monsoon Dance Crew preformed another amazing routine that was equally electrifying. While watching, attendees did not want to miss a single beat or move.

After intermission, the claps changed to snaps for Ebunoluwa Shittu who performed a metaphorical poem called “ABC,” standing for “already been chewed,” that exceeded the PG rating upon interpretation.

Eric Neilson brought the beat back with a skillful mixture of musical talent including vocals, guitar and harmonica playing. Diandre Williams preformed two original raps, and Strange Cool and Luke D also rapped.

The best was saved for last. John Thomas, who has opened for Two Chains, sang songs that left the crowd speechless and in awe.

“I live for it (music), its what I was born to do, every time I’m on stage its electric,” Thomas said. Thomas’ music was real and reached the audience. He engaged them as he related to them on normal relationship struggles.

“I started singing in church, and I started doing shows at 16,” Thomas said. “I also did a college tour in 2012.”

The Elite Step Team couldn’t have chosen a better talent to wrap up a wonderful and diverse talent showcase. Every student performer displayed their talents, and even though it was a small crowd, it’s only the start of the path they all pave toward fame. Thomas says, “sometimes the small crowds are better.”