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Platinum Step Team brings rhythm to campus

Ever wanted to try out dancing, but feel you have no rhythm or coordination? One club on campus can help you with that: the Platinum Step Team. Platinum is a relatively new dance group on campus specializing in the style of step dance. Stepping is a unique dance style that focuses on the rhythm of stomping, clapping and other body movements that emphasize footwork and synchronization above posture or other gestures.

Nailah Dore-Tyrell ’21, a member of Platinum since her freshman year, describes step as a “percussive” style. Dore-Tyrell has participated in multiple dance groups on campus, including the Ballet Club, but enjoys that step is a style unlike any other.

“It would be most like cheerleading because you do chants, but there always has to be some kind of consistent rhythm,” said Dore-Tyrell.

In addition to stepping, Dore-Tyrell described that there is often African dance incorporated and elements of acting as well. Platinum, as many other step teams do, have every member give themselves a “step name,” a nickname that represents them in some way. Dore-Tyrell’s step name is “Magic,” a name she picked for herself. As a part of their acting, the members use the step names as a way to adopt a different attitude or a side of themselves for their performance. Many step teams in their performances will address the audience and ask “who are we?”, granting the team the chance to show off their names and different dance moves.

Dore-Tyrell hadn’t tried step before coming to Brandeis, but had relatives and friends who were on teams. Now, she competes with the team at collegiate competitions in the general Boston and New England area.

Platinum tries to compete every year, depending on the number of members they have. The last competition they attended was called “Break The Stage 2018” at Tufts University. Despite having to pull together a routine in two weeks, Platinum Step won second place! They hope to host their own competition in the spring semester.

With Toy Story as a theme, the club posted on their Instagram page (@_platinum.step), “last night was honestly a dream. we are ALWAYS proud of our team for putting our hearts out on the stage every time we leave it, but THIS.. this was incredible. we pulled this routine together on such a short time crunch, but our team STILL ended up in second place… Platinum is more than just a step team, but a family.”

Dore-Tyrell’s favorite part about being in Platinum is helping the captains and co-captains to choreograph the steps and performing on stage. “[Her fellow members] are really creative, they always come up with really good ideas!”

“I really just like how it sounds, I was always in band, so I think it’s cool when everyone can be in sync on that precise of a level and follow the rhythm,” said Dore-Tyrell. She also mentioned enjoying putting on a new persona on stage and learning the new steps.

The team took five new members this semester, and despite everyone starting from a different level of experience, everyone managed to catch up in one semester. “Even though not all of them have stepped before, they are really keeping up and are learning everything so fast!… Shout out to them because they are making us more of a team, now,” said Dore-Tyrell.

“We always want new people to come, people think it’s way too difficult or needs perfect coordination, but me and other new people were caught up in one semester. We want to encourage people to just come and try it!”

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