Soul Steppers Show Up & Show Out Drill Team and Drumline Competition pounded into Michigan City High School on Saturday night. The 7th annual competition invites drill teams from around the Midwest to compete for trophies and cash prizes.
The Michigan City Soul Steppers are regionally famous drill team which got its start 14 years ago. Founder of the group Lyn Isbell has been inspired since the very start, “It was a very last month of the 2000 year when the lord came down and whispered in my ear. He came down and said ‘Go ahead Lyn, do what you gotta do. Just ask in my name and I will see you through.' So I formed the Soul Steppers by the next early light.”
The competition has been going since seven years after the Soul Steppers first got their start. This year, though, seven teams were entered in the contest. Even though that’s a small number for this event, Isbell was positive, “It’s been a tough year due to the economy and not everyone had the funds to get here, but I think it’s going to still be a great night. We have very good competitors lined up. It’s going to be very exciting.”
Seven teams, which included the Invincible Regulating Striders, Trojan Nation, Elite Striders, Marching Cobras, Metropolitan Youth Program, and more, hailed from Illinois, Ohio, Iowa, Indiana, and Missouri. Each group amped up their spirit and gave it their all. Sava Robinson, who is a adult leader for the Metropolitan Youth Program from Rock Island, Illinois, said that the dedication the kids give to be in a drill team is unparalleled, “They make this a priority. We make this a focus along with their grades and entering our kids into programs where they can be acknowledged for things like college. So, I’m definitely proud of these young men and women for coming back everyday to do something that they do well.”
The competitions like this are year round events for all of the drill teams who participated. Each of them support others by going to their events around the Midwest. The Show Up and Show Out night is just one of many they give their heart and soul to.
The drumline competition made their cases to collect first place after the Junior Soul Steppers welcomed everyone to their hometown. Armed with drums of various sizes, drummers of all ages banged with vigor while keeping in sync with their teammates. From covering their eyes, laying on the floor, and drumming on each others drums, the teams brought out their best tricks to catch the attention of the judges.
After their round was completed they joined back in to be apart of the drill team competition. Each team was donned in colorful outfits that featured everything from feathers, to tassels, and rhinestones. The level of energy that each team gave showed that this event is incomparable to any other contest like it in the area. Every single one was a marvel to watch as the performances drill on. They too brought out all they could to be considered the winner, which included flags and pop up screens. In addition to the dancers, the drums were so loud that it could be heard from the parking lot. The attendees added to the loudness as they cheered and stomped through the performances when they supported their team.
Each team showed their passion, and in return, it was a great event to watch. In the end the Invincible Regulating Striders from Dayton, Ohio took home the biggest trophy of the night but all of them were worthy of first place. Until the next time the Soul Steppers hold their Show Up and Show Out, Michigan City will have to wait to hear the rattle of a great and thunderous tradition.