By| Lauren Coleman

 

Ballinger Productions and Entertainment is a three-year production company that is known for “The Stompdown.” BPE puts together other events such as stage plays, acting events, film festivals and other events.

The founder of BPE, Djuan Ballinger, has been event planning for over 10 years but officially put together his company in 2015. BPE’s goal is to always give back to the community.

Shericka Cunningham, Assistant Director says that she loves to work with Ballinger and the company because of the work it puts together with Greeks and local community organizations.

The company gives them, in the community, a platform to showcase their hard work. Not only gives them a platform to showcase but also helps give back through scholarship opportunities. “We are more focus on the education piece which is one of the reasons why I was attracted to it,” said Cunningham.

“The Stompdown” was hosted at Amos P Godby High School to showcase what dance groups, step teams and Greek organizations in Tallahassee have to offer.

Photo Courtesy of Lauren Coleman

Over 10 organizations participated in the showcase to show off their moves.  The organizations, groups, schools and Greeks that participated were Ridgeview High, Code Red, Beehive Elite, FSU Omega Psi Phi, Florida State and Bethune Cookman’s Tau Beta Sigma, Melodic Stepping Experience (Tallahassee and Jacksonville), FAMU Phi Mu Alpha, Rampage Step Team, FAMU Strikers, Attack Dance Crew and many other teams.

The competition categories were high school, Greek and independent. For some groups it was not about the competition but about enjoying themselves, doing what they love and getting themselves out there.

FSU Tau Beta Sigma was one of the many groups that performed, and they were looking forward to putting themselves out there. Vice President and co-step master of FSU TBS, Elizabeth Siegel, believes that performing in the stompdown was a great way to represent the sorority and their school.    

“Stepping is one of the fun things in our chapter. It’s not an identity, some chapters everyone has to step, and I think that’s what makes ours special is that you really want to step,” said Siegel.

The sorority enjoys stepping for the experience and with the Stompdown, they get to experience different styles of stepping.

For others, it was just leaving it on the stage and just performing. FAMU Strikers were the special performance of the night.

This dance team is known for their appearance on America’s Best Dance Crew and Apollo. Mark Nicholas, President of the FAMU Strikers Dance Troupe says “Any performance means a lot to us because this what we do. I think this a great opportunity for us to do something positive in the young community.” The crowd when the Strikers performed brought great energy as that were performing.

As the show was coming to its end, Djuan Ballinger and his staff came to speak with the audience and give away the one-thousand dollars scholarship that many students applied for. It was awarded to a young woman named Tyra Brown, a graduating senior at Godby High School. Brown plans to attend Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University.

Photo Courtesey of Lauren Coleman

The Stompdown ending, the winners of the high school category were in 2nd place Ridgeview High and in 1st Code Red. In the Female Greek category were in 2nd place Florida State Tau Beta Sigma and 1st Bethune Cookman Tau Beta Sigma. In the Male Greek category were 2nd FAMU Phi Mu Alpha and in 1st place FSU Omega Psi Phi. Lastly, in the independent category were in 3rd place Rampage Step Team, 2nd place Melodic Stepping Experience Tallahassee and 1st Melodic Stepping Experience Jacksonville.

The next Stompdown will take place in Tampa, FL on April 21st, 2018.

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