By Marilyn Baer
Seven acts competed in this year’s Global Outreach Show (GOS) for a grand prize of $500. Rafiki Wa Afrika (Rafiki) hosted the event to raise money for the Ghana Student Education Fund. They raised over $400 in this year’s showcase, according to junior Alisa Nammavong, Rafiki president. The evening featured musical performances, choreographed dance routines and a fashion show with clothing from Ghana, Nigeria, the Ivory Coast and Senegal.
In order to determine this year’s champion, up to 100 points were awarded to each act.
60 percent of the points were awarded by three judges – Sally Leber, the club’s advisor; University Chaplain Jon Powers; and Residential Life Coordinator Jill Auxter. The remaining 40 percent of the points were determined by the volume of the audience’s applause.
This year’s first place winner was Cricketz, a dance group from Calvin College in Michigan.
“We entered GOS as returning champions from last year to try making a mark in a different society other than our own college campus,” said Kofi Akyeampong, a choreographer for the group.
They danced to a mix of songs including “Bad Decisions” by Trey Songz, “I Like to Move It” by Reel 2 Reel and “Kukere” by Iyanya. Akyeampong said they used the different songs to showcase the group’s different talents and styles.
They began preparing for the show by dividing up the choreography among each other and practicing daily.
“Everyone had a song or half of a song to choreograph their dance to,” he said.
“We practiced every weekday for one and a half hours for two weeks.”
Akeampong said he felt “blessed” after winning the competition.
“It just reminds us that God is on our side and he’s going to keep blessing us as long as we don’t doubt him,” he said.
The Cricketz plan on using the prize money to invest in “crew clothing to make us look better while we dance,” Akeampong said.
The second place winner was OSS (OWU Sick Steps), a new dance group comprised of Ohio Wesleyan students interested in hip-hop dance culture. They received a $200 prize for their podium performance in the show.
The dance had three choreographers: senior Yushan Hayman, freshman Nguyen Viet Quang and freshman Linh (Leah) Duong.
Each of the three choreographed their own song in their own style, Hayman said.
Duong said the group entered the show for a chance to “show off (their) talents,” and because it was for charity.
One of the group’s dancers, sophomore Prabhjot Virk, explained the group’s preparation for the show.
“Since there were three different dances to learn, each choreographer set up their own practices, and in the last week we joined them,” Virk said.
“We had practices a couple times a week for two weeks, and then almost every night the week of the show.”
Duong said hearing the group’s victory announced was “incredible.”
“I was completely speechless because we were not expecting to win anything at all,” she said. “We joined GOS with the mindset of just to have fun and do what we love, which is dancing. For us, this was just a show, not even a competition.”
Hayman said they weren’t sure yet how they’d spend their prize money.
“I think there was an idea to start a hip-hop club on campus, in which case some money might go to that, and the rest we might use to go out as a group and celebrate,” Hayman said.