Disney STEP Classic

Step groups can step right up for the annual Disney STEP Classic at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in the Walt Disney World Resort, coming Feb. 18 to 19, 2012.

“Disney’s STEP Classic is more than a show; it’s the stepping experience of a lifetime for young steppers,” said Keith Belton, executive director of the National Step Show Alliance (NSSA) and Certified Step Judge in a press release. “Disney has a great respect for the stepping art form, and this event reflects that.”

New in 2012 is a division for educational and community center groups whose members are all ages 14 and under. The competition also offers divisions for community centers and middle/high school teams with participants up to age 19 and community college groups, club teams and Greek organizations ages 18 and up.

Besides the competition itself, groups can participate in a Master STEP Workshop and the new Disney STEP Classic Leadership Workshop. In the past, groups competed for a $5,000 prize, but now the winner will receive the national title and the Mousecar Trophy.

“This update aligns the Disney STEP Classic with the other performing competitions produced by Disney and focuses on the performance experience, the opportunity to interact with other step teams and enrichment activities,” says Sarah Domenech, public relations manager for Disney Worldwide Sales and Travel Operations.

Last year’s champion was Gentlemen of Vision, a mentoring program for economically disadvantaged males from St. Louis, Mo. The group used the prize money for scholarships and looks back fondly on the experience.

“100 percent of these young men had never been to Disney at all,” says founder Marlon Wharton. “It was a new and life-changing experience, and the whole journey of how we got there and to actually win was like a dream come true. I had a lot of guys who were emotional and cried tears because of how much it changed our lives.”