Cheers and boos filled the Student Center Ballroom Thursday night as students performed for the Night at the Apollo. The Night at the Apollo, hosted by the Black History Month committee and sponsored by the Inclusiveness and Intercultural Services, was a re-creation of the original Apollo Theater in Harlem, N.Y., that intended to pay tribute to the artists who performed there. According to the Apollo tradition, winners were chosen based on the audience’s reaction to the performances.
Tara Stricklan, a junior advertising/public relations major, who received first place, performed “If I Ain’t Got You” by Alicia Keys. She was declared winner after receiving the most cheers and applause from the audience.
“I was a little intimidated, but it went good,” Stricklan said.
Apart from loving to perform, Stricklan said, she needed money and that is why she competed. She won $200 for taking first place.
Stricklan, who was one of the few performers who completed her entire act without ridicule, had made the audience members dance in their seats to the rhythm of her song.
Both Rashi Vats, a sophomore broadcast journalism major, and Claudia Vaz, a senior accounting and finance major, were declared first runners-up for performing an Indian dance.
Vats said performing in the Night at the Apollo was an accomplishment.
Vaz, who performed last year alone, said she was more comfortable with the crowd this year.
“I was really scared last year, but this year I was glad I was performing with (Vats),” Vaz said.
Ashanti Williams, a junior modern dance and history major, said she admired the performers, especially Alan Royal for his poem recitation.
Royal, a senior English major, recited an original poem that expressed his opinion of black culture in honor of Black History Month.
“I think it takes a lot for someone to come out here and say things that he said,” Williams said. “He really represented the rest of our feelings.”
Clorese Gray, a senior music education major, was the second runner-up.
The event had a total of seven acts, which included dances, songs and a poem recitation.
In between the performances, the organizers of this event paid tribute to the artists of the original Apollo Theater by giving a brief background on them.