Chase Runyan, a senior political science major, took home third place for his guitar skills at Ship’s Got Talent. Runyan’s performance combined classic rock tunes with showmanship as he played behind his head, channeling Jimi Hendrix.
“The only time I’ve ever been able to play in front of people is outside Richard on the weekends,” Runyan explained. When friends told Runyan about the talent show, he signed up immediately.
“[Guitar] has been my biggest interest pretty much my whole life,” Runyan said. He has been playing guitar for almost 15 years and felt great after placing third at Ship’s Got Talent on Saturday, Runyan said. Runyan would like to thank his friends for not only encouraging him to sign up but for coming out to see the performance
Urban Flow, a dance group, secured second place. Their performance was theatrical, and incorporated choreographed lighting, lots of props and an underlying story that connected the varied dance numbers.
Performers tonight included Kyle Johnson (Kreator), Steven Thompson (Steve), Jerell Clarke (Rell), Nequwan Ali (Quwan), Zaire Foushee (Zah), Menwon Sakepidah (JP), Micheal Williams (Big Mike), and Jordan Horn, who mixed the show’s music.
“When we dance, we put on a show. We add lighting, skits, props and energy,” Johnson said, “Fall 2021 semester was when Steven [vice president] and I decided to incorporate storytelling into our dances.” Their show on Saturday was meant to show the campus that Urban Flow isn’t just any dance group, Johnson, president of Urban Flow, said.
Though the group gained its numbers in fall 2021, Urban Flow has been together for two years. Johnson and Thompson started the group in 2019 and were joined by Clarke and Na’sir Greer just before the pandemic in 2020.
“Last week was a tough time for the whole group, but we came together at the end,” Johnson said, and remarked that taking home second place was “bittersweet.” The group hopes to keep performing and is working to secure more performance dates in the future, which will be announced on their Instagram (@ship.urbanflow) and Tiktok (@urbanflowonly).
Urban Flow would like to thank Ms. Diane Jefferson and the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs for their constant support, the APB for providing a stage, and the members of Urban Flow who were unable to perform (Greer, Tamara Hightower and Jarett Scott).
Bella Irwin, a senior, won first place at Ship’s Got Talent for a heartfelt original song. Irwin’s performance was dedicated to her brother, Trent Irwin, who passed away in September 2021.
“I have a hard time expressing myself and I’m usually always positive around friends, family and people in general. Performing allows me to express myself in a way that I am more comfortable with,” Irwin said. She has been writing songs and playing ukulele since she was 15 but also started teaching herself piano at 12.
“I have had a lot going on throughout my entire college experience, and a lot of people don’t even know,” Irwin explained. Using music allows Irwin to show a side of herself she would normally hide and provides her with an outlet.
Irwin was grateful for her win, but also said she thought every performance was amazing and handed out her bouquet of flowers to fellow performers.
“Everyone was a winner last night,” Irwin said, “Their performances were all so special.”
Irwin thanks her parents and little sister Gigi for their endless support, and also Clarence Johnson, “for making me sign up for Ship’s Got Talent and constantly encouraging me to put myself out there.”
Irwin’s original music and covers are available on her Youtube channel (@Bella Irwin).