UpStaged Scholastic Productions Will Host UPSTAGED 1: STEP AND THE CITY NCPA Step Dance Championships

By: Jan. 15, 2020
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UpStaged Scholastic Productions Will Host UPSTAGED 1: STEP AND THE CITY NCPA Step Dance Championships

UpStaged Scholastic Productions, a diversified student performer platform, will host UpStaged 1: Step and the City, the National Collegiate Performing Arts (NCPA) ™ Step Championship on Saturday, February 8, 2020, at 7.30pm at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center (1941 Broadway at W. 65th St).

Tickets for UpStaged 1: Step and the City are $49-199 and available by visiting, calling 212.721.6500, or in-person at the box office of Alice Tully Hall. For more information on UpStaged, visit

The winner of the 16-team bracket-style competition will walk away with the UpStaged College National Champion title, and top finalists will receive UpStaged NCPA Step All-American recognition, and a share in over $5,000 in prize money. Step, talent, and modeling agents will be in attendance to select performers for Step Afrika and Off-Broadway's Stomp, as well other talent and modeling castings.

UpStaged 1: Step and the City features a dynamic new performing arts championship format, like collegiate athletic brackets, with one on one matches in quarters, semis, and finals, where the winner advances in NCAA tournament style. Celebrity judges include the legendary star of Off-Broadway's Stomp, John Sawicki, and Step Afrika CEO/founder Brian Williams.

Scheduled during the height of New York Fashion Week at the largest U.S. performing arts center, the championship line-up features top teams from Brandeis University, Emory University, Mercy College, Pace University, St. John's University, Syracuse University, Temple University, Tufts University, Williams College, and Yale University, with additional teams to be confirmed.

Featured in the films Stomp the Yard and Spike Lee's School Daze, and the documentary Step, step dance is rooted in African-American competitive group song and dance rituals incorporating the entire body as an instrument to produce rhythms and sounds involving aspects of cheer, gymnastics, breakdance, drill team, and call-and-response.

Step represents the first among many performing genres, like NCAA sports, for which UpStaged is building competitions. Currently, 480,000 NCAA athletes are efficiently organized and marketed in 19-21 men's and women's sports, while 7.5 million college and high school performers in 35 genres remain a fragmented landscape without overriding national structure.

UpStaged Scholastic Productions founder Stephan Hartman, a Wall Street veteran, and builder of sports and entertainment properties (i.e. the US Sports Film Festival) said, "As a passionate fan of both performing arts and sports, I asked myself why can't dedicated college and high school performers compete for gospel, comedy, dance, and other genre championships on the same big stage as student athletes?

I wondered, is it just because it's never been done before? That question compelled us to create UpStaged as a market disrupter to empower our nation's student performers to enthusiastically celebrate the joy of competition like their athletic peers. Of all the businesses I've built or funded over 30 years, I've rarely had such overwhelming industry professional ratification of a market opportunity."

"These championships featuring college rivalries in a 'mano a mano' bracket format are unprecedented and raise the bar, altering the way stepping, and college performing arts, will be viewed," said Gari McCarter, featured step coach in the Sundance Film Festival Award-winning Step documentary. "I can't wait to see what the teams bring to the floor and how UpStaged builds upon this inaugural competition."

Creating structure through its NCPA in-theater championships like the a cappella competitions popularized in the iconic Pitch Perfect films, UpStaged enables student performers to compete like athletes for championships, glory, and pride. The rivalries, storylines, and proprietary content transform this huge demographically attractive fragmented student performer market into a cohesive UpStaged community.

UpStaged leverages this captive student performer community asset to build the broader aggregator platform, including performer/show profiles (i.e. IMDB), national genre rankings (I.e. AP Rankings), college/high school show crowdfunding, high school performer recruiting, and performing arts program rankings, further consolidating the student performers across genres.