March 30th, 2007 12:19 EST
Eating bugs and climbing miniature cliffs are activities usually seen on Fear Factor, but students participated in these and other adventures during Late Knights Saturday.
The Orlando Science Center encouraged students to eat dead larva of beetles, stating that the creatures serve as a good source of protein and boost energy. Many types of insects appear on menus today. Bugs remain a traditional food in many cultures across Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Despite the benefits, freshman psychology major, Kristen Horton, was still hesitant about consuming one of the golden-brown, worm-like creatures.
"It wasn`t bad," Horton said. "It tastes like a Cheeto, but it was a little hard to get down. Horton popped in a mint moments after swallowing the larva.
Jedidja "J.J." Charles and UCFs Knightcast radio 305 teamed up to provide the music for the dance competition and the entire event. Sounds of Destiny`s Child`s "Bootylicious" and Shakira`s "Hips Don`t Lie" boomed from the speakers, summoning students to the front of the Union.
Throughout the entire night the D.J. played a variety of music, including the popular Cha-Cha, Slide and the Miami Shuffle, which were songs that got most people on their feet. Advertising/public relations major, Aleta Gaskin, said, "Overall, the music is great and I like the songs that motivate everyone to participate and dance."
Both dances require the ability to stay on beat and maintain accurate footwork. Some scanned the feet of their neighbors, trying to get the steps right. Most dancers confidently swayed their hips while their feet glided across the floor.
About 12 students raced to the dance floor when the Knightcast crew announced the dance competition. Contestants danced for about five minutes to a mix of various songs. Some students thrust themselves into backward flips while others sprang across the dance floor on their hands, resembling cart wheels. Onlinka Crusoe and Sheree Carter did the "Harlem Shake" by jerking their shoulders from side to side and moving their legs, all while maintaining a connection with the audience. One of the dance participants leaped toward the sky and landed on the ground in a perfect split.
Four members of Knightcast selected their favorite contestant based on effort, creativity, and overall ability to dance. The crowd demanded a dance off between the four finalists and, in the end, Tiffany Roebuck, 23, won the competition and walked away with a $20 Target gift card.
"I`m just having fun tonight with my team mates," Roebuck, a member of the UCFs girl`s track team, said. "The club really isn`t my scene; so, Late Knights is fun for me."
While some students resembled acrobats on the dance floor, others could be found looking like Spiderman on the rock wall. Orlando`s Aiguille Rock Climbing Center set up a 24-foot rock wall in front of the Union. Students lined up but were required, first, to sign a waiver of liability. Gaskin said that she used some prior experience to help make it to the top.
"I`ve been rock climbing in the gym a number of times, so I know the basic technique," Gaskin said. "For me, climbing is a fun way to get some exercise."
Other climbers tested their skills by racing friends or the digital timer mounted on top of the wall.
Along with the dance competition and bingo games, trivia questions allowed more Late Knighters to win prizes. Andretta Williams, 20, smiled like a kid in Toys R` Us when she won a sleeping bag. Williams correctly answered the question, "What is Late Knights?`
Toward the end of the event, three members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority commanded the crowd`s attention when they strolled to Cheryl Lynn`s 1978 hit "Go to Be Real." Dating back to the 1930s, strolling is a tradition among multicultural fraternities and sororities. Participants form a line and combine forceful stomps to the ground with smooth dance moves. Once the D.J. announced the Deltas and played their stroll song, students watched attentively and tapped their feet to the beat of the music.
Along with the activities, free food and prizes, Late Knights is a chance for both students and Late Knights coordinators to have fun and meet other people. Jeremi Cheeks, student director for Late Knights, has been involved with these events since his freshman year.
"I have many memories from Late Knights, but overall I just like meeting the new people who come out each time." Cheeks said.
The next Late Knights is April 17 from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. at Academic Village, near the Recreation and Wellness Center.
Late Knights is a student-run organization under the Office of Student Involvement (OSI). The purpose of Late Knights is to provide a late-night, non-alcoholic atmosphere in a safe and convenient location for students.
For More Information about Late Knights go to http://lateknights.getinvolveducf.com/