‘Stomp the Yard’ Cast Retrospective: The Black Actors Who Made It Big

"Stomp the Yard" Cast

“Stomp the Yard” was much more than just another dance movie. With the help of a highly talented cast, the film succeeded in combining captivating choreography with raw depictions of the experiences of Black students in college.

So, where are the members of the “Stomp the Yard” cast now? How have their careers evolved since the film’s release in 2007? Keep reading to find out!

Meagan Good

“Stomp the Yard” was by no means Meagan Good’s first foray into the film industry. By the time she accepted the role of April Palmer, she had already built a career for herself. Her part in the film “Eve’s Bayou” earned her critical recognition, and she continued to establish herself as a multi-talented actress capable of playing in films from a wide range of genres, such as the action-drama “Biker Boyz,” the romantic comedy “Deliver Us From Eva,” and the dance film “You Got Served.”

Good has cited her portrayal of Coco in the 2006 film “Waist Deep” as her first lead actress role, which was quickly followed up by “Stomp the Yard” a year later. Never afraid to step out of her comfort zone, she has also since joined the cast of various horror films, including “One Missed Call,” “The Unborn,” and “Saw V.”

After mainly appearing in one-off episodes or as a recurring cast member in various TV shows throughout her early career, Good accepted an offer to play the protagonist in the primetime TV drama, “Deception,” in 2013. She would later go on to star in “Minority Report” and “Harlem,” which have recently been renewed for their third season on Amazon Prime Video.

Much like her “Stomp the Yard” co-star and childhood friend, Columbus Short, Good also reached behind the scenes to try her hand at directing and producing. In 2019, she directed and starred in “If Not Now, When?,” a film following the stories of four Black women who reunite to rekindle their long-term friendships. She is the co-founder of the production company Freedom Bridge Entertainment as well, alongside Marlon Olivera, Tamara Bass, and Ty Hodges.

Meagan Good’s multi-dimensional career stands as a testament to both her talent as an actress and her efforts to defy the stereotypical narratives depicting Black women in the entertainment industry. By deliberately selecting roles in a variety of genres and directing films that uplift Black stories, she continues to showcase the versatility of Black creators in media.

Columbus Short

Columbus Short captivated audiences with his leading role as DJ Williams in “Stomp the Yard,” showcasing his exceptional dancing skills and charismatic presence. Prior to this, he appeared in various supporting roles in films and television series like “Accepted” and “ER,” and made a notable appearance in the Disney Channel Original Series “That’s So Raven” as Trey.

Following “Stomp the Yard,” Short’s career in film expanded, with memorable roles in “Cadillac Records” as Little Richard, and in “The Losers” as Pooch, alongside Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Zoe Saldana, and Idris Elba. His portrayal in “Cadillac Records” was particularly acclaimed, earning him two awards. In 2012, he was cast in the hit TV series “Scandal,” portraying Harrison Wright for three seasons.

However, Short’s career faced challenges due to legal issues. In 2014, amidst various personal and legal problems, including arrests related to domestic violence and public altercations, he exited “Scandal.” These issues significantly impacted his public image and career trajectory.

Aside from acting, Short is also an accomplished dancer and choreographer, having started his career as a background dancer for Brandy and later working as a choreographer and creative tour director for Britney Spears’s “Onyx Hotel Tour.”

Short also ventured into production with the founding of Great Picture Show Productions in 2005. Under this banner, he produced and directed “Stomp the Yard 2: Homecoming” and “Strange Fruit,” a film about a young biracial girl’s journey to discover her heritage.

Despite the setbacks, Short continued to pursue his creative endeavors, making his authorial and musical debuts in 2021 with the release of a book, “Short Stories,” and a single, “Aquarium.”

Darrin Dewitt Henson

Like Meagan Good, Darrin Dewitt Henson had already established himself as an important figure in the entertainment industry prior to his role in “Stomp the Yard.” He showed off his skills as a dancer in 2001 in the instructional video “Darrin’s Dance Grooves” before moving on to choreograph music videos and concerts for immensely popular musicians, including New Kids on the Block, Jordan Knight, Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys, Hi-Five, 98 Degrees, The Spice Girls, and NSYNC. His work on NSYNC’s famous “Bye Bye Bye” music video earned him the MTV Video Music Award for Best Choreography in 2000.

Henson is also widely beloved for his portrayal of Lem Van Adams on the Showtime TV series “Soul Food.” The show was one of the first successful, long-running television dramas featuring a predominantly Black cast. On air from 2000 to 2004, “Soul Food” won the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Drama Series three years in a row. Henson himself was nominated twice in the category for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series.

Two decades later, Henson continues to act in film and on television. He joined the main cast of the ALLBLK original show “Double Cross” from 2020 to 2023 and is currently starring in the BET drama series “The Family Business.” Similar to his “Stomp the Yard” co-stars, Henson has also added directing to his list of skills, having directed the film “Violation” in 2003.

Darrin Dewitt Henson’s impact lives on in the entertainment industry through his revolutionary contributions to choreography, his treasured performance in “Soul Food,” and his ongoing commitment to on-screen storytelling.

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