Greeks step to the rhythm

Photo by John Nakano

On Friday, Oct. 30, Tech’s National Pan-Hellenic Council hosted its 8th annual Homecoming step show. Of the nine sororities and fraternities that are part of NPHC, six participated — Alpha Phi Alpha, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Omega Ksi Phi, Delta Sigma Theta, Phi Beta Sigma and Zeta Phi Beta. Half are sororities and half are fraternities. The Step Show is NPHC’s biggest event all year as it reaches out to the most diverse audiences.

Alexandria Holloway, a fourth-year EE, President of NPHC and sister in Tech’s Zeta Phi Beta chapter, sat down to speak about the step show. She played a large role in the preparation of the show through overseeing jobs, ensuring sufficient funds, finding people to host and DJ the show and keeping up with tickets and scheduling. She described it as a stressful and exciting experience.

All chapters that are part of NPHC participated in some way. If they didn’t step, they volunteered the day of the event or participated through some forum. As most of these chapters at Tech are small, each step team ranged from about three to eight members. Some of them took participants from neighboring colleges. Planning for the event began spring of 2015 and some teams began practices as early as summer break. Some of the teams with members who were experienced with step did choreography on their own, while other teams took the guidance of step coaches.

Contrary to what some people may think, stepping is not exactly dancing. “I call [stepping] a song with your body. It’s different from dancing … it’s like creating the music on your own. It’s great,” explained Alexandria.

Rehearsal for the show began at the Ferst Center at 2:00 in the afternoon and lasted until 5:00. The ladies had to dress up in costume and wigs. “I had my wig on when I was running back and forth between backstage and the front of the Ferst Center,” said Alexandria. The doors for the show opened at 6:30 p.m.

There were a total of seven step performances, one for each participating team in addition to the intermission piece. This year an impressive high school team performed the intermission number. Every year each team tells a story of a certain theme through its stepping. This year the team themes included Star Wars, basketball, haunted hotels, The Matrix and astronauts. One team even did a theme with a message that black lives matter. “We wore the concierge business attire, and the team with the Star Wars theme wore Jedi costumes. The costume depended on the theme,” said Alexandria.

Eight judges from the National Pan-Hellenic Council came. The judges were step masters themselves. The top fraternity — Phi Beta Sigma — and the top sorority — Delta Sigma Theta — were each awarded a trophy as well as one thousand dollars. The people of NPHC both enjoyed the experience, and are relieved to have a break from the planning.