The National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) presented its fourth annual Homecoming Step Show to a full house in the Ferst Center last Friday night. The competition showcased the rhythmic talent of members from eight historically black fraternities and sororities on campus.
A time-honored percussive dance, stepping is a complex combination of modern and traditional moves that range from stomping and clapping to the vocal chants unique to each fraternity and sorority.
After the students completed their performances, the judges announced that the winners of the competition this year were both the men of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. and also the ladies of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Hosted by Honey B and DJ Outta Space from V-103, “The People’s Station,” the show was fastpaced and attracted an energetic crowd.
A number of people in the audience were student and alumni of the competing organizations, who showed their support between performances by strolling—executing a choreographed series of dance steps—and identifying themselves with their unique hand signs while simultaniously performing the calls of their affiliations.
During their performances, the members of each organization stepped to a chosen theme intended to capture the spirit of the organization.
The first team to the stage were the men of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., who initiated the show with a jailbreak routine. The ladies of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. followed with a salon theme, and the men of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. were the next to perform with an act inspired by Harry Potter. Then, the ladies of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. showed how the West was won with a cowgirl theme.
“We wanted our theme to reflect our personality, entertain the audience and be original, while developing steps that were different and challenged our organization…it took a lot of practice to make sure everyone was precise and every movement was executed the same way,” said Khrystyan Edens, member of the Xi Alpha chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and a fourth-year CHBE major.
After intermission, the ladies of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. performed as the natives of a planet preparing for battle against invaders. Next, the men of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. took the stage with a mafia theme before the ladies of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. put on a firefighting routine. Finally, the men of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. explored old school dance styles in their performance.
“The story telling in each performance made the show even more interesting…from the Deltas’ western theme, to the Alphas’ law and order based theme…the show was dynamic because of the different costumes and plot lines. The lighting this year was also phenomenal,” said Jasmine Burton, a second-year ID major who participated in advertising for the event.
While the judges deliberated, NPHC alumni showed off their skills and synchronicity in a Unity Step. The performance highlighted their dedication, precision and pride for their respective organizations.
“It was great to see how older members still could show off their moves and represent their letters with style and grace…at the end of the day, the Alumni Step represented how people of all ages and letters come together as one to influence their community. It was a powerful message,” Burton said.
The Step Show was sponsored by Auxiliary Services and the Student Government Association. It recognized the 50th anniversary of the matriculation of black students at Tech and ultimately gave the Tech community an opportunity to witness the talents of these historically black fraternities and sororities.
“Stepping is an important tradition for NPHC organizations because it gives us an opportunity to showcase our culture and have fun at the same time. [It] symbolizes our unity…as a sisterhood or brotherhood,” said Erin Wilson, member of the Xi Alpha chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and a third-year IE major.