"Annual Step Show" celebrates West African traditions, culture
Integrating fast-paced stomps and claps with rhythm and dance, six fraternities and sororities took the stage to pay homage to West African traditions while having some fun along the way.
Founded in 1930 at Howard University, the NPHC is a national coordinating body for nine historically black sororities and fraternities.
President of NPHC at MSU and media and information senior Kristopher Johnson said that stepping traces back to West African ceremonial stomps and claps for celebration.
“For us it all boils down to our roots and our history,” Johnson said.
But that’s not the only reason so many students participate in this event.
Interdisciplinary studies in social science senior and member of Zeta Phi Beta Rachel Tate said that the whole process is a lot of fun and acts as a great bonding experience for a number of the fraternities and sororities.
“As much work as it is and as much time as it takes, at the end of the day it’s just so much fun,” Tate said. “It’s a great bonding experience for so many people and it’s a way to get together and really just enjoy your greek family.”
After practicing for the last two months, Tate said there are a lot of long nights with little sleep.
The show not only takes months to choreograph each set, but is a physically draining process.
“To put it in perspective I stomped a hole through my boot. That’s why it’s taped up,” Tate said.
Although his fraternity did not participate in the event this year, packaging senior and member of Kappa Alpha Psi Alex Flanagan said that practices are often sporadic and usually late at night.
“People work and have class,” Flanagan said. “So people will work from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. and we will have to start practicing at 2 a.m.”
Flanagan added that the show also acts as an opportunity for the MSU NPHC community to shine throughout the campus along with gaining national recognition.
“With social media being so big not only is this is chance to our organizations to show out around campus,” Flanagan said. “But on a larger scale it puts on for MSU as well because people will see this on YouTube later and see how the MSU greek community does it.”
The show consisted of six step show performances, one breaking news poem and an intermission that acted as a show in itself as a number of crowd members and participants danced through the aisles of Wharton Center for 10 minutes.
At the end of the night the final results deemed the sorority Delta Sigma Theta and the fraternity Omega Psi Phi as the winners of competition.
“We just want to do something for MSU that people can enjoy and have fun,” Tate said.