Hundreds of people filled the bleachers of the Packer Hall gym last Friday night, but they weren’t waiting for the start of a basketball game. Bobbing their heads and moving their shoulders to music, the members of the audience were all anxiously awaiting the start of the Inter-Greek Council’s Step Show.
Now in its eighth year, the Step Show gives the Greek organizations on campus the opportunity to show off their best dance moves. Seven organizations competed in the event this year and two winners were selected, one sorority and one fraternity.
According to Tim Wilkinson, adviser for the Inter-Greek Council (IGC), some teams included students from the College, while others were the organization’s regional or national step team.
The Step Show didn’t have a dull moment. Performances included everything from dancing and traditional stepping to drumming and comedic acts. Some of the fraternity routines even featured special sections for the ladies or, basically, time for provocative dance moves.
Following the tradition of ladies first, the sororities took the stage before the fraternities. Chi Upsilon Sigma (CUS), Lambda Tau Omega (LTO), Mu Sigma Upsilon (MSU) and Sigma Gamma Rho (SGR) all had teams in the competition.
SGR was chosen as the winning step team among the sororities. The ladies of SGR wore blue and gold, representing their group’s colors. In addition to traditional dancing and stepping, the SGR team incorporated some gymnastics and drumming into their routine. Team members used canes and drum sticks wrapped in blue and gold ribbon to make their own music.
The crowd cheered on SGR throughout their performance.
“It went really well,” Nicole Washington, junior elementary education and psychology major and member of the SGR team, said. “We all performed with a lot of energy and that was good. No one messed up.”
Although there was only one winning sorority, the other teams also gave the audience energetic performances.
LTO was chosen as the runner-up for the sororities. During one of their most difficult moves, the girls stood in a line, lifted up one of their legs for the girl behind them to hold and stepped just like that.
Members of the MSU team shocked the audience when they lay on the gym floor and proceeded to step while on their backs. The team also danced along to the popular Destiny’s Child song “Lose My Breath.”
Meanwhile, the ladies of CUS had a comedic start to their routine. They came out fumbling around and not in sync at all. The audience may have been disappointed at first, but only until one of the team members let them in on the secret. “April Fool’s y’all,” she said, before the sorority members went into their real routine.
Phi Beta Sigma (PBS) was the winning fraternity at the Step Show. The team went all out for its routine, even setting up fake judges to give commentary during it. The fraternity members wore black pants, dress shirts, suspenders and hats with feathers.
Their unique routine, which at one point featured the seven team members sitting around a table drumming a beat, was filled with comedic moments: the guys posing for pictures, the fake judges talking about how great the routine was and even dancing to Vanessa Carlton’s “A Thousand Miles.”
By the end of PBS’s performance, the entire audience was on its feet giving the team a standing ovation.
“I thought it was great,” LaToya Wymn, sophomore English major, said. “The Phi Beta Sigmas did their thing.”
The brothers of Lambda Sigma Upsilon (LSU) and Alpha Phi Alpha (APA) also gave the audience plenty to talk about.
The LSU team wore baby blue camouflage plants and black shirts and vests. Their act included some serious stepping, a slow motion action skit and a show for the ladies. The team members first sang along to an oldie before slowing it down to an R&B song with some very provocative dance moves that involved the gym floor.
Manny Santana, senior criminology and justice studies major and LSU brother, came out to support his organization’s national step team.
“I think we performed really well and the turnout was great,” he said.
The Alpha Phi Alpha team, which was chosen as the runner-up for the fraternities, centered its routine on a skit that involved fraternity pledges and their pledge masters. The pledges had to step to the standards of their fraternity or risk being whipped by the fraternity paddle.
According to Wilkinson, by the end of the event about 1,200 people, including participants and audience members, had filled Packer Hall.
Wilkinson, who, along with the IGC, starts planning the Step Show about a year in advance, doesn’t think the event could have gone any better.
“This is the largest Step Show in the state,” Wilkinson said. “It’s very cool because people from all over the area come. Our show has picked up a very good reputation over the last few years.”
According to Janelle Williams, graduate assistant at the Office of Campus Life and one of the coordinators for the event, the success of the Step Show is what the members of IGC work towards.
“(Students) love it,” she said. “Even the people planning it. No one minds working as hard as they do because they know people will have a good time. That makes us proud as the Inter-Greek Council.”
In addition to providing entertainment for the campus, Wilkinson feels the Step Show shows the diversity of Greek life.
“The Step Show has become a part of the campus culture,” he said. “It’s nice to see the multi-cultural organizations show off what they can do. The social organizations (are also) there to support. This is proof of the things that Greeks do on campus.”