Vital Information for the NPHC Pan Afrikan Step Show
Richard Keith | Staff Writer
The past two years at the N.C. State National Pan-Hellenic Step Show, have been years of Alpha reign with the Theta Nu Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. winning first place at the 2011 show, and the Eta Omicron Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha winning first place at the 2012 show.
Kornelius “Korn” Bascombe, an alumnus member of the Eta Omicron Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. participated in last year’s show. According to Bascombe, it was his Fraternity’s attention to detail as well as the crowd that gave them the winning edge. “We focus on the small things,” said Bascombe. “We always make sure we incorporate the audience in our routines.”
Synonymous with African American Greek culture for as long as the organizations have been around, stepping is viewed by many students today, as just a “cool thing” that Greek organizations do. However, the form of artistic expression has cultural meaning and origins in
the continent of Africa.
Stepping involves using the body as the sole instrument of sound and rhythm, while including different calls and sayings. Not to be confused with “strolling,” stepping is the actual act of creating beats with the body by clapping and stomping rhythmically. Strolling is more or less the particular dance associated with the organization set to the song of its choice.
According to Darryl Coleman, an N.C. State student and member of the Kappa Xi Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., stepping is a highly significant aspect of black Greek culture. “It’s something that ties us back to our roots and gives us a strong sense of where we come from,” said Coleman.
Since the early 90s, members of N.C. State’s NPHC have showcased their stepping skills in the culmination of the Pan Afrikan Festival, working to honor African American culture; organizations are also working to dispel the misconception that black Greek culture is weaker at predominantly white institutions. “In my opinion, Greek unity here is much stronger [because we are students at a predominantly white institution]. The African American community is smaller, we work hard to create a greater sense of brotherhood and unity within organizations,” says Coleman.
Chapters from different NPHC organizations all over North Carolina as well as surrounding states come and compete for a prize and bragging rights for their school. The organizations perform their rhythmic displays in front of a panel of judges who are also alumni members of respective NPHC organizations, as well as countless audience members who give deafening cheers and claps for the organizations.
Each performance represents the traditions, hard work, and determination within the organizations and our community. The performances also represent the spirit of African culture and Greek unity despite the difference of colors.
On Saturday, step out and show your support!
See pictures from last year’s NPHC Pan Afrikan Step Show here!