By Kareem Williams

On Wednesday, March 2nd, the Kappa Xi chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. featuring the Panhellenic Council and music by DJ Koldstone, hosted the 1st annual “Kappa Step Off: Panhellenic Step Show.” The show’s purpose was to educate the public about the history of “stepping,” to be a platform for several Panhellenic sororities to show their prowess in stepping, to promote Greek unity, and to be a fundraising event for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. The show began with a short video, which gave a brief history of stepping, describing how the percussive dance originated in Africa and how it is actually a language. During slavery, the slaves would communicate with each other using rhythms and tones from drums however, the slave masters eventually discovered their tactics and the use of drums by slaves was eventually outlawed. Inevitably, slaves began to use their own bodies as drums and thus stepping was born.

Following the video clip, the first sorority to perform was Kappa Delta Sorority.  Their amazing performance set a high standard to follow as they performed several routines ending with the song “Pretty Boy Swag” to pay homage to the brothers of Kappa Alpha Psi. After Kappa Delta’s performance the Fusion dance team came onto the stage for a showcase of their talents. Following Fusion’s presentation, Delta Zeta and then Alpha Delta Pi performed their showcasing step piece. After Alpha Delta Pi’s routine another video of stepping’s history was shown.

Following the video, a roll call was done on all the National Panhellenic fraternities and sororities: Phi Beta Sigma, Iota Phi Theta, Omega Psi Phi, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta, Zeta Phi Beta, Sigma Gamma Rho, and lastly Kappa Alpha Psi all incorporated sororities within the Divine 9 and NPHC. After the roll call, Chi Omega performed their step piece using umbrellas and chairs in conjunction with their theme “PinoCHI-O,” with each sister acting as if strings were controlling them. After their performance, special guest artist Charisma Thomas performed a couple songs, finishing with “I Can See Right Through Them”.

The last sorority to perform, Pi Beta Phi, stole the show with their presentation. They started with a “Charlie’s Angels” theme with each sister being an angel, and they ended their piece with a homage to all of the present National Pan-Hellenic organizations, flashing each Greek’s signature move. After their performance the crowd erupted in thunderous applause. Shortly after Pi Beta Phi’s piece, a few of the brother’s of Kappa Alpha Psi performed four brief parts of their upcoming step piece for the National Pan-Hellenic Council Step Show. After their performance the judges chose Kappa Delta as the 2nd runners-up, Chi Omega as 1st runner-ups, and Pi Beta Phi as the winner. The Pi Beta Phi Sorority received $1000 in prize money for their efforts.

The show was an amazing success that provided a high turnout and although this was the first annual show many more step shows are highly anticipated for the future.