QUIANNE’ HOLMES STAFF WRITER
Among the homecoming traditions established by faculty and students for years to come, one in particular brings much excitement to the African American community.
On Friday night, students, alumni, faculty, and guests arrived at Talley Student Union’s Piedmont Mountains Ballroom to attend the 2015 NPHC Stroll Off. Open to the public, the NPHC Stroll off is a greek fraternity and sorority step show that allows participants to exhibit their talents while representing their organizations before judges.
The Mu Xi Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta of North Carolina State University and the Gamma Tau Chapter of Iota Phi Theta of Shaw University won the stroll off.
“A win is just a win, until you add up the hours you put in to get that win, until you total the conflicts and resolutions that occurred throughout the process of preparing for the show,” Cynthia Sharpe, a member of Zeta Phi Beta said.“The hard work paid off. Tonight we got more than just a win.”
Hosts Ivana Mbdullah, a member of the Mu Omicron Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. and Josh Moore, a member of the Kappa Lambda Chapter of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. entertained the audience with jokes and crowd interaction.
Participants battled for three rounds, each with a different meaning. The first round required them to create a tribute performance using a mix of one artist’s songs. The Kappa Lambda and Psi Delta chapters of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. strolling to a mix of DMX songs such as “How It Goin’ Down and the Ruff Ryders’ Anthem” the Ques maintained synchronized steps and hops while ending in memorable side splits.
The ladies of the Kappa Omicron Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. who dedicated their performance to Missy Elliott, created a fun vibe with their interactive routine. The Gamma Tau Chapter of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity Inc. performed a routine in tribute to Tupac.
To finish round one, the ladies of the Mu Xi Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. honored Beyonce and Destiny’s child synonymously. With cartwheels and crowd participation, the Zetas even recreated the “Cater 2 U,” performance by Destiny’s Child.
Round two asked participants to perform to a mix of songs that would be considered songs of uplift and empowerment. Omega Psi Phi started the round off by creating a Black Empowerment statement strolling to songs such as “Straight Outta Compton by N.W.A.”
Alpha Kappa Alpha grabbed the crowd’s attention dressed as Black Panthers as well as displaying the black power symbol of a raised fist. Incorporating songs such as “Glory,” by John Legend and Common and “Say it Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud,” by James Brown made their empowerment statement loud and clear. Iota Phi Theta created a poetic justice atmosphere with their use of songs such as the interlude from “Testify,” by Common and “U.N.I.T.Y.,” by Queen Latifah.
Zeta Phi Beta used songs of independence to make their empowerment statement. Songs such as “Independent,” by Neyo and “RESPECT,” by Aretha Franklin. This wave of empowerment addressed many social justice issues through song choice and body movements.
The final round allowed participants to do a freestyle performance that could showcase any talents. Omega Psi Phi kicked off the last round strolling to songs by Drake, Future, and J Cole. Alpha Kappa Alpha maintained the hype choosing crowd favorites like, “Hotline Bling.” Iota Phi Beta incorporated acting, costume changes, and a medley of music ranging from rap to rock. Ultimately, the Zetas finished the round strolling to songs such as, “That’s my best friend.”
“The two month planning process was hectic but I had an amazing supporting staff to help out,” said Moore. “Instead of letting our smaller council size affect us, it made us more effective or lean. Dealing with chapters’ prior obligations was tough but I think that the committee put on a great show even with a limited council in terms of chapter sizes.” Moore studies sustainable materials and technology and Mbdullah, also a senior studies textile engineering.
Members of the judging panel included those affiliated with the National Pan-Hellenic Council along with a representative from Greek Life.