Updated: Jan 17, 2019
This past weekend, Salisbury University’s National Pan-Hellenic Council hosted its Sixth Annual Step Show in Holloway Hall.
With tickets sold out and a full house filled with students, parents and alumni, the NPHC was able to have a successful event.
This year, the Nu Rho Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and the Gamma Kappa Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. won the very intense competition between the fraternities and sororities.
The NPHC, also known as the “Divine Nine,” is made up of nine historically African-American fraternities and sororities.
On Salisbury University’s campus, there are six NPHC organizations that are currently active that performed in this year’s step show. These organizations include Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.
Stepping for the African-American community, as well as for fraternity and sorority life, stems from a long tradition within their history. Historically, black fraternities and sororities have their own unique steps and strolls that they do to not only celebrate their organizations, but also to pay homage to those who founded their organizations back in the 1900s.
ESSENCE Magazine reports in an article “More Than Dance: Here Are 8 Things You Need to Know About the Art of Stepping” that “The grand tradition of unity and camaraderie in step has been passed through generations of organizations.” The article states that “‘Greek Sings’ evolved into Greek shows which eventually progressed into step shows that remain popular to this day.”
For this year’s step show at SU, the NPHC executive board voted and decided to have a theme for this year’s event.
The NPHC’s Vice President and member of the Nu Rho Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. Jada Burbage explained why they chose to have a theme this year and the benefits it came with.
“This year’s theme was superheroes and supervillains, and we wanted to do a theme because it would make it easier for judges to score the performances because there was something to base the performance on,” Burbage said.
In addition to the theme, Greek organizations are judged on a 90-point scale broken up into nine categories. Each section is worth ten points. The categories were as follows: introduction, transitions, audience response, complexity, creativity/originality, synchronization, enthusiasm, vocal clarity and overall performance.
NPHC President and member of the Mu Chi Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. Allison Plater appreciated that the NPHC voted on a theme, but revealed there were also some faults along the way.
“There is always room for improvement; more organization would be one thing that we could work on, but overall the show was very good, and I felt everything went well,” Plater said.
Burbage also mentioned as a performer with the step show it’s not easy to come up with new creative steps, but her sisters are able to support her in the creation of their performance.
“It’s hard coming up with new steps, but for our performance [Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.], we basically took old step and stroll and made them our own so that they were new and fresh for the audience to see,” Burbage said.
Delta Sigma Theta decided to go with a Batman and Robin theme and Omega Psi Phi decided to go with a Black Panther theme.
Other organization’s themes included The Incredibles, Power Rangers, Kim Possible and Sky High.
Although the NPHC had a few bumps in the road, they were able to have another successful step show for the books.
By DONOVAN MACK
Featured photo: The winning fraternity of the step show, the Gamma Kappa Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc., steps to preserve tradition. (Emmanuel Porquin images).