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Ohio State dance competition steps into Greek Week

Katie Higgins / Lantern reporter

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Ohio State hosted its own version of “Stomp the Yard.” Thousands came to the Palace Theatre to attend The 25th Annual National Pan-Hellenic Council Step Show where the energy was high, the performers were engaging and the competition was fierce.

The show took place at the Palace Theatre to end the weeklong African American Heritage Festival and to kick off Greek Week 2012.

The Palace was packed Saturday evening with students and fans attending the show.

“The energy is great,” said Asia Bowman, a third-year in sociology. “I like that it’s in the (Palace Theatre) this year instead of being on campus, just because we do everything on campus. It fits more people, it has better seating and stadium style, so that’s definitely great.”

About 2,000 people attended the show, said LaChe Roach, communications chair for the African American Heritage Festival.

The sororities competing included Delta Sigma Theta, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Sigma Gamma Rho and Zeta Phi Beta. The fraternities competing included Alpha Phi Alpha and Kappa Alpha Psi.

In the competition, a group of individuals made a rhythm moving their feet and hands in pre-choreographed motions.

“Stepping is a group, usually eight to 12 individuals who get together who make the same rhythmic percussion sound with their hands and the stomp of their feet with different variations all in the same synch,” said John Payne, president of the National Pan-Hellenic Council at Ohio State and an Alpha Phi Alpha. “It’s a band, if you will, without instruments.”

The two participating fraternities don’t generally compete against each other, but it made for some intense competition, Payne said.

“Traditionally, you don’t have Alphas and Kappas in the same step show,” Payne said. “When the Alphas enter a step show, the Alphas win. When the Kappas enter a step show, the Kappas win, so to have those two head honchos neck-to-neck is going to be something fierce.”

In the end, a panel of nine judges declared the Alpha Phi Alphas the winners. Although the competition was stiff, Payne said there were no hard feelings.

“We love each other, as funny as that may sound,” Payne said. “We may talk on the front end here and there, but we all hang out. We’re all fingers of the same fist.”

The rivalry between the sororities was just as competitive.

“I would say the competition between the females is more fierce,” Payne said. “Whenever the Deltas enter a show, the Deltas always win. The Zetas here bring it every time they’re in the show. The Alpha Kappa Alphas won their regionals, and you have the Sigma Gamma Rhos, who are very talented in stepping and they have big numbers.”

Bowman said this year’s show was impressive.

“The people that are doing it are definitely bringing their A-game,” Bowman said. “The performances are better than they were last year.”

The ladies of Delta Sigma Theta were deemed winners and Alpha Kappa Alpha came in second.

“(Delta Sigma Theta) were really, really, really excited,” Roach said. “It was really hard because all the sororities did great.”

The show came at the end of Week 5, which is often midterm week at OSU. Some students involved said the show turned out to be a nice break.

“It’s midterm time, so this is a good relaxer and there’s an after-party later on, so that’s definitely the best,” Bowman said. “You get some entertainment and go dance.”

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