Step show brings awareness to minority fraternities, sororities


Chynna Miller

Marvin Collins, a senior Pre-Medicine major, and Jerome Montgomery, a senior Pre-Medicine major, represent their fraternity Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc by stepping Friday during the Yard Show on the steps of the Doudna Fine Arts Center.

Roberto Hodge, Multicultural Editor

Red and nude toned lace panties rained down from the Doudna steps as the women cheered on the “pretty boys” of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity’s cane stepping routine Friday evening.

Their routine was part of the National Panhellenic Council, which had its annual Yard Show, comprised of six out of the nine historically African-American fraternities and sororities.

Even though the event looked like a step show, the Yard Show is meant to bring awareness to the “Divine Nine” as they are usually called, and to explain a little about their origin.

Wearing white button-ups with red ties, dress pants and shoes, the men of Kappa Alpha danced and shifted their bodies in front of the steps; as gentleman with a rude demeanor of dancing, they tapped their red and white canes to the ground, exciting the crowd.

Even the NPHC President Jarvis Burks joined in the dancing routine, seeing so many African-Americans and other races gathered at the steps watching the show.

The show gives students on campus a glimpse of what all the organizations are about and their historical importance that dates back to slavery.

“It’s just to pay homage to our ancestors,” Burks said.

Burks, who is a member of the Kappas, said their organization practiced for two weeks to learn their moves.

“It’s something social we do, but we also give back to the community,” Burks said, “We want people to know us besides (our) fraternity.”

However, before the Kappas could even stomp a cane on the pavement, the “ice cold” men of Alpha Phi Alpha kicked off the event with an energetic dance of jumping, which looked like something out of a possession.

Yelling out calls, which sounded like that of a dog, the Omega Psi Phi men in gold boots with purple shirts made their mark on the pavement. Even Omar Solomon, admissions counselor, joined in their routine.

With heads shaking full of attitude and sass, the women of Delta Sigma Theta sorority came onto the scene in unison to Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy.” The clapping and knee stomping were choreographed so that the ladies would strategically switch dance leads with the beat of the song.

Much of the stomping and historical background information from the fraternities and sororities were well received by those watching as many clapped and cheered.

Some of the fraternities and sororities would even call out to their sister or brother organization with the Kappas handing the ladies of Sigma Gamma Rho their own stepping cane with their colors gold and blue.

As the event was nearing to a close, Burks announced to those on the Doudna steps that the NPHC would donate $200 in ALS awareness for an audience-wide ice bucket challenge.

Burks smiled and laughed as people in the crowd began to rush off the steps while covering their heads and looking up to see nothing but the dim dusk sky.

It was a joke just to agitate the crowd, and it worked.

Burks said one of the men from the other fraternities mentioned that it would be a funny way to rally the crowd. However, aside from the joke, Burks said ALS is a good issue to talk about and bring awareness to.

Freshman psychology major Damion Jamison, who said this was his first time seeing the event, said seeing all of the African-American fraternities and sororities in one place meant unity and diversity in school.

Jamison said he already knew about the NPHC being on Eastern’s campus and had in mind that he was going to join one of them.

“I didn’t know anyone when I first came here, so it’s the best way to meet new people,” Jamison said.

Roberto Hodge can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].