Divine 9 prepare for annual step show


Chynna Miller

JaLisa Smith, a senior psychology major and Vice President of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., performs a dance during the NPHC Step Show on Nov. 8, 2014 in McAfee Gymnasium.

Chris PIcazo, Opinions Editor

Students and community members looking to join The National Pan-Hellenic Council for their annual Step Show can do so during Black Student Reunion Saturday.

Doors for the event will open at 6 p.m. at McAfee Gym, and the show will be from 7 to 10 p.m.

The NPHC or “Divine Nine,” are nine African-American-Lettered organizations. The sororities consist of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta, Zeta Phi Beta and Sigma Gamma Rho. The fraternities are: Alpha Phi Alpha, Kappa Alpha Psi, Omega Psi Phi, Phi Beta Sigma and Iota Phi Theta.

Mona Davenport, director of Minority Affairs, said the Step Show is a traditional event that happens with African-American Greek organizations on campus.

“It is just a form of expression,” Davenport said.  “It is something that has been going on forever.  It’s literally just an expression of their organization and rhythmic moves.”

Shawn Peoples, associate director of Student Standards, said the show consists of traditional stepping.

“There is a little bit of dancing in there, but each of the groups has their own unique style,” Peoples said. “So the show will consist of performances by those groups who are competing for the title of BSR/NPHC 2015 Step Show Champs.”

Peoples said not all of the Greek organizations will be in the competition portion of the Step Show, but groups will also participate in an exhibition showcase.

Peoples also said the importance of the event is to show individuals the history of these groups and their traditions.

“Stepping has been part of the groups for a number of years, and so it is an opportunity to showcase those groups, to showcase their talents and also to showcase the traditions of the organizations themselves,” Peoples said.

Shavon Francis, president of Delta Sigma Theta, said the purpose of the event is to showcase the skills and creativity of the Greek organizations in NPHC, and the event is also largely a fundraising event.

Francis said a large percentage of the profits go toward a graduate scholarship.

Davenport said the organizations ask alumni for donations to assist with scholarships given to undergraduate students at Eastern.

Practice for the Step Show starts early for the groups and Peoples said some groups begin practicing as early as summer break, while many wait to begin practice when classes resume in August.

Melanie Dyer, president of Zeta Beta Phi, said practicing for the Step Show requires a lot of time and dedication.

“There are long nights and you would swear you added on another class,” Dyer said.

Dyer also said she is looking forward to showcasing the organization’s performance at the event.

“We always put one hundred percent into everything that we do,” Dyer said. “Every year we make it a priority to dedicate our time to step show to make sure that we are giving it everything that we’ve got.”

Francis also said she is looking forward to the group’s performance and “loves” to see what other organizations have put together.

Tickets for the event can be purchased now for $20 on the university union ticket website or tickets can be purchased at the door for $25.

“It is a good time for everybody to come together and everybody is usually familiar with the different groups, and so they all have their own unique style of stepping and what they do and you’re always excited to see what they do each year,” Peoples said.


Chris Picazo can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]