The members of the Kappa Kappa Gamma step team walked away with the $500 prize Friday night at the annual STEPPING 101 competition after winning first place at Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity's event in the Alice Haynes Room.
In the "That 70s Show" themed event, the five Panhellenic sororities competed against each other on stage. The sold-out event was sponsored by Common Ground and Student Affairs among others, and was organized by the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
Kappa won with a Charlie's Angels routine. Delta Delta Delta, which placed second, opted for an Austin Powers theme. All of the teams incorporated the 1970s theme into their choreography, music or costume.
"I liked how each team sort of took the theme in a different direction," said senior Allie Ware, who attended the event. "I was very impressed by all of the teams. I'm glad I came to watch."
The audience was lively, with many people waving posters and shouting support for their favorite teams. Many people were forced to stand in the back because there were not enough seats for everyone.
Each sorority was paired with one or more step masters, who helped them choreograph and practice a 12-minute routine. Step masters included members of Alpha Phi Alpha or brothers from other chapters of Alpha Phi Alpha. Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority and Delta Sigma Theta sorority also provided step masters for two of the teams.
Katy Geisreiter, a member of the Pi Beta phi team, estimated about 70 hours of preparation since starting practice at the end of September. She said of her step-masters: "They were consistently very motivating and even made each practice fun. I know our team loved learning from them."
Emily Martin, a member of the Tri-Delta team, echoed similar comments about her step master. "He is incredibly talented and experienced," she said. "The team as a whole loved working with him."
Stepping's roots come from a time of slavery and was used as a means of communication and community building, Alpha Phi Alpha brother Tyler Barnett said. Stepping became popular with historically black fraternities in the 1960s and has continued to be used as a means of connection to those roots, Barnett said.
"When our charter members started this four or five years ago, it was to make the campus more inclusive," Barnett said. Although the event was meant for fun and entertainment, it was also created to bridge all of the organizations on campus and get all of them involved in a collective event, he said.
Proceeds from the event will benefit the March of Dimes, an organization dedicated to aid and research for premature babies.
Contact reporter Bailey Zerr at firstname.lastname@example.org