NPHC’s Greekscene show features step performances

Katie Glueck

T.I.’s beats pulse through a classroom in the Technological Institute as the sisters of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., rehearse their steps one last time. It’s an hour before the annual GreekScene show begins, and they’re ready to dance.

Members of Delta Sigma Theta, in addition to those of four other National Pan-Hellenic Council sororities and fraternities, performed step dances and skits for a full auditorium at Tech on Sunday night. The event is a fundraiser for NPHC, which is comprised of NU’s historically black sororities and fraternities. The crowd included Northwestern students, alumni and visitors from area schools including the University of Chicago and Columbia College. Fusion Dance Company also performed.

“A large part of the event is showcasing a part of the culture of black Greek life,” said Weinberg senior Rodney Carew, who organized GreekScene. “Stepping is a small part of what we do, but it gives people who may not know too much about us (the chance) to see one aspect of our culture.”

Stepping is a style of dance that involves rhythmic clapping and audience participation, including “call outs” from one Greek house to another.

“Stepping has a rich history in African American tradition,” said Zachary Parker, a Communication senior and Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity member . “(Stepping) in GreekScene is an opportunity to demonstrate unity within the African-American Greek community.”

Before the performances, the D.J. introduced the panel of judges, each of whom engaged in their respective fraternity or sorority’s call-and-response. The calls ranged from high-pitched squeals to baritone chants. Throughout the evening, audience members sang their calls to show support for performers – audience members also danced in the aisles and in front of the stage between acts.

At the end of the night, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., were named the top performers of the event. Zeta Phi Beta performed a hospital-themed skit and step act, and Phi Beta Sigma displayed a spin-off of “Family Matters.”

“Step is another form of expression,” said Tyler Yarbrough, a Medill senior and president of Delta Sigma Theta . “I learned how to step when I joined my chapter – it’s another fun aspect of what we do.”

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