Stomped at Liacouras

There was a cool breeze outside the Liacourus Center as people rushed in the doors to purchase their tickets.
Inside, the bass from Soulja Boy’s “CrankDat” vibrated the chairs as everyone on the floor leaned and snapped with the beat.

The second annual national step show Super Stomp was held at Temple Saturday, Sept. 15. Presented by Stomp on the Yard and hosted by hip hop artist Fonzworth Bentley, five fraternities and three sororities stepped it out for the national title and a $10,000 prize.

“I was really excited,” Bentley said.

“Folks were lined up outside when I came, at least 500 people, and a lot were young people who weren’t even in college.”

The competition opened with a performance from the Stomp Academy, who opened for Temple’s Stomp Show last April. A part of Project Greek, the Stomp Academy is made up of local boys, ages 13 to 15, from North and West Philadelphia. Phi Beta Sigma was the first fraternity to perform. The crowd cheered as they stepped with a Star Wars theme.

Both Temple and Rowan University chapters of Omega Psi Phi fraternity wore their fraternity color purple and painted their boots gold.

“We meet at Temple five days a week; it takes a lot of time,” said Rowan University student Andre’ Thomas of Omega Psi Phi.

“We’re happy to be here.”The girls of Sigma Gamma Rho stepped in white blouses, blue sashes and gold pants, defining themselves as energetic, creative, bold and hardworking.

Other Sigma’s from the stands supported the girls as they twirled canes while blindfolded.In between each step team’s routine, the DJ played music while members of the fraternities and sororities did their own routines on the floor. Bentley also did his own moves on stage and made the audience laugh with a little stand up comedy.

The last fraternity to step was Kappa Alpha Psi, who called themselves “Philly’s Finest.” They came from West Chester University, Cheyney University and Chester county. Most of their performers have already graduated college.

The Kappas provided a unique performance in red and white suits. They danced with fire-lit canes and pulled out roses to J. Holiday’s song, “Bed.”While the judges were deciding the winners, the fraternities and sororities were talking and dancing with each other backstage, despite the competition.

When Bentley came up on stage to announce the winners, everyone was quiet. The Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity from California won with their army style performance, fireworks, helicopters and men in gorilla costumes.

The Zeta Phi Betas from Temple, West Chester, the University of Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania State University won in the sorority division for a second year in a row. Their circus theme had flappers, fire, a man on stilts and African dance and drums. They even sung in harmony.

“We get together after work and after school. We put in a lot of work and energy. We did a great routine and thought outside the box,” said Temple graduate Atiya Dixon of Zeta Phi Beta.”It’s not just stepping,” Bentley said.

“They’re judged on leadership, scholarship, and showmanship. That’s why I love being a part of the stepping culture.”

Kamilah A. Guiden can be reached at kamilah.guiden@temple.edu.

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