Posted by Tamar Kuyumjian | Filed under dance
On February 6th the Warfield Theater was packed full of young adults wearing Greek letters all across their clothes. The hundreds of college students inside the theater and the hundreds waiting outside were all there to see regional fraternities and sororities in a stepping battle. For those of you who are like me and have never seen people step (until now), picture the movie “Stomp the Yard.”
On the judges panel some notable figures were Manny Lawson from the 49ers and a former Lakers player. Each chapter had a theme ranging from the Black Panthers to futuristic Lady Gaga-esque, for the step performance. At this regional level $43,000 was up for grabs but only one sorority and one fraternity walked away with lottery size checks. UC Berkeley Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and CSU Dominguez Hills Iota Phi Theta Fraternity each took home $21,500 for their sisters and brothers.
The rising hip-hop artist that USF has already had the privilege of hosting, B.o.b., kicked off the event with a performance. He sang his most well known songs including “I’ll Be in the Sky,” “Haterz Everywhere,” and “Generation Lost.” But when he sang his hit single, “Nothin’ On You” from his debut album “The Adventures of B.o.b.”, the Greeks stormed the stage and got down like only a group of hip-hop dancers could. Later in the evening, Kid Cudi gave a performance that got everyone in the crowd jumping and stepping once again.
Most audience members were there to support their fellow Greeks, and in some cases start battles of their own in the pit. Snakes of sisters and lines of brothers divided the crowds and competed to show who had the most pride for their organizations. Local DJs gave the score of beats for the stepping Greeks to show off, for they too were battling amongst themselves for best disc jockey each representing a different McDonald’s hamburger. The audience was more than happy to oblige DJ Rob Stevens a.k.a. Double ¼ Pounder with Cheese when he called out, “If you’re sexy and you know it clap your hands” from “Dance With Me” by 112. DJ Willy Will or Angus made the floor rumble with “Say Aah” by Trey Songz and created a consensus between the men and women with the lyrics of “I Look Good” by Chalie Boy. Last up was DJ Famous, or Big Mac, who took home the title with a mash-up of all the greats (Biggie, Snoop Dogg, Tupac, Dr. Dre, Ludacris) and won them over with “California Love.”
The Sprite Step Off competition is more than a chance for sororities and fraternities to earn scholarships or even showcase their talents as dancers. It may be the nature of the stepping competition or because it was in San Francisco, but the entire atmosphere was hip-hop. The dancing, both on and off stage, the music, the djs and the fashion all described a style of living that is often found in sororities and fraternities, pride for the community and respect for individuals. At the end of the day, all the Greeks were dancing without care for who was standing next to them.