Pinpoint synchronization, dynamic themes and entertaining costumes will be in evidence when the Office of Greek Affairs, the Office of Intercultural and Diversity Affairs and the National Pan-Hellenic Council present their Step Show at 7 p.m., Friday, Oct. 23, in MTSU’s Murphy Center.
Teams from MTSU fraternities and sororities will compete for prizes of $1,000 for first place and $500 for second place with an additional $500 awarded for the best overall performance.
“I like it because it represents our African-American heritage,” says organizing co-chair Ashlee Gray. “I take pride in telling our story through step dancing.”
The preparation that goes into designing and perfecting each act is grueling. Organizing Chairman Jeremy Simpson says some acts start preparing at least six months before the step show.
“A lot of the time you don’t sleep at night,” says Simpson, who won with his brothers in Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., in 2006, 2007 and 2008.
“Guys step harder and louder than girls,” says Gray. “They want to be Macho Man.”
However, the judging criteria include more than just hard stepping. Judges may award between 1and 10 points in the categories of introduction step, crowd interaction, enthusiasm and vocal clarity. They may award between 1and 15 points in the categories of complexity, creativity, synchronization and overall performance. The high and low scores are thrown out, and the final score is an average with a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 100.
All the hard work has paid off beyond MTSU for several students. Southern Movement, a group of alums and students, competed in the MTV series “America’s Next Best Dance Crew” this year. Members of the Iota Tau chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., participated in the 2005 movie Stomp the Yard. And two brothers from Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., student Chris Pryor and alumnus Ryan McDade, are traveling across the country to help Sprite promote its national Step Off competition, which has a $1.5 million prize pool.
Admission for this year’s MTSU Step Show is $10 in advance at the Murphy Center ticket office or $15 on the day of the show.
For more information, contact Angela King, director of the MTSU Office of Greek Affairs, at 615-898-5812, or Valerie Avent, assistant director of the Office of Intercultural and Diversity Affairs, at 615-898-2718.