Sounds of stomping feet, clapping hands and echoing chants filled The State Theatre Saturday night at the annual Greek Freak Step Show, where nine of the sixteen multicultural organizations on campus unveiled their rhythmic routines for the packed crowd, with three competing for the title of Greek Freak Champion and a $1,000 grand prize. The event was sponsored by the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs and put on by the Multicultural Greek Letter Council. All proceeds to the event will go to book scholarships for local high school students.
According to Nicholas Diaz ’10, Greek Freak is one of the most anticipated events in the multicultural community on campus. “It really is the hallmark event because it exhibits the art and tradition of stepping,” said Diaz who has attended Greek Freak for the past three years.
Step originated as a performance tradition among the first African American Greek organizations in the early 1900s, and became popular among Asian and Latino fraternities and sororities during the 1980s. According to Vicente Gonzalez ’11, vice president of the MGLC and co-host of this year’s event, it was around this time that Greek Freak was created, as a way to showcase the different step routines for all the multicultural organizations on campus.
“The show is really about relaying the history and pride of all these organizations in a unique and entertaining way while fostering unity between the multicultural community at the same time,” Gonzalez said.
History and pride and were certainly a crucial component of many of Saturday night’s performances. Almost all included chants pertaining to the history of the particular organization and it’s founding.
In their militaryesque performance complete with camouflage pants and war paint, Alpha Phi Alpha Inc, repeated “1906” numerous times referencing the year the organization was established as the first African American fraternity. In the same token, Lambda Phi Theta made sure to remind the crowd that, established in 1975, they were the first Latino organization to be founded.
Four graduate students familiar with stepping judged the competition portion of the event. According to Darvin Griffin (one of the judges) the panel judged based on creativity, clarity and over difficulty of the routine.
The brothers of Phi Beta Sigma Inc fulfilled all those qualities best, providing the crowd with an exciting and surprisingly comical performance.
For the final act of their performance, the brothers donned multicolored wigs pretending to be a challenging sorority to their fraternity. Their hip swaying and hair tossing sent the crowd into raptures and consequently won over the judges.
“They were definitely very creative and entertaining,” Griffin said, “that’s why they got the votes.”