The Hilltop Newspaper will be reporting a series on #ExperienceBluePrint before, during and after.
By Amber Broaden, News Editor
As the crowd quickly filled the stands, many gathered to watch their friends, fraternity brothers, and sorority sisters of the Divine Nine and Drew Hall Step Team perform at the Howard Homecoming “Renegade” Step Show on Friday, October 21.
The first place winners of the step show were Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., Alpha Chapter, and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., Alpha Chapter. The second place winners were Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc, and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. Many of the step show attendees were very excited to see what the performances would be like with the theme of “Renegade.”
“Winning the step show feels amazing. All of our hard work and dedication definitely paid off,” said Faith Mitchell, senior health education major and Spring 2016 initiate of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc, Alpha Chapter. “We put everything into that show and it’s so rewarding to hear how great we did, especially because we are often underestimated.”
The event was full of energy and amazing performances from Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Beta Chapter, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., Alpha Chapter, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc., Epsilon Zeta Chapter from Virginia Commonwealth University, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., Alpha Chapter, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc., Xi Chapter, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc., Alpha Chapter, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., Alpha Chapter, Iota Phi Theta Fraternity Inc., Alpha Tau Chapter and the Drew Hall Step Team.
“This was my very first step show, and I would not have it any other way than to be in the front row, feeling my sisters’ vivacity and passion,” said Maria Mendoza, sophomore nursing major and member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.,, Alpha Chapter.
Throughout the show, each organization came with their own style and represented various themes in Black history and culture. This was a great thing to see for many of Howard’s alumni and Greek members that witnessed the show.
Alpha Phi Alpha, the first place winners, reminded the audience to respect the elders and never forget where you come from through their performance. Zeta Phi Beta, who also won first place, blended their 1930s association with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the National Negro Congress. As the second place winners, Phi Beta Sigma showed variations of Black life during the post-civil war Jim Crow era, and Alpha Kappa Alpha highlighted police brutality.
During the show’s intermissions, the Divine organizations filled the media-pit to dance and stroll with the music in between performances.
“The step show was so worth it,” said Tiara Ghoster, freshman supply chain management major. “My favorite performers were between the Kappas and the Zetas because their performances were different from the others.”
Many of the organizations fought to keep their first place titles which made the competition very tough as each organization really left their mark on stage and really caused a excitement to the crowd.
Despite the greatness of each performance, there were organizations that failed to place during the competition.
“We do not step, we march, so we have a lot of enthusiasm,” said Gerald Huggins, member of Omega Psi Phi Zeta Chapter at Virginia Union. “But there is always some bias when the bros march.”
There was also a special performance from Drew Hall step team that electrified the event with their theme of esteeming Black culture after being oppressed through slavery as the judges commenced the voting process.
“Drew Hall step team’s technique was on point. Their steps were so complex and for the most part it was really entertaining,” said Jacquize Stewart, sophomore psychology major. “It was nice to see their theme focused on esteeming Black culture after being oppressed through slavery.”
The step show did not leave anyone disappointed as the Divine organizations effectively matched the energy of the crowd with their amazing performances.
“My brothers worked so hard for the show, and they really went out and showed that through action,” said Kelechi Ononiwu, junior political science major and vice president of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., Beta Chapter.