Stepping for charity

Ten step crews from across the country came together to benefit local charities through stepping Saturday.

The Nu Beta Chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, which includes students from GW, Georgetown and Catholic universities, hosted the 14th Annual Step Your Game Up Charity Step Show at Lisner Auditorium to benefit the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Project Fund, the March for Babies and the Black Genesis Scholarship Foundation.

Stepping is the high-energy choreographed, synchronized and rhythmic movement of the hands, legs and feet. It has been a traditional part of many multicultural Greek-life organizations for decades.

“Every school has its own culture. I like seeing different ideas that students come up with. You learn a lot about schools through this step competition,” audience member Rogi Banks, a Howard University student, said.

The show opened with an exhibition performance by a crew from Herndon High School in Virginia. The young steppers put on an extremely precise and complex performance, visibly delighting and energizing the crowd.

No crew was alike – where some included multimedia material, short films and comedic voice-overs, others took their routines out into the aisles amid the packed crowd.

Most performances relied on stomping and clapping for rhythm, while others incorporated music, from “Pomp and Circumstance” to Kanye West’s “Monster.”

“We have a criteria that teams must follow – they are judged on precision, creativity and overall show. There is also a time limit and a rule against sexual innuendo,” competition judge Myra Espinoza said.

The grand prize and $1,500 went to Kappa Alpha Psi, while Zeta Phi Beta took home the first place prize for sororities and Phi Beta Sigma took first place for fraternities.

“I never miss this. It’s so much fun seeing what these crews can put together. It’s so creative,” audience member Lauryn Hickman, who traveled with friends from Richmond, Va., for the show, said.

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