Baylor Student Activities and Zeta Phi Beta Will Present Stomp Fest

April 8, 2010

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"Stepping," an African-American historical form of communication and storytelling widely performed by fraternities and sororities in the National Pan-Hellenic Council, will be performed at Stomp Fest at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 9, in Waco Hall.

Originally, stepping served as a sort of code for African-Americans to tell their story, since speaking out often was too dangerous. It dates to the early 20th century, when black veterans of World War I enrolled in colleges. Inspired by their military training, they brought to their dances a highly rigorous, drill-like component and combined it with elements from other black dances, just as today's steppers often add hip-hop movements, said the Baylor Web site.

Like much African-American music and dance, step dance relies on improvisation, call and response, complex meters, propulsive rhythms and a percussive attack.

Baylor University's Department of Student Activities and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., will co-host the event. Waco Hall is at 624 Speight Ave., on the Baylor campus.

Baylor's Stomp Fest, originally named "Afro-Olympics," started in 2001, when three teams participated: Phi Iota Alpha Fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity and a group of young women who went by the name of "Pink." Today, each team is paired with a member of the National Pan-Hellenic Organization, who serves as a coach.

In 2003, Afro-Olympics became the All-University Charity Step Show, and showcased Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority, Alpha Chi Omega Sorority, Gamma Alpha Omega Sorority, Baylor Women's League, Kappa Delta Chi Interest Group, students from Kokernot Hall and many others. In 2004, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. and the Baylor Student Union collaborated to produce the first Stomp Fest.

Awards are given to the top groups in men and women's categories. The prize money awarded goes to benefit each group's philanthropy. Ticket proceeds from the event are donated to Zeta Phi Beta's national philanthropy group to research sickle cell anemia.

Tickets are $8 and are available at the Bill Daniel Student Center Ticket Office, 1311 Fifth St., Waco, or at (254) 710-3210.

For more information, contact (254) 710-2371.

by Colton Wright

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