Twelve Student Groups to Participate in Stomp Fest March 31

March 29, 2007

by Angela Best, student newswriter, (254) 710-1961

Stomp Fest, a production of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. and the Baylor University department of student activities, will take place at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 31, in Waco Hall on the Baylor University campus.

Originally begun in 2001 with the name "Afro-Olympics," and with only three groups participating at the time, Stomp Fest participation has since grown to 12 groups and has developed into a highly anticipated step show. All proceeds from the show are donated to the Baylor University Nu Iota chapter of Zeta Phi Beta's philanthropy, the Sickle Cell Anemia Foundation of Central Texas.

Participation in Stomp Fest is open to all Baylor student organizations and residence halls. Members of Zeta Phi Beta recruited step coaches during the fall academic semester, who were then paired with teams who have little to no experience in stepping. Teams began meeting in February and March, and "each team develops a routine focused on a central theme and performed to a variety of different styles of music such as hip hop, rap, Latin American and popular Christian music," according to the Baylor special performances web site.

"Stepping" is an historical form of communication and storytelling that is partly rooted in the experience of African American men working on the railroad. The men often stepped to keep up their morale and esteem and to forget about their pain. In present day, stepping is widely performed by fraternities and sororities that belong to the National Pan-Hellenic Council, "an organization which directs the traditionally African American national sororities and fraternities."

During Saturday night's performance, groups will be judged on crowd participation, creativity, precision/complication of steps and other elements. Awards will be given to the top groups in both the men's and women's categories, and all prize money awarded will go to the winning groups' personal philanthropy.

Tickets for the show are $3, $5 and $7 and are available in the ticket office in the Bill Daniel Student Center. Tickets also can be purchased by calling (254) 710-3210.

For more information on Stomp Fest, contact the Baylor student activities department at (254) 710-2317.

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