Miami Greek Madness comes to University

By: Deborah Souverain/Staff Writer

The chants and screams of fraternities and sororities across the state of Florida will come together under one roof on March 11 in search of one goal: to be crowned the winner of Miami Greek Madness.

The Black Student Union and Student Government Association will host Miami Greek Madness, the first invitational step show held at the University.

The show will take place this Saturday, March 12 at the U.S. Century Bank Arena on the Modesto Maidique Campus. Doors open at 6:15 p.m. and the event begins at 7 p.m.

Tickets are free for University students and can be picked up at the Campus Life office at MMC or the information desk at BBC. Students must present their ticket as well as their Panther ID in order to enter the arena.

For non-University members, tickets are $15. Students are advised to pick-up their tickets as soon as possible, as of Tuesday, 250 tickets have been distributed.

Felisha Monet, radio personality at WEDR-FM 99 Jamz, will host the event alongside Kyle of B.E.T’s reality show “College Hill.” DJ Griot, also from 99 Jamz, will provide the music for the show.

The event is modeled after larger productions such as the Florida Invitational Step Show at the University of Florida, the largest student run invitational step show on the east coast, and the Sprite Step Off, the most largest scale national step competition in history.

According to Dalourny Nemorin, senior international relations major and step show director, since BSU became a council in March 2009, there has been a desire to host an invitational step show that could grow to compete with FISS

“[FIU] is not as big and we’re younger than UF, the goal is to create the tradition and one day become as big as the one at UF,” Nemorin said.

Historically prevalent in African-American fraternities and sororities, the art form of stepping has in recent years seeped into the interests of other cultures; however, sticking to tradition, only members of the National Pan-Hellenic Council, a collaborative organization of nine historically African-American fraternities and sororities, will participate in the competition.

Collectively referred to as “the Divine Nine,” the only organization in NPHC that will not be present is Kappa Alpha Psi, who will be away at a conference.

“It’s difficult to get all nine organizations to participate; it is always a challenge. At FISS eight of nine [organizations] competed, but nonetheless, the show is always very enjoyable,” Nemorin said.

Fraternities and sororities from the University are prohibited from participating in the event because it is an invitational step show.

African-American fraternities and sororities began stepping on college campuses in the 1940s. Stepping is a combination of choreographed, synchronized and syncopated movements, including stomping, clapping, chanting and singing that often incorporates contemporary rap and hip-hop.

Contestants are given 13 to 15 minutes to showcase their stepping talents and are judged by a panel who are looking for originality, precision and difficulty of performance, to name a few.

In the months leading up to the step competition, BSU held two events to build a buzz for the show. On Jan. 31 BSU hosted the “Rep yo’ City” Party in Chili’s Too on MMC, and on Feb. 17 there was a “stroll off” at the Biscayne Bay Campus.

The competition will also serve as a platform to bring awareness to the support needed in Haiti after the January 2010 earthquake that took roughly 300,000 lives.

“The Hope for Haiti Relief program is a program FIU has established to help aid in the crisis that occurred in Haiti. For every dollar we raise at the step show, [FIU] will find a donor to match it,” Nemorin said.

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