Feb. 12, 2003
Students in the African American Student Association (AASA) at Harrisburg Area Community College are presenting the college's first step show "Stompdown" on Saturday, February 22 at 7pm. Sororities, fraternities, and school groups from the region will demonstrate their own unique styles of stepping in the Cooper Student Center on HACC's Wildwood Campus. The Stompdown, celebrating African American History Month, is sponsored by AASA, HACC's Office of Multicultural Affairs, and the Student Government Association.

Stepping is an original art form with many influences from the past. While Caucasian fraternities in the early 20th century were mostly organized as singing groups, African American fraternities added synchronized dance steps to performances at national fraternity conventions in the early 1920's. Women in sororities joined in their own form of stepping several years later.

More elements of stepping formed after the return of African Americans from World War II. Military marching and line formations were implemented. Stepping began to be an intimate part of African American Greek Lettered Organizations.

Stepping evolved further in the 1950's and 60's with musical groups singing acappella. When groups like The Temptations and The Four Tops were popular, African Americans started mimicking their steps. With the influence of "Black Power" and Africa-centered movements of the 60's, stepping started to flourish with the incorporation of some traditional African ritual dancing and other elements like cheerleading, tap, and gymnastics. Stepping now has become a very intricate and demanding performance, using props, gymnastics and other elements found in team sports.

Some of the groups performing at HACC are Alpha Phi Alpha and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternities from Shippensburg University, Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, with members from central Pennsylvania and Maryland, and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity from the University of Pittsburgh. High school groups are the Dance Team and Sigma Beta Junior Fraternity from Harrisburg High School, Central Dauphin East Steppers, and Ron C. Brown Charter School Band/Step Team.

AASA will host a dance for those 17 years and older after the Stompdown in the Cooper Student Center.

Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door. Tickets can be purchased at all four of HACC's campuses in Harrisburg, Lancaster, Lebanon, and Gettysburg. Other ticket locations are at the Harrisburg High School Store at the Harrisburg East Mall, Mr. Mike's Records on South Third Street, and Music Man Records at the Kline Plaza. For further information, contact HACC's office of multicultural affairs or office of student life at 717-780-2300.

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