Feb. 11, 2004
The African American Student Association of Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC) will sponsor the 2nd Annual Fraternity/Sorority Stepshow and Dance in celebration of Black History Month.

Also known as a Stompdown, the HACC's Fraternity/Sorority Stepshow and Dance will be held in the Evans Physical Education Building, Feb. 21, 7 p.m. to 2 a.m.

The public is invited to watch sororities, fraternities and school groups from the region demonstrate their own unique styles of stepping. Groups leading off are Sigma Beta Junior Fraternity of Harrisburg High School; Central Dauphin East Steppers of Central Dauphin East High School; Youth Department #21 Steelton Steppers of Steelton; Bishop McDevitt Step Team from Bishop McDevitt High School and Lebanon High School Steppers from Lebanon High School in Lebanon.

Other groups performing are Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.of Shippensburg University; Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., Harrisburg Graduate Chapter; Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Harrisburg Graduate Chapter and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.

High school seniors and older are invited to stay for the dance portion of the event that begins at about 10:30 p.m.

Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Advance tickets are available at the Office of Student Life in Cooper Student Center, (717) 780-2525; Office of Student Life at the Gettysburg Campus (717) 337-3855, ext. 3031; Student Activities office at the Lancaster Campus (717) 358-2850; and Lebanon Campus (717) 270-6316; Mr. Mike's Records at 27 S. 3rd Street in Harrisburg (717) 234-3181; and Music Man Records at Kline Plaza in Harrisburg (717) 233-4236. For more information, contact HACC's Office of Student Life at (717) 780-2525.

Stepping is an original art form dating to the 1920s when African American fraternities added synchronized dance steps to singing performances at national fraternity conventions. A few years later, women in sororities began their own form of stepping.

The military influence of World War II added another dimension to stepping with marching and line formations implemented by African Americans. Soon stepping became an intimate part of African American Greek Lettered Organizations. Stepping evolved further in the 1950s and 1960s with musical groups singing acapella. When groups including 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 1960s, 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.

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