Noise. Words muffled, stereos blaring, friends reuniting, families laughing, strangers conversing. Different people connected by this one experience: waiting in anticipation for the Greek life step show. Everyone shoulder to shoulder herding into the small funnel opening of the Foy fitness and recreational center. Suddenly a new noise overpowers the other few. The floor vibrates. The bass can be felt in your heart. It is the pre-show. Suddenly two gentlemen in the distance shoot up from their seats, compelled by the rhythm and the room simultaneously erupts into a frenzy. The crowd is hooked. After thirty minutes, the music stops and the audience calms. From wall to wall, no seats are left vacant. The lights go off. The step show begins.

First up are the sororities. The ladies of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc. perform. Feeling good about their performance and the impact step has in general to their community, the girls said the event brings them together.

“It is a great bonding experience,” senior Simone Compton said. “Not only does it show Greek unity, it shows our unity.”

The purpose of the step show in general was to promote each Greek organization. Not only does each chapter offer volunteering, scholarships, they also step.

The next chapter to perform was the victors of the sororities that participated. Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. had four girls. One was Kaylnn Pitts, a graduate of APSU. Last year, the ladies performed and took home second place. With that in mind, when preparing for this year’s performance, the group added more stunts and difficulty. They said this year made them feel redeemed, and the late night practices for months were worth it.

“Step is empowering for us and our community,” junior social work major Jori Wright said. “Winning tells us we are doing something right.”

Next came the fraternities. Starting off were the men of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. Their performance featured impressionable characters from their childhood and the African-American community in general, such as “Fat Albert.” Senior mathematics major Chandler Custur saw the show as an opportunity to pay homage to their roots, and the deep history that step has for his community.

Similarly, the men of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. portrayed notable figures in their performance: Biggie and Tupac. With a strong message of unity propelling their performance, the chapter focused on the hypothetical situation where the two biggest names in hip-hop at the time remained friends, rather than enemies.

“There is too much division,” senior business management major Donnell Johnson said. “We used Biggie and Tupac to refer to what each Greek chapter has been doing.”

Johnson said each NPHC chapter used to perform community service actions together, but nowadays they try to one-up one another, and that deviates from the morals and purpose of what the organization was founded on.

After the two first place winners were announced, the victors took to the stage in an improved step performance.

The audience applauded. The lights came back on and just as slowly as the gymnasium filled up, it emptied. Funneling out of the Foy, the crowd dispersed. The 2017 Greek life ’90s themed step show had concluded.