Elon University’s National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) is hosting its annual Yard Show, in which the historically African-American fraternities and sororities partake in stepping. This year is different from years prior, as the invitation to step in the show has been extended to Elon Elementary’s Step Club.
Elon Elementary’s Step Club has previously performed at basketball games and has been cheered on by the student section. This time, they are showing their stepping skills at 5 p.m. on May 6 in Iconic Plaza.
The guest appearance was coordinated by junior Janae Williams, NPHC vice president, who is also a member of the Xi Omnicron chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority.
Williams has been working directly with the children in the Step Club. She volunteers at the elementary school every Friday, and was the one who asked them to be part of the event.
“The kids have been practicing for the past month,” Williams said. “They have performed before, but I think they are a little bit more nervous considering this performance is outdoors and they will have to be as loud as possible. They are nervous, but also very excited to perform.”
Those who were in attendance still remember the basketball game performance by Elon Elementary’s Step Club. Freshman Megan Hernandez-Greene recalls seeing the children perform.
“I was caught off guard at how good they were,” Hernandez-Greene said. “There were some kids in particular that caught my attention because of how passionate they were. Their energy and confidence made me enjoy the performance and I cannot wait to see them again.”
One of the many components of the NPHC organizations is the stepping they perform at probates or events such as the Yard Show. Eight of the nine total fraternities and sororities in NPHC have been chartered at Elon. The nine organizations are popularly known as the “Divine Nine.” Currently, there are only six active chapters.
Those performing at the Yard Show include: the Sigma Delta chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, the Omnicron Epsilon chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, the Sigma Mu chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, the Omnicron Iota chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, the Alpha Beta Beta chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, and the Xi Omicron chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority.
Sophomore Eric Cunningham is in Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, and has been stepping with his brothers since his freshman year.
“Stepping is very important to my organization and to the “Divine Nine” organizations in general because it provides an expressive outlet to show dedication and even deference to our ancestry,” Cunningham said. “Modern day stepping can be traced back to African dance.”
Several of the NPHC organizations have visited the members of the Elon Elementary Step Club in the past. The children know about the importance of stepping and what to expect at the event.
“The children have been taught the history of stepping,” Williams said. “The audience knows them, so I am confident they will support them.”
Williams hopes that everyone in attendance will cheer on the Step Club and appreciate what they bring to the table.
“The kids are going to be amazing,” Williams said. “I love the kids and I hope everyone else that goes to the Yard Show does as well.”