Sports were not the only big thing going on this weekend. This past Saturday (2/4/12) was the date of the infamous annual Brew City Stomp Down. The event is one of the biggest step shows in the Mid-West. The show took place at Milwaukee’s historical Riverside Theater. It should be noted that this was the first year that the step show was not held on the Marquette Campus. The event was put together by Marquette University’s National Pan-Hellenic Council. The NPHC was established back in 1930 at Howard University as a permanent Greek organization. It is comprised of the following charters also known as the divine nine: Omega Psi Phi, Kappa Alpha Psi, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta, Zeta Phi Beta, Alpha Phi Alpha, Phi Beta Sigma, Sigma Gamma Rho, and Iota Phi Theta. The purpose of the Marquette branch of the NPHC is to promote unity, leadership, and community. The purpose of the Brew City Stomp Down is to allow Sororities and Fraternities the opportunity to express themselves creatively. Also, it provides a positive quality social experience for the community that includes scholarship opportunities for college students. And it allows the NPHC to act on their belief in unity. This year’s step show event was hosted by none other than television personality and female rapper Free (formerly of BET’s 106 & Park). The music was provided by local Milwaukee deejay, DJ Poizon Ivy. And sponsors for the event included: INROADS, City Year, V100.7, and State Farm.
Doors opened promptly at 5pm, allowing time for the groups to get prepared and the audience to settle in. During this time, those in the building were treated to music by DJ Poizon Ivy. She played a little of everything from Beyonce to Soulja Boy and the crowd loved it all. She would prove to be a great source of entertainment for the crowd throughout the rest of the night. Shortly after 6pm, Free was brought on stage and the event kicked into gear. She did a nice job of keeping the crowd hype with a lot of call and response and a Greek roll call. The first crew to show off their stepping skills was the Phi Beta Sigmas. With a technology based theme and only two members present, they did an impressive job opening the show. The duo was followed by the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority. The guys brought a clever routine with a play on the NBA lockout and the ladies came with a crowd pleasing top secret spy type of number. Both groups kept the crowd engaged and received lots of love and applause once they left the stage. A brief intermission took place next. During the intermission, Free and DJ Poizon Ivy decided to have some fun with the audience. They held a dance contest with tickets to a comedy show and wrestling match on the line. Free grabbed four audience members and had them dance off against each other in rounds. It was a site to see to say the least. Those in attendance found it amusing and engaging, as Free let the audience pick the winners. In the end, two local guys walked away with the tickets.
Once everyone recovered from the dance contest, the stepping resumed. The gentlemen of the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity took the stage next. The red assassins as they dubbed themselves for the night, took on a military style routine. Between their infamous canes and red spotlights, there was no shortage of delights for the audience in the Kappa routine. Next, the ladies of Sigma Gamma Rho took the stage. They had a more subtle educational theme for their number which included a tribute to some of their Fraternity brothers. It was a nice change of pace. The men of the Iota Phi Theta Fraternity wrapped up the event. They had a prison themed piece which involved a play on popular crime show The First 48. They took things out on a strong note. The stepping was followed by acknowledgement of some of the sponsors for the event like City Year. City Year members got to share a little about the organization and do some stepping of their own. Additionally, scholarships were awarded to local students. And the audience got to meet the NPHC as well; who gave out a few awards of their own. The night closed with Free bringing all of the participants back on stage to announce the winners. The first place prize was a good sized trophy and $2,000 for each member of the winning teams. The second place prize was a trophy and $1,000 for each member of the winning teams. The results were as follows: 1st Place – Zeta Phi Beta Sorority / Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity and 2nd Place – Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority / Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. Congrats to all of the winners! After a few pictures with the winning steppers, Free said her thanks, bid the crowd safe travels, and the event was over.
**My Two Cents: This was my first time ever going to the Brew City Stomp Down and I loved it. I thought all of the Sororities and Fraternities did an excellent job of performing. All of the routines were creative and entertaining to watch. Also, Free was a wonderful host. She was witty, friendly, and kept the audience on their toes. And DJ Poizon Ivy was on point as well. She played a great variety of music and helped keep the audience in high spirits. Overall, it was a well put together show. Props to the National Pan-Hellenic Council of Marquette University and all of those involved with making the Brew City Stomp Down happen. Can’t wait for next year! Footage of one of the routines can be seen below. -MinM