The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Rhythm, beat expands cultural appreciation

Photo by Photo by: Alexis Will

Seven collegiate panhellenic council sororities will perform at this year’s Stompfest. The proceeds will benefit the National Pan-Hellenic Councils three outreach programs in the Bryan-College Station area.

For 19 years, Stompfest has combined cultural inclusion with synchronized and precisely choreographed steps. The rhythms and movements are inspired by “stepping” — a dance form with African origins — and are part of a competition to bring together members of different A&M Greek-life organizations. 
A culmination of 14 Collegiate Panhellenic Council and National Pan-Hellenic Council sororities and fraternities, Stompfest will feature seven routines performed by some of A&M’s CPC chapters. The CPC chapters have paired with NPHC organizations to learn about the historical significance of the art form, as well as raise funds for the three programs under NPHC that help empower and educate the black community.
Vice President of National Pan-Hellenic Council and communications senior, Anne Freeman, said while every year requires dedication to practicing the routines and organizing the event, this year was especially fast paced. 
“They have been working since February, and this year’s event is actually a few weeks earlier than it would have been, so they have had to push to prepare,” Freeman said.
Freeman said this year’s theme, “Once Upon A Time,” is supposed to incorporate a fun aspect with the historical significance of the dance form. Freeman said she hopes attendance matches or exceeds previous years.
“Stompfest is put on NPHC, but we do it in partnership with CPC because we do not get to interact with them that often. So we come together and teach them the history and art and culture behind stepping,” Freeman said. “Usually, we got over 1,000 people who come to the performance, whether that is the sorority members, or their family and friends or the Corps.” 
Freeman said NPHC was founded to bring all of the organizations together so that there was a platform where they could combat the issues that were going on in the black community. Stompfest is another platform to dispel misconceptions and collaborate on culture, said Freeman.
“The most rewarding thing is getting people out of their comfort zone and come out of the social groups they may have traditionally been associated with, so I believe Stompfest is a way for that to happen and also a way to transform things people may have thought about certain groups before they did this,” Freeman said. 
Stompfest will begin at 7 p.m. April 6 in Rudder Auditorium. Tickets are $13 in advance and $16 at the door.

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