Groups practice for Alpha Phi Alpha step show

Kearron Smith, junior from Paducah, Ky., and Alpha Phi Alpha member, demonstrates proper step technique. || Anna Taylor/The News
Kearron Smith, junior from Paducah, Ky., and Alpha Phi Alpha member, demonstrates proper step technique. || Anna Taylor/The News

Kearron Smith, junior from Paducah, Ky., and Alpha Phi Alpha member, demonstrates proper step technique. || Anna Taylor/The News

The spring semester brings the return of many exciting traditions on Murray State’s campus. Among them is the Alpha Phi Alpha Step Off.

For the past 13 years, the Zeta Omicron chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity has hosted the competition to raise money for the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation.

According to Kearron Smith, junior from Paducah, Ky., the Alpha Step Off is a step competition between various organizations and groups that are usually considered to be “non-traditional” step show participants.

There are Greek and independent teams that have been practicing their routines since the beginning of the semester, some even since the late fall semester. Libby Landes, freshman from Marion, Ill., and Sigma Sigma Sigma stepper, said being a Racer Girl helped her commit the nearly 13 hours a week she devotes to step practices.

“I have always loved dancing and performing and, in a way, this seemed right up my alley,” Landes said. “It has been a great way to get closer with my sisters since we are together a lot.”

For Alpha Sigma Alpha, practices have averaged nine hours a week. According to stepper Anna Tignor, junior from Washington, Ill., dancing her whole life was also a deciding factor for picking up this challenge.

“It has pushed and challenged me in good ways,” Tignor said. “I absolutely love being on the step show team. It is so rewarding when you finally nail a step that has been wrong for a while.”

The Alpha Step Off began in efforts of the fraternity to unify Murray State’s campus while at the same time raise money, Smith said. The goal is to raise $4,000 to donate to the March of Dimes.

“This event is right up there with All Campus Sing,” Smith said. “It is competitive, fun and it’s for a great cause. All the teams enjoy participating each year, and they work long and hard to get ready for the event.”

The Alpha Phi Alpha Step Off will be at 7 p.m. on March 28 at Lovett Auditorium.

Tickets can be purchased in advance for $7 or $10 at the door.

Story by Kelsey Randolph, Staff writer.