Kansas State University stomped out OU for 1st place in annual Stompdown
Energy was high in the McCasland Fieldhouse on Saturday night as students and members of the community gathered to celebrate the tradition of stomp dance both on the stage and in the aisles.
The 31st annual Stompdown competition's first prize for the men’s category went to the Kansas State University's Phi Beta Sigma, earning them $1,500 and a golden boot trophy. Second prize went to OU's Alpha Phi Alpha Inc., last year’s winners, earning them $750.
OU's Delta Sigma Theta won the women’s category first prize of a golden boot trophy and $1,500 by default, but they also won the Most Motivated Boot trophy, awarded by the Marine Corp. The Deltas used a "Prison Break" theme and included an extra, humorous character in their act: Officer Otis.
OU’s Black Student Association and the National Pan-Hellenic Council hosted the competition, which featured six stomp teams and two guest dance performances. The men’s team category included Kansas State University’s Phi Beta Sigma and OU’s Alpha Phi Alpha and Phi Beta Sigma Inc. The women’s category had only one team, OU's Delta Sigma Theta. The remaining two stomp teams, KIPP Middle School and the Brothers of Stomp from Star Spencer High School were not eligible for the competition.
All three men’s teams incorporated themed videos based on popular movies into their performances. The KSU Sigmas used a "Saw" 14 theme, the Alphas used a "007" theme and the OU Sigmas used a "Taken" theme.
Blair Chamberlain said preparing for the Stompdown, which required multiple practices a week for several hours at a time, was a great way to become closer with her sisters.
“We work really well together — all of our different personalities come together really nicely,” said Chamberlain, elementary education senior and Delta Sigma Theta’s Officer Otis. “It’s a lot of hard work, but we all get to be creative and bring our ideas together and spend a lot of time together, so I think [it really unites us].”
It was the coed team from KIPP Middle School, however, that won the crowd favorite award with their flips, stunts and sharp performance.
“I loved KIPP middle school,” public relations sophomore Bola Ibidapo said. “They were so clean and so precise. They were just really fun and cute to watch.”
This year’s theme for the Stompdown was “All or Nothing,” which reflected the organizers dedication to making the event the best it could possibly be, said Joshua Colbert, co-chairman of Stompdown 2013 and member of the Black Student Association.
“Our staff and our planning comity really gave their all,” said Colbert, a marketing senior. “We considered all the things we’ve heard about past shows, past critiques we’ve received and tweaked those things, adjusted so we could make an overall great product.”
Final numbers for the amount of money raised by the event won’t be available until Monday, but at least 1,500 people attended the event. It was a smaller crowd than last year’s because of the timing of the event, Colbert said.
Many of those in attendance were members of the Black Student Association, a greek organization or both. At least nine fraternities and sororities were represented in the audience, as shown by their enthusiastic participation in a pre-show roll call.
More than just a chance for these organizations to come together, Stompdown 2013 was a chance to celebrate the cultural significance of stomp dance, Colbert said.
“When it comes to rhythm and music, that’s something black people can really come together and enjoy,” Ibidapo said. “It relates back to the times of slavery — music allowed people to come together and experience something.”
Colbert echoed this sentiment.
“Stomping is rooted back in Africa, back in the days of slavery when they were in the mines,” he said. “This was the way they communicated, and we evolved it into a way of entertainment. It’s a celebration of culture, baby.”
The celebration continued after the show with an all night after-party in the Oklahoma Memorial Union's Molly Shi Boren Ballroom.