Black Student Union hosts celebration of dance and community with Stomp Out Classic


Sasha Weilbaker, Staff Writer

The Black Student Union (BSU) hosted the seventh annual Stomp Out Classic, a step dance competition, in Davis Gym on March 25.

According to, step dancing is built on “tradition in African-based communities that use movement, words, and sounds to communicate allegiance to a group.” Stomp Out was designed to educate the University student population about forms of dance significant to black history but not typically seen on campus or around the local community.

Although stepping can be performed alone, it is usually performed in teams. It draws from elements seen in gymnastics and gumboot, an African foot dance. Beginning in the 1960s, the tradition of stepping was maintained through black fraternities and sororities in the United States. Stomp Out Classic is an event in which local black Greek organizations can compete.

The Bisonettes, one of the University’s all-female dance teams, opened for the event. Groups from other schools performed, including the Delta Xi Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha, Reconstruction Step Team from Lincoln University, the Pi Chapter of Omega Phi Psi, the Mu Delta Chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho, and the Epsilon Phi Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma.

Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc. from West Chester University in West Chester, Pa. was the winning team.

Stomp Out was emceed by recent graduate Terry Bennett ’15. Students Amarachi Ekekwe ’18, Jackson Pierce-Felker ’18, and Trey Johnson ’18 performed during the intermission. Judges included Vedder Hall Community Director Darrell Johnson, Office Coordinator of Diversity and Inclusion Miriah Royal, Assistant Professor of Computer Science Chris Dancy II, Associate Professor of Economics Nina Banks, and Dean of Students Amy Badal.

“[I have] not only found pleasure in annually performing in the event with the Bisonettes, but also in experiencing a portion of black Greek life on campus,” Andranae Nelson ’17, captain of the Bisonettes, said.

The “event provides students with a snapshot of black culture that has the power to improve the cultural fluency of some individuals, but in a fun and engaging way,” Nelson said.

“The black Greek tradition is one of activism, self-sufficiency, and Black Joy especially in the face of white supremacy, something I think Bucknell should witness and learn about through an event like this,” Shirah Moffatt-Darko ’18 said.

“Yes, Stomp Out provides education for non-black students, but most importantly, it’s respite for black people here, and for once we are the priority when we put on this event for us and by us,” Moffatt-Darko said.

Jotham Stephenson ’18, president of Stomp Out’s executive board this year, was pleased with the outcome of the event.

“We had a great turnout, thanks to the hard work of the board and members of our congress, who helped advertise. The teams who competed also enjoyed the show and are looking forward to returning next year,” Stephenson said.

Ekekwe and Nneoma Ibezim ’18, president and vice-president elect of Stomp Out’s executive board, respectively, will organize next year’s event.

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