In celebration of culture and community, Lambda Sigma Upsilon Latino Fraternity, Inc. will host its annual “Take the Throne III: Triple Threat Weekend” step dancing competition this Saturday.
Stepping, which is the type of dance featured at “Take the Throne, is very upbeat and filled with high energy. The members of the organizations all move in unison, using only their bodies to create noise and a level of intensity that often gains the crowd’s attention.
Step dancing, aside from the dynamic physical aspects and uniformity, also has a lot to do with culture. Christian Naunay, ’16, president of LSU, said events like Take the Throne allow organizations that have strong cultural connections to share their values with a greater community that might otherwise not have that understanding.
LSU is one of Lehigh’s multicultural Greek organizations, many of which have participated in the show in years past, and will be performing this year as well.
Competing for the grand prize of $1,000, Mu Sigma Upsilon Sorority, Inc., LU’s Finest and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. will be among one or two non-Greek affiliated groups rounding out this year’s entries. Each year, the event is hosted at Broughal Middle School. The Multicultural Greek Council supports the event, helping to attract people to attend from Lehigh and the greater community.
“I have never gone to a performance as a spectator and felt as drawn into the show almost like I was in it,” Peter Jones, ’17, said. “The students clearly have a passion for that style of dancing, and it is extremely enjoyable to watch them perform.”
Jones said he attended the step show last year with his fraternity brothers and said he expects them to attend again this year. He also said there was a large turnout from other Greek chapters last year, making the event more than just for the multicultural Greek community.
Naunay said last year the fraternity donated tickets to Broughal Middle School, inviting some middle school students to experience the kind of events Lehigh has to offer. It also forges relationships among Lehigh students and citizens of Bethlehem.
Naunay said LSU wanted to improve the interaction between students and the Bethlehem community, so the show is a good way to create a link between the two.
Jacob Chalfin, ’17, said he didn’t realize how much of a cultural phenomenon step dancing has become. He commended the individuals who organize the event and said he thinks it is a great opportunity to bring together the community.
“The event started as a philanthropy, but then (LSU) realized that Lehigh needed something different to come on campus,” Naunay said. “Something unexpected.”
He said the step competition has a much deeper meaning than simply being a philanthropy event and is a way for people to get in touch with their history. It also honors their ancestors and connects individuals.
It reminds him, and other members of LSU, of the struggles their ancestors went through, and stepping connects them to the way their families used to live. Aside from the cultural aspect of the show, LSU is raising the stakes this year even more than just the $1000 cash prize.
This year, LSU will give away a flat screen TV, Samsung Galaxy and a JBL Flip to the audience, Naunay said. LSU hopes to attract an even bigger audience than in years past, with an engaged and excited audience.
While the event aims to encourage community engagement more than competition, Naunay said there is definitely a competitive aspect to the step show. Last year, Mu Sigma Upsilon won the competition and took home the cash prize with an incredible performance.