“Step Out” is an annual philanthropic event organized by Sigma Psi Zeta that helps bring awareness of the issues surrounding domestic violence, relationship abuse, and other similar topics that are very much relevant to the lives of college students. Being aware of the issues of domestic violence is especially important for the Asian Pacific Islander community, who’s people are more likely to die from cases of domestic violence than people of any other race in Washington State. This is because they are unaware of the resources they could use to help themselves or loved ones in jeopardy. Raising awareness for this cause in the Asian community aligns with the philanthropic mission of Lambda Phi Epsilon, and its members were proud to contribute their time and effort in this year’s showcase.
Competing teams were evaluated on their performance by reputable judges in Seattle’s dance community at large. As per Alpha Zeta tradition, all newly activated members performed step; this year’s team consisted of Andrew Yeh, Gary Ho, Virak Mau, Thuc Nguyen, Mikey Mazique, Josh Chen, and Jon Bui—all of whom comprise Alpha Zeta Chapter’s Fall 2011 Upsilon Class. The step masters in charge of choreography were Pi Class’ Ryuji Maung and Russell Vong, veterans of the art The challenges for the new step team were numerous, but nonetheless, the rookies maintained their discipline. The week before Step Out, the rookie team took to an all-night practice and even created a stroll for their introduction. It was the first time the step masters had created a stroll so it was a learning experience for Alpha Zeta Chapter.
The tone on the day of the competition was somber, but the competition was fierce. There were a total of six teams competing in two categories: the Filipino American Student Association’s Kasama Dance Crew, Elev8 Dance Crew, and Western Washington University’s Hip Hop Dance Team tangoed in the dance division; Lambda Phi Epsilon, Sigma Lambda Beta, and Sigma Beta Rho battled it out for the step and stroll division. Sigma Psi Zeta’s own step team, as well as Western Washington University’s Step2This Step Team, Eric Chee, and the Seattle Cirque & Acrobat Team gave exhibition performances. Without a doubt, the level of skill and creativity was extremely high for everyone on stage. Lambdas’ routine in itself was raw, complex, and original. Announcing the winner of the showcase was a finger-biting moment for all competing teams involved. Ultimately, Elev8 Dance Crew and Lambda Phi Epsilon Fraternity took home the glory; both teams were awarded $250 for placing first in their division. And so ended a trial of hard work, dedication, and perseverance.
But the true story was just beginning. Lambdas’ triumph was not winning a mere step show; Lambdas’ victory was being able to take one step closer to raising awareness about the cause. Domestic violence is a very serious issue because we have all probably experienced it or know someone that has. Ending domestic violence begins at the heart and raising awareness is the first step to the transformation process. Strengthen your resolve. Step Out against domestic violence.