Tight lines of people marched into the middle of the Lory Student Center Plaza, ready to kick up chalk dust while winding out in front of the CSU community for Greek Week Stroll Competition on Wednesday, an event that attracted more than 20 fraternities and sororities.
Seven groups, all named after Las Vegas casinos, stomped and chest-pounded to popular hip-hop with their fellow Greek sisters and brothers, jerking their arms and nodding their heads to the pounding bass of songs by Lilâ€™ Wayne and The Black Eyed Peas.
Performers melded contemporary dance with more traditional dance as they snaked around the middle of the Plaza surrounded by screaming students.
Sorority Kappa Delta sported matching pink and purple tutus over black outfits as they danced, urged on by the roaring crowd.
â€œIâ€™m really proud of us,â€ said Kappa Delta member Stephanie Meisner. â€œWe had a lot of fun doing it so it made it even better.â€
Men and women performed their own group routines and coed dances. Teams practiced for up to two weeks for their performances on top of preparing for other Greek Week activities.
Lauren Klimpke of Pi Beta Phi has a dance background, so the event was a chance to show off her skills.
â€œItâ€™s friendly competition and it gets you to meet people and get involved on campus,â€ Klimpke said, wearing a paint-splattered black t-shirt.
The dance, known as strolling, is made up of a moving line of people with rhythmic stomps in a uniformed motion. This is the second year that different councils in Greek Life have performed the dance together.
Strolling originated from slave communication known as gumbooting and is now a symbol of pride and unity among the multi-cultural Greek Councils, according to the eventâ€™s emcee and President of the Tau Lamda Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. Ashley Joyce Waller.
â€œStrolling is a way to show your relevance on campus but also having fun at the end of the day when all the work is done,â€ Waller said.
The multi-cultural organizations are somewhat separated from other areas of greek life according to Waller, so this event was a way to bring everyone together and share the culture.
Waller and Multi Cultural Greek Week Committee Chair Krysta Atkinson presented a workshop to the other groups to share what strolling means and to incorporate the rest of the community in the tradition.
â€œThere is diversity, but weâ€™d like to increase it and incorporate it and this is one way to do it,â€ Atkinson said.
The stroll competition allowed the different councils to interact and unify for a week and show the campus that Greek Life is present while breaking traditional stereotypes that many people have about fraternities and sororities.
â€œI think itâ€™s a pretty good way to get everyone involved,â€ said Vitaly Kroychick of the Treasure Island team representing fraternity Delta Chi.
Judges sat nearby to critique the groups on their style and how they kept with the traditional aspects of the historical dance style. Results of the competition will be released at the end of the week.
â€œA lot of people just had the idea that we just dance around yelling our calls and just trying to get attention,â€ Waller said. â€œBut there is actual meaning behind it.â€
Staff writer Rachel Childs can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.