(UPDATE: The Sprite Step-Off has been moved to the WVU Coliseum parking lot in front of the Shell Building.)

No music is required. Strong foot steps, verbal commands and hand claps will turn bodies into instruments.

On Saturday, Oct. 10, West Virginia University will play host to one of the qualifying competitions of the largest national step-off competition in history – the Sprite Step-Off.

The competition, one of 14 qualifying events and 30 total Sprite Step-Off competitions around the United States, is open to all Greek organizations in good standing with their college or university. The public event will be held from 2 to 10 p.m. in the WVU Coliseum parking lot in front of the Shell Building. Admission is $10.

Combining elements of gymnastics, tap, African and Caribbean dance, among others, stepping originated in the competitive schoolyard song and dance routines practiced by historically black fraternities and sororities in the mid-1900s. It has since become a tradition of all Greek organizations.

“WVU is very excited to be hosting such a wonderful event. This event will give everyone the chance to embrace multiculturalism and see what this historic Greek tradition is all about,” said Jacqueline Dooley, program coordinator for WVU Student Organization Services.

The step-off event will feature a performance by a nationally-known musical artist Lupe Fiasco, duel DJs and a McDonald’s Flavor Battle, among other things.

The first place winner of the qualifying competition will receive $5,500 in scholarship funding and will go on to compete in the regional semi-final competition. The second place winner will receive $3,000 and the third place winner will receive $1,500.

The total monetary pool for all the Sprite Step-Off competitions is $1.5 million.

All step teams wishing to participate in the qualifying event are encouraged to sign up online, or at 10 a.m. on Oct. 10 in the Blue/Gold ballrooms of the Evansdale Residential Complex.

Additionally, fraternities and sororities are encouraged to participate in the Sprite Step-Off Service Challenge. The goal of the challenge is for Greek organizations around the country to log a total of 1.5 million youth-focused service hours between Sept. 12, 2009 and Sept. 12, 2010. The program has partnered with several organizations to encourage volunteer participation, including the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.

Toy and monetary donations will be accepted at the event. The donations will benefit the Salvation Army and Christian Help and will be distributed throughout the community.

All WVU student organizations are welcome to set up tables at the event. For an application, contact the Student Organization Services office at 304-293-4397 or visit the office located in the Mountainlair. Student job opportunities are available through the Office of Student Employment, they can be reached at 304-293-9270.

Several WVU offices will also be represented at the competition with displays.

For more information, visit http://spritestepoff.com.

The event coincides with WVU’s Black Alumni Reunion Weekend, for more information go to http://wvublackalumni.org.



CONTACT: Jacqueline Dooley, Student Organization Services
304-293-4397, Jacqueline.Dooley@mail.wvu.edu