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Ice Train attracts crowd of 1,000-plus


Photo
DJAMILA NOELLE GROSSMAN/Arizona Daily Wildcat
Alpha Phi Alpha performs in Saturday's step show in Centennial Hall. The California fraternity won the competition.
By Aubrey McDonnell
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Monday, April 25, 2005
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The sounds of stomping, clapping and canes against the stage floor filled Centennial Hall Saturday afternoon.

More than 1,000 people attended the Sixth Annual Ice Train Classic Step Show hosted by the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.

The event has grown every year since its inception in 1999. In the beginning, the show could barely fill the Social Sciences auditorium with the capacity of 500 people. Now the fraternity is celebrating its second year hosting the show in Centennial Hall.

The step show showcased the talents of six teams from all over the West Coast.

The fraternity refers to the show as "The Best in the West" because the event has become relatively well known on the West Coast, and teams as far as Seattle have traveled to perform in the show, said Jomar Jenkins, president of Alpha Phi Alpha.

Aisha Arnold, a psychology sophomore, said the UA pulled off a pretty good step show compared to one she saw in Los Angeles.

"There was a lot more energy and the hype was a lot better than the step show in L.A.," Arnold said. "The crowd was very supportive of the teams."

There were two winners of the event, the Southern California chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha and the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority from Arizona State University.

Some students did not agree with the choice of winners.

"The (Kappa Alpha Psi) performance was the best part, they always give a great show. The Kappas should have won but the Alphas won," Arnold said. "I guess the team that hosts the event is most likely to choose their own team to win."

Winning teams received $5,000, and every team received a trophy.

"It was kind of different for everyone to get a trophy," said Jamila Arnold, a pre-nursing junior. "There was a big unity thing between the sororities and fraternities which was really cool."

The step show is not a fundraiser, but rather an entertainment event that showcases the talents of step show teams from along the West Coast.

"The event is for enjoyment, and we are happy to break even from sales," Jenkins said. "Extra money goes toward future programs."

Jenkins, a business senior, said he was really happy with how everything turned out at the step show this year, but hopes to make the event larger for next year's 100th anniversary of the fraternity's creation in 1906.

"Everybody is really friendly, and even if you don't win the contest, everyone comes out to have a good time," Jenkins said. "I would like to have a big name performer come out to take the step show to the next level."



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