Sigmas at EC Step Show 2015 The 16th Annual Eastcoast Stepshow returns to Fayetteville on Saturday, April 16, at the Crown Theater.

Founded in 1998 at Fayetteville State University, the show has grown in scope and reach over the past seventeen years and is dedicated to showcasing: "Steppin' at Its Finest."

Member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity and one of the show's founders, Ernest Smith, states the show's original concept, "Steppin' for Success," began as a mentorship program for children in the community.

"Different members would become instructors for kids attending Cumberland and Moore County schools in hopes that the kids would see us and aspire to go to college," he said.

The show, focused initially on local step teams in the panhellenic community, now features high-caliber step teams from all over the country and offers various entertainment for a full evening of family fun.

Richard Smith, co-coordinator for the event, says the show's main objective is to put on something "new and diverse for the community."

"With a variety of Greek performers and routines, we offer great choreography, great entertainment, and great fun," Richard Smith said.

For those not familiar with step, it is a "high energy series of synchronized rhythms and beats. Each step is performed in unison by all members. It's not dancing, and it's not cheerleading — it's somewhere in-between," Ernest Smith explained. "If you've never seen a show, you're in for a treat."

With step teams from Maryland, Virginia, Connecticut and Pennsylvania, Richard Smith is especially excited about the diversity of The Eastcoast Step Show.

"Most local step-shows just have local teams. It's a passion for me to show how different stepping is all over the country," he said.

The event is hosted by comedian Emmanuel Hudson from "Nick Cannon's Wild n' Out." The show's coordinators have put together an evening that keeps everyone in mind. With comedy, seven collegiate step teams, one dance team, a middle school step team and music, there's plenty to excite everyone in the audience.

Ticketholders can also look forward to a special appearance by Grammy-nominated R&B artist Tank, performing some of his greatest hits to close out the show.

"The ladies love him," Richard Smith joked.

In addition to creating exposure for local entertainment, the show donates a portion of its proceeds to College and Alumni Fraternity & Sorority Step Teams to assist with their various endeavors throughout the year.

Due to scheduling conflicts and the difficulties of the pandemic, The Eastcoast Step Show hasn't been to Fayetteville in several years. Still, the community remembers it fondly, and the show is eager to return to its roots.

When guests walk away on Saturday night, Richard Smith hopes they " had a great and enjoyable night, full of variety."

Adding to that sentiment, Ernest Smith said he hopes to hear, "that was amazing; I can't wait to go back."

The show starts at 6 p.m. with doors opening one hour before showtime.

Tickets for the event are $25 to $65 and can be purchased at the following locations: The Crown Box Office, Leisure Travel Service-Ft. Bragg, FSU Box Office, and Page Talk- Lumberton NC.

Those interested can also purchase tickets online at capefeartix.com. For more information, call 803-619-0172.

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