G Phi, the Gibbs Hall step team, won a year’s worth of bragging rights Monday night at the Al Lawson Center.
The second night of Homecoming Week at Florida A&M University was alive with cheers as G Phi reclaimed its title as University Housing Step Show champs from the Truth and Paddyfoote Steppers (TPS).
The step show featured teams representing all student resident halls: Gibbs Hall as G Phi, FAMU Village girls as the Village Girls Steppers (VGS), FAMU Village boys as V-Nasty, the Truth and Paddyfoote Steppers (TPS), InSYNc representing all student housing, and Impact representing The Palmettos.
G Phi, in particular, had a reputation of winning housing step shows during homecoming prior to losing in 2012. The contest was then suspended for two school years and returned in 2015 where G Phi, again, failed to win. But this year they were determined to reclaim their title.
Having performed on the losing line last year, Peetra Samuels; a sophomore criminal justice student and G Phi’s step master was determined to whip the new line into shape.
"To be honest, my kids hated me every day in practice,” Samuels said. “Every single day they went home, they deleted my number, they left the GroupMe every day,” she added. “They came right back though because they knew that we lost last year. We didn't even place. So I wanted to make sure that this year they at least won first place."
The win for G Phi was well-deserved according to step show judge, Theodis President: a senior psychology pre-law student.
As the president of the Alpha Eta Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. with years of step show participation and judging under his belt, President knew what to look for in a step team.
“Their [G Phi] overall presentation up there showed precision,” President said. “I've seen a lot of step shows and I felt that G Phi actually brought it.”
President is also president of the Florida A&M University Chapter of the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC).
Michael Barnes, a junior broadcast journalism student, was nothing short of excited for the Monday night show.
“The step show was live,” Barnes said. “All the teams came out, gave it their best but only one person can be the winner. The halftime performances, the unity piece, even the little girls that came out and danced. They came out and did their thing.”
Barnes was particularly excited because his little brother was one of the G Phi steppers and having met the whole team, he was thrilled to see them succeed.
"A lot of them are really humble, they really love stepping,” Barnes said. “They put a lot into it. So…yeah, I wanted them to win.”
As a result of their win, the G Phi step team was a part of the opening act for the Greek Step Show on Thursday evening where they performed an encore of their winning performance.