O-Cheer pushes the limit

Greek Week was in full swing as fraternities and sororities stepped onto the stage to prove they had the most talent, rhythm and comedic relief at the annual Organized Cheer (O-Cheer) event. The evening showcases each participating Greek organization that prepares a skit, cheer, dance or other creative presentation in hopes of capturing the judges’ attention and the coveted right to the title of O-Cheer Champion.

The sororities work hard to prove their skills as dancers and attempt to wow the crowds with sensational moves accented by carefully chosen costumes. The fraternities, while still impressing the crowds with their dance techniques, tend to go for the laugh effect.

This year’s Broadway theme brought everything from ballerinas and can-can girls to Broadway Idol, creating an event that once again raises the standards for Greeks.

“My favorite event during the week is by far the Organized Cheer,” Mike London, junior Sigma Phi Epsilon brother, said. “We are always coming up with new ideas that set us apart from the rest.”

The event started with a dance and tap medley by Zeta Tau Alpha. Lambda Chi turned the audience into a sea of laughter as one of the brothers strutted on stage in a halter dress and the others tried to gain his attention while dancing to the ’80s song, “Your Love.” Alpha Delta Pi made its Greek Week O-Cheer debut with a candy theme set to bubble gum pop favorites Aaron Carter and Britney Spears, but its innocent songs were masked by a provocative move at the conclusion of the dance that raised eyebrows. Sigma Alpha Mu was the last fraternity to perform, but made certain not to be the least memorable of the group as it graced the stage in spandex and showed the world the first SAM group workout.

Practice begins only days before the Greeks meet to represent their fraternity or sorority before a panel of judges, but a great deal of thought is devoted to the occasion starting after winter vacation. Participation is the deciding variable, therefore forcing every Greek organization to begin motivating its members early on in the semester.

Since O-Cheer is one of the larger events of Greek Week, it has the possibility of making or breaking the chance of winning, creating a sense of competition that is palpable at times.

“There are less sororities than there are fraternities on campus and the close proximity during the week increases competition,” Joanna Roumi, president of Delta Phi Epsilon, said. “It almost seems that girls get more serious about it in general, especially when it comes to O-Cheer.”

On Sunday, the Greek Week results will be announced, and all will find out whether Pi Kappa Alpha’s “too sexy for my shirt” dance or Sigma Epsilon’s southern striptease will clinch the judges’ vote, and whether Delta Phi Epsilon will beat last year’s O-Cheer champs, Delta Gamma.

Stacey Arnold can be contacted at s.arnold@umiami.edu.