Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Latina Group Wins MTV Step Contest

Rutgers sorority steps into spotlight on MTV
By Jennifer Vazquez

Rutgers University members of Omega Phi Beta, a national Hispanic sorority, were featured on MTV's show "True Life: I'm a Stepper."MTV followed Omega Phi Beta's national step team, Soul Steppin' Divas, through hardships and triumphs on the road to Step Correct, a coveted national competition.

Omega Phi Beta made history by being the first Hispanic organization to qualify, place and win Step Correct -- a traditional African-American step show.

"I feel privileged and basically happy that [the sorority] won," said Rutgers College junior Tatiana Fernandez, a newly inducted Omega Phi Beta member. "It's very inspiring that we won. It's really such a beautiful feeling. It was a lot of hard work and very draining, but it was so worth it in the end.

"No stranger to acknowledgment, Step Correct 2007 is not the only recognition Omega Phi Beta received. The sorority won the Latino Step Show in 2003, 2004 and 2005, and was named Sorority of the Year in 2003, 2005 and 2006.

The Soul Steppin' Divas hope to take part in this summer's Latino Step Show competition again after not participating last year taking a much needed break after winning the past three years.

According to its Web site, Omega Phi Beta was founded March 15, 1989, when determined women of various cultural backgrounds came together to create an outlet for women to set off change. The foundation was built to fight against the injustices the female gender historically suffered.

Fernandez said the win feels even better since people can actually witness what all the sisters have observed -- all the sweat and the passion the step team put into the competition -- and appreciate all their hard work and effort.

"This success definitely will open doors for other Latinos," Fernandez said. "And I feel honored and proud that we started it all."MTV's "True Life: I'm a Stepper" debuted Feb. 18.