By Xiomara “LunarIx” Santana, Staff Writer
For this article, The Jade Times interviewed sisters Lillie Madali and Maria S. Jaochico, creators of Delta Phi Lambda’s national stroll, the Navy Blue Stroll.
Strolling is a synchronized dance that began within organizations in the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC). In the early 1920s, strolls were introduced into the African-American Greek lettered organizations to be coordinated to a song or a mix of songs. In the past few decades, stepping and strolling has grown tremendously popular amongst other multicultural Greek lettered organizations. Strolling provides a way to channel style and self-expression among fraternities and sororities. As an outlet to represent their organization’s values, character and personality, multicultural Greeks have embraced this tradition as their own. Delta Phi Lambda Sorority, Inc. has also embraced the tradition of strolling.
Prior to the sorority having an official national stroll, sisters created different strolls from their chapters or their classes. In 2005, sisters Lillie Madali and Maria S. (Iglesia) Jaochico of the University of Georgia Alpha Chapter envisioned a stroll that would unify our sisters nationwide, while also expressing the values and history of our organization. They wanted to create a stroll that was unique to the sorority, embracing traditions from Asia, America, and African-American cultures. At that time, there were not many Asian-Americans strolling on the campus of UGA. When they would stroll, it sparked a dialogue among other Greeks on campus: “Why do y’all want to stroll?” “Why can’t you create your own tradition?” “Why does it look like you are copying our moves?” As Madali and Jaochico created strolls for the Sorority, they made sure to recognize and respect the many organizations that pathed the way for ours by staying true to their experiences as Asian-Americans. By incorporating influences from the music of the time, dance choreography from music videos, and traditional Asian dances from countries like the Philippines and Vietnam, Madali and Jaochico worked together to create what is known today as the Navy Blue stroll to the song “Goodies” by Ciara.
Once the stroll was created, Madali and Jaochico attended the Midyear Convention at The University of Cincinnati. At the convention, they did something that was not done before: they taught sisters from other chapters the stroll. Although some sisters had a difficult time learning the new stroll, Madali and Jaochico made sure the moves were considerate of sisters who are non-dancers. It also allowed sisters to learn and attempt moves outside their comfort zone.
Madali and Jaochico had a vision of uniting sisters from all regions through the art of strolling. Together, they created a stroll that allowed sisters to stroll with integrity. As chapters continue assembling new strolls many of the moves from the Navy Blue Stroll can be noticed. Those moves are recognized as “signature moves” for our organization. Today, the Navy Blue Stroll is a stroll that all sisters are encouraged to learn and practice, as it strengthens our everlasting sisterhood.
Featured Image: Special to The Jade Times
Article Images: Special to The Jade Times