Black Fraternities and Sororities The answer to Celebrate Their Culture4387983

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Stepping is a rhythmic performance art used by divine 9 nationally. It combines intricate footwork, foot stomps, hand movements, vocals, and handclaps. Stepping can also be an expression of unity.

"When you bond in synchronized motions, you're becoming one," says Aurelius Butler, Treasurer of Alpha Phi Alpha, Mu chapter. "For us, stepping signifies brotherhood. We cannot tell a brother he couldn't step. If he's a poor stepper, he's just going to have to try harder."

Stepping started out from the chants and dances that slaves did to remind themselves of the homelands. You can find stepping wherever you find African America Greek-lettered fraternities.


Stepping is definitely an age-old tradition among black fraternities and sororities. It involves intricate footwork, specialized hand movements, songs and chants. What is it really about Stepping why these college students find so compelling? This is what they're saying:

"Dancing has long been a means of expression in African culture," Reginald Price, a fourth-year business management and marketing student, is part of Kappa Alpha Psi, said. "Over time it has evolved into stepping."

"A step can be created at any given time," Price said. "A designated step master views step shows from other chapters of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. and adds his own style and flair."

"To me stepping is really a way to show what your fraternity represents through both words and gratifaction," said Marcus Bryant, a fourth-year electrical engineering student and person in Phi Beta Sigma.

"Our steps have already been passed down annually through the generations of Sigmas," Bryant said.

"You're creating beauty and dance out of nothing but you and the (sisters), and that's a special thing," says Ashanti Huey, fourth-year pr student and part of Sigma Gamma Rho. "On the other hand, it indicates long nights without any sleep, sweating like crazy and losing weight from the workout."

Davida Isaac, a third-year early childhood education student and part of Zeta Phi Beta sorority says, "When we step, we are very sharp and crisp with our movements. It may sound like one beat and appears like one movement."

Mastering and performing this dance form is really a traditional section of the initiation process in lots of African American sororities and fraternities, but stepping has lately become a popular activity for kids and teens.

Stepping now occurs all over the place. College dorms at HBCUs have teams, predominantly White fraternities and sororities may step during Greek Week. High school and youth groups step, plus some church youth groups. Furthermore, stepping is very popular with other culturally-based fraternal organizations--Latin, Asian, and multicultural.

Whatever their ideas with the performance art, Stepping, all step downline agree the dance unifies them and reminds them of these African roots. Due to its reliance on rhythm, it's very fascinating to look at groups of teenagers and women moving to a single beat in unison, a reminder of your time when all African Americans shared exactly the same pain and heartbreak of days once they were slaves.