Stepping Essay, Research Paper

Part 1: The Genesis

It began with singing. Brothers would gather in the quad and sing. They eventually graduated to dancing and from there stepping. You can go to some yards down south and they call it a “Sing” instead of a “Step-show”. The WHITE FRATERNITIES started the singing part, but the black fraternities took it to another level. Much like we did with basketball and football. I don’t think

that any one fraternity can lay claim to stepping, more than likely it evolved. One thing I do know was that the Omegas and the Sigmas were the first to do it. Sororities didn’t start stepping until several years after the fraternities.


Brother Terrence A.B. Lewis “BadStep”, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.

Part 2: The Evolution

Stepping began with groups of guys singing acappella, and when groups like the Temptations and the Four Tops were popular in the 50’s and 60’s brothers started mimicking their steps. This was how stepping evolved. This is why it is called “Stepping” now. Brothers would try to come up with the best steps while they were singing to please the ladies. If you got the ladies yougot more recruits. Much like it is today.

Others say that stepping replaced the doo woop sounds and cardigan sweaters of the 50’s. At around the same time as the “Black Power” Movements and Africa centered movements of the 60’s, stepping started to flourish with the incorporation of some traditional African ritual dancing and the incorporation of other elements like cheer leading, tap, gymnastics, etc. Over the years stepping has become very intricate and demanding incorporating props, high levels of gymnastics and other elements found in team sports. Please note that some people want to give the credit to the South African Boot Dance, but it would beunfair to ignore everything that stepping was in the beginning and it is now.

Stepping is an original art form that was influenced by MANY ELEMENTS FROM OUR PAST.


Various Brothers

So you see the idea was an evolution that didn’t even start with Black Greeks, and it woun’t end with Black Greeks. Just as BGLOs but there spin to the quads so have Latinos. At the step shows it is nothing to see a troupe hit a salsa beat, and put a dash of Latin flava into ole’ school steps. But check it out for yourself and do some research. If you still hold your opinions, I can’t hate.

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