Stepping

11:58 AM
Stepping, also known as step dancing, is a percussive dance where the performers utilize their dance movements and bodies to make complex rhythms and rounds. The dance and music is created through stepping motions, stomping, voice, and slapping of the body parts. Generally, stepping is performed in groups, though it can also be performed by a single dancer.

Drawing influence from tap dance, marching, gymnastics, and Afro-Caribbean dances, the dance began in the mid-1900s in African American fraternities. Specific inspirations for this dance include African foot dancing and the military close-order and exhibition drills performed by soldiers with their rifles during basic training.

Any type of attire can be worn during the performance of stepping, but traditionally boots or tap shoes are worn to help produce more sound. Female groups sometimes wear high-heeled shoes. Canes, sticks, and other rhythmical objects have been added as well, in recent years.

The National Pan-Hellenic Council and its member fraternities have popularized stepping. It has also been featured in numerous TV shows and movies, including A Different World, Sister Sister, School Daze, Drumline, and Stomp the Yard.

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Also known as:
Steppin', Step Dancing

Originator:
African-American Fraternities

Popularized by:
National Pan-Hellenic Council 
Category:

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