The art of stepping and chanting have been a staple in African American Fraternities and Sororities for decades. Stepping has increased in popularity so much that it has impacted mainstream media. Movies like Stomp The Yard and How She Move have helped bring stepping into the spotlight and today you see it more than ever. But where did stepping originate from?
According to some historians agree that Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Incorporated, and then Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated, were the first to start the stepping phenomenon which has become wildly popular today.
The contributions of Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Incorporated, made stepping moves sourced directly from African culture more common. It is the tribal, African feel of stepping that makes it powerful.
So have you ever heard of Gumboot dancing? Started in the gold mines in the last decades of the 19th century, gumboot dancing in South Africa stems from a code that mine workers devised because of the repressive ban on talking enforced by mine bosses. Kitted out with Wellington boots to fight skin diseases from fetid water flooding the mine tunnels, the ‘muzzled’ miners found that they could communicate with one another through coded slaps on their boots and bare chests.
Well we have found some video evidence and are convinced that Gumboot dancing may be where the current tradition of stepping originated. Check it out.