“What do you think?” asked a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. who stopped me as I walked up to the balcony. I hesitated to field her question because I was ready to finish watching the Epsilon Chapter of Zeta Tau Alpha (ZTA) perform their step routine, which was drawing incredible applause from the crowd at the Atlanta Civic Center.
This young lady was convinced that the first National Sprite Step Off competition was rigged, that ZTA was drawing all of their excitement simply because they were white. So as I contemplated my answer, I knew the truth wouldn’t be well received.
“It’s a step show,” I responded, “and as long as you realize that stepping is all about promotion and recruitment, then it doesn’t really matter if they win or lose.” She quickly responded, “No, I am a member of Delta Sigma Theta baby, we don’t recruit. If they let these white girls win, I’m turning in my membership card!”
My first thought was “so… you’re telling me that a sorority, which is the largest of the Divine Nine Black Greek Letter Organizations (BGLOs) with a surplus of 350,000 members, does not recruit? Not one member?!” My second thought came two hours later. “I hope the DST membership office gets that young lady’s card like she promised.” (more…)
I haven’t posted in two weeks. I’ve barely talked to my siblings or parents. This semester is taking a lot out of me. I picked up two jobs, and haven’t slowed on my academic dedication to excellence. Regardless, this is nothing compared to challenges of the past. I finally experienced the infamous MO Money Step Show last Saturday. To make my post brief, I think I have some images for My Beyond This Place project, but I wasn’t too impressed by the show overall (I’ve seen and organized some tight step shows). Overall though, it was a lot of fun. Shout out to my Sorror in one of the images, who despite a broken pinky, still stepped her butt off and was STILL reppin’ for AKA! Funny huh? AKA with a broken pinky stepping? Priceless.
As part of my Advanced Techniques class requirements, I needed to find an audio slide show which I thought was good grounds for emulating. Ironically one of the audio stories I was most attracted to was about a group that performed at Mizzou not too long ago and was related to my Master’s project: Beyond This Place. Step Afrika was featured on NPR’s “All Things Considered” in 2003. Narrated by Michelle Norris, this exciting audio presentation, took the best of the sounds of stepping and combined narration to create the audio piece which you can access by clicking here. This audio is great because of the inclusion, but not over used, beat of stepping itself. Along with the rhythmic beating of stepping, the addition of interviews provided balance in the audio. Using this as an example, I am more conscious of the types of beats used in the background as ambient. Had this been my presentation, I think I would have used a little less of the stepping because in some parts of the presentation, you can’t appreciate the sounds of the art. This will be interesting when I finish the second part of my Beyond This Place Project: Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. probate, which has some stepping in it. Look for that soon. 🙂
Every year, Black Greek letter organizations get “the call” . You know, the one in honor of Black History Month? Stepping has been embedded in Black culture and the lessons taught by multi-talented group Step Afrika prove that stepping is more than entertainment. Step Afrika is the first professional organization dedicated to the art of stepping. Founded by Brian Williams in December 1994, Step Afrika travels around the globe promoting the history and showmanship of stepping. Pulling from “pledge” like monologues, gum boot dancing from the Zulu nation, and tap dancing, Step Afrika provides a special opportunity to also learn how to step with their interactivity with audiences. Below are a few images from their show and workshop held at MU on February 14, 2009. More Step Afrika Info here.
Just a few flicks from the UNITY Step Show in Liberty, MO @ William Jewell. The performance was good for the brothers at Zeta Alpha Chapter, but they got shafted and one second place (out of two teams… :p) Its all good tho. I got some ok flicks. Here they are!