Stepping, a form of dance that uses your entire body to create rhythm and sounds through hand claps, footsteps, and spoken words, originated in the Black culture. It is a staple among Black Greek organizations, and for years, it has been exclusive.
Not any more.
On February 20, 2010, the Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority captured this year's Sprite Step Off championship. Take a look at the video of their performance:
From what I can discern, this is the first time a non-Black sorority has won the championship. I fully believe in the tradition of stepping and understand the value that it holds in the Black Greek organizations. I admit to feeling a little uneasy about a non-Black team winning the competition, but simply cannot deny their performance. The argument is that anyone can learn how to step...but does it mean that much to them? Does it hold a significance that is steeped in emotion and history?
On the other hand, in order for us to become this "post-racial" society I keep hearing is upon us, we have to acknowledge that there are elements of Black culture that are going to be stolen and used for different purposes. I think the evolution of music in general should tell us that. How then, do we connect the dots between the two? How can we, as Blacks, hold onto our traditions without them being used as a foundation for something that focuses away from the history?
I don't have the answers, just lots of questions. I do admit though, the Zetas brought their A game. If stepping is to maintain its cultural relevance, then Black Greek organizations need to step their game up. They can no longer arrogantly believe that they are in an exclusive club.
The door to everyone else has been opened...