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Stepping: A Brief History

By Nicole Lord
Entertainment Editor

Although there was a big turnout for the Nov. 10 Pan-Showcase stepshow, many UNCP students weren't aware of what stepping was. According to the Stepafrika.com website, the origins of stepping can be traced to the cultural dance traditions of Africa, or Gumboot dance.

Black Greek organizations now use similar methods to entertain and educate, called stepping. (Photo by Nicole Lord)
Photo by Nicole Lord
Black Greek organizations now use similar methods to entertain and educate, called stepping.

Gumboots' appearance and feel is similar to the rhythms and sounds of modern day stepping.

Gumboot dance began with rural laborers who worked at the gold mines in South Africa, according to Worldartswest.org. The laborers endured many hardships while at work, and were punished for talking to one another at work.

Ultimately, they were forced to develop new forms of communication and entertainment.

"The workers used the gumboots, to communicate with each other, by slapping their boots, stamping their feet, and rattling their ankle chains," according to worldartswest.org.

Black Greek organizations now use similar methods to entertain and educate, called stepping.

 
 
 
Black Line
 
  The University of North Carolina at Pembroke Updated: Wednesday, November 23, 2005
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