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What Is Step Dance?

Learn what step dance is from choreographer Victor Sho in this Howcast dance video.


Hi, my name is Victor Sho, and I'm going to tell you, what is stepping. Stepping, or as some people like to say, step dance, is a form of a body percussion. Yeah? It originates, even as far as, from my knowledge, from my experience, from what I know, back even all the way to the slaves. What they used to do is use it as a form of their communication, and the thing is, once slave masters caught on to it, instead of punishing them for doing things behind their back, what they pretty much did was kind of like use it as a form of their entertainment. They used to have the slaves battle using, you know, stepping, or a body percussion kind-of-like style.

What happened, with fraternities, is that they actually took that and actually brought it into their time, culture, and lifestyle, with their fraternities and sororities, to celebrate, I guess, where we have come from. You know what I'm saying? Now I have never pledged; you know, I'm not in a fraternity or whatever, but I do have some kind of affiliation with it, just because my first experience with step was being taught by Qs and Kappas. So all the caning, all the power stepping, all the party strolling or technical stepping I know, has come from that. Now, there are so many disputes on whether it's called stepping or step dance, but I can only say from my experience. So this is not to offend anybody who is a master stepper or spent their whole life researching this craft, but as far as I know, up here in New York, this is how my experience is.

With stepping, there is technical stepping, there is power stepping. Yeah. There's party strolling, and a lot of times, you know, there are certain, like, fraternities who only party stroll; there are certain fraternities who incorporate all. There are certain people who have backgrounds in step, such as myself, but only from a step team, in which they use it in talent shows. It's just another, to me personally, stepping is just another dance form, in which you use to express dance through your body. Stepping became popular as early as in the 1900s, with, you know, like I said, fraternities and sororities. In the South it's huge; up here in the North, it's big too, but in the South, it's almost like a lifestyle.

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