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  #1  
Old 04-11-2007, 04:17 PM
nwu43 nwu43 is offline
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Question step/stomp and minority greeks not from NPHC

Hi, I have some questions for Greeks of the divine nine about step.

So I'm from an asian fraternity, and we all really love stepping. Everything about it. It's such a great combination of dance / creating your own music / expression of self. I love how steppers can add all forms of entertainment to their beats, how each group can puts in their own personalities into their step with signature sequences and gimmicks, and I think it's a superb form of art.

Our organization appreciates it enough to have our own step competitions each year.

Here's the problem. I think our earliest chapters were taught by Alphas many many years ago. This is just from what I hear, so I'm not even sure. Since then, videos of performances were circulated around and step sequences copied by other chapters who have no idea what step is outside of what they see on youtube (and have no idea that they are actually copying off other greeks... which I am sure is a *big taboo*). And for many chapters, it more-or-less stayed that way. Not because they don't care, but they just don't know how seriously wrong it is to copy moves from other greeks. This reflects a bigger problem, IMHO, with asian greeks overall, which is that we tend to stick with each other and isolate from (and thus stay ignorant about) the rest of the greek world. I know some bros who don't even know what divine nine is.

On our campus, we've performed step at asian cultural shows for eight years now (I know, I know, it has nothing at all to do with asian culture. But neither do all those asian hiphop dance groups that perform there as well). When I first joined our step team after I crossed my sophomore year, we were just as ignorant about step as many other chapters. We performed many moves and sequences unaware that many of them probably originated from other NPHC Greeks. All we knew was that it was entertaining to the asian audience and that was enough. In the past year and a half, however, we've finally began to interact more with the greater cultural/minority Greek community, and this moved us to greater awareness of the mores and folkways that came with performing step. We also saw that there were many moves that we couldn't even copy from within our fraternity (I saw so shocked when I saw how similar some of our "original" moves from neighboring chapters were to parts of Phi Beta Sigma and Alpha Phi Alpha's step). Thank God we did not perform our old step back then.

Since then, I and a few of my bros have worked hard to create our first pure original step. This fall we hosted a philanthropy step event and performed in front of a non-asian audience for the first time (finally!). To our surprise, we had a very positive reception even though we probably looked like fools compared to the other D9 Greeks much better than us and who also performed. But I think we are getting better . One of these days, hopefully, we'll be good enough to perform at NPHC hosted step shows on our campus.

So finally, my questions (sorry for this being so long). I still don't know *exactly* what is and what isn't acceptable at step shows, what move/gimmick is and what isn't owned by different Greeks? I've tried to learn as much as I could by watching as many step shows as I could, but I still am not sure about certain things (and I think some members of divine9 fraternities here that I know are not sure themselves). So far I've stuck with the cautious side and avoided doing anything that remotely resembled something from another Greek's step. But being so cautious also imposes some unnecessary limits to what we can do with our step, and I'd rather have a greater understanding of what exactly we can really do. Also, many things still confuse me. For instance, I know that the swirly canes are KAPsi's signature move, yet I saw Phi Beta Sigma perform earlier this year with their own canes. I also saw some Greeks that were not Alphas performing the A-train.

Are there any websites that I can turn to that explains any of this? Are there any organization that regulates the Greek step scene? It is so unbelievably hard to find information about step, especially since I don't even know where to look (it's not even on wikipedia... which is supposed to have info on everything!)

Anyways thanks for reading this, sorry this was so long. If I can get a greater understanding, I think I may be able to change many chapters to be less ignorant about this and really take this seriously, and perhaps this issue can become seriously considered on a national level. Step is such a great way to bring different Greeks together and maybe it can help asian Greeks to stop being so exclusive by participating in step events. But this won't work of course if we are still ignorant about it!
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  #2  
Old 04-11-2007, 04:38 PM
Senusret I Senusret I is offline
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I don't know which org you're in, but here is my advice:

1) Contact Nate Hayward. He is a Pi Delta Psi at George Washington University, and he is quite the scholar-in-training about Asian and other cultural Greek lettered organizations. He is also on Greekchat, but he hasn't posted in a while.

2) Read a book called Soulsteppin' by Dr. Elizabeth Fine. It should be available on amazon.com.

3) Share your concerns with a BGLO member on your campus that you trust. Much of what you're worried about can be fixed with a good mentor on your own campus.

As a (retired?) stepper myself, what you really want to do is look to your own organizations symbols and traditions and incorporate them into your performances.

Also know that even among NPHC fraternities, the fraternties have their own styles. Some step, some hop, some cane. Some Latino fraternities only salute.

Good luck with everything!
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  #3  
Old 04-11-2007, 05:26 PM
Gldnchttr2 Gldnchttr2 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Senusret I View Post
I don't know which org you're in, but here is my advice:

1) Contact Nate Hayward. He is a Pi Delta Psi at George Washington University, and he is quite the scholar-in-training about Asian and other cultural Greek lettered organizations. He is also on Greekchat, but he hasn't posted in a while.

2) Read a book called Soulsteppin' by Dr. Elizabeth Fine. It should be available on amazon.com.

3) Share your concerns with a BGLO member on your campus that you trust. Much of what you're worried about can be fixed with a good mentor on your own campus.

As a (retired?) stepper myself, what you really want to do is look to your own organizations symbols and traditions and incorporate them into your performances.

Also know that even among NPHC fraternities, the fraternties have their own styles. Some step, some hop, some cane. Some Latino fraternities only salute.

Good luck with everything!
Nicely put!!
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  #4  
Old 04-11-2007, 06:47 PM
rhoyaltempest rhoyaltempest is offline
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"Senusret I" gave some good advice regarding the topic of "stepping." You definitely don't want to try and enter an NPHC stepshow (or any stepshow for that matter) doing Divine 9 signature steps.

As for the different styles, all of the Divine 9 have their own signature steps and style of stepping, and speaking as a former stepper and stepmistress (stepteam choreographer), I personally don't like to see other groups perform the moves that we are best known for and have perfected over the years. Now among the D9, orgs will sometimes perform the steps of other orgs but this is at best a form of flattery. Often times a D9 org will cheer and chant when another D9 org does their step. It's normal to see a D9 sorority perform the step of a D9 fraternity and the other way around as a tribute or for comedic effect in a show. We all have respect for one another and our rich histories so it's all understood between us.

As for cane stepping in the D9, members of Phi Beta Sigma and Sigma Gamma Rho are also known to step with canes (although not all chapters) but for the Kappas, it's their signature. Phi Beta Sigma has their own steps using the cane (although most of their steps are not with canes and not all chapters use them) and the cane steps that some chapters of Sigma Gamma Rho perform are borrowed (for the most part) from the Kappas since some chapters share a close relationship with them. Among members of Sigma Gamma Rho (and other D9 orgs) some step with staffs or simply own them.

The bottom line is that I'm glad that you are taking the time to learn about the D9 stepping tradition. It's easier to copy steps from others but it takes a little more creativity and dedication to come up with your own. When people say this can't be done, I just shake my head because it CAN be done. My undergrad stepteam was a champion stepteam and we grew tired of performing our traditional steps one year so we created new ones. One show we did had all new steps...all new ones. Sure we used some of our traditional beats but the moves were new and creative and still in line with our signature style. We even used some new beats. As long as there are beats out there (hip hop beats are wonderful for this), you can create new moves for new steps.

If you're looking for new steps and want to come up with your own style, I would try seeking out a step choreographer (maybe a D9 member can help) and ask them to work with you. Just explain to them that you love stepping but you want your organization to have your own signature style and steps. I think they would respect that and might really want to help, although maybe for a small fee. I know I would charge...stepping ain't easy...
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Last edited by rhoyaltempest; 04-11-2007 at 06:56 PM.
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  #5  
Old 04-12-2007, 12:34 PM
nwu43 nwu43 is offline
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Thanks so much for the replies!

Actually I'm a brother of Lambda Phi Epsilon. Us and Mr. Hayward's fraternity, PDPsi are "supposed" to be rivals . I've currently tried to contact a D9 member that we know and I'm just waiting for his reply.

Btw, with regards to style, some of our chapters have actually tried to form a unique signature -Umich performed a cool step using kendo sticks to form beats- but besides that most of us have yet to create something unique like that.

I like the idea of hiring a step-master from a BGLO, but I still want us to make our own thing.

Compared D9 Greeks, we're like babies (founded less than 30 yrs ago) and it's tough to form our own culture and identity without borrowing from other orgs. We already wear line jackets, have the nicknaming and numbering tradition, the call out tradition, and maybe even part our pledge process was influenced by BGLO's (?). And of course there's also the fact that we like to step, even though it has nothing to do with asian culture. We should try and be more independent .

I've actually always wondered how exactly did the asian Greek culture (or minority Greeks in general) become so similar to black Greeks. I don't think we were pledged by any D9 organizations, but I heard some Latino fraternities or sororities were. I wonder if we were ever "educated" or influenced directly in some way by a BGLO. I admit I would be a bit disappointed if our older bros simply decided one day to imitate a group of people on campus that they were strangers to because they thought their line jackets looked cool.
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Old 04-12-2007, 12:56 PM
Little32 Little32 is offline
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There are theories that suggest that black organizations, culture, etc...become a touchstone for other ethnic groups who wish to define themselves against or outside mainstream/majority institutions, because of the many ways that black people have successfully accomplished this end over the centuries. So that even if you organization has no official relationship with any BGLO, our organizations in many ways are models (in terms of longevity and impact) of how to do things differently, which perhaps your organization found useful.
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Last edited by Little32; 04-12-2007 at 12:58 PM.
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  #7  
Old 04-12-2007, 03:00 PM
L.O.C.K. L.O.C.K. is offline
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Aiya, Rashid! You're making me sit down to write this long reply!!! Bear with me all, this is going to be a bit long.

Let me just say that Little32's point about BGLO's being the staple for creating a "counter culture" in opposition to WGLO's is very, very solid point.

Asian Greeks are old (first org was 1916 but it died out). However, we don't have the group history of the D9. Essentially, Because you have so many organizations that are so old, a D9 culture has been created and developed over time to become what it is today. Things weren't like they are now back in the day.

As for Asian Greeks not knowing about stepping yet doing it anyways, YES it happens. Does it piss me off? YES. But the question to ask is WHY. Why are people doing these things? I really think it comes down to existing in a culture that is in opposition to WGLOs. So many Asian Greeks tell their members during rush or preach during pledging that we are not just drinking clubs. Many orgs emphasize their cultural ties and how they stand apart.

Yet, creating something totally different is very difficult. I mean, by just creating a fraternity or sorority you are copying from the Phi Beta Kappa model that every Greek org has copied.

The reality is that Asian Greeks have hand signs, calls, wear line jackets, hell even do line-ups like Black Greeks. I've gone over this a lot in my mind to think about what it all means - is this good or bad?

In some ways, it makes me very happy to see Asians branching out and looking at other cultures. At the same time, it bothers me because it is done without understanding what you are modifying.

Now, how do we solve all of this?

First off, Asian Greek culture needs to be solidified. I am sure if you asked members of Asian Greeks about other large Asian Greek orgs, their founding, etc. most members would have no clue at all. So, we're not even aware of our own history as Asian Greeks. How can we hope to learn the history of others without knowing our own organizational histories?

Now, most likely why there has been so little education on this is because a) our orgs are relatively newer and the older orgs are very small mostly b) because none of this has been written down recorded and c) because there is no unifying body for Asian Greeks (like the D9 for Black Greeks).

The older we get, the *hopefully* better the situation will become.

As for our age, all we can do is keep truckin.

As for none of it being written down, it's being done. I am in the process of writing my senior thesis on Asian American Fraternities & Sororities and their impact on APIA identity, etc. I created a survey that I sent to every Asian American Greek org I could find and received over 1,100 responses. I then did follow up questionaires with those who left their emails and received 70 good respones. Furthermore, I've been in contact with Walter Kimbrough (he wrote Black Greek 101) and Lawrence Ross (The Divine Nine) and I've been updating them on my work as well as supplying them with some more information about Asian American Greeks. Hopefully if they write more books they will have more to discuss on Asian American Greeks.

As for unity...we're trying right now. Back in 2004, the APIA Greek Alliance (AGA) was created to basically get Asian American Greeks to Get Out the Vote for the 2004 elections. Essentially, it showed how our orgs could work together for the APIA community. After that, it was clear that it needed to continue and be more refined. Since then, the National APIA Panhellenic Association (NAPA) has been created to provide a unifying voice for Asian American Greeks and help provide some stability to a Greek community of over 60 organizations.

Right now NAPA consists of:
alpha Kappa Delta Phi Sorority - founded 1990 at UC Berekely - approx. 43 chapters
Alpha Phi Gamma Sorority - founded 1994 at Cal Poly Pomona - 9 chapters
Delta Kappa Delta Sorority - founded 1999 at Texas A&M - 7 chapters
Delta Phi Lambda Sorority - founded 1998 at University of Georgia - 10 chapters
Kappa Phi Lambda Sorority - founded 1995 at Binghamton University - approx. 25-26 chapters
Pi Alpha Phi Fraternity - founded roughly 1926 at UC Berkeley - approx. 13 chapters
Pi Delta Psi Fraternity - founded 1994 at Binghamton University - 21 chapters
Sigma Beta Rho Fraternity- founded 1996 at University of Pennsylvania - approx. 37 chapters
Sigma Psi Zeta Sorority - foudned 1994 at University at Albany - 21 chapters

Other organizations (such as LPhiE, DPhiO, etc) were invited to join but declined/rejected. So, we have 9 organizations (not divine by any means unfortunately...but give us time!!! )

The reality is even the larger organizations are facing many issues with infrastructure and organization. Things such as paid National staff (a staple of D9 and NPC/NIC orgs) are a far off dream right now. Even developing stable Alumni structures are a problem as well.

I know my org is trying to establish Alumni Chapters based on geographical locations, but it is very very difficult to get Alumni involved. Something the D9have done VERY well is have good Alumni support/involvement, which is something that is key to sustainability of an organization.

If you would like to get involved, I am sure your Nationals would love someone with your enthusiasm and desire to make things right. However, before we teach about the history of stepping, we need to teach our own history first and develop our own Asian American Greek Culture.

Believe me, I want to teach about D9 orgs too, but it is going to take time. I dream of the day when I am wearing letters at the age of 80 and I walk down the street and people go "omg!! he's PDPsi!!" just like people do about people who walk down the street wearing Alpha Phi Alpha letters. But the only way that is going to happen is with hard work and dedication.


Hope this helps! Now time to go work on this damn thesis!!! @#!$%%$@%!@#!!!

Pz
Nate
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  #8  
Old 04-12-2007, 03:46 PM
Little32 Little32 is offline
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^^This is good stuff.

And of course taking the model and adapting to meet your particular needs is always the challenge. I am a literary and cultural scholar, so I see evidence of this throughout the field.

For instance African American Studies programs/departments were models for the formation of other Ethnic Studies programs/departments; however, there are ways that what works in African American Studies does not and can not address the needs of other Ethnic Groups, so those programs have evolved to better suit their constituencies.

But that process takes a lot of time. The fact that these conversations are being had means that you are moving in the right direction. And, as L.O.C.K. pointed out, BGLOs did not emerge fully grown in the years they were founded. Our orgs have decades that have gone into this process of developing a unique culture--and they are continuing to evolve even now.
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Old 04-12-2007, 03:54 PM
Senusret I Senusret I is offline
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Originally Posted by Little32 View Post
There are theories that suggest that black organizations, culture, etc...become a touchstone for other ethnic groups who wish to define themselves against or outside mainstream/majority institutions, because of the many ways that black people have successfully accomplished this end over the centuries. So that even if you organization has no official relationship with any BGLO, our organizations in many ways are models (in terms of longevity and impact) of how to do things differently, which perhaps your organization found useful.
You just became my favorite neo on GreekChat.
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Old 04-12-2007, 04:30 PM
rhoyaltempest rhoyaltempest is offline
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There is a phenomenal book out there about BGLO's and the D9 called African-American Fraternities and Sororities: The Legacy and The Vision by Tamara L. Brown, Gregory S. Parks, and Clarenda M. Phillips (you can order it from amazon.com). This book is less popular than the Divine Nine book but this book has so much more depth to it because it examines and historically provides insight into the WHY's of BGLO's. It only provides a brief history of each D9 org but it really gives you a history and in depth look into answering the following questions:

1. WHY were BGLO's founded?
2. WHO was the first BGLO?
3. How have the BGLO's helped to change the fabric of America?
4. WHY do BGLO's have hand signs?
5. WHY do BGLO's have calls?
6. WHY do BGLO's pledge?
7. WHY do BGLO's have line numbers and names?
8. WHO are the members of the D9?
9. WHY do BGLO's step and how did it get started?

These questions and many more are answered or examined closely in this book written by D9 college professors and scholars.

I'm a firm believer that you should know WHY you're doing something and the history behind it as opposed to just doing it for the sake of doing it so you can really appreciate the shoulders that you're standing on. This book is a great read for D9 members and non D9 members alike.

Link to book: http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0813...46#reader-link
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Last edited by rhoyaltempest; 04-12-2007 at 04:36 PM.
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Old 04-12-2007, 04:37 PM
nwu43 nwu43 is offline
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Oy, looks like this thread is starting branch out into two topics already haha

I'm gonna have split this post.

First, good job Nate in your efforts to bring us together! I'm a bit disappointed/puzzled as to why our nationals rejected or declined to be a part of NAPA. Unfortunately when it comes to the politics of our organization, I really have no idea what's going on. I guess part of the problem are Asians like me who cannot stand all this business and just choose to stay out of it . I agree with your views but I really do not know what I can do. Mostly, I'm concerned with fulfilling my role as step-master and trying to keep the brotherhood in my chapter tight. My reasons for wanting to educate other chapters about step are as much because I don't want them to ruin our reputation (and that I hate it when people steal or copy in general) as because I don't like the idea of them stepping without knowing anything about it. Fortunately, most bros in my chapter are more ambitious than me . I'll ask the president and midwest lieutenant governor about this issue, maybe get them to register for Greekchat (I'm starting to like this place more and more), though I really don't know how much we can do, as lambdas in the Midwest have very little power in influencing national decisions.

Also, I crossed the same time as you. We're syands
(hooters #43, spr2k4, Northwestern Univ)

------------

Anyways, back to step again, I was wondering if you guys could help me out with specifics i.e., what are signature or unique styles that different Orgs are known for and what kind of things we should avoid (partly because I want to make something new right now, and partly because it's also very interesting )
----
What I know so far (and correct me if I'm wrong!):

APhiA - A-train. Anything with hats?

KAPsi - Canes

Phi Beta Sigma - I'm not sure. I saw two step shows where one guy does a frontal handspring and ends up on top of another guy who is standing? Is that a unique move?

Iota Phi Theta - Some told me something about centaur walk? Though I'm not sure what it is.

Omega Psi Phi- the omega hop

Also, I think I saw a step where steppers would split into pairs, and within each pair each individual's leg was tied to another's leg so they had to step in unison with each other. It was quite amazing! Does anyone know which Greek org does that?
---
I've never seen step from Latino fraternities, so I have no idea what they do

Finally, there are moves or props that I used to think were universal but now I'm not sure. Just to be on the safe side, are the following unique to any Greek organization or are they incorporated into step by everyone?:

-Using chairs as props?

-A move where steppers would hop on one foot, kick with the other, and flail their arms wildly while making the sound "Ah, Ah, Ah"

-The move where steppers would make a "brushing sound" with their teeth while making movements that look like they're brushing off their uniforms? I used to think it was a universal thing (and a lot of our West Coast chapters incorporate that into their step), but so far I've only seen Alphas do it.

Again THANKS
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Old 04-12-2007, 04:39 PM
nwu43 nwu43 is offline
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"I'm a firm believer that you should know WHY you're doing something and the history behind it as opposed to just doing it for the sake of doing it so you can really appreciate the shoulders that you're standing on. This book is a great read for D9 members and non D9 members alike."

Agreed.
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Old 04-12-2007, 04:44 PM
TSteven TSteven is offline
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Originally Posted by rhoyaltempest View Post
There is a phenomenal book out there about BGLO's and the D9 called African-American Fraternities and Sororities: The Legacy and The Vision by Tamara L. Brown and others (you can buy it from amazon.com). This book is less popular than the Divine Nine book but this book has so much more depth to it because it examines and historically provides insight into the WHY's of BGLO's. It only provides a brief history of each D9 org but it really gives you a history and in depth look into answering the following questions:

1. WHY were BGLO's founded?
2. WHO was the first BGLO?
3. How have the BGLO's helped to change the fabric of America?
4. WHY do BGLO's have hand signs?
5. WHY do BGLO's have calls?
6. WHY do BGLO's pledge?
7. WHY do BGLO's have line numbers and names?
8. WHO are the members of the D9?
9. WHY do BGLO's step and how did it get started?

These questions and many more are answered or examined closely in this book written by D9 college professors and scholars.

I'm a firm believer that you should know WHY you're doing something and the history behind it as opposed to just doing it for the sake of doing it so you can really appreciate the shoulders that you're standing on. This book is a great read for D9 members and non D9 members alike.

Link to book: http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0813...46#reader-link
Just want to get a Woo Hoo for Ms. Brown. Tamara L. Brown is an assistant professor of psychology at The University of Kentucky. And African-American Fraternities and Sororities: The Legacy and The Vision was published by The University Press of Kentucky. More on the book may be found here.
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Old 04-12-2007, 05:06 PM
rhoyaltempest rhoyaltempest is offline
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Just want to get a Woo Hoo for Ms. Brown. Tamara L. Brown is an assistant professor of psychology at The University of Kentucky. And African-American Fraternities and Sororities: The Legacy and The Vision was published by The University Press of Kentucky. More on the book may be found here.
Woo Hoo!!!
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Old 04-12-2007, 05:45 PM
rhoyaltempest rhoyaltempest is offline
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Originally Posted by nwu43 View Post
Oy, looks like this thread is starting branch out into two topics already haha

I'm gonna have split this post.

First, good job Nate in your efforts to bring us together! I'm a bit disappointed/puzzled as to why our nationals rejected or declined to be a part of NAPA. Unfortunately when it comes to the politics of our organization, I really have no idea what's going on. I guess part of the problem are Asians like me who cannot stand all this business and just choose to stay out of it . I agree with your views but I really do not know what I can do. Mostly, I'm concerned with fulfilling my role as step-master and trying to keep the brotherhood in my chapter tight. My reasons for wanting to educate other chapters about step are as much because I don't want them to ruin our reputation (and that I hate it when people steal or copy in general) as because I don't like the idea of them stepping without knowing anything about it. Fortunately, most bros in my chapter are more ambitious than me . I'll ask the president and midwest lieutenant governor about this issue, maybe get them to register for Greekchat (I'm starting to like this place more and more), though I really don't know how much we can do, as lambdas in the Midwest have very little power in influencing national decisions.

Also, I crossed the same time as you. We're syands
(hooters #43, spr2k4, Northwestern Univ)

------------

Anyways, back to step again, I was wondering if you guys could help me out with specifics i.e., what are signature or unique styles that different Orgs are known for and what kind of things we should avoid (partly because I want to make something new right now, and partly because it's also very interesting )
----
What I know so far (and correct me if I'm wrong!):

APhiA - A-train. Anything with hats?

KAPsi - Canes

Phi Beta Sigma - I'm not sure. I saw two step shows where one guy does a frontal handspring and ends up on top of another guy who is standing? Is that a unique move?

Iota Phi Theta - Some told me something about centaur walk? Though I'm not sure what it is.

Omega Psi Phi- the omega hop

Also, I think I saw a step where steppers would split into pairs, and within each pair each individual's leg was tied to another's leg so they had to step in unison with each other. It was quite amazing! Does anyone know which Greek org does that?
---
I've never seen step from Latino fraternities, so I have no idea what they do

Finally, there are moves or props that I used to think were universal but now I'm not sure. Just to be on the safe side, are the following unique to any Greek organization or are they incorporated into step by everyone?:

-Using chairs as props?

-A move where steppers would hop on one foot, kick with the other, and flail their arms wildly while making the sound "Ah, Ah, Ah"

-The move where steppers would make a "brushing sound" with their teeth while making movements that look like they're brushing off their uniforms? I used to think it was a universal thing (and a lot of our West Coast chapters incorporate that into their step), but so far I've only seen Alphas do it.

Again THANKS

It seems you know something about everyone (the fraternities at least). To answer some of your questions, yes, the Iotas do the "Centaur Walk" but I'm almost certain no one else will come up with it since it's rather unique. I can't really explain what it looks like so you'll have to see an Iota stepshow. The Sigmas (Phi Beta Sigma) are a bit more adventurous/daring IMO than the other groups...always pulling stunts that others might not attempt in a show, so yes, you might definitely catch them flipping over something/someone or just doing things that are sure to impress the audience (but what they do exactly can depend on the chapter since they like to add new moves to their signature steps). In other words, they like to put on a show. My sorority, Sigma Gamma Rho, has a step where we tie our legs together with another member and step but I have not seen all chapters do this.

Overall, one thing you should know is that there are moves that all of the D9 do and these moves are the foundation of stepping so you won't be able to help but to copy. All of the orgs outside of the D9 are copying to an extent because the foundation of stepping includes the same moves or variations of the same moves that originated with the D9 (although influenced by many things). There are also moves that all the D9 fraternities do and songs that all the D9 sororities sing. Some of these things come from the pledge process like standing with the grit face. I saw a non Greek step team (all boys) do this and I just shook my head because they were kids and they don't pledge or know the history so they don't know what the grit face is all about. Anyway, signature steps or moves are those that all chapters of a D9 org perform although there may be small variations from chapter to chapter. Some of these traditional or signature steps/moves are accompanied by chants and songs. As for the D9 sorority styles, I'm sure you won't come up with these since sorority steps are more feminine.

Bottom Line: Any step that a D9 org is doing which is not one of the foundational moves in stepping (and you would have to know what the basic moves are) is either a signature step for the entire org or a move that a specific chapter created and yes, to copy the steps/moves would be frowned upon. I suggest that you learn the foundational moves and create your own from there. It's also probably not a good idea to watch too many D9 stepshows while you're doing this so that your creativity can be fresh and new.

It would help if you had chants or songs. Does your org have chants and/or songs? What is your mascot? The D9 incorporates their mascots, symbols, sayings (see my signature below), chants, songs, history, colors, etc. into their routines. You'll need to identify these things in your own org if you're going to come up with your own style and signature steps.
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Last edited by rhoyaltempest; 04-12-2007 at 06:43 PM.
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