top of page

What is STEP? 

Step is a traditional art form in the African American Community that comes from Africa. The direct origin of stepping is unknown; However many historians have referenced the Gumboot Dance style from gold mines in South Africa. For centuries many African civilizations have used step as a form of art and communication. Stepping came to the Americas in the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and was made popular through the African American Greek Fraternities and Sororities that adopted the art form as a tribute to their ancestors.


They showcased step and many other forms of art and black culture through "greek sings" in the early to mid 1900's. Through out the late 1900's through the 2000's step showcases and competitions became popular in the African American community not only to members of Greek Organizations but also youth and adult step teams, churches, and community groups. Showcasing step is African American Culture that should be main stream. Though step is showcased in media in a variety of television shows and movies the art form continues to grow. Programs still remain underfunded, students are not offered scholarships and coaches are underpaid if paid at all. 

Stepping involves use of your entire body to make percussion and rhythmic beats by clapping your hands, stomping your feet and hitting various parts of your body. Step incorporates spoken word, public speaking, dance forms of all kinds, military movement, cheer-leading, gymnastics, mental health, physical fitness, and emotional support. The art form of stepping has proved to be aerobic,  therapeutic, and comforting for the mind body and soul. 




Stepping is not just about clapping and stomping. It is the perfect combination of physical activity, social interaction, and mental stimulation. Step enhances your physical activities and is typically done in a group setting. Step is universal any age group or gender can enjoy the activity. The health benefits are phenomenal and the activity is so much fun. Step improves your cardiovascular system by keeping the heart rate up. Also increases your muscle tone by using your body weight as a resistant. This low-impact aerobic activity also increases flexibility, strength, and balance. Stepping is a great exercise that will challenge you. Coach G Academy provides a pleasant atmosphere and implements her life skills model that benefits the mind body and soul. Her expert choreography makes it simple for anyone to learn and enjoy. 


Benefits of stepping

"Step is the only outlet I had when I was in 6th grade came to a new school. I struggled academically and step is what kept me focused on the ultimate goal of graduating. Being a part of something outside of the classroom made me appreciate my school and my classmates. It helped me realize I am making a positive contribution to the community 

Step was always something that I used as a way to motivate me and others girls who share the same body type as me. Though I am plus size, I am just as physically fit and live a healthy lifestyle. I communicate this confidence to the world every time I take the stage. I use that same confidence in my everyday life and to encourage other people who share my body type." 

Yakeema Barkley

Impact of step
bottom of page