Stepping To Make A Difference

By Carlisha Williams, Math Teacher & “Lady K Steppers” Instructor, KIPP Tulsa

At KIPP Tulsa, we step in celebration of our past, present, and future. Many marvel at the skill and talent of steppers, but have yet to recognize its rich connection to African and African-American history. 

The video was taken at the Martin Luther King Drum Major for Peace Event, held at Booker T. Washington High School on Monday, January 16th, 2012 (MLK Day).

Stepping originated from enslaved Africans who brought pieces of their culture to America through dance, movement and body percussion as a method to communicate, rejoice, and exercise. Percussive sounds created from stomping and clapping resembled the rhythm of African drums in their homeland. The original form of stepping was very similar to the “Boot Dance” still seen today in parts of South Africa. Stepping has evolved as a popular dance form most commonly seen by African-American fraternities and sororities.

KIPP Tulsa and our steppers recognize the importance of participating in the Martin Luther King Drum Major for Peace Event. In celebrating Black history and the legacy of Dr. King, we take pride in showcasing elements of African and African-American culture to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr.’s contributions to society. Learning and celebrating history both inside and outside of the classroom, we encourage students to build on the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by reaching for their dreams and inspiring others with their passion to make a difference.

To learn more about KIPP performances in your neighborhood, visit our School Directory to contact a school near you.