Okay. So several months ago I watched the video below. I found it to be…interesting.
Now I have to say that I have watched this video about 20 times because there are little nuggets that I keep on finding. I also posted it to any personal Facebook page to see what my friends thought of it.
From what I can tell, based on the music stands, this was made in a Band hall. And one of my friends said that this is Kappa Kappa Psi, which is a co-ed band fraternity which apparently Bill Clinton was in; whatever that means. I don’t know what school this is in, but KKPsi was a lot more diverse in the movie Drumline.
Now mind you, I don’t have anything to say about the caption on the top of the page. All that stuff about caucasity and all that. No comment as to that. But the rest of it I’m going to roast.
A quick word about cultural appropriation and stepping
A lot of the statements that were posted on my personal page had to do with cultural appropriation which is basically when one culture takes something which could be viewed as from the culture of another and puts it on as their own. For more on cultural appropriation you can read up on it here. This teen vogue article has a recent example. Stay woke, read Teen Vogue. No, really.
There is a lot to be said about cultural appropriation and whether this was an act of cultural appropriation or not. It’s worth knowing that what they are doing is an art form known as stepping, which has its roots in black fraternity/sorority shows as well as african tribal dance.
But I don’t want to get into the details about whether this is cultural appropriation I want to talk about some other things that I see in this video. Because this is less about being an attempt at cultural appropriation and more about being…a bad step line.
1. Where is the third person from the front’s shirt?
Okay so if you’ll notice the line has set outfits. The women are wearing baby blue tee shirts while the men are wearing dark blue. But what about that lady third from the front? It looks like she’s wearing a straight up white shirt with no lettering. And if that is the case, where is her shirt?
I mean, clearly she is in the right place. She knows the step reasonably well so I’m sure that she’s part of the group. Even though they are not a great team, this is too complicated a step to learn on the fly. So she’s clearly a member of the step team. Did she think today was practice and not the real show? Maybe, but even that wouldn’t fly because why would you wear jeans to practice?
Where is her shirt? Did you not know this was happening? Was it not on your phone? Did you not use the buddy system to make sure everyone is ready? Did no one have extras just in case? Where is your dorm or apartment that you couldn’t go back and get it? And were you not bothered by the fact that you didn’t have it on the way over to the performance?
2. Why isn’t the first male member of the group at the front of the line?
Okay so it’s safe to say that the women are in the light blue shirts and the men are in the navy blue shirts. Take a look at the first male member of the group. While none of the people on this line are doing extremely well, it’s safe to say that he is putting in the most work.
He honestly looks like the only one who is having a good time , which is part of the draw with stepping in the first place. And his moves are pretty solid. So why isn’t he up closer to the front of the line? Heck, why isn’t he at the front of the line?
I don’t remember all the specifics from my time on the shades line but I’m pretty sure that the first person on the line sets the tone. I mean that’s what it’s like for the board game head of the class. No earthly idea why I thought of this just now.
So why isn’t he in the front of the line? I mean clearly he’s better than the people who are at the front of the line. And it can’t be that he’s not a woman because clearly he’s in front of other women in the line.
This guy could really set the tone here. Too bad they won’t let him.
3. Why don’t they have a transition from this line to whatever comes next?
Okay so they do this line step or whatever. But that’s not the end of the show, unfortunately. They have at least one more step to do.
Now I was in a step team in my church and then at Abilene Christian University (oh no, I’m not saying I was any good, I was just there. Like they needed some black guys and I walked in because I was lost). We were named Shades and we were non-Greek. We don’t have any recordings on Youtube from my day because we haven’t converted them from VCR tapes. That’s how old I am. When we did our step show in chapel we were kings and queens of the school for a good solid week. One thing that we did was transitions. Okay, so a transition is when you go from one formation to another. Typically you take a step to get there. Okay so here’s an example:
Okay so they are in one formation and they do a step to move into another formation. Simple, right?
So wtf are these people doing?
So they’re doing one step and then they just move into whatever the next step is going to be without doing a proper transition. What the heck?
Did they not think that they needed one? Did whoever taught them this line step not explain to them that they needed to do a transition? Did they leave that out? Did they not see that on YouTube? And who let them get this far without telling them this? I don’t have their number otherwise I would call them. But one of you might. Can you deliver the message to them? Do the right thing and give them a call. I do this out of love. It’s all a labor of love.
Now mind you, there may be additional questions here that I haven’t hit on that don’t have anything to do with cultural appropriation. If you have one hen leave it in the comments. And make it funny.