Author- Minister of Step Daryl W
So what is steppin? We'll go into every detail of the history of stepping on this site, but for now, I'll define it as the rythmic percussive movement of an individuals' (who we will call a "stepper") hands and feet applied to the immediate available solid surface usually involving torso, legs, arms, head, and floor, sychronized and harmonized with all other "steppers" in teams of 2 or more resulting in the harmonic and thunderous sound of claps, foot stomps, and chants erupting in conjunction and for the purpose of communicating a message to each other and/or to the surrounding audience.
To get a visual, click on step show routines and view to see what steppin is all about.
Honestly, when I was promoted to be captain over the christian step team at my home church, I had very little experience in creating step dance moves. I was extremely humbled to be in that position, as a young man over a team of mighty men of God, most of whom I considered to be mentors in my walk with God at that time in my life. It's true what God's Word says that "promotion cometh not from east, west, nor the south, but God is judge: He puts down one and sets up another" (Psalms 75:6-7).
I depended heavily on the direction of the Holy Spirit (as I do now) to come up with fresh new funky steps.
Before I go any further, I'll preface the rest of this page by saying that the focus of our site is creating Gospel step teams, so if you are NOT a Christian organization, there are still things we say that will still apply to you, you just have to pick and choose based on the needs of your organization.
Alright that being said, so let's go into some detail and tips on how I created our step teams moves and routines.
I'll first start with Instructions for Creating The Steps.
Click here to skip over to section on HOW TO CORREOGRAPH your show!
It helps if you at least have moderate ability to dance, or coordination of some sort. If you've done anything organized that involves coordinated movement, sports, marching, cheerleading, these are all good.
NOTE: For those of you who are BEGINNERS and you have NO knowledge at ALL of how to step or create step dance moves, take a quick peek at this tutoral (click here) including tips and instructions for learning step dance moves.
The very first thing I did was get on my knees and begin to pray and ask God for wisdom and guidance. I had no clue what I was doing and Lord knows I needed His help to make this happen. The more I yielded to the Holy Spirit, the more inspiration I got for step show themes and stomp dance routines.
Here's how I got (and still receive) my inspiration:
1) The Word of God. I would be in middle of reading a bible verse when it would almost literally leap off the page and shout "Now STOMP IT OUT!" I love that. The Bible says in Hebrews 4:11 "for the Word of God is quick and powerful and sharper than any machete (the Daryl Woodard translation)." That word quick means "alive or living". So when you ask the Lord for guidance, his living Word can rise up in your spirit and transform into all the hip hop Jesus freak dance moves you need.
I couldn't tell you how many times that has happened, sometimes in places where it was inconvenient to stop what I was doing (like while driving or at my job). That's why once you turn this faucet on, you better be ready to capture what's about to come your way. Get a recording device, or use your cell phone or notepad.
Here's my advice, right before you pray and sit down to read your Word, listen to a couple of your favorite upbeat songs that get your head movin (old school or new, it doesn't matter. We've got a section on our website for Free Gospel Rap Music here ). The idea is to open up your soul to receive. You might find that as you read, a verse will stand up and give you your own private step dance lessons. Don't worry about the HOW, just have faith in God that with Him all things are possible and receive.
2) Praise and Worship songs. I find the songs that easily move me into praise and worship and I write down the lyrics. Then I work on those lyrics, meditating over and over until I hear a beat that goes with it. Then I practice recreating that beat or rythm with my body by putting together different combinations of hand claps and foot stomps (as I discussed in the above tutoral) while at the same time chanting the praise and worship song lyrics.
When you create steps like that everybody can feel you. Your stomps come out with much more power when you are " stepping in the Spirit ". It is like singing your favorite worship song accept with foot stomps and hand claps as the praise music instead. Many times if you pull this off correctly, you will notice the atmosphere changes as your audience enters into praise. That is the power of worship.
3) Prayer. When I spend extended amounts of time in prayer, almost without fail I'll say something or "hear" something and a step dance will kick me in the mouth. I'm not surprised by this since the greatest worshipper in the Bible, King David, would get his step dances and hip hop dance moves while praying to God.
Oh You didn't know?!! Yes, he used to win all the step show competitions back in the day. Check out Psalms 18:35 when he said "You God have enlarged my steps under me, so my feet don't slip" or Psalms 37:23 "the steps of a good man are ordered by God, and God cheers while I'm throwin down!" (of course I'm paraphrasing these verses!! reference your bible to read for yourself)
Much like #'s 1 and 2, when you say or hear somethin' that gives you inspiration, write it down and meditate on it. Sometimes, the step dance instruction will come instantly and you'll have it right then on the spot. Other times, you'll have to work on it and work on it, maybe for weeks before you see vision for the full step. There's times, I'll get a piece of a step dance, and the other piece'll come from somebody else and we'll put the 2 pieces together to pop it off. You have to stay open, you never know where the finishing touch'll come from.
4) Listening to your preachers sermons. When you are connected to your Man of God, you will get inspiration while listening to a message on a Sunday morning. These are some of the best because it helps the congregation of your church receive his message when you're able to reiterate a sermon in step dance. These types of steps also can be very funny, opening up your audience even further to receive your message. Click here to see HOW to ADD HUMOR to your step shows.
5) Movies, TV Dance shows, funny commercials, anything that makes you laugh. Step dancing has slowly weaved it's way into the main stream and you can see glimpses of it through various types of shows now. The Stomp the Yard movie is one of recent hits and Stomp the Yard 2. In these step dance shows you will probably see or hear something that will get your creative juices flowin. I always try to be original and not copy a step dance verbatim. In this case, I would meditate until I got a holy remix of what the other step team did.
6) Start singing alot. Again, when you have prayed about this, God will bring inspiration to you in all types of ways. There are many different songs you can get inspired by. Listen to songs that make you want to dance. Since your body is an instrument of praise, that is how you recreate whatever beat you hear and like in the songs you are listening to. Turn off the music and begin to practice that beat by clappin your hands or stompin it out.
Now let's get into
Step Dance Instructions for Cooreographing Your Step Show Routines