February 26, 2010

White Sorority Wins Stepping Competition: The all-white Zeta Tau Alpha sorority team from the University of Arkansas won the Sprite Step Off national stepping competition in Atlanta Saturday and were awarded $100,000 in scholarships. Their Matrix-themed performance was a shock to the crowd, as a YouTube video shows, but sparked a backlash "from a lot of angry black Greeks who couldn't believe a white sorority could honestly beat black sororities," blogs TheRoot. A second team was awarded first-place winnings due to an unspecified "scoring discrepancy." I liked the announcer's amazed reaction after ZTA's performance: "If you can step, you can step."

posted by rcade to other at 02:34 PM - 30 comments

Here's a second video with clips and interviews and a better angle on a funny Matrix bullet move.

It's a shame there's a racial controversy over this. That Arkansas sorority began stepping 16 years ago at the urging of a black sorority for a racial unity event. They've been doing it ever since.

posted by rcade at 02:38 PM on February 26

Wow. That is some seriously fierce steppin'!

posted by geekyguy at 02:52 PM on February 26

My expertise in stepping is less than 24 hours old, but the Alpha Kappa Alpha performance that was co-awarded first place seems cheesy in comparison.

posted by rcade at 02:56 PM on February 26

Pole dancing one day, stepping the next.

'h say dang -- what will tomorrow bring?

posted by beaverboard at 03:56 PM on February 26

I've never seen this before - wow. That's some impressive stuff there.

posted by mr_crash_davis at 03:56 PM on February 26

African American in the white house, white sorority wins stepping competition. The Times They Are A-Changin'.

posted by justgary at 04:12 PM on February 26

There was a lot of drama when the valedictorian of Morehouse was white.

posted by bperk at 04:16 PM on February 26

Do you think we will see a Rick Reilly article full of over blown hyperbole about this?

posted by Demophon at 04:33 PM on February 26

My neighbor is a ZTA. That was some really impressive stuff.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 04:55 PM on February 26

Do you think we will see a Rick Reilly article full of over blown hyperbole about this?

All that's needed is for him to write an article on this. The overblown hyperbole comes standard...

posted by MeatSaber at 05:32 PM on February 26

The Washington Post just reported on the online controversy over their win. Man ... we're being overrun with precision stupidity. Way to suck all the fun out of this, world.

posted by rcade at 06:02 PM on February 26

There are actually some very interesting comments in The Root link. It appears that some of the moves (such as booty shaking) is prohibited by the rules. And after an MTA producer saw ZTA's audition, they didn't have to go through any of the regionals other teams did.

Not saying ZTA didn't deserve the win, but sometimes there is more to the story.

posted by jmd82 at 06:11 PM on February 26

ZTA won regionals. That commenter is full of crap.

posted by rcade at 06:19 PM on February 26

1. Comes across the post. Watches some video, checks out links.

2. What's Stepping?

3. Oh. Gets that.

4. What's a black Greek? What's a Sorority?

5. Huh? Still mystified.

posted by owlhouse at 06:31 PM on February 26

Didn't Disney make a movie like this?

posted by bender at 06:56 PM on February 26

4. What's a black Greek? What's a Sorority?

Oh, come on.

posted by basicchannel at 07:46 PM on February 26

Yeah, I know what a sorority is. I saw Animal House.

Good steppin'! Interesting the reaction. I agree with the Roots article.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:02 PM on February 26

Oh, come on.

Owlhouse is in Australia. A land without sororities, apparently.

posted by rcade at 08:06 PM on February 26

From TheRoot article that Rcade posted up top:

The problem with the arguments presented by the critics is that they tend to gloss over the question of whether the Zeta Tau Alpha steppers were actually better than their competition. Instead, most of the criticism has been reactionary and sought to deny Zeta Tau Alpha the opportunity to compete based solely on their skin color.

By doing that, black Greeks do a disservice to our historic legacy. African-American fraternities and sororities were born in circumstances that sought to combat judgments based on race. And to do the same as those who would deny us opportunity, based on the notion that we're somehow protecting our black cultural integrity, is morally bankrupt.

I think that about sums it up.

posted by cjets at 08:40 PM on February 26

ZTA won regionals. That commenter is full of crap.

Did not know that. Thanks for the correction.

posted by jmd82 at 08:57 PM on February 26

If you can explain American college life to me, in return I will explain the laws of cricket.

NB: Not just sororities/fraternities, but things like cheerleaders, football, letters, homecoming and so on. Like Weedy, I watch the movies, but it's a complete mystery.

posted by owlhouse at 09:37 PM on February 26

Here you go Owlie.

posted by HATER 187 at 12:29 AM on February 27

That about sums it up.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 04:17 AM on February 27

What's a black Greek?

OK, owlhouse, I'll try to explain this. As you are well aware, there are 2 types of olives, green and black. The green olives are grown by normal Greeks, all of whom tend to resemble Anthony Quinn, but the olives come out green because of the trees. The black olives are grown by a special group of dark complected Greeks who prefer to remain reclusive, so you've probably never seen one. They have carefully bred their olive trees to produce the darker fruit in honor of their complexion.

What's a Sorority?

Take the picture that hater187 posted and pretend that it is a reasonably good looking young lady instead of a guy. Then multiply this by about 25, make it a Saturday night in State College, PA, and it will be a sorority.

posted by Howard_T at 07:34 PM on February 27

Then multiply this by about 25, make it a Saturday night in State College, PA, and it will be a sorority.

Damn I miss those Penn State frat parties! Good times!

posted by BornIcon at 08:55 PM on February 27

"reasonably good looking young lady instead of a guy"

I'll give you the reasonably only if you've already drunk half the bottle.

posted by billsaysthis at 01:37 PM on February 28

White, black, polkadot?! Who gives a #$&()@! The real crime here is the incredibly pointless spectacle called Steppin' or Stepping On or whatever the hell its called...what a crock.

posted by StarFucker at 11:11 PM on February 28

Stay classy, star.... ooops, too late.

posted by tommytrump at 11:39 PM on February 28

Didn't anyone see School Daze? "When I say 'Gamma', you say 'punk'!"

posted by yerfatma at 11:34 AM on March 01

Gamma! Punk! Gamma! Punk! Another Spike Lee joint, classic flick with Laurence Fishburn when he was Larry, pre-Morpheous days.

posted by BornIcon at 10:38 AM on March 02

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