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STEPPING

THESE GROUP DANCE ROUTINES GIVE BEATS A CHANT

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Square dancing it ain’t. Stepping, a hand-clapping, foot-stomping dance style that has long been popular among black fraternity and sorority members, is kicking its way into the big time. The group step routines-which comprise spirited chants (”We are the brothers of the crimson and cream/the realization of your wildest dreams!”) often set to hip-hop-are now being spotted in music videos for Chubb Rock and Hi-Five. But making it to the big time takes practice. ”It’s a lot easier if you think it’s fun,” says Columbia University’s Reggie Delbrune, whose Kappa Alpha Psi team works out for four hours every day. In the summer, that fun can turn seriously competitive: This year’s major contests include Orlando, Fla.’s STOMP! on June 29 and Philadelphia’s Greek Picnic on July 10. A word to the rhythmless: Even watching takes coordination.

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