Friday, November 9, 2012

Cane Performances In Black Fraternities & Sororities (Videos)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This is Part III of a three part series on the use of wooden canes (kanes)* in the performing arts traditions of historically Black Greek lettered fraternities & sororities.

*"Kanes" is the spelling that Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. uses for the word "canes".

This post showcases selected videos of cane performances by members of certain historically Black Greek fraternities & sororities.

Specifically, this post showcases two videos each of cane performances by members of two historically Black Greek lettered fraternities -in alphabetical order, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.(Kappas) and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. (Sigmas), and one Black Greek lettered sorority - Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. (SRGrho).

Part I & Part II presents selected comments about the origin, history, and contemporary performances with canes in certain historically Black Greek lettered fraternities and sororities.

For Part I of this series, click

For Part II of this series, click

The content of this post is presented for historical, folkloric, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

These videos are posted in alphabetical order, according to the first letter of the organization.

Example #1
Kappa Alpha Psi at VCU Fall Block 2012 Eta Xi Chapter

EtaXiDreamTeam, Published on Oct 28, 2012

VCU Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi at FallBlock 2012 StepShow. Follow @EtaXiNupes...
Hat tip to Trashun Floure who sent me a link to this video and in so doing, motivated me to publish this series on cane performances in historically Black Greek lettered fraternities & sororities.

Example #2:

Kappa Alpha Psi Centennial Kane work 2.wmv

freezezone1, Uploaded on Jul 14, 2011

One of my videos from the Kappa 100th Year Celebration. Congratulations and Indy Luv from this Soror.
Example #3
Sprite Step Off 2011 - SIGMA GAMMA RHO Sorority, OB Chapter, Chicago

nstant1,Uploaded on May 2, 2011

Sprite Step Off 2011 - SIGMA GAMMA RHO Sorority, Chicago
Omicron Beta Chapter
University of Illinois Chicago

Example #4
Sigma Gamma Rho Step & use Canes--Theta Upsilon Chapter

apRHOL1922, Uploaded on Aug 22, 2011

University of South Florida SGRhos @ their Summer picnic and showcase
cane routine - 1:43-2:20
strolling: 2:21 to the remainder of the video

Example #5:

Phi Beta Sigma 2012 Atlanta Greek picnic step show

AtlantaGreekPicnic, Published on Jun 17, 2012

Phi Beta Sigma 2012 Atlanta Greek Picnic $10,000 step show sponsored by &

Example #6:
Phi Beta Sigma- Cane Work

madavis1987, Uploaded on Jul 17, 2010
ACE CLUB ~ Sentinel

I wonder if any research has been done on the influence of parade style baton & rifle twirling on aspects of fraternity & sorority cane performances. It seems to me that such a connection can be credibly made.

Click (video #2 and video #5 that show African men dancing with a stick or a tool that I believe is s short garden hoe. However, by no means does this mean that the cane (kane) performance activity done by historically Black Greek lettered organizations originated from traditional African dances.

Click this post on my zumalayah blog for information about & videos of the Egyptian folk art of cane fighting & cane dancing:

This link is given to show the antiquity of cane dance performances. This link is also given to show the similarities between some of these movements and those done by historically Black Greek lettered organizations. However, I'm not indicating that Egyptian cane fighting/dancing was the source of or influenced the use of cane (kane) in historically Black Greek lettered fraternities and sororities.

Thanks to all those who have quoted in this post. And thanks to the positive history & role modeling, and the performance arts legacy of all Black Greek lettered organizations.

Finally, thank you for visiting pancocojams.

Visitor comments are welcome.


  1. I published a comment in another Pancocojams post in which I noted the similarities between the male dancers holding a long stick and the female dancers holding two short sticks. Click Seven Videos Of Botswana Music Group "Culture Spears" for that post.

    I'm not suggesting that these African dancers or any African dancers were the source of or the inspiration for traditionally Black Greek lettered fraternities or sororities steppin with canes, although that might be possible.

    I'm sharing this observation because people interested in steppin might enjoy watching these videos of Botswana dancers, and in particular the video given as Example #6 in that post.

  2. Here's a comment about the subject of members of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. stepping with canes:
    "Phi Beta Sigma FSU Extrav 2008 Step Show Part 1"
    Comment #10: LooseEnds06, 2009
    "You know I enjoy going on Youtube and watching the greek stepshows from various campuses; but I wanna know why I don't see Sigmas stepping with canes anymore? I mean when I was in college, the Sigmas stepped with canes like the Kappas still do. It use to be a battle as to who were the best cane twillers! I guess the Kappas won out! And NO - I am not a Kappa and I am not trying to be funny. If you ask anyone who was in school in the late 80's/90's they will tell you Sigmas stepped w/canes."