Fabulous footwork. Rousing rhythms. Tremendous teamwork.
You and your family can enjoy all of this and more at the Hylton Performing Arts Center this week, when Step Afrika! brings a performance for young audiences to Manassas on Thursday, Aug. 2 at 11 a.m. This dazzling D.C.-based dance troupe presents an incredible celebration of stepping, teamwork, discipline, passion and commitment that will appeal to young and old alike.
Step Afrika! is known as the global ambassador for “stepping,” the uniquely American genre that is descended from African song and dance rituals. Originating with historically Black fraternities and sororities in the early 1900s, this energetic and mesmerizing art form uses the body as an instrument to produce percussive rhythms and sounds through the marriage of footsteps, clapping and vocalizing. Today, stepping has moved beyond fraternity and sorority life into elementary, middle and high schools across the country, as well as churches and other community organizations.
Executive Director C. Brian Williams, a graduate of Howard University, first learned about stepping through his membership in the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. – Beta Chapter. He formed Step Afrika! in 1994 as a cross-cultural exchange program with the Soweto Dance Theatre of Johannesburg South Africa, where he later helped launch the highly successful Step Afrika! International Cultural Festival. Under the leadership of Williams and Artistic Director Jakari Sherman, Step Afrika! has earned several awards, including Metro D.C. Dance Awards for “Outstanding New Work,” “Excellence in Stage Design/Multimedia” and “Outstanding Group Performance.” Step Afrika! has also been featured on CNN, BET, PBS and NPR, as well as in several books and documentaries on the art of stepping.
In addition to performing for audiences across the globe, Step Afrika! has brought its programs to young audiences in schools and community-based organizations, using stepping to promote teamwork, academic achievement and cross-cultural understanding.
Tickets to this performance are $5 for youth through grade 12 and $15 for adults. To purchase tickets, please call 888-945-2468 or visit HyltonCenter.org or visit the Hylton Center box office, open Wednesday through Saturday, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Free parking is available on site in front of the Hylton Center.