Step Afrika! launches its 25th anniversary at the Music Center at Strathmore with a retrospective of the Company’s best-loved works on Sunday, January 20, 2019 at 5 p.m. The performance continues Strathmore’s rich collaboration with Step Afrika!, started in 2014, to celebrate step by showcasing some of the art form’s best performers annually on its hallmark Music Center stage. The performance includes selected works from Step Afrika!’s history, including Wade,Passing 25, and Nxt/Stp: Hip Hop. The wide range of work demonstrates the versatility of step, connecting it to hip hop, African American spirituals, and South African traditional and contemporary dance forms. Dem Raider Boyz Step Squad of Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Prince George’s County will open the show; the troupe achieved national notoriety on NBC’s reality-competition show World of Dance in 2018. For more information call (301) 581-5100 or visitwww.strathmore.org.
Step Afrika! was founded in 1994 as the first professional company dedicated to the tradition of stepping. It now ranks as one of the top African American dance companies in the United States. The Company blends percussive dance styles practiced by historically African American fraternities and sororities, African traditional dance, and influences from a variety of other dance and art forms. Performances traditionally integrate song, storytelling, humor, and audience participation.
In 2019, Step Afrika! will launch its first tour in Ukraine and will return to South Africa in conjunction with the 25th anniversary of the historic election of President Nelson Mandela. Step Afrika! has performed at the White House for President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, headlining their Presidential Black History Month Reception, and is also featured prominently at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in the world’s first stepping interactive—a video installation where patrons can learn the basics of step straight from Step Afrika! instructors. They also brought a step showcase to New York’s famed theater district for the first time, with a three-week, sold-out engagement at the New Victory Theater.