Founded in 1994, Step Afrika! is the world’s first professional company dedicated to the tradition of stepping—a polyrhythmic, percussive dance form that uses the body as an instrument. With stepping at the core, as practiced by historically African American fraternities and sororities, the Company integrates song, storytelling, humor, and audience participation in each performance.
Step Afrika!’s mission is to preserve, expand and promote an appreciation for stepping through professional performances and to educate, motivate, and inspire young people in and out of school through arts education programs that emphasize stepping’s core values of teamwork, commitment and discipline.
FUN FACTS ABOUT STEP AFRIKA!
- Founded in 1994, as an exchange program with the Soweto Dance Theatre of Johannesburg, Step Afrika! is the first professional Dance Company in the world dedicated to the tradition of stepping.
- Step Afrika! is one of the top 5 African American dance companies in the United States, the largest African American led arts organization in Washington, DC and Washington, DC’s only cultural ambassador.
- There are 14 full-time dancers—all college graduates—many who attended Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and are members of Historically Black Greek Fraternities and Sororities.
- The Company reaches tens of thousands each year through a 50-city tour of American colleges and theaters and performs globally as an official U.S. Cultural Ambassador.
- Step Afrika! engages 30,000 college students across the nation, teaches teamwork and discipline to 200 kids as part of the Summer Steps with Step Afrika! summer camp and expands culture-based arts education for more than 20,000 Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia school students each year.
- As part of the world’s first interactive stepping exhibit, thousands experience Step Afrika! at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture each day as part of the museum’s Explore More! interactive gallery.
- Primary arts education activities include in-school performances for K-12 students; reading, exercise, and creative movement programs for pre-school students; and seven-week college preparatory programs for middle and high school students;
- Step Afrika! made its Broadway debut of The Migration: Reflections on Jacob Lawrence on November 10, 2017 which successfully ran for three weeks at the New Victory Theatre in New York City!
- In 2018 and 2019, Step Afrika! traveled internationally to promote cultural dialogue and exchange in Jordan (2018), Ghana (2018). Croatia (2019), Ukraine (2019), Zambia (2019), Angola (2019), and South Africa (2019).
- In 2020, Step Afrika! will premier its new feature-length work, Drumfolk which will be presented in ten major markets including a return to Broadway at the New Victory Theatre.