Assistant Artistic Director
CONRAD R. KELLY II is a native of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where he attended Dillard High School of the Visual and Performing Arts. While attending Florida A&M University, he became a member of the Marching 100 and the Strikers. After college, Conrad became a soloist for The Rolle Project in Las Vegas as well as a dance instructor with Studio 305, where he regularly taught classes in hip-hop, contemporary, and jazz dance. He has won numerous awards as a choreographer and dancer.
Conrad is a two-time recipient of the DC Commission on Arts and Humanities’ prestigious Arts and Humanities Fellowship Program. He plans to use his extensive performing and teaching experiences to launch a mentoring program for young male dancers..
ARIEL DYKES is a native of Gainesville, Florida. She received an Associate of Arts Degree in Musical Theatre from Santa Fe College and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from the University of Florida. She has trained in traditional and post-modern dance, jazz, voice, and acting, and has worked with such artists as Ailey Dancers’ Nathaniel Hunt and Samantha Barriento, Tony Award winner Scott Coulter, and Galen Hooks. She was introduced to stepping and strolling as a member of the Iota Lambda Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., where she choreographed step routines for the chapter and UF’s National Panhellenic Council. This is her first season with the Company.
AKIEVIA HICKMAN is a native of Tallahassee, Florida, and holds an MBA from Florida A&M University. She is a member of the Beta Alpha Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. In addition to being trained in hip-hop and jazz, Akievia has studied modern and contemporary dance under the direction of Shepiro Hardemon as a member of Mahogany Dance Theatre.
Akievia was introduced to stepping in high school when she joined the Code Red Step team and furthered her experience in college as a member of the Rampage Step Team.
ISAIAH O’CONNOR is a native of Miami, Florida. He received a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. In college, Isaiah joined the Strikers Dance Troupe under the direction of Shepiro Hardemon and studied hip-hop, modern, and urban soul. He aspires to use his talents to not only perform on stages across the world, but to give back to those who helped him along the way. This is Isaiah’s first season with Step Afrika!.
VALENCIA ODEYKA EMONNI SPRINGER is a native of Brooklyn, New York. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and served as the first “Stand Queen” (captain) with the Ambassadors of Sound Marching band at Virginia Union University. She studied ballet, jazz, African, hip-hop, and contemporary dance at Restoration Youth Arts Academy.
Valencia has performed with Forces of Nature, Dance Africa (Brooklyn), and as part of a live installation entitled “A Primordial Place.” She also worked as a social studies and science teacher, dance teacher/coach, guest choreographer for local New York/ Virginia majorette teams, and as a model for New York and Richmond, Virginia, fashion weeks. Valencia is a proud member of the Nu Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. and the Eta Psi Chapter of Tau Beta Sigma National Honorary band sorority.
NA’IMAH RAY is a native New Yorker who received a BFA in Dance from Montclair State University. She trained with dancer Dwana Smallwood throughout her youth and was first introduced to stepping in middle school. She joined a step team at age 11 and began competing around New York City. She has trained with artists Earl Mosley, Christian Von Howard, and Beatrice Capote, and participated in dance programs at The Ailey School and Earl Mosley Institute of the Arts.
Na’imah performed as a Centennial Stepper with her sorority, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Incorporated, at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. This is her first season with the Company.
JABARI JONES is is a Detroit, MI native who began dancing at the age of 8, inspired by recording artist Usher’s “You Don’t Have to Call” music video. A self-taught dancer, his first ever taste of performing was dancing in the 79th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Jabari has performed with Aloe Blacc, Missy Elliot, Lil Baby, City Girls, 2 Chainz, Rick Ross, and Lil Yachty and choreographed projects for the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. In addition to his extraordinary dance credits, Jabari is also an actor, appearing in
productions of College Boyfriends, Nick Cannon’s WildNOut, BET’s American Soul, and Sophia Nahli Allison‘s Eyes on the Prize: Hallowed Ground.
Jabari studied English at Morehouse College and he is a proud member of The Chi Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc where he served as Stroll Master.
ERICKA STILL is a native of St. Petersburg, Florida. She began her training at SADA under the direction of Paulette W. Johnson, where she studied tap, ballet, jazz, African, and contemporary dance. Ericka discovered the art form of stepping in middle school as a part of the AKAdemy Exquisite Gems program.
Ericka received a Bachelor of Arts in Health Science: Pre-Occupational Therapy and she minored in Rehabilitation Management from Florida A&M University. Throughout college, she studied under the direction of Shepiro Hardemon as a member and Co-Assistant Artistic Director of Mahogany Dance Theatre. This is Ericka’s first season with the Company.
BRIE TURNER is a native from Lithonia, Georgia. She graduated magna cum laude from Howard University with a BA in Strategic, Legal, and Management Communications. Brie began her formal dance training in 2015, which prepared her to serve as the co-captain (2020-2021) and captain (2021-2022) of the Howard University Bisonettes Dance Ensemble.
Brie is a Spring 2020 initiate of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Incorporated’s Quintessential Alpha chapter where she served as the Chapter President and stroll mistress. This is Brie’s first season with the Company.
JOSEPH VASQUEZ hails from Guttenberg, New Jersey, and has received a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science from Rutgers University in New Brunswick. In college, Joseph danced with the Bachata Performance Team, where he choreographed and led the team for four years. Joseph is a member of Lambda Sigma Upsilon Latino Fraternity Incorporated, and performs with The Revels, a stroll team led by Francisco Pozo and Carlos Zapata. This is Joseph’s first season with the Company.
PELHAM WARNER is a native of The Bronx, New York and has attended Dutchess Community College. A self-taught dancer of Dancehall and student of Afro Street styles, his true passion can be found in the rhythm and beats of his percussive stepping style. As a teenager, Pelham was a member of The Players Club Steppers. He then found his home stepping with The Order of the Feather Fraternity, where he served as the team’s Step Master and captain for five years.
Pelham is an accomplished teaching artist, teaching step to students in the greater New York City area for several years. He recently performed in the a capella musical The Movement by Kathy D. Harrison at The National Black Theater Festival. He is blessed to have the opportunity to continue his passion for stepping, performing, and teaching during his fourth season with Step Afrika!.
KAMALA HARGROVE was born and raised in the Bronx, New York, and started dancing at the age of four. She trained professionally in ballet, Horton, Graham, West African, jazz, and hip hop at the Alvin Ailey School and Dance Theater of Harlem until she was 18. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics, Theater, and Dance with a concentration in Dance and Choreography at Trinity College.
Since graduating from Trinity College, Kamala has appeared in various music videos and live performances. She has performed with artists including Estelle, Mr. Vegas, Wizkid, and French Montana. She has also worked as a Teaching Artist in New York City, teaching elementary, middle, and high school students. This is Kamala’s first season with the Company.
ROBERT WARNSLEY is a native of Chicago, IL where he began dancing at the age of 10. After becoming versed in street dance, hip hop, and Chicago footworking, Robert began learning a mix of color guard and traditional stepping at the age of 13. Robert holds a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology from Illinois State University, where he stepped and strolled as a member of the Eta Tau chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. He served as the step and stroll master for 3.5 years and has organized, competed in, and won numerous step shows with his local chapter of the NPHC.
Robert has taught stepping to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and actively participates in community service projects in the city of Chicago. He looks forward to Step Afrika!’s continued cultural exchange with other countries and the opportunity to teach and engage youth in honing their skills for success. This is Robert’s 4th season with the company.