Performers

Mfoniso Akpan

Mfoniso Akpan

Artistic Director

Mfoniso Akpan has trained extensively in tap, ballet, jazz, modern, African dance and step. While attending the State University of New York at Stony Brook, she majored in biochemistry and cultivated her stepping skills as a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Mfon began her training at the Bernice Johnson Cultural Arts Center and has performed at Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, the Apollo Theater, the Brooklyn Academy of Music and Lincoln Center. Mfon toured with the off-Broadway show “Hoofin’ 2 Hittin,” where she was a featured stepper and dancer.

Deatrice Clark

Deatrice Clark

Company Member

Deatrice Clark was born in Los Angeles. She is a graduate of Howard University with a BS in Human Development. Deatrice began stepping with the Quad Step Team during her freshman year at Howard University. She organized the QuaDrew Step Team and lead them in many showcases. Deatrice is passionate about teaching and arts education. She has taught various step classes, camps and residencies around the D.C., MD and VA area for Step Afrika!, Joy of Motion Dance Center, Motion Express and SEJBodyMusic.

Emerald Holman

Emerald Holman

Company Member

Emerald Holman, a Washington, D.C. native, grew up training at D.C.’s Northeast Performing Arts, Jones-Haywood School of Dance, and Duke Ellington School of the Arts. In 2012, she was awarded the Legacy Award from the Creativity Foundation at the Duke Ellington School for the Arts. In 2017, Emerald earned a BFA in Dance and Choreography with honors from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). While at VCU, she studied dance for a semester in Paris, France, by way of the University of South Florida’s Dance in Paris Program. In her senior year, she was awarded the Black History in the Making Award from the Department of Dance and Choreography in partnership with the African American Studies Department at VCU. As a dance artist, Emerald is interested in increasing dance training and performance accessibility in urban communities. This is her first season with Step Afrika!

 

Conrad Kelly

Conrad Kelly

Company Member

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’s performance highlights include The Disney Christmas Parade, season 11 of So You Think You Can Dance, Steve Harvey’s Dreamers Academy, Super Bowl XLIV, Dance Africa Atlanta, Scream Tour, Ruby Diamond’s Rock the Diamond and World Ballet, Inc’s., Rock the Ballet. Conrad plans to use his performing and teaching experiences to open a mentoring program for young male dancers.

Misha Michel

Misha Michel

Company Member

Misha Michel is a native of Miami, Florida. She holds a BFA in Dance from Florida State University and is a member of the Kappa Epsilon Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Misha trained under the direction of Maribel Fruitstone and Traci Young-Byron as a member of the Young Contemporary Dance Theatre (YCDT). As the YCDT SUPAStarz captain, Misha was featured on two Lifetime series, Step It Up and Bring It!. Professionally, she attended intensives with Alvin Ailey, Abraham In Motion and the Summer Leadership Institute as well as toured internationally as enrichment staff on the MSE Preziosa Cruise line. She has also performed for Ann Carlson, Millicent Johnnie, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Anthony Burrell and more. This is Misha’s first season with Step Afrika!

 

Vincent Montgomery

Vincent Montgomery

Company Member

Vincent Montgomery, Jr. is an actor and entertainer, hailing from Orlando, Florida. While attending Florida A & M University, he was an active member in the world-renowned Marching 100 Band, Attack Dance Crew and Rampage Step Team. Vincent’s performance highlights include Dreamgirls, Shuffle Along, Why Mosquitoes Buzz and Once on This Island! Vincent has recurring roles on web-based projects such as The Undergrad Chronicles and College Boyfriends. He is a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and continues to advocate for holistic living as well as men’s mental health awareness.

Ronnique Murray

Ronnique Murray

Company Member

Ronnique Murray is a native of Washington, D.C. She received a BFA in Dance and Choreography from Virginia Commonwealth University and began her professional teaching career as dance educator at Fairmont High School in Fairmont, North Carolina and Columbia Heights Education Center in D.C. She has performed with Snoop Dogg, Daniel Gwirtzman, Scott Putman, Roger Lee Dance Company, Maverick Lemon Dance Project, Kyoko Ruch, and Judith Steel. In 2010, Ronnique was featured in a reconstruction of Jawole Willa Jo Zollar’s work, Shelter, in a featured PBS documentary about The Urban Bush Women. She is extremely proud to be a member of the Epsilon Zeta Chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.

Dustin Praylow

Dustin Praylow

Company Member

Dustin Praylow is a South Carolina native. He began his dance training at Dancin’ On Main Studios in Lake City under the instruction of Karl Singletary and direction of Paige Strickland. Dustin furthered his training in modern, contemporary, and ballet at the University of South Carolina, where he received his BS in Biology with a minor in Dance. Dustin began his professional dance career in 2016 with Norwegian Creative Studios, performing in the Broadway Show After Midnight on the Pride of America, RSSC Mariner, and the Norwegian Escape. Dustin’s credits also include Woven: Life in Notes and Steps; Ruins, choreographed by Terrance Henderson; Trustus Theatre’s Dreamgirls (Ensemble); and American Music Theater’s The First Noel. This is Dustin’s first season with Step Afrika!

 

Ajah Smith

Ajah Smith

Company Member

Ajah Smith is a native of Atlanta, Georgia and is excited to be in his inaugural season with Step Afrika! A recent graduate from Florida A&M University (FAMU), Ajah received a Bachelor’s degree in History and a minor in Education. As a FAMU student, he was a member of both the world-renowned Marching 100 and the most-televised collegiate dance group, Strikers Dance Troupe. He has performed on many stages from World of Dance Atlanta to the B2K Millennium Tour and choreographed for local dance groups in Tallahassee and Atlanta. Ajah plans on opening his own dance studio back in his hometown to provide a positive outlet for the youth.

 

Valencia Springer

Valencia Springer

Company Member

Valencia Odeyka Emonni Springer is a native of Brooklyn, New York. Valencia 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”. Valencia 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.

 

Jordan Spry

Jordan Spry

Company Member

Jordan Spry, from Philadelphia, PA, joined Step Afrika! in 2012. He was first introduced to stepping in high school, when he joined the Progressive African American Cultural Society. Jordan attended Howard University (HU) and graduated with a BBA in Marketing. While at Howard, he stepped with Drew Hall Step Team. Jordan served as a head coach for Drew, where he choreographed many first-place winning pieces for the HU Homecoming Step Show. Jordan is also a freelance photographer, capturing moments from Step Afrika!’s tours around the world and personal work at home in the D.C. area, as well as an aspiring model.

Nicolas Stewart

Nicolas Stewart

Company Member

Nicolas Stewart is a native of Buffalo, New York, who has been stepping competitively for 17 years. He is a graduate of Hobart and William Smith Colleges with a BA in Architecture and recently earned an MFA in Acting at the University of South Carolina. Nick’s step experience as a captain and coach has led him to want to utilize the performing arts as a way of engaging and inspiring young artists around the world. He is extremely blessed to be a part of Step Afrika!.

Ta'Quez Whitted

Ta’Quez Whitted

Company Member

Born in Poughkeepsie, NY, and raised in Durham, NC, Ta’Quez started stepping in high school. He founded the school’s Mu Omega Psi step team during his Junior year to promote brotherhood and academic excellence. While an undergraduate, he captained the university step team while successfully completing the requirements for a BS degree in Criminal Justice from Elizabeth City State University. His passion and enthusiasm for stepping has led him to teach a wide array of classes, camps, and residencies both domestically and abroad.

Pelham Warner Jr.

Pelham Warner Jr.

Company Member

Pelham Warner is from The Bronx, New York and 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 Harlem, New York-based group, The Order of the Feather Fraternity, where he served as the team’s Step Master and captain for five years. Previously, he was a teaching artist teaching step to students in the greater New York City area. Pelham 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 first season with Step Afrika!

Robert Warnsley

Robert Warnsley

Company Member

Robert Warnsley is a native of Chicago, Illinois. He graduated from Illinois State University with a BS in Information Technology. Robert learned to step and stroll as a member of the Eta Tau chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. In addition to stepping, he practices hip-hop and Chicago-style footworking. This is Robert’s first season with Step Afrika!