Step Afrika Marches Its Way to the Mount

Photo of Step Afrika
Photo courtesy of Arielle DeFoor

On Wednesday February 25 at 8:00 p.m. world famous Step Afrika dancers stepped across the stage with  loud, energetic movements. Step Afrika, a progressive dance group based out of Washington D.C. showcased their talents in Knott Auditorium.

“Step Afrika is an educational dance troupe that exposes students to the art of stepping and extends a positive message about understanding cultural roots, experiencing college, and appreciating energetic artforms,” stated Dr. Kyra Shahid of the Center for Student Diversity.

The show began with a dance routine performed by the Mount’s Pan Africa group. At the end of their routine, Shahid introduced the dynamic dancers known as Step Afrika. Celebrating their roots in African-American sororities and fraternities, the step group demonstrated traditional step performances along with performances based on African tradition.

Throughout the performance, cheering, dancing and participation was encouraged. Midway through, the performers invited audience members on stage to learn a step routine of their own.

Step Afrika, among other events hosted by the Center of Student Diversity, exposed students to cultural traditions.

“Inviting Step Afrika was an extension of our programming that is guided by a desire to help increase awareness, skills, knowledge and appreciation for multiple cultures,” stated Shahid.

Step Afrika is not only a world touring group, but also offers scholarships. At the end of the performance the audience was informed about how to apply for a Step Afrika scholarship as well as when auditions for the next dancers will take place. Interested students can audition in May.

Step Afrika was a different kind of performance than other performances students have seen at the Mount. It was full of quick step moves, complex routines as well as historical background.

“ It is our hope that students gained awareness and appreciation for an artform that helped create a strong community amongst college students, much like students here at the Mount,” Shahid stated.

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