STEPHENVILLE (January 15, 2019) — Renowned dance company Step Afrika! will perform at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 23, in the theater of the Clyde H. Wells Fine Arts Center in Stephenville to kick off Tarleton State University’s celebration of Black History Month.
Admission is free.
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 ten 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 integrate songs, storytelling, humor and audience participation.
Step Afrika! promotes stepping as an educational tool for young people, focusing on teamwork, academic achievement and cross-cultural understanding. It reaches tens of thousands of Americans each year through a 50-city tour of colleges and theaters and performs globally as a cultural ambassador.
The company holds workshops, residency programs and a variety of arts education activities for K-12 and college students in its home of Washington, D.C., and in cities around the world.
Step Afrika! performed at the White House for President Barack Obama, headlining the Presidential Black History Month reception in 2016, and is featured prominently at the Smithsonian’s new National Museum of African-American History & Culture with the world’s first stepping interactive.
Black History Month was first proposed by African-American educators and the Black United Students at Kent State University in February 1969. The first celebration of Black History Month took place at Kent State one year later. It was celebrated nationally in 1976 when President Gerald Ford recognized Black History Month during the celebration of the United States Bicentennial.