Northeast State welcomes the extraordinary dance company Step Afrika! to campus Feb. 17 for a night of traditional African step dancing.
The free performance begins at 7 p.m. in the Wellmont Regional Center for the Performing Arts at the main campus, 2425 Highway 75, adjacent to Tri-Cities Regional Airport.
Founded in 1994 by current Executive Director C. Brian Williams, Step Afrika! is the only professional dance company in the world dedicated to the tradition of stepping. The company is critically acclaimed for its efforts to promote an understanding of and appreciation for stepping and the tradition’s use as an educational tool worldwide.
Stepping is a unique dance tradition created by African-American college students. In stepping, the body is used as an instrument to create intricate rhythms and sounds through a combination of footsteps, claps and spoken word. The tradition grew out of the song and dance rituals practiced by historically African-American fraternities and sororities in the early 1900s. Stepping comes from a rich tradition in African-based communities using movement, words and sounds to communicate allegiance to a group.
Step Afrika! reaches tens of thousands of Americans each year and has performed on prestigious stages in North & South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and the Caribbean.
The production is part of Northeast State’s commemoration of Black History Month throughout February. The performance is free and open to the public. For more information, contact 423.279.7669 or jpkelly@NortheastState.edu.