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Step Afrika, pictured above when the dance troupe performed at Northwest in 2017, is returning to Northwest for a performance at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Ron Houston Center for the Performing Arts. (Photo by Todd Weddle/Northwest Missouri State University)

Step Afrika, pictured above when the dance troupe performed at Northwest in 2017, is returning to Northwest for a performance at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Ron Houston Center for the Performing Arts. (Photo by Todd Weddle/Northwest Missouri State University)

Feb. 2, 2020

Step Afrika! returning to Northwest this week

By Leah Newell, communication assistant

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The world’s first professional dance company dedicated to the tradition of stepping is returning to Northwest Missouri State University.

Step Afrika! will perform at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 5, in the Mary Linn Auditorium at the Ron Houston Center for the Performing Arts to kick off the University’s celebration of Black History Month.

The event, which is cosponsored by Northwest’s Student Activities Council (SAC) and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, is free and open to the public.

“This event is going to be extremely engaging and exciting, and the student body won't want to miss it,” Garrison Kennedy, SAC’s director of special events, said. “Attendees can expect to come away from this event with a deeper connection to their fellow Bearcats, a greater appreciation for the traditional art of stepping, and an all-around great experience.”

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 theatres and performs globally as a cultural ambassador.

The company has established itself as one of the top African-American dance companies in the United States and as the largest African-American arts organization in Washington, D.C.

The troupe promotes stepping – which involves using the body as an instrument to create intricate rhythms and sounds through a combination of footsteps, claps and spoken word – as an educational, motivational and healthy tool for young people.

Step Afrika! began as an exchange program with the Soweto Dance Theatre of Johannesburg, South Africa, and has expanded to become a national and international touring company presenting performance, residencies and workshops worldwide.

For more information about Step Afrika!, visit www.stepafrika.org.


Media contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704