College to Host Step Afrika! Dancers

Brunswick, GA The College of Coastal Georgia is hosting a performance by the acclaimed dance company, Step Afrika!, on Friday, February 15 at 8 p.m. in the Coffin Gym.

Step Afrika!, which is headquartered in Washington, DC, was the first professional dance company to use stepping as an educational tool for young people. It began in 1994 as a cross-cultural exchange program with the Soweto Dance Theatre of Johannesburg, South Africa. Their first full production in January 2000 was a sold-out run at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, as part of the Imagination Celebration. Now the ensemble tours the U.S. annually, as well as performing internationally and on the stages of the Kennedy Center, the Lincoln Center in New York City, and at the White House.

The dance tradition of stepping, which sprang from song and dance rituals practiced by African-American college fraternities and sororities in the early 20th century, uses the human body as an instrument to create stunning rhythms and sounds by combining footsteps, claps and spoken words. While teaching in Lesotho, Howard University graduate C. Brian Williams witnessed the gumboot dance, an art form created by South African miners that resembled the stepping routines Williams had learned in 1989 as a member of the Beta Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. Williams partnered with three members of the Soweto Dance Theatre to launch the Step Afrika International Cultural Festival, linking people who practiced stepping in America with performers of the gumboot dance. Subsequently, Step Afrika UK was founded, representing similar traditions from England and the Caribbean.

Advance tickets are available - beginning today - at the Lighthouse Bookstore in the Campus Center, online at or by telephoning 912.279.5972. The performance is free for College students with a current Coastal Georgia ID card, $5 for faculty and staff with purchase at the bookstore, and $10 for general admission. Student tickets can be picked up at the Office of Student Life, room 213 of the Campus Center. Tickets may also be purchased at the door one hour prior to the performance, based on availability.

The exciting performance is one of the campus multicultural programs planned by the Office of Student Affairs in celebration of Black History Month.
Release Date: 1/22/2013
Source: College of Coastal Georgia

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John Cornell
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