University News

Step Afrika! Energizes the Western New England University Community

Published: April 11, 2016 | Categories: All News

"Watching all the dancers made me want to get involved myself”

Members of Step Afrika performing a dance

Members of Step Afrika performing a dance

Earlier this month, the dance sensation Step Afrika! visited Western New England University to educate and delight students and faculty with their unique style of dance and music. The members performed a series of dances to tell a story of how to overcome adversity.  Step Afrika! gets people moving – toward college, toward a greater appreciation for the arts and toward a better understanding of each other.  Over the past 21 years, Step Afrika! has become one of the top African American Dance Companies in the U.S. 

Step Afrika! is a non-profit organization that is focused on the African-American tradition of stepping, which is defined as a form of dance using the body as an instrument to create rhythms through a combination of claps, footsteps, and vocals. The dancers perform stepping routines along with various other dance forms such as tap and hip-hop. Assistant Director of Student Activities & Leadership Development Tom Donovan greatly valued having this group visit our campus, “Step Afrika! is a great program that provides a historical point of view of how and why stepping was created, and the evolution it has taken over the years.  The program also does a great job of making the program fun and interactive by getting the audience member involved in the show.”

Members performing a dance

During their performance Step Afrika! incorporated singing, stepping, clapping, and instruments into their dances to make the show even more lively. Freshman pre-pharmacy major, Cailin Wadja got to see the performance and said, “Step Afrika! gave off an extremely powerful vibe and kept viewers on their toes throughout the entire event, I hope to see them again next year.” Cailin’s roommate Cara Fiamma also went and stated that, “it was a very entertaining and enjoyable experience. Watching all the dancers made me want to get involved myself.” Step Afrika! performs powerful and energizing shows, which provided the students and faculty of Western New England University with a fun and memorable experience. “The program was very successful.  We had over 150 University community members attend the event, and they provided great energy for the performers,” added Donovan.