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Step Afrika Bring Their "Highly Energetic" Dance Form To The Carver

You may not have heard of the dance form called “stepping,” but don't feel bad. I didn't! Here's a description:

"A lot of people describe it as highly energetic and powerful movement. And rhythmic chants often accompany the steps as well. It’s really celebrated all around the world, but a lot of Americans don’t know about," said C. Bryan Williams about the foot-pounding, knee slapping moves that he helped bring to the fore in the group he’s created, Step Afrika.

“Step Afrika is the first professional company in the world dedication to the tradition of stepping," said Williams. "In stepping we use our hands, our bodies and our voices to make music. So Step Afrika’s charge has been to take this art form from the college campuses and bring it to the professional stage."

I was surprised to find out stepping's origin.

“Stepping is a art form first developed by African-American fraternities and sororities in the early 1900s," Williams said. "How they decided to express that fraternal bond is where the tradition of stepping came from." 

Step Afrika is coming to San Antonio. I asked him to tell me about it.

“Yeah, we’re going to be at the Carver Center. And if you’ve never seen stepping before, then you have to come see this art form" he said. "They’ll see a high-energy show. I’m bringing nine or ten artists. These are some of the best steppers in the world. And we’ll also have modern dance, and traditional African dance as well. There’ll be live drumming, original music. And of course, the music we create from our own bodies.

It all happens at the Carver on Saturday, June 7.

Jack Morgan can be reached at jack@tpr.org and on Twitter at @JackMorganii