D.C. dance company brings tradition to PSU

Carl J. Bachus | culture editor

PSU students are in for a rhythmic treat this week with Step Afrika, a dance company founded on the tradition of stepping, being held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19, in Memorial Auditorium. Presented by Pitt State’s Performing Arts and Lecture Series, the showcase is co-sponsored the Campus Activities Center (CAC), Black Student Association (BSA) and the Office of Student Diversity.Step Afrika
“Stepping is an art form created by African-American fraternities and sororities,” said Step Afrika founder C. Brian Williams in an ABC News interview. “In stepping, we use our hands and our feet and our bodies to make music.”
Founded in 1994, Step Afrika has used its stage to promote an appreciation for the art of stepping and its use as a tool for educating young students.
“What’s really cool about stepping is its connection to college and academic achievement,” Williams said. “Yes, you can step but, at the end of the day, we want you to know that it’s a tradition created by college students.”
Step Afrika has performed at venues all across the United States and the world, including the Lincoln Center in New York and the White House in Washington, D.C.
The step showcase also coincides with Black History Month activities being presented by the BSA and the Office of Student Diversity, which the CAC program coordinator Eva Sager says was just a happy coincidence.
“One of the ways that we get really good deals on performers is to get them routed through other schools,” Sager said. “Obviously, they were targeting February pretty hard, but it worked out really well that we were able to partner with BSA because they have put out an extensive list of activities for students this year.”
Other Black History Month activities include a presentation by Emmy-award winning storyteller Bobby Norfolk and the opening of a student art exhibit on Monday, Feb. 18, in the Governors Room of the student center and second floor of Porter Hall respectively.
The host of critically acclaimed children’s series “Gator Tales” and “Bobby’s House,” Norfolk travels nationally and internationally, presenting workshops and educational seminars. Norfolk is also a regular at the National Storytelling Festival.
On Feb. 20, the BSA will host a reception in celebration of the Black History Month-themed student art exhibit and a fashion show in the Crimson and Gold Ballroom will be held on Feb. 26.
Sure to be a fun, music-filled night, the fashion show will feature students modeling clothes donated by several Pittsburg businesses. The festivities begin at 7 p.m.
For more information about any Black History Month events, call the Office of Student Diversity at 235-4077.

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