Local D.C. dancer creates Step Afrika! to celebrate many forms of step dancing

*Watch this Step Afrika! promotional dance video

By Lanie Rivera

D.C. native and Howard University graduate Brian Williams founded Step Afrika!, a cross-cultural dance exchange program in 1994, and now his company travels around the world to promote step tradition dancing.

The D.C. based company is scheduled to perform on Tuesday, April 16 at UNK Health & Sports Center on the University of Nebraska at Kearney campus. They will be performing locally from June 5-9 at the District’s Atlas Performing Arts Center.

What inspired Williams’ dance crew?

While studying at Howard, he had traveled to South Africa to teach business skills to students. It was there where he stumbled upon a South African dance called the “gumboot dance tradition” created by African mine workers nearly 100 years ago.

Although Williams had learned about step dancing while attending college in Washington, D.C., his curiosity was sparked — he began to research stepping.

When he started Step Afrika!, his company was the only dance group in the world that was dedicated to the tradition of step dancing. He now leads the group of seven dancers, celebrating the Zulu and gumboot dances combined with American stepping.

To read more about step dancing and Step Afrika!, check out the full story here.


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