Step Afrika! is the first professional company dedicated to the tradition of stepping.

Learn more about the company on their website, including these 10 “fun facts”:

10 Things to Know About Step Afrika!

  1. Founded in 1994, as an exchange program with the Soweto Dance Theatre of Johannesburg, Step Afrika! is the first professional Dance Company in the world dedicated to the tradition of stepping.
  2. Step Afrika! is one of the top 5 African American dance companies in the United States, the largest African American led arts organization in Washington, DC and Washington, DC’s only cultural ambassador.
  3. There are 14 full-time dancers—all college graduates—many who attended Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and are members of Historically Black Greek Fraternities and Sororities.
  4. The Company reaches tens of thousands each year through a 50-city tour of American colleges and theaters and performs globally as an official U.S. Cultural Ambassador.
  5. Step Afrika! engages 30,000 college students across the nation, teaches teamwork and discipline to 200 kids as part of the Summer Steps with Step Afrika! summer camp and expands culture-based arts education for more than 20,000 Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia school students each year.
  6. As part of the world’s first interactive stepping exhibit, thousands experience Step Afrika! at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture each day as part of the museum’s Explore More! interactive gallery.
  7. Primary arts education activities include in-school performances for K-12 students; reading, exercise, and creative movement programs for pre-school students; and seven-week college preparatory programs for middle and high school students;
  8. Step Afrika! made its Broadway debut of The Migration: Reflections on Jacob Lawrence on November 10, 2017 which successfully ran for three weeks at the New Victory Theatre in New York City!
  9. In 2018 and 2019, Step Afrika! traveled internationally to promote cultural dialogue and exchange in Jordan (2018), Ghana (2018). Croatia (2019), Ukraine (2019), Zambia (2019), Angola (2019), and South Africa (2019).
  10.  In 2020, Step Afrika! will premier its new feature-length work, Drumfolk which will be presented in ten major markets including a return to Broadway at the New Victory Theatre.

Office Hours

Get Into It

Get Thee to the LIbrary

Recommended readings to get you in gear for the show.

Hanif Abdurraqib, A Little Devil in America: Notes in  Praise of Black Performance. Random House, 2021.

Elizabeth C. Fine, Soulstepping: African American Step Shows. University of Illinois Press, 2003. 

Constance Valis Hill. Tap Dance in America: A Short History. Library of Congress, 2013. [link]

Kevin Young (ed.), African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle & Song. Library of America, 2020.

Read All About It

The Black Scholar | Nov 6, 2018

“We Are the Music”: An interview with Jakari Sherman By Paul J. Edwards

“We want people to know about the history of stepping, a dance form created by African American students.”

Education Development Center | Feb 17, 2021

The Importance of Dance in African American Culture

African American culture is a quilt made up of the practices and traditions developed in response to a tortuous beginning.

Arts Emerson | Oct 14, 2022


Step as a style and form of African dance in of itself first appears in the 1700s.

New York Times | March 2, 2020

Review: The Body Is Also a Percussive Instrument

In the bodies of these skilled performers, the beat is obviously unstoppable.

Essence | Oct 6, 2020

More Than Dance: Here Are 8 Things You Need To Know About The Art Of Stepping

Stepping is more than a dance. It’s an art form.

Dance Spirit | March 22, 2018

The Art of Stepping—and How It's Brought People Together for More Than a Century

“No matter what, it has to sound good.”

Extra Credit

Learn more about step and try out some moves with help from the Kennedy Center’s Introduction to Stepping.