Located inside the Atlas Performing Arts Center at 1313-33 H Street NE in Washington D.C., Step Afrika! is the first professional dance company in the world centered upon stepping, a percussive style of movement.
Founded by African-American choreographer and stepper C. Brian Williams in South Africa in 1994, this unique dance company arose from a blending of stepping and gumboot dance. Stepping is a type of rhythmic movement form rooted in African-American fraternities and sororities most often sourced at historical Black universities and colleges.
Gumboot dance is a type of rhythmic movement form performed by South Africans wearing Wellington boots, or “gumboots”, as they are more commonly referenced. This dancing has its origins from Black South Africans forced to work the gold mines. Barred from being able to even talk with each other, these miners converted taps from their gumboots, a la Morse code, as a way to communicate with each other. Presently and ironically, gumboot dance is considered to be one of the most expressive dance forms of South Africa!