WASHINGTON – Sept. 13, 2017 – For the second year in a row, LEAP Foundation DC, via Chairman and Founder Dr. Clayton Lawrence, has continued its support of Step Afrika! As the first professional nonprofit dance company in the world dedicated to preserving the rich tradition of stepping, led by Founder and Executive Director C. Brian Williams, Step Afrika! is quickly growing in its efforts to bring awareness to the true scope of its mission.
Established in 1994, over the course of the last 21 years, Step Afrika! has established itself as a top ten African American Dance Company in Washington, D.C., and throughout the United States. Originating as an exchange program with the Soweto Dance Theatre in Johannesburg, South Africa, it has grown and expanded its presence nationally and internationally. As a company, Step Afrika! “promotes an appreciation for stepping and its use as an educational, motivational and healthy tool for young people,” and it “accomplishes this mission through arts education activities, international cultural exchange programs and performances world-wide.”
When asked about his ongoing support of Step Afrika!, Dr. Clayton Lawrence shared, “From the time you begin watching a performance, until the very end, and in every interaction with the dance company’s members and leaders, you immediately recognize the passion behind the Step Afrika! mission.” He continued, “Not only is Step Afrika! going above and beyond to preserve such rich, cultural African and African-American history and traditions, but the company is also inspiring youth to find positive and healthy outlets for self-expression and connecting with youth globally to provide these opportunities.”
Step Afrika! tours annually, bringing performances to more than 50 cities across the United States, with a separate touring schedule for international performances. However, the company also finds time to do some of its most important outreach in local communities. A close friend of Washington Mayor, Muriel Bowser, Founder C. Brian Williams has been especially dedicated to working with youth in the greater Washington D.C. region. Deputy Director of Step Afrika!, Joanne Coutts, recently cited in the September Issue of the Washington Life Magazine, was quoted as saying, “For the last ten years, our arts education program, Summer Steps with Step Afrika!, has served more than 1500 young people through the partnership with the Washington Performing Arts and we are extremely grateful to WPA.”
Step Afrika! will inevitably continue in its efforts to make a positive impact in the world through stepping, sharing that “Step Afrika! gets people moving – towards college, towards a greater appreciation for the arts and towards a better understanding of each other.”
To learn more about Step Afrika! and when a performance is coming to a theater near you, please visit http://www.stepafrika.org.