Step Dance Sensation STEP AFRIKA! to Make Step Auditorium Theatre Debut in January

Step Afrika! is the world’s first professional dance company dedicated to the dance tradition of stepping.

By: Dec. 07, 2022
Step Dance Sensation STEP AFRIKA! to Make Step Auditorium Theatre Debut in January
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Step right up as the Auditorium Theatre (Chicago's landmark stage at 50 E. Ida B. Wells Drive) presents Step Afrika! in its Auditorium Theatre debut for a one-night-only performance, Saturday January 14, 2023 at 7:30 PM.

Step Afrika! is the world's first professional dance company dedicated to the dance tradition of stepping- the percussive dance styles practiced by historically African American fraternities and sororities. Blending stepping with traditional Southern African dances and an array of contemporary dance and art forms, Step Afrika! presents a cohesive, and compelling artistic experience. Performances are much more than dance shows; they integrate songs, storytelling, humor, and audience participation. The blend of technique, agility, and pure energy makes each performance unique and leaves the audience with their hearts pounding.

"The Auditorium Theatre is a haven for all different styles of dance," says Auditorium Theatre CEO Rich Regan. "We are thrilled to present Step Afrika! in their Auditorium Theatre debut and for our audiences to experience this company's unique blend of step dance, African dance, contemporary dance, and performance art."

The dynamic Step Afrika! program includes:


Tribute pays homage to the African American step show. The work combines the distinct stepping styles from different fraternities and sororities and blends them together to showcase the incredible variety of stepping. Tribute includes all the exciting elements of the step show- the use of props, ripples and floor work, creative formations and audience participation. (Choreographed by Jakari Sherman)


Ndlamu is a traditional dance of the Zulu people. For more than 25 years, Step Afrika! has studied the dance form through the Company's long-standing partnership with the Soweto Dance Theater. Step Afrika! makes this Ndlamu uniquely its own featuring solos created by each dancer and the addition of contemporary movement. (Choreographed by Jackie Semela)


Isicathulo or "the gumboot dance" is a tradition created by South African workers who labored in the oppressive mining industry of then-apartheid South Africa. Isolated from their families for long periods, the miners transformed their rubber boots into percussive instruments to not only entertain but to share secret messages with each other. Isicathulo has become one of the most popular dance forms in South Africa and has striking similarities to the African American tradition of stepping. (Choreographed by Jackie Semela)


Traditionally, stepping is performed by groups, big and small. In this Solo, Step Afrika! investigates the form at its most intimate level.


Chicago finds the rhythm in everyday situations. It is a percussive symphony using body percussion and up to 5 complex polyrhythms performed simultaneously to narrate a percussive dance "story." Inspired by a summer spent in the Windy City, this ground-breaking work transforms the 100-year-old, folkloric tradition of stepping into contemporary performance art. (Choreographed by Jakari Sherman)

(Program is subject to change)

Performance schedule and tickets

Step Afrika! performs at the Auditorium Theatre Saturday, January 14, 2023 at 7:30 PM. Tickets start at $30 and are now available at, or by calling 312.341.2300, or at the Box Office at 50 E Ida B Wells Drive in Chicago, IL. Click here for phone and in-person hours.

Discounted tickets for groups of 10 or more people are available. The Auditorium Theatre offers $20 student rush tickets to full-time college students and $5 tickets to young people ages 13-19 with Urban Gateways' Teen Arts Pass program. The Auditorium also offers a Student Savings Club for both college and high school students. The Auditorium Theatre's ADMIT ONE program offers complimentary tickets to Chicago-area community groups.

The Auditorium Theatre is fully committed to the health and safety of our patrons and our staff. We continue to monitor health guidance and appropriately adjust our policies. For current health safety information, please visit

About Step Afrika!

Founded in 1994 by C. Brian Williams, 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. Many of Step Afrika!'s full-time dancers learned stepping while in college at a Historically Black College or University or through membership in a Historically Black Greek Fraternity or Sorority. Step Afrika! is Washington DC's largest African American-led arts organization and one of the top five African American dance companies in the United States. Every year, Step Afrika! reaches tens of thousands of visitors on national and international tours and thousands more students through numerous educational camps and workshops. To learn more about Step Afrika! visit

About The Auditorium Theatre

The Auditorium Theatre, located at 50 E. Ida B. Wells Drive at Roosevelt University in Chicago, is an Illinois not-for-profit organization committed to presenting the finest in international, cultural, community, and educational programming to all of Chicago and beyond as The Theatre for the People. The organization also is committed to the continued restoration and preservation of this National Historic Landmark that originally opened in 1889.

This Auditorium Theatre's 2022-23 performance season features a dynamic mix of acclaimed global dance companies (Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan, American Ballet Theatre, and the much anticipated annual engagement by the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater) while closer to home, beloved Chicago dance companies also take the stage (Deeply Rooted Dance Theater, Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater, South Chicago Dance Theatre, and an evening with Trinity Irish Dance Company, M.A.D.D. Rhythms, and special guest, New York-based Dorrance Dance. In addition, the critically acclaimed National Geographic Live speaker series, offering first-hand accounts and expert voices on cultural and environmental issues, returns with three offerings and a new lower ticket price.

For more information on the Auditorium Theatre and a complete listing of events at the Auditorium Theatre, please visit