Hylton Performing Arts Center

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Press Room


June 18, 2012
Contact: Press & Media Relations Coordinator (703-993-9808)

For general information about tickets, seating, parking, etc., for performances and events happening at the Hylton Performing Arts Center, please contact the ticket office directly at 703-993-7759.

Step Afrika!

performs at the

Hylton Performing Arts Center

Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012 at 11 a.m.


D.C.-based dance troupe brings a program for young audiences


MANASSAS, Va., June 18, 2012– Praised by The Washington Post for its “electrifying talents,” Step Afrika! makes its first appearance at the Hylton Performing Arts Center’s Merchant Hall in Manassas on Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012 at 11 a.m., presenting an inspiring program for young audiences. Young and old alike will enjoy this incredible celebration of stepping, teamwork, discipline, passion and commitment by these remarkable masters of movement and sound. “A jubilation of rhythm and spirit that harks back to the essence of dancing: people moving together in harmony for the greater good.” (Village Voice)

This dazzling Washington, D.C.-based company is a global ambassador for “stepping,” the uniquely American genre that is descended from African song and dance rituals. Originating with historically Black fraternities and sororities, this energetic and mesmerizing art form uses the body as an instrument to produce percussive rhythms and sounds through the marriage of footsteps, clapping and vocalizing.

Executive Director C. Brian Williams, a graduate of Howard University, first learned about stepping through his membership in the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. – Beta Chapter. He formed Step Afrika! in 1994 as a cross-cultural exchange program with the Soweto Dance Theatre of Johannesburg South Africa, where he later helped launch the highly successful Step Afrika! International Cultural Festival. Under the leadership of Williams and Artistic Director Jakari Sherman, Step Afrika! has earned several awards, including Metro D.C. Dance Awards for “Outstanding New Work,” “Excellence in Stage Design/Multimedia” and “Outstanding Group Performance.” Step Afrika! has also been featured on CNN, BET, PBS and NPR, as well as in several books and documentaries on the art of stepping. In addition to performing for audiences across the globe, Step Afrika! has brought its programs to young audiences in schools and community-based organizations, using stepping to promote teamwork, academic achievement and cross-cultural understanding. 


Tickets to this performance are $15 for adults and $5 for children. To purchase tickets, please visit the Hylton Center box office, open Wednesday through Saturday, 12 p.m. through 6 p.m. Tickets can also be purchased by calling 888-945-2468 or by visiting HyltonCenter.org. Free parking is available onsite. For more information about this performance or about the Hylton Center, please visit HyltonCenter.org.


About the Hylton Performing Arts Center

Dedicated to bringing a world-class performing arts venue to the Prince William region, the Hylton Performing Arts Center was born out of a partnership among Prince William County, George Mason University, the City of Manassas, the Commonwealth of Virginia and individuals and businesses in the private sector. Soaring more than nine stories and boasting a stunning mix of copper, glass and masonry, the 85,000-square foot center is home to two unparalleled performance venues for local arts groups and performers from around the world, as well as university-related activities. Modeled after the intimate European opera houses of the 19th century, Merchant Hall is a 1,123-seat multipurpose proscenium theater, which is encircled by 27 private boxes that rise three levels. The Gregory Family Theater is a flexible, 4,400-square foot space that can be configured for many different types of performances and events. In addition, the Didlake Grand Foyer, with its sweeping staircase, provides an ideal setting for community, corporate and social events. The Hylton Performing Arts Center, the only building of its kind in the area, has quickly become the cultural hub of Prince William County and the surrounding communities and is a shining example of collaboration and commitment to the arts.


About George Mason University

George Mason University is an innovative, entrepreneurial institution with global distinction in a range of academic fields. Located in Northern Virginia near Washington, D.C., Mason provides students access to diverse cultural experiences and the most sought-after internships and employers in the country. Mason offers strong undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering and information technology, organizational psychology, health care and visual and performing arts. With Mason professors conducting groundbreaking research in areas such as climate change, public policy and the biosciences, George Mason University is a leading example of the modern, public university. George Mason University – Where Innovation Is Tradition.