Step Afrika!

Katherine Martinez Paredes, Reporter

Art can be interpreted in many ways like paintings, music, theater and dance. Step Afrika is a cultural event that promotes appreciation for stepping and its use as an educational, motivational and healthy tool for young people as stated by them.

Step Afrika was performed Friday, March 23 2018 from 7pm to 9:45pm at the Performing Arts Theater- Atwood Concert Hall. The performance was fun, entertaining, interactive, engaging and motivational. The show started, and the excitement was beginning to fill the room. Their dancing was astonishing and impeccable. They would interact with their audience by asking questions and the audience responding back. There was a point where they even asked for audience members to come up and dance with them.

Rachel Watters, an audience member, learned about the event by seeing a flier and then googled about it and caught her attention. Watters’ favorite part of the performance was “when they brought people from the audience to come up and like participate, I think that was really fun.” She also went to explain that she was surprised of all the different types of dances that they had, because in the flier and website it seemed as if it would just be African dances but it turned out to be more than that.

There was also another audience member called Jessica Delgado; one of West High School’s  Trio advisors. Delgado was introduced to it by her director, and was told how it would be good “for students in the program and ourselves.” When asked about what she thought of the event she replied with “I thoroughly enjoyed the performance!… The performance was great, everything was great… my favorite part would be getting the crowds involvement in the performance and seeing our students getting up on stage.” Clearly a lot of people really enjoyed the participation in the performance.

But like always there’s two sides to one story and this time we’re moving to the point of view of a performer. I had the amazing experience of interviewing Brittney Smith and her experiences on stage; “Oh my gosh! Being on stage is amazing it is an adrenaline rush! that’s the best way I can describe it.” She also goes on to explaining that Step Afrika is a full time job and that they have to rehearsal every day from 10am to 5pm when they’re not on the road. She really likes Step Afrika and she hopes their shows can inspire people to do what they dream of and to go to college.

An advice  would give to aspiring performers is, “Trust the process, because you’re going to get a lot of no’s before you hear that yes…continue to trust that process…everything is a part of your journey, and you have to love where you are in your journey. When you get discouraged down, and you wanna back away from the industry and back away from doing your art because you’re not getting hired, that is when your art is out. Don’t let it die inside of you. Continue to trust that process.” This is so truthful because it’s so hard to be successful in the art industry nowadays and that can really discourage people from doing what they love. But Smith has taught us not to give up even when we get discouraged and to always trust the process.

Step Afrika is a cultural event perfect for families and friends. It’s fun, interactive, entertaining, engaging and motivational. It encourages students to go to college and to follow their dreams.