It’s an afternoon of dance, song, storytelling, humor, and audience participation when Step Afrika! comes to the Lake Michigan College Mendel Center in Benton Harbor, Michigan. The group will perform at 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 12, on the Mainstage as part of the Mendel Center’s Discovery Series.
Founded in 1994 by C. Brian Williams, Step Afrika! is the first professional company dedicated to the tradition of stepping. Under Mr. Williams’ leadership, stepping has evolved into one of America’s cultural exports, touring more than 60 countries across the globe and ranking as one of the top 10 African-American Dance Companies in the US.
Step Afrika! blends percussive dance styles practiced by historically African American fraternities and sororities; traditional African dances; and an array of contemporary dance and art forms into a cohesive, compelling artistic experience. The blend of technique, agility, and pure energy makes each performance unique and leaves the audience with their hearts pounding.
Step Afrika! promotes stepping as an educational tool for young people, focusing on teamwork, academic achievement, and cross-cultural understanding. The Company reaches tens of thousands of Americans each year through a 50-city tour of colleges and theaters and performs globally as Washington, DC’s one and only Cultural Ambassador.
Step Afrika! has earned Mayor’s Arts Awards for Outstanding Contribution to Arts Education, Innovation in the Arts, Excellence in an Artistic Discipline, and was inducted into the National Association of Campus Activities (NACA) Hall of Fame, the first Dance Company to earn this honor. Step Afrika! headlined President Barack Obama’s Black History Month Reception and performed at the first-ever Juneteenth Celebration at the White House. The Company is featured prominently at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History & Culture with the world’s first stepping interactive exhibit.
To learn more about Step Afrika!, visit www.stepafrika.org.
Tickets for Step Afrika! start at $35 and are on sale now. They may be purchased online 24/7 at www.TheMendelCenter.com/events, by calling 269-927-8700 option 1, or one hour before show time at the Mendel Center box office in the Mainstage lobby.
This activity is supported in part by the Michigan Arts and Culture Council.
Mendel Center 2023-2024 Season Sponsors
Stage Side Sponsors: Meijer, Sturgis Bank, TPC Technologies, Wales Wealth Management Group,
Platinum Sponsor: CK Catering, Forte Coffee
Media Partners: 97.5 Y Country, 98.3 The Coast, The Herald Palladium, The Lake 95.7 MailMax, News/Talk 94.9 WSJM, Rock 107 WIRX, SuperHits 103.7
Preferred Partner Hotel: The Boulevard Inn & Bistro
Artistic Partners: Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra, Twin City Players
About the Lake Michigan College Mendel Center
The Lake Michigan College Mendel Center raised the curtain on its first Mendel Center season performance in the fall of 1992. Since then, it has presented performances and guest speakers to more than half a million patrons in the 1,559-seat Mendel Center Mainstage Theatre. Grand Upton Hall, first opened in 1979 and fully renovated in 2019, is a 13,700-square-foot venue serving the community as the host site for meetings, banquets, trade shows, weddings, and other celebrations. The 229-seat Hanson Theatre, which was renovated in 2020, hosts numerous Lake Michigan College Visual & Performing Arts Department performances as well as a variety of Mendel Center and community events.
The Mendel Center is 30 minutes from Niles and 40 minutes from the Kalamazoo and South Bend areas. It is located on the Lake Michigan College campus at 2755 E. Napier Avenue, Benton Harbor, Michigan, one mile east of I-94 (Exit 30) and one mile west of the US 31 Bypass (exit 24). Its GPS mapping address is 1100 Yore Avenue, Benton Harbor, MI.
Posted October 03, 2023