Local percussive dance group makes a comeback

Josie Richards
By Josie Richards October 6, 2017 13:25

By Josie Richards

A local group is stepping back onto the scene with their modern form of expressive afrocentric dance.

After a one-year break, the student group Sistas Taking Action for a New Direction (S.T.A.N.D.), has reformed.

“Step is making music without music,” says co-president Ashley Yeboah. “You make music with your body, hands and feet through stomps, claps and things like that.”

What was once just for University of Windsor students has now broadened its membership criteria to include non-university students as well.

This form of percussive dance is not well known in Canada, but is very popular across the river in the U.S. according to Yeboah. Step originated as a form of communication between slaves in the 17th century and continues to play a huge part in American fraternity and sorority culture.

The group was founded in 2013. Originally membership was limited to women of diaspora descent, meaning individuals who originated from Africa but have been dispersed. But in years past, the group has opened up to include men as well.

“We’re definitely looking for new members on our step team,” says Yeboah. “You don’t have to be a woman or at student at UWindsor to even be on the step team.”

Membership has ranged from six to 12 individuals, but this year, Yeboah said, they hope for more. They expect to see many new faces that are willing to learn the art form and to be open to different aspects of cultures that are unlike one’s own.

According to Yeboah, this year you can watch the step team perform at Diverse Expressions, Windsor Sports Weekend, Afrofest and other events that have yet to be determined.

For those interested, tryouts will be held this fall at the University of Windsor. Visit www.facebook.com/UofWindsorSTAND for more details.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Josie Richards
By Josie Richards October 6, 2017 13:25

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