SUU’s Black Student Union (BSU) presented their annual ‘Step Show’ cultural performance on Feb. 24 in the Auditorium Theater. The event showcased the African-American traditional stepdance combined with hip-hop numbers and several spoken word poems to wrap up Black History Month.
Stepdance is inspired by the African gumboot dance which originated in the mining tunnels of South Africa. Workers used the sounds of slapping and tapping of their boots to communicate, and eventually, it slowly became a form of entertainment.
“This is a time to celebrate my culture and acknowledge what my ancestors have done for me,” Sunny Simms, president of BSU and ‘Step Show’ emcee, said. “If it wasn’t for them, I would not be a student here at SUU.”
Today, stepping is a popular percussive where the entire body is used as an instrument to produce complex rhythms and sounds through a mixture of footsteps and handclaps. BSU’s Step Team was joined by SUU’s Hip Hop club and other dance teams including Arbor View High School Step Team, West Prep High, Alpha Men and Divas of Tomorrow (AMDOT) and the Marentic Kids from Vegas.
While most performances focused on dance, spoken word poems were also shared by BSU’s Ayleen Perry, Rachel Trane and Tariq James. Each poet shared their thoughts on racism, equality and culture through personal experiences.
“The Black Student Union aims to encourage a sense of community for all students on campus,” states the BSU mission statement. “It provides students opportunities to promote and embrace the black culture, celebrate black history and empower each other through community.”
To learn more about BSU and their activities, visit their Facebook page.