Stepping away a CLP

I’m sure if you’ve toured Furman, you’ve heard about our Cultural Life Program or (CLP) requirement. These allow students to attend enriching cultural experiences throughout campus, prompting open-mindedness and cultural awareness! 

This week, there was a CLP I attended done by Step Afrika. This is a dance group of recent college graduates from around the US that are dedicated to the African-American tradition of stepping. They tour internationally with the intent to educate others about the form of dance and culture. 

Our Student League for Black Culture (SLBC), as well as our Student Activities Board (FUSAB), worked hard to get Step Afrika to come to Furman. 

On Wednesday, February 16th, Step Afrika headed down to Furman to perform for students. Going into the event, I had no idea what to expect. I was relatively unfamiliar with stepping and had only experienced it in informal settings. It was such a transformative experience. Not only did they share with us the art of stepping in several different forms, but they discussed the history of stepping in depth to allow for further immersion into the culture.

Here are some quotes from students in attendance:

  • “It was exhilarating, the energy was contagious. It was a very fun evening.” -Alysha Matthews ‘24
  • “It brought awareness to step culture and allowed Furman students to see a different perspective of a culturally different background.” -Jadon Elkins ‘22
  • “It was amazing to acknowledge and honor the traditions from an underrepresented group, especially here at Furman” -Tatyana Gonzalez ‘24

Ultimately, Step Afrika provided Furman students with a one-of-a-kind experience that embodied the philosophy of Furman’s Cultural Life Programs. So excited to see what other groups on campus like SLBC and FUSAB have to offer! 

I hope it has been as great of a week for you all as it has been for me! 

-TJ

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