African American step-dancing
The P.A.R.T.I. (Positive Alternative Recreational Teambuilding Impacting) Program’s mission is to promote education around healthy lifestyles and healthy decision-making fir disadvantaged and disenfranchised youth. Founded in 2000 to create nontraditional forms of leadership development, the P.A.R.T.I. Program’s core programs are mentorship, leadership, civic engagement, health, and recreation.
In 2013 and 2010, the P.A.R.T.I. Program received a grant from ACTA’s Living Cultures Grants Program for their Fusion project. Targeting youth ages 12-19 in the greater Alameda County area, the project will teach the history of step-dancing. Step-dancing, or “stepping,” is a form of percussive dance in which the dancers’ entire body is used as an instrument to produce complex rhythms and sounds through a mixture of footsteps, spoken word, and hand claps. The origins of this African American dance form emanate from several African dance styles. Stepping has been widely adopted by African American fraternities who perform in competitions. Under the direction of Winston Ashby, a youth development professional and member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, project participants will perform stepping as part of a wide program of youth activities.