Sankofa

The Williams College Step Team

The word “sankofa,” from the Akan people in Ghana, loosely translates to “reaching back in order to move forward.” Sankofa was formed in the fall of the ’96-’97 academic year by five women from the class of 2000: Dahra Jackson, Maxine Lyle, Mya Fisher, Melina Evans, and Samantha Reed. Stepping at Williams was born.

Sankofa choreographs original material that incorporates popular song, drums, hip-hop, break dance, spoken word, poetry, and sheer creative ingenuity. Stepping features precise, synchronized, and complex rhythmic body movements, combined with singing, chanting, and verbal play.

History of Stepping

Stepping is a uniquely African American dance genre that was created in the United States but is, in the words of Roger Abrahams, “animated by the style, spirit, social, and aesthetic organization of the sub-Saharan Africa.”

This dance was created on the campuses of American colleges and universities during the 1900’s by African American students.

Guest artists include:

  • Maxine Lyle ‘00
  • Wyatt Jackson

Artistic direction by selected student choreographers.