Stepping out

Poughkeepsie’s Black History Month Step-Off this Saturday at Bardavon

by Paul Smart
February 17, 2011 11:00 AM | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Stepping is the best. You know what I’m talking about? It’s that black dance form started in African American fraternities and sororities in the 1970s and 1980s, with roots reaching farther back into the early postwar years, in which teams create complex rhythms with their feet, thigh-slapping and handclaps, and combine it all with gymnastics and the thrills of break-dancing to create one of the most thrilling movement movements outside of kronk. The first time my family saw it all – at an outdoor festival in the City – my then-two-year-old leaped out of my lap and started whacking on himself and screaming like a backup singer/dancer gone banshee.

This Saturday, February 19, the Bardavon 1869 Opera House in Poughkeepsie will get all funky as the “2011 Price Chopper Black History Month Step-Off” takes the stage, hosted by the region’s own Poughkeepsie High Step Team. Featuring regional and local step teams, expect bits of military drill marches, children’s games, cheerleading moves, martial arts demonstrations, acrobatics, hip-hop rhythms (and occasional vocalizing), tap dancing and free-form breaking for what will surely get the audience out of their seats, wanting to compete with the competition onstage.

It kicks off at 7 p.m. at 35 Market Street: early enough to bring impressionable kids and older folks in need of a live-wire perk-me-up. For further information, including ticket reservations, call (845) 339-6088 or visit

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