Gumboot Essay

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Co-Curricular event 2 On Monday, February 16, 2015, Step Afrika performed in Cook-Dewitt. Step Afrika is a professional company dedicated to the tradition of stepping and uses the art as an educational tool. Step Afrika started in Johannesburg, South Africa and expanded to colleges and universities in America. Step Afrika uses traditional African dances to promote Africa’s culture. One Specific dance that they did was the gumboot dance. Gumboot dance was developed in South Africa by the working class. The practice began with mine workers in Witwatersrand, South Africa. Mine Workers face oppression and hardship pin the mines which included being punished if they talked to each other. There were also many a lot of ethnic groups who spoke different languages. The workers were forced to adapt a new way of communicating so they came up with a new language to share through the rhythm of music. Workers made a traditional dance by using their bodies and boots as instruments. They used their gumboots by slapping their boots and stomping their feet. Not only did they develop an art of gumboot dancing they developed a social activity that involved singing songs about dealing with the working class, love, low wages, harsh working conditions and horrible bosses. Eventually this dance form merged into dance troupes and eventually started being performed worldwide to entertain and start the spread of African culture. Experiencing African culture through dance was an amazing experience. It really gave me an insight on how communication was passed around in the mines. It also showed me how class influenced the

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