Steve is co-founder,
choreographer and artistic director of Dueling Shoes. He is a multi-instrumentalist and is currently offering a music,
song and dance solo performance that features the Senegambian Akonting and teaches about the history and African roots of
the American banjo.
Steve came to percussive
dance with a background in West African rhythm and drumming. He enjoys exploring different ethnic rhythmic percussive
styles and dance traditions.
From 2000-2004 Steve danced with the
Cloggers of Chapel Hill, NC. He has created and choreographed
unique dance routines, often with symbolic themes and which can
tell stories and evoke laughs. He wrote, directed and performed in two
percussive dance full theater productions: "Clogging: Back to the
A Creation Myth", performed by The Apple Chill Cloggers for the Patrick Henry Community College, Martinsville, VA
Theater Arts Program, used the medium of dance
to explore the roots of clogging and interconnections among diverse
cultures; "T'was The
Night Before Christmas-A Dance Comedy" , performed by Dueling Shoes as a benefit
for the ArtsCenter, Carrboro, NC, was a comedic, old time
music and percussive dance interpretation
of this well known story.
From 2005-2009 Steve created and performed an elementary
school educational program
(see School Show) entitled "Journey
to the Mountain-A
Roots Tale." This historical
story uses music, song and dance to explore the multi-ethnic roots
of North Carolina, clogging and Southern Appalachian
percussive dance. This program was
the basis of a new book, "Journey to the Mountain-A Roots Tale"
(see New School Book) available for Preview and Purchase at
In 2007 Steve wrote
a performance poem about the history of the banjo entitled "From
Africa to Bluegrass Sound, Let the Strings of Akonting Resound."
This was chosen as the
and performed by Steve in the dance concert "BlueGrass/BrownEarth"
created by the internationally famous choreographer Chuck Davis
Dance Ensemble at the Stewart Theater, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC.
Since 2007 Steve
has been studying the West African Akonting (Ekonting)
played by the Jola
people of the Casamance region of Senegal and The Gambia.
been exploring a
variety of ways to use the Akonting to create music and rhythms
songs from different
regions of West Africa and also for songs derived from the slave
plantations in America. Examples of performances of
these songs can be found on this website at Akonting Poem
Steve is currently available for performances with the Akonting at schools, churches, festivals, etc. See contact information. A typical performance
usually begins with a
music, song and
dance performance of the poem about the history of the banjo
West African drums, Akonting, fiddle, banjo, bones, hambone, and percussive dance). This is followed by songs,
with audience participation, from West
Africa and songs
originating from slave plantations including spirituals and step-it-down tunes. Some involve audience dancing.
History and information about the origins and meanings of these songs are incorporated into the performance.