Formed as an umbrella organization in the spring of 1993, Conscious Step Ltd. was founded in hopes of providing a Canadian avenue for quality entertainment by Toronto's youth in an healthy, yet competitive environment. It was in that year, spring of 1993, that co-directors Jamea Zuberi and Rachel Peters got a group of young artists together to form two groups known as One Step Ahead and Nubian Sisters. These two groups performed later that summer in Step 'n' 93.
Step 'n' 93 became one of the many firsts for Conscious Step Ltd. Held in February of 1993, the show featured an all-Canadian step dance tournament held in Toronto. The show consisted of twenty-two teams, with eight of the Steppin' teams moving onto the finals. Step 'n' 93 showed Toronto a form of step dance that reflected the African heritage of its participants.
In the summer of 1994, Conscious Step Ltd. once again put on another first, "Step'n'Skip'94", which featured double-Dutch acro-roping.
Clearly, Canada has begun to construct a new home for this art form and Conscious Step Ltd. will be there to pave the way and provide access for those who see step dancing not only as entertainment, but also as an art form.
The company has grown to include various African aesthetic expressions of dance. Such dances have included step, contemporary and traditional African, modern and indigenous Caribbean, and classical Indian. These different expressions of dance have been and continue to be performed in the dance Immersion showcase presentations. The showcase presentation has allowed groups, such as the Toronto- based step group Conscious Step Ltd., to have a forum where African Canadian artists can gain exposure. dance Immersion's objective is to encourage the appreciation of the African aesthetics within dance. They also support and facilitate dance artists by providing workshops and presentations on dance in various stylistic forms to the general public.
The space of Myth Production is available to other artists for art exhibits, film/video shoots, workshops and dance classes.
According to McNicolls, "the spirit of the building lends itself to the spirit of the arts. We can move a performance to a different venue, but we can't take the spirit of '1315' with us.
The above materials prepared by Lauren Hamilton.
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