Led by Dr. Julius Bailey, professor of Philosophy at Wittenberg University, Dance Stomp Shake transitioned from a successful program to an full arts-based educational non-profit organization in Ohio. In 2005, while serving as Educational Director for Youth With a Positive Direction (Decatur, Illinois), Dr. Julius Bailey took a group of his after-school youth to see the motion picture RISE, a film about Crump Dancing in Los Angeles. The ensuing enthusiasm prompted him to form the first Dance Stomp Shake Event at Millikin University. The next year, Dance Stomp Shake followed up with a show in Chicago Heights, Illinois in 2006.
It was not til 2019 that the show would resurrect. The Concerned Black Students organization at Wittenberg came up with the idea of a dance show during their Fall 2019 picnic as they learned a style of dance called “footwork” from former Wittenberg Assistant Professor of English, Dr. ShaDawn Battle. Dr. Bailey told them about his Dance Stomp Shake shows and immediately students asked to help plan another one. Our first Ohio show took place in February of 2020 at the John Legend Theater in Springfield, Ohio. The show sold-out 650 seats a week before the event.
Our programming is geared specifically, but not exclusively, toward black youth and families. We are responding to a need for this demographic who is generally lacking in safe, fun programming for young people, Dance Stomp Shake has been successful at meeting that goal. We are broadening our reach to expose the diversity of creative excellence to the city and county residents who are already influenced by the universality of black expression. But our goals are both more nuanced and broad. In some respect we are specifically interested in promoting higher education to first generation and working class youth in our area. In essence, we at Dance Stomp Shake Inc. are showcasing the creative excellence and leadership potential in an effort to retain the next generation as active and engaged citizens to move Springfield and the state of Ohio Forward.