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Founder…

The 7 Step Hand Dance Academy (The Academy) was founded by Edward Sloan in May 2000 and was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational institution October 25, 2000.

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Who we are…

Thank you for visiting The “7″ Step Hand Dance Academy where the original 1990’s D.C. Hand-Dance teaching methodology is still being used to teach hand dancing. The Academy is a 501(c)(3) equal opportunity educational institution where all rights, privileges, and programs are available to all students regardless of race, color, age, gender, national origin, religion, or sexual orientation. Children and young adults between 8-17 years of age are welcome to attend classes at no charge, with a paying adult.

Our Purpose…

The purpose of the academy is to teach, preserve, and promote the African-American art form of D.C. Hand Dancing. Our commitment to the community is to provide quality, structured dance classes for all participants, and to provide an environment that fosters the development of positive social skills, self confidence, self discipline and academic growth in our youth.

Hand Dance History…

D.C. Hand Dancing is unique to the Washington, D.C. area. D.C. Hand Dancing derived from the Lindy Hop, a eight-count rhythm swing dance with six count moves that originated in Harlem, New York in the 1930’s.

The Lindy Hop evolved into D.C. Hand Dancing in the 1950’s. In it’s current evolution, hand dancing combines sophisticated slick moves with syncopated rhythmic footwork, that allows the dancers the opportunity to blend their creative talents into showcase artistry.

Hand dancing is an important part of the Washington D.C. culture. In 1999, Mayor Anthony Williams declared hand dancing as the official dance of the District of Columbia.

Mission Statement…

To always strive to meet the needs of our students and the academy. To teach without compromise the African-American art form of D.C. Hand Dancing. To promote and protect hand dancing by encouraging children, adolescents, and adults of all ages to become active students of the art. And to establish hand dance programs that provide a structured environment for our youth, that fosters the development of positive social skills, self-confidence, tolerance and discipline.

Principals of Commitment…

The Academy is dedicated to promoting and protecting the African American art form of D.C. Hand Dancing, while always striving to meet the needs of our students and The Academy. Our officers and directors pledge to support our community and treat each other with dignity and respect.

7 Step Logo Meet Our Team 7 Step Logo RT

Board Members Big
Anthony Blake

Anthony Blake

President

Director of Instruction & Technique, Senior Instructor

Jim Nance

Jim Nance

Vice President

Director of Public Relations,
Chaplain, and Senior Instructor

Ray Morton

Ray Morton

Executive Officer

Membership Committee Chairman,
Senior Instructor

Lena Handy-Downing

Lena Handy-Downing

Financial Officer

Ericka Perry

Ericka Perry

Business Administrator

Senior Instructor

Reatha Thornton

Reatha Thornton

Events Coordinator

Senior Instructor

Shirley Braswell

Shirley Braswell

Senior Instructor

Leslie Dorsey

Leslie Dorsey

Assistant Financial Officer

Member Reps

Member Reps

Maryland and Virginia

Maryland – Terry Gunn,
Virginia – Mia Jones