* Welcome to the Internet Home of BlackOut *
BlackOut was founded officially in the Spring of 2004.
As one of the community's newest groups, BlackOut is a performing arts collective
using their hands, feet, and entire bodies rather than instruments as their forms of
expression, creating a unique brand of rhythmic patterns and music that has its origins in
various ethnic groups throughout past and present-day Africa as well as the African-American
community in times of slavery.
For past members of the Tufts community, the idea of a male step team remained as one that,
for whatever reason, never materialized.
In the Fall of 2003, Bettina James, co-founder and co-captain of Envy (Tufts all-Female
Step Team) taking advantage of her connections, sought out Brent Patterson, Jonathan Ringer
, and Uchenna Anyikam to once again attempt to form a team. Soon after, a group of about 16 was formed thus giving
birth to a new, unnamed team.
On Thursday November 20, 2003, BlackOut performed for the first time in the Spirit of Color
Fall Show, Climax:
"The second act began with pounding bass. "The Black Out" combined mind-boggling
coordination with a military attitude. The all-male group stepped it up with little to
no music..[and] without props. The steppers threw in their
own personalities with momentary pauses in the percussive action to make wise-cracks or
break into less regimented dance moves."
The Spirit of Color show gave BlackOut the exposure it needed to establish themselves as a
group. In January 2004, Anyikam, Ringer, and Patterson became the first step captains
of BlackOut and the team was officially annexed into the African Student Organization
at Tufts University, honoring the heritage of the their performance art.
Since then, BlackOut has performed at several local venues and events and still intends to
continue pushing their talents far beyond the boundaries of their home campus of Tufts
BlackOut's goal is to expose as many people as possible to this unique and often overlooked
form of dance and cultural expression. Their signature high-energy performances and stage presence
is their own unique trademark that sets them aside from the rest of the performance arts