Adult Classes 2018-04-03T21:11:29+00:00

Adult Dance Classes

Immerse yourself in the joy and vitality of music and dance from Africa, the Americas and the Caribbean!

All classes are Open Level (suitable for beginner to advanced students) unless otherwise noted.

West African

West African (Sabar and Djembe) with Lamine Thiam

With Live Drumming
You’ll learn two key styles of West African dance in this class: Sabar and Djembe. Sabar’s celebratory rhythm is featured in the music of Youssou N’Dour and is aerial and sensual, with high kicks and jumps. Djembe dances mark everything from everyday events (farming, hunting) to special occasions (birth, marriage) and express strength, playfulness, exuberance, grace, and more. Master teacher Lamine Thiam comes from a line of Senegalese griots, and will teach the fundamentals of West African dance and ground you in an understanding of the accompanying drum rhythms.

Kutiro with Ousmane Sall

Learn Kutiro rhythms and dances with Ousmane Sall! African dance styles (djembe, sabar, kutiro) are named after the drums used to play the rhythms for the dance. Cumbe is excited to offer you a chance to learn Kutiro dances, which are not easily found in NYC. 

Sabar with Ousmane Sall

Learn this Senegalese dance style with master dancer, drummer and choreographer Ousmane Sall. The Sabar dance style (named after the drums used to play this dance’s unique rhythms) is danced at celebrations and social occasions. Sabar is known for it’s joyful, aerial kicks. Ousmane brings a warmth and presence into the classroom that encourages each student to feel at ease, inspiring the freedom to open themselves up to the rhythm. From a traditional drumming and dance family, Ousmane performed for many years with two Senegalese dance companies: National Ballet Senemew, and Silimbo D’Adeane

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Central African

KongoBeat with Eto’o Tsana

KongoBeat is a core centered, hip rhythmic, high energy, uplifting, and culturally rich Kongolese Mbongi (Village) class that focuses on both traditional and urban dance styles from the HEART of Africa; The Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the Republic of the Congo. This experience encompasses the base of the past to understand the now, the present, and the future through the sounds of traditional Ngoma’s (drums), Ndombolo, Soukouss, and fusion Congo-beats.

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Samba with Danielle Lima

With Live Drumming. Spark your energy and awaken your hips with a fusion of traditional Brazilian dances and contemporary styles. You’ll learn samba, samba reggae, samba rock and funk, and pagode from Rio de Janeiro and Bahia, all while getting a dynamic cardiovascular workout. Danielle will lead you through a gentle warm-up at the beginning that includes isolations, basic postures, and a slow stretching routine aimed at improving flexibility and balance. From Rio de Janeiro, Danielle Lima is a highly sought-after performer, Certified Teaching Artist with Dancing Classrooms, yoga teacher, and founder of Brasileirando Dance Group.

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Beginning Afro Cuban with Tony Domenech

Learn the different dances of the Orishas (African deities of the Yoruba/Lucumi tradition) as well as the rhythms, movements, and stories behind the dances. Involving undulations, contractions, and intricate hand and head movements, this class is suitable for various levels: beginners can learn the fundamentals while more advanced students can focus on technique.

Afro Cuban Explosión with Danys ‘La Mora’ Perez

With Live Drumming
Celebrate the rich diversity of Afro-Cuban dance in this very special class with beloved teacher Danys ‘La Mora’ Perez. Explore an exciting range of traditional folkloric dances with origins in West and Central Africa – some via Haiti. Featured cultures include Yoruba (Orisha dances), Congo (e.g. Palo) and Dahomey (e.g. Arará). The class will also delve into Rumba and popular styles such as comparsa and merengue. Some sessions will be taught by guest teachers selected personally by La Mora for their artistry and knowledge of Cuban dance. Join us as we light up the dance floor on fire with Cuban heat!

Rumba with Stevie Insua

With Live Drumming
Learn different types of rumba, including guaguancó, yambu, columbia and rumbas mimeticas. Students will learn the relationship between the dance and the music, so that they learn to dance inside the timing. The origins, significance and context of rumba will also be explained for a deeper understanding and expressiveness. A focused warm-up will help students develop the distinctive movement style that is characteristic of Afro-Cuban dance.

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Afro-Haitian with Julio Jean

With Live Drumming
Journey to the nanm (“soul” in Haitian Kreyol) of Afro-Haitian dance and become acquainted with the different Iwa (gods) in the Vodou religion through their dances, songs, rhythms and rituals. You’ll explore the undulating movements of Yanvalu, the powerful precision of Nago, and the grace and beauty of the Kongo dance – all traditional Haitian dance forms with roots in West Africa and the South American Amazon. Haitian dancer and teacher Julio Jean’s extensive credits include work with Katherine Dunham and performances of his company’s choreographies at Alvin Ailey and Central Park’s Summer Stage. He is also a songwriter and composer of traditional Haitian music.

Dancehall with Yaminah Legohn

Dancehall is a unique and expressive style created within Jamaican culture. Derived from Reggae music, this style has it’s own culture and dances that have been created by individuals and dance crews from Jamaica and around the world. This specific style became known in the mid to late 80s and has become popular ever since.  In this class students learn the history of Dancehall culture as they master classic steps to corresponding riddims, choreographies and freestyle techniques. Each class includes a warm-up covering old, middle and new school dances that are danced at dancehall/ reggae parties across the globe. For the second half of the class, students incorporate these dances into choreographies and freestyles set to the hottest Dancehall tunes. At the end of class, students perform for each other, developing confident and bold self-expression- the foundational element of Dancehall culture. Through learning these energetic and fun dance, students will become stronger, more knowledgeable and dynamic dancers.

Soca with Careitha Davis

A high-energy dance class with a cultural experience that blends Caribbean dancing with African and jazz dance technique. This class starts with a group stretching session to calypso music then progresses into the explanation and practice of foundational Caribbean dance steps and movement then followed with occasional choreography. Many Caribbean movement from the West Indies  derived from Africa, isolating the body to compliment the rhythm and the bass of the music. These movements are most performed in social settings, carnivals and fetes. Soca class will bring that energy and in the studio while also extending your movement vocabulary with African and jazz dance technique. This is an open-level class suitable for all age groups and learning abilities.

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Street and Social Dance


This energetic class takes you on a journey across Africa on the dance floors. Let Nado introduce you to the most popular Afro club music hits and dances from the Ivory Coast, Congo, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa and Angola. Come experience this lively blend of beats alongside traditional and contemporary movement.

Afro Fusion House with Kim Holmes

Afro-Fusion House is a mix of traditional African, Salsa, Merengue, Samba and Rumba dances, mixed with the contemporary styles of House and Hip-Hop. Different musical rhythms will inspire your body to move fluidly and energetically as you  explore cultures through dance from the ancient Malian empire to areas in the southern hemisphere. You’ll learn footwork and choreographed sequences for a learning experience that will be soul-freeing, fun-filled and energy-building.

Chicago Style Steppin’ with the New York Chicago Style Steppers

Learn the smooth, sexy, and soulful art of Chicago Style Steppin’. Originating in Chicago, Steppin’ has its roots in Lindy Hop, Jitterbug, and the Bop, and is a sophisticated social partner dance usually done to R&B, Soul, Neo-Soul, Jazz, and Funk music. It grew in popularity in the ‘90s with the release of R. Kelly’s song, “Step In the Name of Love,” and with classic songs like, “Be Thankful for What You Got” by William DeVaughn in the ‘70s. Beginning students will learn fundamentals like the basic “8-count” and simple turns, and intermediate and advanced students will learn to enhance their technique, style, and turns before moving on to more complex combinations.

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Dance Fitness

African Dance and Cardio Jam with Johari Mayfield

This fun, interactive and high energy dance class is geared towards adult movers new to African dance. All participants will be introduced to the energy, style and movements of the African continent while building mind/body awareness and cardiovascular strength. Come and get your bliss on!

GROOV3 with Marnita Billups

Disrupt your fitness routine and turn up with the intoxicating GROOV3 dance, sweat and live workout. GROOV3 is a high-energy, bass-pumping approach to dance fitness and is the only dance experience that delivers the undeniable power of 3: 1 non-stop, no-holding-back, calorie-slaying; 2 speeds of choreography to match and amplify any learning style; 3 times the empowerment as you DANCE, SWEAT and LIVE, far beyond your workout!

Kukuwa ® African Dance Workout with Courtney Thompson

Kukuwa ® African Dance Workout is not only a workout, it’s an education and journey one experiences each time they move their boombsey. The workout has you immediately moving your arms, waist, legs and hips to a blend of Central, East, South, West, and North African rhythms. It will take you on an exotic African expedition pumping fun through your veins, burning crazy calories and sweating buckets. Kukuwa ® African Dance energy adds living flavor to your workout, nourishing both body and soul. It is open to all fitness levels

SOCA’N WET with Azriel Wallace

SOCA’N WET Dance fitness is all about sweating to Soca music and Reggae, celebrating life and feeling good about yourself.  Members are encouraged to wave flags representing their country. It doesn’t matter what you look like, it’s how you feel!

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Click here for this week’s class schedule and prices