Adult Classes 2017-03-14T21:11:06+00:00

Adult Dance Classes

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

Click on each technique to see class descriptions:

WEST AFRICAN
AFRO-BRAZILIAN
AFRO-CUBAN
CARIBBEAN
CONTEMPORARY

dancing feet

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.

West African with M’Bemba Bangoura

With Live Drumming
Learn the playful, energetic dances of Guinea. From the celebratory Yankade of the Susu people, female mask dance Sonsona of the Baga people, or the Makuru of the Susu people, this class will take you on a journey through Guinean rhythms and dances. Class begins with a warm up with the Kassa rhythms and continues on to sharing techniques and choreography of the above rhythms and more! Occasionally you will have the treat of learning songs and a chance to show off your new moves in a closing supportive circle. Seize the opportunity to study with one of the world’s living treasures, master dancer and drummer M’Bemba Bangoura.

Contemporary West African with Papa Sy

Papa Sy teaches Métisse-dance (hybrid-dance), a style of Contemporary West African dance which melds traditional Senegalese dance techniques with contemporary styles. Through original choreography set to music from Youssou N’Dour and other contemporary Senegalese musicians, the class will focus on ripple, contraction, weight, trajectory, pace, and breath. As a founding graduate of Germaine Acogny’s famed École des Sables school in Senegal and company member of Jant-Bi, Papa Sy has gone on to choreograph in collaboration with others such as Susanne Linke, renowned German dancer and choreographer of Tanztheater. This class welcomes both recreational and professional dancers.

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Afro-Brazilian

Afro-Brazilian with Joya Powell

Learn 3 different Brazilian dance styles from 2016 Bessie Award-winning choreographer Joya Powell: Orixás, Pagode, and Samba-Afro. Dances of the Orixás are dances of the deities in the Candomblé religion. The Pagode style of Samba movement came from the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, and Samba-Afro is a popular dance form created by the Afro-Brazilian Carnaval groups of Salvador, Bahia.

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Afro-Cuban

Afro Cuban Explosión with Danys ‘La Mora’ Perez & Guest Artists

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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Caribbean

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.

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Contemporary

Contemporary West African with Papa Sy

Papa Sy teaches Métisse-dance (hybrid-dance), a style of Contemporary West African dance which melds traditional Senegalese dance techniques with contemporary styles. Through original choreography set to music from Youssou N’Dour and other contemporary Senegalese musicians, the class will focus on ripple, contraction, weight, trajectory, pace, and breath. As a founding graduate of Germaine Acogny’s famed École des Sables school in Senegal and company member of Jant-Bi, Papa Sy has gone on to choreograph in collaboration with others such as Susanne Linke, renowned German dancer and choreographer of Tanztheater. This class welcomes both recreational and professional dancers.

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