We will explore examples of the rich diversity of dance styles that have evolved over time through the cultural exchange of the African diaspora, resulting from the transatlantic slave trade and other forced migrations of millions of people from their African homelands to the Americas, the Caribbean Sea area, and other parts of the world over the course of several centuries. This dispersal resulted in the creation of new cultures, new identities, and new communities, but as well new languages like creole, and varied dances that combined African, European, and indigenous traditions.
Participants will learn the basics of different dance styles that emerged from those cultural and historical intersections, from the rhythmic footwork of Latin dance like Salsa und Samba, or from the wiggle and steps combo of the traditional French Caribbean dances like Gwoka, Biguine and Bèlè, to the dynamic body movements of HipHop and House or Dancehall. The workshop will also demonstrate the parallel with some African dance and delve into the cultural and social significance of the Afro-Diaspora dances, including their role in resistance movements and as forms of cultural expression and identity shaped by the experiences, struggles, and creativity of African diaspora communities around the world.
The class will begin with a global body warm-up that focuses on developing body awareness, building muscle strength and joint stability. We will then move on to learning and practicing various dance techniques and vocabulary, including isolations, footwork, body rolls, and grooves, adapted into choreographic dance combinations. The course will end with a cool down with yoga and stretch moves.
Through this workshop, participants will gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of the diverse contributions of the Afro diaspora to global culture and will be invited to move their bodies in celebration of these rich traditions and the importance of dance as a form of expression, connection, and empowerment. The Afro-diasporic experience is marked by a history of slavery, colonialism, and racism, as well as a legacy of resistance and resilience in the face of oppression. Today, people continue to face the challenges of racism, discrimination, and social inequality, while celebrating and preserving their rich cultural heritage.
Bring comfortable clothes and a pair of sneakers.