Community Classes & Workshops
West African Dance Classes
Wednesdays 6:30pm – 8:00pm (Ages 3 & up)
1606 Ownby Lane, Richmond, VA 23220
Note: Classes are taught to the skill level of the participants
Children (Ages 3-12): $12
Our Dance Repertoire
A drum call awakens the community at large to let them know that something grand is about to happen. We start all of our classes with a traditional drum call.
Libation and Egun-gun
An acknowledgement of our ancestors and is regarded as collective spirits of the ancestors who occupy a space in heaven. They are Ara Orun. These ancesteral spirits are believed to be in constant watch of their survivors on earth.
This is a spirited dance performed at weddings and other joyous occasions. It is the embodiment of the soul and the spirituality of the people. There are 3 types: Tage (wedding lamban), Genefoule (the spiritual or healing lamban), and Jalidon (royal lamban court dance which pays homage to the Kings and Queens of West Africa.
This is a rites of passage dance. The young men and women are taken off to the bush and are taught the responsibilities of adulthood so that when they return from their places of training, they are to show that they are going to be productive members of the community. When they return they must dance the Kou Kou, and as the dance is performed, the elders decide if the adolescents pass on on to adulthood. It originates from Guinea and is danced among the Mandike and Sou Sou people.
Sabar – National Dance of Senegal
A communal dance form, used by the Mandingo, Wolof, and Serer people of Senegal, as a Birth Celebration and Recreational dance form designed to show strength in sensuality.
Lindjen (Lenjengo) - Imitation of Crown Crane Mating Dance
A communal dance form used by the Mandingo people in celebration of ‘Baby Namings’, ‘Weddings’, ‘Planting and Harvest’ ceremonies. This rendition, ‘A Planting Dance’, imitating movements of the mating dances of Crown Cranes, is believed to bring a manifestation of fertility to those who dance it.
Mandiani Initiation and Celebration Dance
A Mandingo initiation celebration dance, used traditionally in the celebration of ‘Coming of Age’ ceremonies. The contemporary manifestation by African-American dance companies, is a dance of “Cultural Reclamation”.