Dance Afrikana has written, directed, and choreographed five dance-theater educational programs designed for students. These programs presented through a partnership with Young Audiences of Houston include Moving Through African American History, Dancing Through the Diaspora, Dancing the Harlem Renaissance, Carnival Traditions in the Diaspora, and Ending Racism Through Dance.
To book us for these educational performances, visit YAHouston.org/dance-performances to book us today!
1. Moving through African American History
Dance Afrikana | Grade Level: K-12 This program will take students on a journey through African American history, performed through dance. It will begin with a traditional African dance and go on to explore the African American historical and contemporary experience through African American dance styles. It will begin with a Central and West African dance to reflect the ancestry of the people of the African Diaspora. The next dance will be a modern dance piece performed to Negro Spirituals. The students will learn about how these coded songs were used to guide enslaved peoples to freedom. The next piece will be a tap dance that explores the experiences of African Americans after slavery and into the 20th Century. This will be followed by a jazz dance that teaches children about the Civil Rights Movement. The show will conclude with a hip hop piece that showcases this contribution to the entire world. Ultimately all of the dance pieces will showcase the importance of African American dance to the resiliency of the people as well as explore the timeline of African American history in an entertaining and educational way. This program will also feature audience participation where students learn how to tap dance.
2. Dancing Through the Diaspora
Dance Afrikana | Grade Level: K-12 This program will explore the African Diaspora and the influence of Africa throughout the Americas. It will begin with a dance that features traditional African dances from South Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea, and Nigeria. It will then travel throughout various places throughout the Diaspora including the United States, Brazil, and Trinidad featuring tap dance, Hip Hop, Samba, and Soca, respectively. This journey culminates with Afrobeats, which is a fusion of traditional West African dance and Hip Hop, showcasing the influence of the African Diaspora on Africa as well. This program will also feature live drumming and audience participation where students learn choreography.
3. Dancing the Harlem Renaissance
Dance Afrikana | Grade Level: K-12 This program is designed to teach students about the Harlem Renaissance, a very important Arts movement for African Americans and the United States as a whole. It will feature jazz and tap dancing as well as stories about and the writings of some of the era’s most important artists including Langston Hughes, Josephine Baker, and Zora Neale Hurston. It will also include audience participation.
4. Carnival Traditions in the Diaspora
Dance Afrikana | Grade Level: K-12 This program will explore Carnival’s importance to the cultures of Africa, Louisiana, Brazil, and Trinidad. Students will learn about the African masquerade as well as its influence on the Diaspora. It will feature an opening of traditional African masquerades, followed by a jazz New Orleans Mardi Gras piece, Brazilian Samba piece, and Caribbean carnival dance. Students will also learn how to Samba dance.
5. Ending Racism through Dance
Dance Afrikana | Grade Level: 7-12 This program will explore the Civil Rights Movement and the Black Lives Matter Movement through dance. It will feature various styles of dance including Modern, Hip Hop, and African dance that will speak on social justice issues and empower students to combat racism in our society. It will be very interactive with projected presentations as well as open dialogue.