Four weeks ago I started a series of African dance classes in Maroochydore for the Sunshine Coast Council’s Healthy Sunshine Coast Program. We had a huge turnout for our first dance class with 70 people signed up for the first week and 70 people on the waiting list!
Over the four weeks, every Saturday morning from 9am we have been working on an African dance routine The piece that I taught was Ghanian/Afrobeat choreography and I synced it up to one of my new recent favourite pop artists from Guinea, West Africa. So it was a mix of fun modern funky Ghanian/Afrobeat moves blended in with some fresh new music from Guinea.
It’s been so nice to see some familiar faces in this year’s group. There are quite a few people that did my last block of sessions for the Healthy Sunshine Coast Program who have come again and they’ve also brought members from their community, family, friends and colleagues.
Another exciting thing about the program that I’ve really enjoyed is quite a few people from the group have also come across into my regular weekly Rhythm Culture drum and dance classes. They have commented that they love the dance so much and have enjoyed the opportunity to connect with community, exercise and have loads of fun. So now some of these people are doing two classes per week!
I have had just as much fun as everybody else with these classes. My favourite thing is to be surrounded by community dancing, laughing, smiling and moving. Connecting through music and rhythm and appreciating and learning about different cultures has been something that these people have shared and probably didn’t have access to these types of networks before. I always encourage my students to get online and search the rhythms and watch the dance over there in West Africa. I also always emphasis the importance of the drums. You can’t have the dance without the drumming! 🙂 My hope is to build a huge community of West African Drum and Dance filled with people that love it just as much as I do.
We have had so much fun working with the choreography. It’s not usually the type of dance that I would teach but it’s been so much fun and nice to do something different. We have mostly had a large group of women and one brave male in the group but every once and a while a few children would join in with their parents, which was great also. The dance classes have gained so much interest and we are hoping to do another round through the Healthy Sunshine Coast Program. This program was founded by the Sunshine Coast Council which focuses on getting people actively involved in the community through fitness and wellness activities. It’s been an absolute joy to teach this class for the Sunshine Coast Council and I really hope we can get the program up and running again. If we do get the program up and running again I I will be teaching something a little more traditional 🙂
We would like to give Cheryl from the Sunshine Coast Council a huge thank you, who has done everything that she can to get this program up and running. We really appreciate her support. We have our last class for this block tomorrow! Thanks for showing such an amazing interest and support for these dance classes Sunshine Coast. We are feeling your love!
Bec @ Rhythm Culture 🙂