West African Dance with year 12 at Shalom College, Bundaberg.
Our Monday morning started at 5 a.m. this morning with a huge drive to Shalom College in Bundaberg where we were teaching a group of year 12 girls traditional West African dance. The group of girls had a task to create a piece of choreography blending contemporary dance with traditional West African dance.
Usually in these sessions I would only teach one West African dance rhythm but these girls were so experienced, quick to learn and dedicated to their dancing studies that I ended up teaching three different rhythms!
First we started off with the West African dance rhythm Djole which is always fun. Second we looked and learned a sequence of Liberte. Finally we focused on a few moves from the rhythm Soko. For Soko, I had chosen to focus on a particular sequence but they picked up the 6/8 timing so quickly, I was able to teach them some of my favourite moves!
We had such a wonderful time sharing our West African dance incursion with these year 12 students. The girls were so interested and keen to learn we spoke alot about the importance of African drumming and the different African dance styles across Africa in general. We shared our own experiences in Africa. The hot sun, the hard dance floors and the echo of rhythm where ever you are. The girls could appreciate their beautiful sprung dance floor!
We left their dance teacher with the names of the West African dance rhythms and where they could do some more research. We were sad to leave the group! Would of been great to have a week of dancing with them!
This was the second time that we had visited Shalom College, it’s a beautiful school with such keen and wonderful dancers. We look forward to returning back to Shalom College to visit next year year 12 students to share our love of dancing again!!