I would like to give a big THANK YOU to everyone who came out for my workshop entitled “KASSOUMAII”. The word itself is from the Jola people’s language and it means to “welcome” or “welcoming in” specifically. I chose this as the name of my class because there is a need to welcome in and replenish our extended African Dance community with some “new energy”. Although I value and applaud those who have been doing it for decades and for a lifetime even in some cases, I approach African dance from an academic perspective. Looking at the community through this lens allows me to see that there are very few instances where classes and workshops are geared towards the beginners level of dance technique.
KASSOUMAII was my offering to the community and to those at that beginners level. After just celebrating my 38th birthday, I wanted to do something for the community that would encourage the beginning dancers in the community, while allowing me to do what I LOVE to do, and that’s dance!
The turnout for this class was great! There were a LOT of new faces, as well as some surprise appearances by some old friends and family looking to support what I am trying to do (Shout out to my KanKouran “Line Brother” Michael Henderson! Your mere presence was truly a blessing my brother!)! Although there were a couple of years where I turned away from the dance, dance has NEVER left me!
Moving forward, there will be more coming from me and Rhythm N Dance! We have our Just the Basics series of classes coming in December, and even more workshops coming in 2015.
A BIG THANK YOU goes out to Mamasita Studios for their support as well! Check out thier programming and studio rental fees for those artists looking for a space to rent!