Thursday, December 26, 2013
In Africa, dance is worship with the body. It is much more than physical movement- it is a direct way to celebrate life and create healing. African Dance is a healing tradition of expressive movements that are unique to Africa's cultural heritage. From the movements of nature and everyday life, the people of Africa developed specific dances to summon the energy of the world around them into their bodies for connection and healing. Through dancing, they became the bird, water, wind, fire and the serpent. Dance expressed the elemental Powers, The character, strength, and energy of a majestic animal, as well as the nurturing, meditative, relaxing, and transformative and organic nature of our environment. African Dance and the recognition of our body's own inherent wisdom. Dance is a healing and spiritual endeavor, and has become a creative force for transformation. Dancing told the stories of daily news and events as well as the histories of families and communities.
African Dance incorporates an understanding and value of culture deeply rooted in community. Everyone respects each other, listens, is intuitively aware of space, and pays attention to breathing. We are connected to culture through dances, drumming, and songs that relate our rich African history. Dances from all of the African Diaspora are celebrated- From the Motherland of West Africa:, Guinea, Senegal, Mali, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria, and other Sub-Saharan countries as well as Haiti and Brazil. Arabic, Indian. Experiencing our own natural movements, spirit, and sense of humor through improvisation is also cultivated.
My vision is to garner the expression and energy of our community’s youth, here at Central, and represent Kansas City in local, state and national competitions. I would like to create a variety of artistic expressions that will go on from Central High School. Ultimately, I would like to foster a positive climate for the Central campus, to become a Mecca that draws the interest, not only of our community, but of the nation.
Dance Squads are team sport activities that use organized routines made from elements of dance, jumps and stunts to direct spectators to events and to cheer on sports teams at games and matches. The athletes involved are called dancers or a Dance Team. Currently, there are a variety of opportunities for a team to compete at Local, State, and National competitions.
“Dance Squads” first appeared in the form of traditional customs and rituals of indigenous cultures for ceremonial rites, (funerals, weddings etc.) as a display of respect for the community elders and rulers, and to encourage the hunters or warriors, as they embarked on their missions. This was important, as the Hunter/Warrior represented the very survival of the community. In many cases, drum, dance and oral culture have played a more central role than written communication particularly in the communication of history, tradition and culture between generations.
Placing great value on improvisation, African American vernacular dances are characterized by ongoing change and development. Because they exist in social spaces and their main 'purpose' is self-expression, they are continually changing to reflect the needs, interests and personalities of their participants. They are also often characterized by their 'stealing' or 'borrowing' from other dance traditions and any particular African American vernacular dance shows clear evidence of its relationship to other, earlier dances.
Slavery and dance
The phrase 'African American vernacular dance' is commonly used to refer to those dances which have developed within the African American communities of the United States from the 1600s. African slaves brought to America from the 1600s were representative of a wide range of ethnic groups, and their dance and cultural lives were similarly diverse. To speak of an 'African American vernacular dance' without qualification is to ignore the vast range of dance practices and traditions which developed from these African roots in communities across the United States. Afro-American dance in the earliest days was a response to the conditions of slavery. Cultural life for African slaves in America was controlled by slave owners, and varied between individual slave owners, local communities and the work in which slaves were employed. In general terms, though, we can say that much of the rich cultural and social life of African slaves in America was forbidden by slave owners (for a range of reasons, including social, religious, misunderstanding or simple cruelty), compromised by strict rules, replaced by the culture of the slave owners, or combined with this culture of the slavers to produce new hybrid forms. New and different cultural traditions developed not only in different cities across America, but on the properties of different slave owners. There were distinct regional variations in dance in African American communities even in the 1600s, developing as a combination of traditions from different African ethnic groups, the culture of slave owners and other groups within the immediate society, as responses to the musical and social lives of individuals in that community, and in response to different experiences under slavery.
The idea of dividing performance, competitive and social dance, in African American vernacular dance, is largely an imposition of Western-European class and cultural values. Now, competition plays an important role in social dance in African and African American communities. From the cake walk and lindy hop to 'battles' of hip hop, performances have also been integrated into everyday dance life. Here are contemporary examples; Harlem Shake, Krumping, Hyphy, Snap dance, Cha Cha Slide, Line Dance (Booty Call), Lean wit It, Rock wit It, Walk It Out, footworkin, Chicken Noodle Soup, Crip Walk, Gangsta Walk, Tootsee Roll, The Roosevelt, Getting Lite Poole Palace, Butterfly Dance, Jocin, Tone Wop, Crank Dat Soulja Boy, and A-Town Stomp, and Twerk. Many of these moves can be traced directly to Africa, South America, and the Caribbean. Like Lingin and ka ki lamba
Initially percussionists established the rhythm background for our performances. Music is always a preference. Acoustic music is a preference, due to the availability of electricity and audio systems.
Minister, Teacher, Artist, Singer, Dancer, Radio Announcer, Storyteller, Writer, Reviewer, Cultural Activist, Parent, Queen Mother