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FC: African Dance | By: Ashley Farrell

1: African dance is not just about entertainment. It is a way to communicate emotions, celebrate rites of passage, and strengthen bonds with tribe members. | The dances symbolize social structure and traditional values. They are a way to help praise as well as criticize. | There are several different dances and each one varies from tribe to tribe. The birth of a child, festivals, marriages, remembering the past, funerals, and worship are just a few of the times when dances are done.

2: At the beginning of slave labor, Africans were brought to North and South America. During this time, hundreds of African tribal dance styles merged together. The tribe members continued to dance while they were enslaved in order to keep their traditions and connect with their home country.

3: It is not uncommon now to see tribes do dances to reenact slavery.

4: During slavery in North America, many slaves were prohibited from performing their traditional dances. The Africans then found ways to adapt their dances in order to continue. Since they were prohibited from lifting their feet, they began creating dances involving their hips and moving their body more.

6: During the 18th century, dances such as The Ring Dance, The Juba, The Chica, and The Calenda were popular on plantations. | The Juba

7: African dances were introduced to large groups of people through minstrel shows; which were acts performed by all races in the 19th century. | The Cakewalk was introduced in The Creole Show (a Broadway show) and was the first African dance to become popular with white people.

8: Some popular dances that were influenced by African dance were The Charleston, tap dancing, The Lindy Hop, The Jitterbug, jazz dancing, The Twist, Hip Hop, and Crunking | Singer and dancer Shakira recently released a song titled "Waka Waka: This time for Africa" and features a popular African band and some common African dancing.

9: African dance is Polycentric, which means that the body is segmented in movement. The different parts of the body move to different rhythms within the music. Another word for this is "isolations." | Isolations are also common in Jazz dance and Hip Hop

10: Most villages have a "dance master" who teaches members of the tribe at a very young age how to perform. The dances are very precise and have been done the same way for centuries. They have to be performed exactly as taught until they have mastered the dance.

11: Dances are classified on the basis of gender. The dances also reinforce a persons age, status, context, and kinship in the tribe. | Women perform crooked knee positions and bent body posture while men do jumps and leaps.

12: Music is a very important part of African dance. Drums set the mood and bring everyone together. They consider music and dance to be inseparable. It is considered the "heartbeat."

13: Though they are the most prominent instrument, drums are not the only thing used: gourds strung with beads, clapping, stomping, and most of all singing can help to create the rhythm. | Drums (called djembe) symbolize day to day life and explain moods of tribal people. They evoke the deepest emotions.

14: The most recognized dance is a circle with a single drummer in the middle. | Some of the most common dances are the African Folk dances. There are several different ones and each represent a different time or event.

15: The most important dance is the "Summoning and Possession Dance" and is done by almost all tribes for 'calling a spirit' that is worshiped. Another dance called a "Welcome Dance" is used to please visitors and show happiness of arrival and the versatility and talent of the tribe. | Welcome dance

16: Tribal dances vary with each tribe. There are numerous different dances due to the large amount of tribes in Africa. Dances such as the "Tamenabuga", "Amaggunju",and "Bwola" from Uganda, the "Makosa" from Zaire and many more are still practiced today. | African Zulu dancer does the tradition Indlamu dance. | Many traditional dances are dying due to the extinction of certain tribes.

18: Resources | sohoyini/about.html

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  • By: Ashley F.
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  • Title: Neutral Portfolio
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  • Published: over 5 years ago