Moving to the rhythm of a drum beat...
Traditional African dances were formed within the tribes (communities) and taught to the children in the tribe from a young age. No formal dance training was required and it was past down from generation to generation.
Various dances were done for different reasons to reflect events or occurrences in life such as weddings, funerals, celebrations, rites of passage or coming of age, religious practices or warrior dances.
|African tribal dance cartoon|
“Traditional African dance is an essential element of Africa’s cultural heritage because it is the living expression of its philosophy, and the living memory of its evolution and cultural wealth over the centuries.” Alphonse Tierou, a traditional dancer, from “Doople: the Eternal Law of African Dance.”
|African warrior dance|
African dancing consists of:
Energetic movements such as high kicks, leaps, wide and rapid swinging of the arms, stamping of the feet, shuffle steps and fast foot work. Dancers move different parts of their bodies simultaneously to a rhythm which often contains more than one beat.
|African woman playing the drum|
Traditional African dancing characteristics:
- Movements are done in rhythm to the beat
- Dance along to African drumming and / or percussion instruments
- Human voice – singing
- Dances often tell stories and show the feelings and emotions behind the dance
- Wear traditional African outfits
To see an example of African dancing I have chosen an up beat energetic Senegalese dance which was performed on the TV series, "So You Think You Can Dance". Watch below. A Senegalese dance is a dance originating from Senegal, a country of western Africa. This clip truly captures the energy and fast movements of the dancers moving along to the rhythm of a drum beat.
Showcasing true African spirit.