African Dance Workshops for Schools

Tongesayi Gumbo an accomplished dancer, choreographer, producer, drummer and singer from Zimbabwe, holds the African dance workshops. 

He offers a rich combination of African dance styles from his diverse dance and musical background. His dance draws on an amalgamation of West African and traditional Southern African dance movements. Tongesayi has been choreographer for Zimbabwe's National Dance Troupe and is the Artistic Director of the Mpopoma Dance Ensemble in Bulawayo, 2002 winners of the Zimbabwe National Arts & Music Dance Group Award.

The workshops open up with muscle looseners and warm up exercises, flowing into easy-to-follow dance moves which get progressively harder/more complex as the session goes on, culminating in a choreographed piece of about 5-10 minutes long for the older children.

Click here to see a video of an African Dance and Drumming Workshop
African Dance and Drumming Combined 

An option open to all schools would be to marry the drumming and dance together, with the 1st half of the workshops being filled by the drumming (as described earlier) with the second half taken by Tongesayi with me keeping a constant authentic beat on the djembes for the children to dance to. One of the main advantages with this system is that there are 2 workshop leaders in the group allowing harder and more complex rhythms to be performed.
Alternatively, dual workshops would be run in separate rooms with a possibility for the older children to marry their sessions together in an ‘end of day’ performance where one year group acts as drum accompaniment for the dancers, and vice versa, timetable permitting.
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