December 9, 2013
African Dancing to a Healthy Beat
Nadirah’s African Dance class continues along at a healthy beat at the YMI Cultural Center in downtown Asheville. Each week, students excitedly gather for their dance class as the proud, vibrant, live traditional drumming can be heard outside up and down the nearby streets. Drums have the power of communication in their beats. The rhythm is infectious and dancing to it creates a feeling of empowerment! "While everyone is moving at once, the live drumming resonates with me, making the dance powerful," shared dancer Ginger, aged 31. LEAF Schools & Streets Teaching Artist, Nadirah, leads the classes with an enthusiastic smile and her students follow along attentively. This is an intergenerational class, and students from all ages gather together to celebrate African dance.
One recent Monday class, Nadirah announced that her class will perform for an audience soon. The students openly expressed their excitement; eager to share what they've been learning. The opportunity for performance is key because being on-stage and sharing what one has been learning develops self-esteem and give students to SHINE as stars! With this news of a performance in mind, they began learning the steps for a new dance. Specific attention and instruction was given for students who needed it, while the class continued moving along at a steady pace to the powerful beat of the drums.