African Culture Music & Dance
Dancescape ~ PO Box 73194 ~ Durham, NC 27722-3194



One hour work shop: (supplies not needed )

AFRICAN CULTURE MUSIC AND DANCE - Participants will learn about African cultures through movements. They will also be exposed to how rhythms and dances relate to each other and their connection to sounds and movements from nature and everyday living.

1 - 1/2 hour workshops

  • INSTRUMENT DEMONSTRATION - Various drum and percussion instruments will be demonstrated. Students will have an opportunity to see and hear different sounds and rhythms through experimentation. Students will also have opportunities to play the instruments and make simple shakers.
  • SAND PAINTING -Participants explore the art of sand painting with sand paintings, videos, slides and items from West Africa. The participants introduction to the art of Sand Painting will lead into their personal sand painting creations.
  • MASK DEMONSTRATIONS - Each class will see and hear about various mask purchased during past pilgrimages to West Africa. After hearing about brief history and purpose of exhibited masks, a short video will show the use of mask in parts of Africa. A foam mask painting craft will follow.
  • WEAVING - This workshop displays weaving in African fabrics, baskets, jewelry and other household items from Africa. After being introduced to baskets and various purposes, students will practice the art of balancing baskets on their heads which is an everyday sight throughout the continent of Africa. Fabric, paper or yard loom weaving projects would follow.
  • JEWELRY MAKING - Following an introduction to Jewelry from Africa and American jewelry with African influence, participants will make an African leather amulet or beaded shell jewelry.

Two hour workshops:

  • TIE DYE FABRIC DESIGN WORKSHOPS - These workshops explore an ancient art form still practiced throughout the continent of Africa. The use of clothing purchased in Africa for demonstration of techniques to be learned provides an additional dimension of education involving the participants in modeling while learning about clothing of African Cultures. Each student will have an opportunity to design their own T-shirt/fabric using squeeze bottle and string tie techniques. The uniqueness of each participant's finished project provides an avenue for promoting pride, creativity, and self-worth as they produce their very own mater piece. (personal 100% pre-wash cotton t-shirt or cloth is needed)
  • CALABASH - African gourds and their use including instruments of gourds leads to an introduction to Sekere (shay-kah-ray) making. (Beaded gourd instrument) This 2 hour workshop will get participants started. They will be shown the finish product, receive help initiating their own instrument and given instruction to continue at their own leisure.

Dance Workshops

These workshops accompanied by live drumming are designed for either children or adults in levels from beginning to advance. The 1 1/2 hour session begins with a warm-up segment followed by basic lead-up techniques designed to assist the learning process for traditional West African dance styles of various ethnic groups. Many of the dance styles introduce participants to various phases of the culture such as celebrations, homage, rites of passage, harvesting, and courtship.

Drum Workshops

These workshops are conducted by professional musicians for beginning to advance levels in the art of hand drumming. West African techniques and rhythms set the foundation for each 1 1/2 hour workshops.