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Reflection Of West African Dance

Decent Essays
I must say that my hole spring quarter has been dedicated to deepening my overall understanding of West-African dance alone. In preparation this to study with the Urban Bush this summer I wanted to make sure that I was able to develop a stronger foundation in my West-African dance technique this quarter. My Mondays and Wednesday from 2:00-6:30 were dedicated to Professor Parker's ( Makeda- Kumasi) West-African dancing and drumming classes held at UCR. I also seeked outside the classroom to gain a community experience of this dance genre so that I could compare and contrast the similarities and differences I found. My goals were to truly embody the many elements that are associated in this dance genre. In my discoveries I was able to…show more content…
The special thing about these rhythms is that there are many unique ways to approach the dancing and the playing of the rhythm. Professor Parker explained to me that “ You can go so many places to learn these songs, dances, and rhythms and other instructors will teach them different. It’s the people’s movement and that's what so unique about West-African movement it’s interpreted differently. Yes you may see similarities but I guarantee you it won’t be the same Tendu or Plie´that you can identify immediately in other dance genres.” (Parker)
Professor Parker made sure that the dancers a I understood the history of each rhythm so when we got out on the dance floor we had some type of foundation to stand on.
Every class we would start off with an intense warm-up that was filled with many isolation's, stretches, core work, and West-African based movements. The warm-ups usually lasted about 30 minuets each class. During our warm-up the drummers always played the KouKou rhythm for us live each time we transitioned from movement to movement we waited for the drummers break. The drummer break is essential to West-African dance because the drummers break is the direct communication between the drummer and dancer. It lets us know when to start, stop, or change our movement why the rhythm was played. Our master drummers Bada and Ashutu often explained to me the importance of my dancing being attuned with their drumming. When my dancing and movement were
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