Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

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Video: "Dancing on the Clock"

I was charmed by this tutorial on African dance.  It uses a clock metaphor to describe the moves.  They are simple, repetitive, and energetic.  That makes them easy to learn, good exercise, and fun to do.  You can see these in African documentaries. If a whole tribe is dancing together, they'll be very repetitive, using basic moves to synchronize lots of people for a long time. But if you're watching one or two dancers, it's like jazz, they'll improvise using the same moves.  Think of the steps like chords, once you know them, you can join a group or riff on your own.  You can also see these at a drum jam in a big city.  I've seen it at the Delmar Loop in St. Louis and Taste of Chicago.  (They were surprised that I joined in, because I do not look like the lady in the video.  :D )  Street music is awesome.

Over in Terramagne, this is the kind of stuff that appeared very early in Sankofa Clubs.  By now, lots and lots of people know at least a few basic African dance moves, which makes it fairly easy to get a group of people dancing.  Over time, they've thrown in samples from cultures around the world.  Usually they'll look for the simplest foundation steps.  Almost everybody has some folk dances, like circle or line dances, that are very easy to do.  Those transmit nicely.  So T-America has a lot more left of the social dance tradition compared to L-America.  \o/
Tags: entertainment, ethnic studies, music, networking, video
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