Monday, October 16, 2006

African Dance is Alive and Well in Guelph

What do teenage girls, young adult and adult women have in common at the Guelph Youth Music Centre? They are all doing African dance. My classes are full of strong exuberant females who are just happy to be moving to the rhythm of live drums, trying out fun, exotic and yet natural movement which the body was designed for. They are dancing with ease and liberty; exercising, shaking off the stresses of work, school and home and forgetting their responsibilities as they focus on the lesson. They realign body, soul and mind through the complex polyrhythms which vibrate through their bodies from the drums. It is heady business, euphoric and exhilarating, ending in sweat and release. In my classes are three mother and daughter students and a fourth mother daughter duo of which mom is a drummer. Something about the community of dance and the circle of women. To my mind it is most important for women to play and dance and flaunt themselves for fun and joy. It is part of being a woman. That is why every year I take pleasure in our full dress recital which we perform for family, friends and general public. If it is a long time since you danced, and really moved your feet and legs and hips and spine, then perhaps you should consider trying an African dance class to connect your self to the rhythm of old woman earth.

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