Long before Miley Cyrus showed off her twerk skills, Africans were busy doing the bobaraba booty bounce and the gyrating Mapouka. The Ivory Coast is home to today’s dance moves that dominate the hip-hop scene. At the fourth annual African Diaspora Dance and Drum Festival (taking place from Aug. 2-4 at the Little Haiti Cultural Center) dance instructor Tawanna Dobson will teach attendees how to work up a sweat with Afro Zumba, which fuses African movements and traditional Zumba.
“We use a lot of movements where we work our legs, quads, core strengthening and arms,” Dobson says. She adds that Afro Zumba can be a more intense workout for some. After a little nudge, she also admits that Afro Zumba is a great way to practice your winding, which may be useful the next time you try to drop it like it’s hot at LIV nightclub.
The three-day festival also offers Shekere yoga. The word shekere refers to a West African instrument made from a gourd that is draped with a net and adorned with beads. Family friendly workshops; arts and crafts; food trucks and a lecture series highlighting the countries of Guinea and Senegal, will aslo be available. Prices range between $0 to $20.
On Saturday, Aug. 3, there will be musical performances by the Delou Africa Dance Ensemble, Fatala, Venus Rising, Children of Kuumba, Natambu, and more starting at 7:30 p.m.