What is Dance Africa Fest?

Developed in 2014 by Tonya Pennie for Austin, TX, Dance Africa Fest showcases the vibrant footprint of African diasporic drum and dance. Dance Africa Fest provides the opportunity for Central Texas communities to experience, explore and engage in music and movement of the African/Black diaspora. Programming typically features in-depth workshops, an African Market, and performances. 

Past years have featured Guinean drum, dance and singing workshops; Congolese dance; Malian dance and drum workshops; Côte d’Ivoire dance; Capoeria Angola movement and history; Qi Gong/Afro-Fusion dance and stillness; Brazilian dance with bateria; and Afro Cuban dance and history.

What To Expect

  1. Experience a variety of traditional dance instruction to live drumming; 
  2. Dance, drum and singing workshops taught by exceptional artists; 
  3. An African Market featuring unique and handmade goods and crafts; 
  4. Performances by teaching faculty, guest artists and arts groups;
  5. Scholarship, community building and networking with artists and peers.
  • CLASSES --- $20 per person/per class, or priced as indicated. As available, workshops are free for children under 10 years old (must have parent or guardian on site).  *See schedule for details, and space availability.
  • AFRICAN MARKETPLACE --- Vendors selling handmade and unique wares. FREE ADMISSION.

What to wear to dance workshops?

Workshops are presented indoors, in venues with a sprung dance floor --- because we want to dance forever, or at least a good long while, we take care to present the workshops in venues with a dance floor. Bare feet, jazz slippers or similar light foot covering are recommended for the workshops. No street shoes or running shoes during the workshops, please.

Dancers, movers and shakers are encouraged to hydrate regularly (drink your water!), wear comfortable and breatheable clothing that doesn’t restrict movement and allows a full range of motion (i.e. lappas, sweatpants, shorts, sarongs, dance wear or yoga attire).

Join us!

Dance Africa Fest invites participants of all ages and skill levels to connect with some of the most significant traditional dance forms originating from the continent. Children under 10 participating in workshops must have a parent or guardian on-site.

With a growing international reputation and local community spirit, this festival has something to offer all generations.

Catch a snippet of 2016's programming here: Dance Africa Fest on Vimeo!

Can't attend? Donate a ticket back to Dance Africa Fest as a gift for a youth or a senior in the community. 

Your support helps to make this festival accessible to all of Austin, regardless of ability to pay. A portion of class tickets will be made available for free to individuals in need, including youth, families, artists, and seniors. In return for your contribution, we'll add your name to our public list of supporters making it possible for all Central Texans to experience African cultural heritage in Austin, TX.

Dance Africa Fest is deeply committed to sustainability and accessibility. To lend your financial support and help grow the festival, click here. Lannaya Drum & Dance, an IRS 501c(3) organization, is the fiscal agent/umbrella for Dance Africa Fest. All contributions are tax deductible, where permissible by law.

Thank you!