What is Dance Africa Fest?
Developed in 2014, Dance Africa Fest showcases African diasporic drum and dance. The organization provides the opportunity for the Central Texas community to experience, explore and engage in music and movement of the African/black diaspora, right here at home
Programming features engaging artistic and educational activities that celebrate and delve into physical exploration of diasporic dance and music; an African Marketplace; scholarship and performance.
The festival focuses on preserving the rich traditions found in African dance, and movement with origins in the diaspora, worldwide. At a time when Austin is one of the fastest growing cities in the United States, yet its black population is diminishing at an alarming rate, the preservation of the rich cultural and historical heritage of the black community is imperative.
- CLASSES --- several offerings, $20 per person/per class. Workshops are free for children under 10 years old (must have parent or guardian on site). *FREE community dance class for beginners and children at 9AM.* See schedule for details.
- AFRICAN MARKETPLACE --- Vendors selling handmade and unique wares. FREE ADMISSION.
Dance Africa Fest was developed for Austin, TX in 2014 by Tonya Pennie.
What to expect
Workshops invite participants of all ages and skill levels-–whether they hold ancestral ties to Africa or not-–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.
Experience traditional dance instruction to the thunderous beat of live drumming; drum, dance and song workshops; a daylong African Market featuring unique and handmade goods and crafts; scholarship and community. Dance Africa Fest invites participants of all ages and skill levels to connect with significant traditional dance forms originating from the continent.
With a growing international reputation and local community spirit, this festival has something to offer all generations.
2017's all-star lineup is Mabiba Baegne ~ Congolese dance and song / Guinean Doundoun dance
Kiazi Malonga ~ Congolese drum/dance
Souleymane Solo Sana ~ Malian dance
Vieux Traore ~ Malian drum
Phumelele Bohlela/Popit ~ Nigerian Afrobeats / South African dance
Catch a snippet of 2016's programming here: Dance Africa Fest on Vimeo!
What to wear to the workshops?
Workshops are presented indoors. Dances are taught barefoot, so there’s no need to worry about special shoes. Dancers, movers and shakers are especially encouraged to hydrate regularly (it's Texas and hot/warmish/humid/hot), wear comfortable clothing that doesn’t restrict movement and allows a full range of motion (i.e. lappas, sweatpants, shorts or sarongs).