What is Dance Africa Fest?
Developed in 2014 by Tonya Pennie for Austin, TX, Dance Africa Fest is an Austin-based multi-day conference featuring internationally renowned artists in African Diaspora dance, drum, and vocal workshops. Other highlights include special free dance workshops for children and the community, and a vendor marketplace (our fab African Marketplace). We've grown 100% from presenting annually, to an impressive schedule featuring Spring and Fall two-day, all-day, workshop events!
Past festivals have featured Brazilian dance; 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; Afro-Brazilian dance with bateria; and Afro Cuban dance and history.
The Impact / Our Mission
Dance transforms. Dance uplifts, empowers, heals, and provides kool-aid grins. Dance Africa Fest showcases the beauty and uniqueness of African Diaspora dance, while also reinforcing the common threads that remind us of our connection.
Our focus is to amplify an awareness of, and provide a platform for African Diaspora dance. Our mission is to offer artistic and educational activities that celebrate traditional, contemporary, social, imaginative, gestural, pedestrian and physical exploration of dances of the African/Black Diaspora.
What To Expect
- Experience a variety of traditional dance instruction to live drumming;
- Dance, drum and vocal workshops taught by exceptional artists;
- An African Market featuring unique and handmade goods and crafts;
- Performances by teaching faculty, guest artists and arts groups;
- 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 --- please note workshops last 90 minutes, often with workshops back to back; your body will thank us for making sure the floor is tight. Bare feet, jazz slippers or similar light foot covering are recommended for the workshops. No street shoes or running shoes during the workshops, please.
Workshop attendees are encouraged to hydrate regularly (bring and 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). Alrighty, so in summary:
- Workshops presented indoors.
- Workshops are conducted on sprung dance floor.
- Workshops last 90 minutes.
- Attendees should hydrate/bring water.
- Bare feet, jazz slippers or similar light foot covering recommended.
- Lappas, sweatpants, shorts, sarongs, dance wear or yoga attire recommended.
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 is committed to compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. We utilize public facilities that ensure access to the built environment for people with different abilities, and meet ADA guidelines and Texas Accessibility Standards. If you require special assistance for participation in our programs please contact us at Tonya@DanceAfricaFest.org.