What is Dance Africa Fest?

Developed in 2014 by Tonya Pennie for Austin, TX, Dance Africa Fest is a multi-day conference featuring internationally renowned artists in African diaspora dance, and music workshops. Other highlights include special free dance workshops for children and the community, and a vendor marketplace featuring artisan made goods and products. We've grown 100% from presenting annually, to an impressive schedule featuring Spring and Fall two-day, all-day, workshop events!

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. Dance Africa Fest celebrates the global footprint of African/Black 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.

Past festivals have featured Congolese dance and dundun drum workshops; Afro Brazilian dance and Symbology of the Orixás; Guinean dance, drum, and singing workshops; Malian dance and drum workshops; Côte d’Ivoire dance; Trini-style carnival dance; Second Line dance with a live brass band; Capoeria Angola movement and history; Qi Gong/Afro-Fusion dance and stillness; several Afro Brazilian dance workshops, with musicians and/or bateria; and Afro Cuban dance and history. Click the highlighted links to check out 2018 workshops, and Spring 2017 and Fall 2017 awesomeness!

What To Expect

Curated, spring and fall conferences composed of 90-minute workshops. Workshops are innovative, socioeconomically inclusive, physically accessible, and offer the following awesome sauce:

  1. Comprehensive dance and music workshops across the African diaspora;

  2. Facilitation by exceptional artists, accompanied by professional musicians or music;

  3. Vendor market for artists of the African diaspora to gather and showcase their talents and products;

  4. Special free workshops for youth/community;

  5. Scholarship, community building and networking with artists/peers;

  6. Performances, as available, by teaching faculty, guest artists and arts groups;

  • CLASSES --- priced as indicated. As available, workshops are free for youth ages 10 and younger (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 a good long while, we take care to present our events in venues with a dance floor. Please note workshops last 90 minutes, and may be scheduled 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 during workshops inside the DANCE STUDIO, please.

Workshop participants are encouraged to hydrate regularly (bring and drink your water!), wear comfortable and breathe-able clothing that doesn’t restrict movement and allows a full range of motion (i.e. lappas, sweatpants, shorts, sarongs, dance wear, work-out wear or yoga attire). Summary:

  1. Workshops are presented indoors on a sprung dance floor.

  2. Workshops last 90 minutes.

  3. Participants should hydrate and bring water.

  4. INSIDE THE DANCE STUDIO, no street shoes or running shoes during workshops please. Bare feet, jazz slippers or similar light foot covering recommended.

  5. Lappas, sweatpants, shorts, sarongs, dance wear, work-out wear or yoga attire recommended.

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 ages 10 and under 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. .

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.

Dance Africa Fest is deeply committed to sustainability and accessibility. To lend your financial support and help grow the festival, visit our Donor page for giving tiers, or click here!

Dance Africa Fest is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and all contributions are tax deductible as allowed by law. The Tax ID number for Dance Africa Fest is 81-2882786.

Thank you!