Victorius. Aka, I can cry about it, and be a boss at the same time

My very first dance teacher was Dimaktso “Mama D”/Janet Hampton in Houston, Texas. Dima, or Mama D as she was affectionately known, taught traditional South African dance. An exceptional performer, she’d toured with the South African international musical Ipi NTombe. In Houston, she performed with Kuumba House Dance Theatre, a South African dance company founded by arts-educator and native Lindi Yeni; and she was part of a cohort of South African drummers and dancers formerly with the Ringling Brothers and Barnum Bailey Circus. Dima instilled in her students much more than traditional South African dance steps. She introduced me to ululating (how I miss it), how to project my voice, and she made sure to convey the cultural relevance behind the dances and songs she meticulously shared. She generously rooted in me a love of South African dance and culture, and laid the foundation for way more than dance.

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