First class is Afro-Cuban:
Is referent to the Orichas. They are organized in hierarchical order at the Yoruba pantheon which possess powers that come from Mother Nature (ASHE).
I have been using the HPS learning program to teach my students. This methodology divides the basic knowledge in three aspects, emphasizing the connection between H-history, P-percussion and S-steps for better understanding. I divide my Oricha class in three levels. It includes the specific dances, rhythms, and prayers of the Major Orichas, such as the trilogy of warriors Eleggua, Oggun and Ochosi, gods that represent our balance, stability and firmness in life. The spiritualties of the waters maternity and prosperity like Yemaya and Ochun are first level. Second level the gods that represent harmony, purity, parenthood and strength Obatala, Aggayu Chola and Chango. Third level the gods that represents the triumph, challenge, sacrifice and the meaning of death Babalu Aye and Oya Yansa. Their dance is cadent, extremely coordinated and rich in rhythm, perfect to develop body part isolation of movements. The Afro-Cuban dance class not only icludes the Yoruba or Lucumi ethnic group but also Bantu or Congos, is referent to the Mpungos. They do not have a pantheon but are classified in two groups, the aquatic spirits Nkita Kunamasa or Bisimbimasa like Kalunga and Chola Wengue and mountain spirits Nkita Kisenke or Minse like Nkuyo or Lucero, Zarabanda, Wuatariamba, Nsasi or Siete Rayo, Brazo Fuerte, Ndoki or Centellita, Kobayende or Patallaga and Mama Kenwe or Tiembla Tierra. Their dances are very dynamic and intense movements towards the soil or sensual moves that simulates fertility. The Ewe-Fon or Araras, is referent to the Fodunes or Vodunes. They represent the four elements of nature that are represented by, Air Pantheon (Aweyi ), Earth Pantheon (Asojano, Afra, Gu or Alugbe and Age or Fa), Fire Pantheon (Jebioso, Sogbo or Agrobe, Odane, Damba and Jojo), Water Panteon (Afrekete and Mase). Their dance moves are short space movements, very deep rooted emphasizing the accent towards the earth with bouncing knees and continued shoulder movements that simulate plants. Carabalis, they only dance through the Ireme, a kind of spirit that imitates the movements of the leopard and has two representing styles: Efor dance slow and very elegant and Efik dance faster and intense. They are a self-helped society. French-Haitian, this group call their spiritualties Loas. They are grouped in two prominent families: Rada (benevolent, soft and sweet) and Petro (bad, fearsome and demonic).Their animistic dance Vodu, the not religious dance Congo or Congolaye, Gaga or Rada and the ballroom dance Tumba Francesa, Merengue and Compa. These have overflow of body language, rich in gesture, voluptuosity, sensual, acrobatic and elegant.
I emphasize the connection between steps, story, song, percussion, body expression, philosophy, psychology, and technical knowledge in my classes.
The Cuban Rumba is a popular genre that was originated mixing the Hispanic and African elements (the most predominant groups being: Yoruba, Congo, Carabali), musical manifestation describing the Cuban idiosyncrasy.
Yambu: Partner dance. The romance between older couples; the woman shows off her sensuality during the dance; and the movements are soft and formal because the dancers are typically older in age and mature and tend to move slower.
Guaguanco: Partner dance. A game of conquest between man and woman. The male dancer plays the game of pursuit by playfully, yet intentionally, showing his interest in the woman by symbolically “poking” or “vacunado” the woman through gestures directed at the woman’s pelvis. Meanwhile the woman’s ability to thwart his attempts is tested as she skillfully shields herself from his erotic gestures. This dance is fast, exciting, and requires the ability of spirited interpretation and expression.
Columbia: A dance of competition commonly between men which requires skillful virtuosity, and the ability to maintain the relationship between movements and the main drum or quinto. The name of the dance is the name of the village (Columbia) in rural Matanzas where the dance was founded.
Third class is Panoramic International Dance:
Dedicated to educate and expose kids to different ethnic cultures. This is a kid’s class with the objective to teach general dance skills to culturally educate them. They are encouraged to explore conceptual, cultural and formal aspects of traditional dances combined with basic gymnastic exercises and traditional dance games. Playing is the most direct, free and creative way for body language to communicate the senses in a child, to connect body, mind and emotions.
I will mix culturally specific dance games as a way to easily associate origin, location and ethnic dance names of the different countries. This provides the children with a positive innovative experience through the dance class. While the physical activity in itself will make them feel good, the real reward at the end of every class is ethnic knowledge.
Panoramic International Dance
To get in my classes this is the usual schedule:
Beginner AfroRumba class
@ Salsa Karibe
10370 W Flager St 33174
8:30 pm Mondays
Beginner Afrocuban class
@ 6 th St Dance Studio
1155 sw 6 St 33135
Intermediate Afrocuban class @ 6 th St Dance Studio
1155 sw 6 St 33135
Sundays 1- 2pm
Rumba class 2-3 pm