Dance

5 Insanely Catchy Dances Africa has Given to the World

Africa is home to many rich and varied music and dance traditions. Artists around the world continue to innovate and expand upon these traditional styles. Modern-day dances in Africa have inspired the creativity of millions around the world. Check out some of the most influential dance styles inspiring creativity and joy. Jerusalema (South Africa and Angola Dance) Popularized with a dance challenge during the COVID-19 pandemic, Jersalema inspired millions. It started as a South African song, combined with dance steps from Angola, and reached everyone from politicians to priests. After the Jerusalem topped South African charts in December, it wasn’t until February 2020 that the dance wave started. A group of friends in Angola created a video of themselves performing a line dance to the music. They called it the “Jerusalema Dance Challenge,” and it quickly went viral. The choreography has been performed by groups as varied as Portuguese healthcare workers, Dominican nuns, and Ghanaian army personnel. The dance challenge was also endorsed by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa as a way to uplift people in his country during the pandemic.  Odi Dance (Kenya) Odi became widely known when the artists Timeless Noel, Hype Ochi and Jabiddi performed it in this video. The name “Odi” is slang for ordinary. According to Timeless Noel, the choreography was inspired by his desire to create simple moves that even ordinary people could dance to. While Odi originally first went viral in 2018, it recently had a second wave of popularity thanks to a video of Kenyans dancing in hospital gowns and hazmat suits at a COVID19 quarantine facility. It is now one of the most popular dances in Africa. Pilolo Dance (Ghana) Ghanaian dancer and choreographer Amofa Michael — popularly known as Zigi — created the pilolo dance steps. The name “pilolo” was inspired by a game similar to hide and seek that is popular among Ghanaian kids. Pilolo made its mainstage debut in the United States in 2018 when Janet Jackson executed the moves at the end of her performance of “Made for Now” on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon. In an interview shortly after, Zigi said that watching the American pop star do his moves brought him to tears. Shaku Shaku (Nigeria) Shaku Shaku is a contemporary Nigerian street dance. Many credit the Nigerian rap superstar Olamide for turning it into an international sensation. In 2017, Olamide featured Shaku Shaku dancers in the music video for his hit song “Wo”and his annual Olamide Live in Concert (OLIC 4) event. The internet now has many tutorials about the dance. You can find other music videos by artists such as Afro B and Wizkid that feature Shaku Shaku. Kizomba (Angola) Kizomba, which means “party” in the language of Kimbundu, is a type of Angolan music and partner dance that dates back to the 1980s. Today the dance is not just popular in Angola, but also across the globe. Kizomba is now featured at many latin dance festivals and events worldwide. There is such an interest in Kizomba, that some believe it could benefit Angola’s economy via tourism. This is similar to how tango encourages tourism in Argentina. Watch a quick video about kizomba in Angola here or a video of international instructors Lucien and Isabelle here. Works cited: Learn more about dances in Africa at the links below: https://in.reuters.com/article/angola-kizomba-idINKCN20L11Ohttps://news.yahoo.com/angolas-kizomba-dance-mesmerises-world-030121809.htmlhttps://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2020/sep/24/jerusalema-dance-craze-brings-hope-from-africa-to-the-world-amid-covidhttp://nairobiwire.com/2018/01/odi-dance-creator-timeless-noel-talks-upcoming-malaria-dance-big-2018-plans.htmlhttps://afrosages.com/incredible-zigi-pilolo-and-kupe-dance-creator/http://nairobiwire.com/2017/12/everything-need-know-odi-dance-creators-timeless-noel-jabidii-hype-ochi.html https://djbooth.net/features/2020-10-28-olamide-interview-voice-of-the-streets-audiomack How to perfect shaku shaku, the Nigerian dance currently exciting the world https://www.kenyans.co.ke/news/53865-kenyans-odi-dancing-covid-19-quarantine-inspire-hope-video

Dance Adventures: True Stories About Dancing Abroad (Press Release)

DANCE IS A VIBRANT FORCE FOR CULTURAL IMMERSION DURING TRAVEL  New Book by Dance Travel Expert Spotlights How Dance Connects Travelers to Community, History,  and Cultures Abroad  Dance Adventures: True Stories About Dancing Abroad by Founder of Dance Travel Company Releases  December 2020  How can people with no shared language communicate? How can someone who has just arrived in a foreign country quickly make friends or meaningfully engage with local culture? To former professional dancer Megan Taylor Morrison, now a life coach and dance travel expert, the answer couldn’t be  clearer:  Dance.  In her new book Dance Adventures: True Stories About Dancing Abroad, Morrison demonstrates that dance can forge connections between people from different backgrounds, as well as lead to cross cultural experiences that promote greater understanding of another culture or engender tremendous  personal growth for the traveler.  For many of us during the age of COVID-19, life-giving experiences are in short supply. The things we  love – attending incredible dance performances, going to dance classes, or hugging people within our  dance communities – feel far away. Dance Adventures brings the wonder of adventure and movement  to readers, wherever they may be.  This anthology includes 19 true stories written by a diverse group of renowned performers, dedicated dance teachers, dance scholars, and other avid dance travelers who:  ● Explore their craft in locations tied to their family history and discover how dance helps them connect with their heritage;  ● Build bonds and community with locals through a shared love of movement; ● Challenge their assumptions, embrace the unknown and find surprising new truths by saying  “yes” to spontaneous opportunities; or  ● Reflect on who they are and discover how dance can make them a better version of themselves.  The contributors hail from all corners of the world, and the stories take place in 17 different countries  including India, China, Senegal, Philippines, Angola, Brazil, Morocco, Cuba, China and Mozambique.  Contributors include: Courtney Celeste Spears, a dancer with the world-renowned Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. In  Dance Adventures, she writes about her experience returning to her second home in The Bahamas and  serving as an ambassador between her family, her heritage, and her dance company. For Spears, dance  brought the two worlds she cherished together.  Indian-American folk dancer Dr. Ted Samuel, who embarks on a year abroad in South India where his  parents are from. As a member of the Indian diaspora, he initially faces the challenges of feeling like an  outsider in India, but ultimately finds an important vehicle for connection in Karagattam: a traditional  south Indian folk dance.  Zsuzsi Kapas, a Hungarian dancer whose family immigrated to the United States in 2000 to leave behind  a life of ethnic oppression. In Dance Adventures she shares a story from her three-year journey around  the world, during which she studied the healing effects of dance and movement improvisation. She  writes about her time in Indonesia, where her intensive work with the creator of a dance style known as  Joged Amerta Movement led to lessons that helped heal her childhood trauma.  Makeda Kumasi, who teaches West African dance classes at UC Riverside, visits Senegal for the first  time. There, she fulfills her long-time dream to set foot on the land of her African ancestors and gains  the firsthand knowledge she feels she needs to teach West African dance at the university level. The  story highlights her final day in the country, when she visits Gorée Island and confronts the realities of  the Atlantic slave trade.  Topics Megan can also address include:  ● 5 Travel Hacks Only Dancers Know ● Cool Dances Around The World You’ve Never Heard Of ● Why Dance Travel is the Next Frontier of Tourism ● How Dance Changes Us: Life Lessons learned While Dancing Around the World  Each of the stories in Dance Adventures highlights a way that dance travel leads to meaningful  experiences, thereby shaping a person’s identity, facilitating their personal growth, or uniting them with  people from different backgrounds.   About the Author  Megan Taylor Morrison is an avid dance adventurer and certified life and business coach. She has  studied local dance forms in 16 countries on six continents, as well as designed and co-led dance  retreats to Argentina, Brazil, and the Dominican Republic. In partnership with Melaina Spitzer, Meg  debuted the talk “Dance Travel: The Next Era of Dance Education,” at the National Dance Education  Organization (NDEO) Conference in 2018. Through lectures, roundtables, and articles, Meg continues to share best practices for cultural  immersion through the arts. She holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University  and a bachelor’s in international affairs and French from the University of Puget Sound.   Advance Praise for Dance Adventures  “Armchair travel has never had it so good! Dropping into these cultural adventures is like landing feet  first on the most dynamic dance floors around the globe. Each carefully curated story gives a dancer’s eye-view of the people, places, and practices that enrich our planet.”  —Mark Metz, publisher of Conscious Dancer Magazine and founder of The Dance First Association  “This book is indispensable in light of the current social momentum with regard to Black lives and the  dismantling of violent systems. Many of the stories portray the experiences of individuals in whom  multiple languages, customs, and spaces coexist, and for whom dance is the unifying factor.” —Moncell Durden, Assistant Professor of Practice, USC Kaufman School of Dance  “Dance Adventures contains beautiful moments of transformation and connection through dance—a  wonderful extension of Meg’s own mission. The anthology’s writers create a strong case for using dance  to understand the world.”  —Mickela Mallozzi, Emmy® Award-winning TV host of Bare Feet with Mickela Mallozzi  “I was captivated by Megan Taylor Morrison’s Dance Adventures! This vibrant and emotionally  explorative collection of tales captures the power of dance in a way that transcends the stage.” —Aisha Mitchell, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater member (2008–2013), Broadway soloist in  Oklahoma (2019), and featured performer in The Lion King (2013–2018)  Title: Dance Adventures: True Stories About Dancing Abroad  Author: Megan Taylor Morrison  Hardcover: $49.99  Paperback: $35.95  Language: …

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25 Cool Things About Me

I went to college on an opera scholarship. I used to speak French fluently. Now I speak Spench. I was a vegan for 2 years. I worked on an organic farm in France for one summer. I’m currently obsessed with teaching people how to create passive income products. When I’m sick, I sometimes eat a whole jar of pickles. I have a cute butt. I make really good pasta puttanesca. I learned how to make Thai food last week for a charity event. My sense of wonder is alive and well. I prioritize generosity in my business. I have an idea parking lot where I keep all my good ideas so I can focus. I’m in the middle of finishing my first TWO books — Life Beyond Should and a Dance Travel Anthology. I trust my intuition and am willing to do crazy things because it tells me so (move to the DR; tell someone he is supposed to be my mentor; etc…). I can write well and quickly. My editing skills were once complimented by a world famous author. I am an AUNT and learning the things I love about childrenI would drop everything and fly anywhere if a friend really needed me. My favorite color is purple. I am willing to take immediate action based on my inspiration. By the end of 2019, my business will have at least 10 income streams. One of my superpowers is creating partnerships that launch me forward. In the last few weeks, I’ve asked for — and received — more head than at any other time in my life. I like stomping through puddles. I love everything dance-related, and don’t mind looking like an idiot to learn a new dance or dance move.

What I’m most daunted by, my favorite read right now, and more!

I love how peering into other people’s worlds fuels our own inspiration and creativity. Lately, many of my clients have asked me about my day-to-day, so I wanted to share more in case anything I’m up to sparks something for you! Here’s a glimpse into my life: Book I’m loving: Awaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins. I listened to this three times over on my morning walks and it’s encouraged me to act NOW on my desires. If you need more NOW in your life or business, check it out. What I’m enjoying most about living in the Dominican Republic now: Eating pasteles de hoja — Dominican-style tamales. Here’s a recipe. You’re welcome. I’m terrified to commit FULLY to my passion project: I’m digging into the connection between African dances and solo vernacular jazz more deeply than ever (watch the dance I’m currently working on here). Because this is so close to my heart, I have a ton of resistance to following through. I procrastinate, make excuses, and — bottom line — don’t practice. So… I just hired a private African dance instructor to work with me virtually and in-person. I know this project in my heart needs to come out, and I need a lot of loving support to make sure it does! (P.S. This is YOUR reminder to get support for the passion projects that mean so much to you!). Cool new testimonial: I just love my client Yvette Gorman-Holmes from Grow Your Moxie Coaching. You can read it below. Masala Chai: All day every day. Since getting back from India, I can’t stop drinking it. Here’s the recipe I’m using. Try it for yourself! My book: Life Beyond Should is moving right along! I got edits back from my first readers and am incorporating more interviews with scientists. This will be a scientific, spiritual, and practical guide to embracing your authentic desires! Stay tuned for more updates! And let me know if you try out the book or recipes! Embrace the Adventure, Meg P.S. Here’s the testimonial from Yvette: “Megan OVER-DELIVERS as a coach and keeps you accountable to what you say you want! Through our coaching together, I learned to boldly move through the inner whispers of fear and ego, as well to stop using shame to fuel my productivity. I discovered how to increase my drive in a way that builds my confidence, inspires me, and makes me feel loved and acknowledged. I raised my prices and got hired for what I’m worth, as well as created a new level of compassion, commitment, and desire in my 20-year marriage. Working with Megan has been a celebrated gift to myself. She is a driven, compassionate, fun-loving, super-organized, disciplined soul who helps you get results and leads by example in all she does.”