Good for: 10-18 year olds.
Estimated Time: Give yourself some time! You'll probably want to take these one by one, so you have the time to practice!
Key Technology: You can watch these videos right here, or subscribe via RSS or iTunes.
Subscribe to this video series:
In this video series, dancer Rujeko Dumbutshena and drummer Farai Malianga teach the basics of traditional African dance.
In the first video, Rujeko demonstrates the “Dinhe," an African dance about celebrating the harvest. You can learn this dance alone or at school with your class. Try coming up with a similar dance about something in your life!
In the second video and third videos, Rujeko teaches dance techniques that will get you moving like pelvic isolation and limb throws, then how a clock face can help give you a good sense of direction while you dance.
Videos four and five show you how to make the great music Rujeko is dancing to. Farai will walk you through the history and parts of his Djembe, and then show you how to play a simple beat.
Before you get started, think about what you already know about different types of dance. Keep this in mind as you explore the videos.
- How many African countries can you name after watching the videos?
- What country are Farai and Rujeko from?
- Why does Rujeko use the idea of a clock to help teach her group dance?
- How do the moves that Rujeko shows in her Dinhe video mimic the real-life movements she speaks about?
- When you work on these dances, what moves can you incorporate that mimic motions that you do in your real life?
- How many countries are in Africa?
- When did the Mali Empire exist?
Learn more about Rujeko and Farai's careers in the arts:
More about Rujeko’s teaching, art, and performances: www.rujeko.org.
Farai’s music and Broadway credits can be found online.
For the Educator
Using these videos in your classroom will get your students up, moving, and learning about African cultures.
Don't worry about skill level! Rujeko and Farai are great instructors, and the videos walk students through the lessons step by step.
After you're done watching and learning, why not try building your own Djembe or Cajon? Here are a couple of sites that will get your students hitting the beat in no time!
The cajon is decidedly more complicated and involves real wood. If you have the skills and tools, go for it. But if not, a paper djembe is the way to go.