Program image

What can the dances of a group of people tell you about them? How are the dances of a cultural group influenced by geographical changes and by the passage of time? Through the lens of their body percussion and other unique expressions of rhythm and song, students will discover a powerful cultural and historical bridge between Africa and the US. The adventure proceeds from the Lowcountry to the Northeastern US. Students will learn and celebrate with pre-Hip Hop party dances, where the dance voyage concludes. Join Teaching Artist Karla Nweje on this exploratory journey!

Program Rating

   based on 8 evaluation(s).
Book it!

About This Program


By Request: $150.00
By Request Premium: $150.00

An invoice will be sent within one week following the completed program session(s). For questions regarding your invoice, please email Tameka Davidson, education@thecowlescenter.org


60 minutes

Target Audience

Education: Grade(s) Kindergarten, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Adult LearnersPublic Library: Library Patrons

Minimum participants:


Maximum participants:


Primary Disciplines

Career Education, Fine Arts, Foreign/World Languages, International, Leadership, Performing Arts, Social Studies/History Dance

Program Delivery Mode

Zoom or Google Meet

Booking Information

This program is available Monday-Friday between 9:00-4:00 PM CST

Book it!

Receive this program and 9 more for one low price when you purchase the CILC Virtual Expeditions package. Learn more

For more information contact CILC at (507) 388-3672

Provider's Cancellation Policy

We will not charge for programs cancelled due to nature i.e. snow days. The full fee will be charged to sites which cancel with less than 48 hours notice.

About This Provider

Content Provider logo


The Cowles Center for Dance & the Performing Arts

Minneapolis, MN
United States

The Cowles Center is a dance and performing arts hub that promotes movement and growth through supportive space to create and collaborate, engages audiences through dynamic performances, and educates artists of all ages through robust and inclusive education and community engagement programming.

We program an exciting season annually, representing more than 20 local artists and companies that showcase the depth and breadth of the Twin Cities' professional dance scene. 

We partner with artists and companies in our season by providing free marketing and production support, letting the artists focus on their performances. 

We educate through robust, high-quality arts learning programs serving students of all ages, statewide, via residencies, workshops, and student matinees. 

We support the growth and life-cycle of dancers and companies through our below-market-rate offices, studios and stages; and through community engagement programs, McKnight Fellowships, and our MERGES co-production program. 

Tameka Davidson

Program Details


Part 1: West African Dance
1. Intro Circle & Overview
2. Warmup
a. Did You Know That…? (interesting facts about sub-Saharan African civilizations before captivity & colonialism)
b. We will have fun exploring elements of a West African Dance together (identifying & moving to a traditional drum rhythm, identifying & responding to drum breaks, improvisation, and more)

Part 2: African American Body Percussion
- Warmup and review of prior work
a. Did You Know That…? (interesting facts about the rhythmic practices of the Gullah Geechee Nation & the art of African American Collegiate Stepping)
b. We will learn a body percussion sequence together & creating variations using elements of time (fun with echoes, canons, Call & Response, polyrhythm)

Part 3: 70s Social Party Dance (sometimes referred to as Soul Dance)
- Warmup and review of prior work
a. Did You Know That…? (interesting facts about the Party Dance Scene in pre-HipHop NYC)
b. Learn, practice and demonstrate a dance sequence together
c. Freestyle, either in cipher or ‘Soul Train Line’
- Reflection Circle & Wrap-up


1. Connect with and relate to others;
2. Recognize movement/dance as a vehicle for self-expression;
3. Learn new dance terminology;
4. Increase knowledge and deepen understanding of the African American ethos through the lens of its artistic expression;
5. Work on building focus;
6. Contribute as both presenters and observers.

Standards Alignment

National Standards

National Standards:
Content Standard: 1: Identifying and demonstrating movement elements and skills in performing dance
- Students accurately identify and demonstrate basic dance steps, positions, and patterns for dance from two different styles or traditions
- Students demonstrate accurate memorization and reproduction of movement sequences
- Students describe the action and movement elements observed in a dance, using appropriate movement/dance vocabulary

Content Standard: 3: Understanding dance as a way to create and communicate meaning
- Students observe and explain how different accompaniment (such as sound, music, spoken text) can affect the meaning of a dance

Content Standard: 5: Demonstrating and understanding dance in various cultures and historical periods
- Students competently perform folk and/or classical dances from various cultures; describe similarities and differences in steps and movement styles