Thank You. HNY. And WTF

'Backstage @ BDA 2016' photo by Lanee Mecca

yes all of those things. wtf with this whole world and human greed and evil. trying to find the hope and the laughter and the dance and the fortitude to go on in what is not new of our ability to destroy each other...and the love of white supremacy and tyranny

check out random photos from my 6-week trip to Nigeria + other updates on the Afro Urban front
via Afro Urban Society's instagram | fb events | and website

I'll be here in November: Events, Classes, and All

November officially begins the energy of Bacchanal de Afrique- 2016, get your Afro-Urban Dance Experience On.  Check Out What I'm up to this Month, there is A LOT to choose from!!!
Photo by KSJ Photography
  1. Friday Nov 4 Gbedu Town Radio at Oakland Museum 6:30pm
  2. Sunday Nov 13 CaliWynd's Showtime w Shemica Johnson 1:30pm at Barefoot Movement
  3. Sunday Nov 13 Afro-Urban Dance Elements with Nkei Oruche at UC Berkeley 1:00pm-3:00pm
  4. Friday Nov 18 Til' Dance Do Us Part- Bacchanal de Afrique 2016 @ Dance Mission
  5. Saturday Nov 19 Azonto vs. Afrobeats Dance Workshop @ Dance Mission
  6. Saturday Nov 19 Community Lab- Bacchanal de Afrique (Oakland) for the African Diaspora 6pm @ EastSide Arts Alliance
  7. Sunday Nov 20 Afrobeats & Turf & Soul Line & More Workshops (BdA 2016) Beginning @ 11am @ EastSide Arts Alliance

Bacchanal de Afrique 2016 is Here

For Tickets and More Info Visit Afro Urban Society

A Celebration of Afro-Urban Art and Culture

Friday November 18, 8PM
Til’ Dance Do Us Part, An Afro Urban Musical
Dance Mission Theater, San Francisco
More Info | Tickets | on FB

A joyful, tongue-in-cheek narrative of love and coming-of-age delivered against a socio-historical backdrop. Til’ Dance Do Us Part is a celebration of Urban African life stages that will have you on your feet, grooving and hollering. Pulsating with the sounds of Afrobeats, Azonto, Turf, Second-Line, Dancehall, Soukous, Rumba and many more, this night of revelry features a cast of performers showcasing the diversity of contemporary African Diaspora.

Saturday November 19, 6-11PM
BdA Community Lab
A Celebration of Afro-Urban Art, Culture & People
EastSide Arts Alliance, Oakland
More Info | Free Ticket | on FB
A free event catered to people of African descent inviting the audience into the creative process with performances that celebrate our life stages.
Live Music | Dance Performances | DJ | Visual Art | Food | Afrobeats| Dancehall | Soukous | Hip Hop | Funk & More

Sunday November 20, 11AM-7PM
BdA Community Workshops
EastSide Arts Alliance, Oakland
More Info | Tickets | on FB

A day of Afro-Urban community workshops/classes featuring various instructors teaching Afrobeats, Dancehall, Turf, Soul Line and more!
2016 Theme: Bacchanal de Afrique 2016- Til’ Dance Do Us Part, follows the trajectory of life via the contemporary musical and dance celebrations of people of the Urban African Diaspora. Featuring a diverse group of performers of African heritage, this production will examine and show how the varied global-African experiences of music, dance, and artistic aesthetics anchor life; from the wondrous and miraculous birth to the tumultuous transition from adolescence to adulthood, the arduous search for partnering to the inevitable mystery of death.
#BdA2016 #BacchanaldeAfrique #AfroUrbanSociety

Dance Performance Workshop Begins October 3rd


bacchanal de afrique Dance Performance Workshop
Oct 3 - Nov 21 2016
Solespace: 1714 Telegraph Ave, Oakland
Save the Dates for Bacchanal de Afrique Events
Friday November 18 at Dance Mission
Saturday November 19 at EastSide Cultural Center

With Nkei Oruche  & Shemica Johnson [CaliWYND]
Club & Party  Dances From Urban African Diaspora: Afrobeats, Dancehall, Azonto, Coupe Decale, Afro House, and more!

This workshop series will culminate in a performance at the Bacchanal de Afrique- 2016 show on Friday November 18 at Dance Brigade's Dance Mission Theater (as well as other performances TBA).

Register for Workshop
Learn more about Bacchanal de Afrique

This workshop is open to all body types and genders, all experience levels; beginner to advance. (You can be enrolled in this workshop but choose not to perform).

A few things to note
* Workshop needs a minimum of 15 full paying participants to run.
*There are limited amount of spots, so if you want to do it, hop on without delay!

$130-$250 Sliding scale (if you are able please consider paying more to accomodate those who can't)
$23 -Drop-In (allowed only once per instructor approval)
Limited POC Youth/Student Scholarships Available. Email to request.

San Jose State Won't Let Him Graduate, He Needs Your Help!!

UPDATE: $1400 PAID LAST MONTH. Need another $1400 by October 14. Please help make this happen.

 Hi Friends,
I have an Urgent request. Please help me support this young man to finish college and receive his degree which is being thwarted (more info below) by the incompetence of San Jose State University. I need to raise $2500, and I know with the community of folks we have it is possible.

How to Help
  1. Paypal money to his mother 'Send money to friends and family' 
  2. Purchase a T-shirt here and all proceeds will benefit this family and given to his mom
  3. Mail a check (email for address)
  4. Click the Help Now Button below to make a donation by CC.

The Story
Ronald Mills, a 24 year old young man from West Oakland, went against the odds, beat the statistics and made it into San Jose State University to pursue a college education. In May 2016, with pride and extreme joy he walked the stage. He pursued a degree in Sociology with plans to work with children and adults in mental health because he wants to ensure that they get the care they need.
He was ready to move on to the next phase of his life, as a hardworking community member, an inspiration and motivation to his 14 year old younger sister Jayla, and a support system for his Mom, when he found out after weeks of waiting that he would not be receiving his Diploma.

Heartbroken, frustrated and distraught, Ronald found out that this was due to his counselor at SJSU misinforming him about the requirements and in fact approving him to matriculate.  He still had 2 classes, and he had used up all his financial aid and since he had 'graduated' lost access to the scholarships that helped him get through college in the first place. Although this is SJSU's error, the only answers they have for him, is to take and pay for these class by Sep 14, 2016 out of pocket. Ronald and his family worked hard to finish school, and $2500 is an insurmountable amount them to come up with in such a short amount of time.
Please help this young man continue to beat the odds. Please support him with your voice and funds to make it. Please donate and please share with other people to help.

Jaajo/Afrobeats Workshops!

Join your favorite Afro-Urban dancers to break a sweat, and keep your heart rate up. Get down to the sounds of New Afrobeats, Soukous, Afro Pop, Dancehall Soca and more!

Rasaq Lawal-JAAJO is bringing the Naija Afrobeats heat all the way from Houston to Oakland. While grooving to the infectious sounds of Afrobeats music, get your dance life with 3 workshop offerings available:

Sunday Aug 21 12:00-1:30pm- Afrobeats Master Class @ Studio Grand, 32324 Grand Ave., Oakland

Monday Aug 21 7:00-9:00pm- Jaajo Dance + Afrobeats Fitness @ Studio Grand, 32324 Grand Ave., Oakland

Tuesday Aug 23 7:00-9:00pm- Afro Dance Mega (Multiple Instructors) @ SoleSpace, 1714 Telegraph Ave, Oakland
Check out the Events page on FB to see all upcoming Afro-Urban workshops and classes with various instructors

Our Lives Matter, Our Expressions Matter: Dance With Us this Summer

Photo Credit: Rick Wilking / Reuters

This post is here later than I planned, because it seemed impossible to write. Anything.

But there's good stuff here... keep reading.

If you haven't been living under a rock, in the past couple of weeks, you may have felt your heart break again, your hopelessness rise again, your despair take center stage again. If you are Black or Brown you may have felt unconstrained anger, fear and confusion at the rate of senseless state sanctioned killings of people who look like you.

The words I've written are only a minute and basic description of how I've felt as I am unable to properly write how: Exhausted I feel at yet one more hashtag. Furious I feel at yet one more act of killing, discrimination, displacement, appropriation, abuse, disregard for Black people. Confused I feel about .what. I. should. do. Stuck I feel between the need to quit and the realization that 'it' would win if I do.

Some words written by Alicia Garza on July 7, 2016, helped dissolve some of the stickiness:

"And while our resistance is righteous, it will always be met with resistance. It is something we should expect. It should be a part of our strategy. What will we do when they push back, because we know they will? When they pass more laws that punish us for daring to live, what will we do? How will we respond? When fascists attempt to take control, what will we do?

The only thing I know is that we must, like we have no other fucking choice than to commit ourselves to dreaming. To figuring it out. To making mistakes. To feel, because when we feel we know viscerally why it is that we cannot stop moving forward.

Alton Sterling's family, his 15 year old child, demands that we figure this shit out. Trayvon and Mike and Islan and Penny and Mya and Reneisha and Jordan and Sandra and Pearl are counting on us to figure this shit out.

Because if we don't...if we fall into despair and disbelief, we have already been defeated. And there will still be mothers who have had their children stolen from them, there will still be an empty seat at the table, there will still be despair and disbelief that will laugh in our faces when we dare to be free.

I have committed myself to continuing to dare to be free, to fight to win. I want to win. I want them to stop killing us. Nothing can deter me. No one can stop me from that.

No one.


Dare to be Free. Dare to be FREE!!

A complex phrase.

From the Continent to the Diaspora, people of African descent have created, used, shared their dance as they dare to be free from colonization, human trafficking, war and displacement. WE have made immeasurable and influential contributions to the world, from Hip hop to Jazz, Ndombolo to Afrobeat, Samba to Rueda, Second Line to Swing, Kuduro to (insert here).

Enter Afro Urban Society, a project committed to support, acknowledge and celebrate artists and cultural workers of African descent to do what they do best: Dare us to be free. Support the work of your Bay Area Artists of African Descent. Dare yourself to be Free. Let them know their work, lives, joy MATTER.


Opportunities this Summer for an Unforgettable Afro-Urban Dance Experience
  • CaliWynd with Shemica Johnson- July 17
  • Deep House with Rashad Pridgen- Sundays beginning July 17
  • Afro-Urban for LGBTQ Families with Nkei- 9/17, 10/15 & 11/5
  • Afro-Uban Dance at The Umoja Festival- Aug 20
  • Afro-Urban Style Hipline Technique with Alicia- July 16 (Ongoing)
  • 8/20 Afro-Urban Dance at The Umoja Festival
  • SAVE THE DATES NOV 17-19 Bacchanal de Afrique 2016!!
For details of each check out our the Newsletter and also subscribe to the FB Event Page