Sunday, October 5, 2014

From Azonto to Zouk: Nkei's Afro-Urban Alphabet

When I do workshops I usually try my best to share some information about what I'm teaching, music I use and anything else that I think is interesting. It's part of the whole experience of exploring dance to me. I can't possibly teach (or know) everything there is to about the dance and music in the Afro-Urban world, so I like to create it as an ongoing conversation. For the current Afro-Urban Dance Performance workshop at Dance Mission I will try my best to post weekly about what's happening: for the participants and for anyone who's interested in my ramblings. I've reworked a title "From Azonto to Zouk: Nkei's Afro-Urban Alphabet" and will continue to flesh it out as we go: Drawing from the A-Z dance concept (you've seen those videos yeah?)... I've decided to compile my own alphabet set, on what I find noteworthy relating to Afro-Urban dance. For this blog series, I will be posting about what I cover in class.

A: Azonto vs. Alkayida
Sep 30 2014 @ Dance Mission

After Rashad set the workshop series off the previous week with Afro-House (which covered various areas including Panstula from South Africa), we kicked it into gear. First stop: Accra, Ghana, West Africa... Azonto & Alkayida styles are just those that when you see it, when it gets in your body, it's hard to let go. Once I got the basic Azonto move down, I was doing it ALL. THE. TIME. to every sound and style of music. It was lightweight frustrating because I couldn't help it, I would pretty much only be able to do that. Which I imagine is not the worst problem to have. Anyway, it is pretty cool to follow how this dance craze started, from some obscure dance step to a whole slew of dance vocabulary and music genre and now morphing and evolving alongside the recent alkayida movement. Looks like Ghana is staying on the Afro-pop map for a while and not letting go anytime soon. I'm standing on my toes, wondering what will be next. Is there already a next?  On Sep 30, 2014 (Session 2) here's how we got down:

Warm Up
  1. Can I Get Wit U-Rukus ft. Kuebounce
  2. Happiness- Mafikizolo ft. May D
  3. Okinnin Kpin- Serge Beynaud
  4. Ora- Terry G
  5. Fo M'appelé- Toofan ft. Charly Watta

Going In
  1. Azonto-Fuse ODG ft. Tiffany
  2. Akayida- Guru
  3. Antenna- Fuse ODG
  4. Azonto Fiesta- Sarkodie ft. Kesse Appietus
  5. Tonga- Joey B ft. Sarkodie

Friday, September 19, 2014

FALLow the Dance...

I am currently away with my family from the city (with built-in free childcare while here). Ah the bliss! This has given me the ability to have time to focus on creating, planning, and organizing as I count down the days to all kinds of Bay Area Music and Dance Goodness! Everything from baby to adults, I got ya! Here's a quick list of what's going down (click each for more info).



And just in case you were wondering, I'm currently jamming to this mix right here, to get me through my work day. You're welcome!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Random Moments of Dance...

Afro-Urban Performance with Rashad and I begins next Tuesday Sep 23rd. I'm so ready!! Sign up now!

Friday, August 8, 2014

And it's here!!!

((((Afro-Urban Dance Performance Workshop))))
w/ Nkei Oruche (D-Fuse Dance & BoomShake Music)
& Rashad aka "Fatha" Soul Nubian
(AfroHouseHop & The Global Street Dance Project)

Tuesdays 6:30-8:00 pm (begins September 23rd, 2014)
@Dance Mission: 3316 24th St. (at Mission), SF
with culminating dance performance and Afro-Urban Dance party November 14, 2014 at Dance Mission

*Get your A to Z of Street Dance coming from the MuthaLand!

Afrobeat | Afro-House | Azonto | Coupe Decale | Dancehall | Ghetto Street Dance | N'dombolo | Pantsula | Soca | & More..

*A performance workshop not to be missed with master dancers and performers!
*Workshop will culminate with live performance and Afro-Urban Dance Party!!


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

More Free Afro-Urban Dance

Additional Dates added...
with Nkei Oruche & D. Fuse

Friday Aug 1st
Friday Aug 15th
Friday Aug 29th
Friday Sep 5th

all 6:30-7:00pm, all Free, all family friendly, both fun (I hope).
more info

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Catch Me in the Streets of Oakland

D-fuse/Afro-Urban Dance
@Oakland Museum Friday Nights, doing what I/we do best!! 6:30-7:00pm
  • June 6
  • July 25
  • August 1
  • September 5
BoomShake Drum Corp
  • June 6  Oakland First Friday (Location TBA) 7:30pm-Until
  • June 14 Saturday Lake Merritt Farmer's Market


Friday, April 4, 2014

Afro-Urban Dance Recap + Subbing Rashad Pridgen's Afro-house hop @ Dance Mission

*crawls out from under rock*

 First. I am subbing for Rashad Pridgen Saturday 4/5.2014 at Dance Mission Theater 3316 24th St. Come get your dance on. 

I said to folks who came to Afro-Urban dance day, that I would post the song list, vids, photos et. al by Monday. But I guess lied. I am sorry. This week has been ROUGH but amazing. On Friday the day before Afro-Urban dance day a friend of mine died. She was one of my best friends and my life dance partner. I still had to go through with teaching and dancing the next day because I guess that's what life is about, you just keep on. I have been so busy, I had a really big project to wrap up, family, and everything else. So almost a week later here is the first part of a recap.

AFRO-URBAN DAY was a blast and I can't wait to do it again! We daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaanced all day. By the end of it my D-fuse crew was begging to stop dancing. Except that when a song came on the liked they couldn't help but then jump up and dance some more. We were joined by the amazing, fierce dancer Shemica Watkins. We popped, whined, rolled and dropped every part of our body. It was great. 

 Part of my explorations and dance facilitation is to share what songs I use to facilitate workshops so that the joyful expression you experienced can continue (until we dance again). Videos & photos to come.

Part 1. Song List.

Beginning Class
  •  Jasi- Banky W (Nigeria)
  • Wobble- V.I.C. (USA) 
  • Azonto- Fuse ODG (Ghana/UK)
  • Happiness-Mafikizolo ft. May D (South Africa/ Nigeria)

Mixed Level Class
  • Cha Cha Slide: a contemporary American folk line dance with called instructions. by Chicagan music artist DJ Casper and is heavily inspired by the Chicago stepping movement
  • The Wobble: a song by rapper and  recording artist V.I.C from Atlanta. The wobble dance is a popular line dance performed everywhere from wedding receptions to clubs.
  • WOP: Southern Hip hop/Rap song by recording artist J-dash who hails from Jacksonville, Florida. The song is about getting money, taking care of your bills, and just wanting to WOP the night away.
  • "Gas Pedal" is a song by American rapper Sage the Gemini featuring rapper Iamsu! The dance style: 'Yikin'. Hyphy music from the East Bay Area.
  • Skelewu: an Afropop song by Nigerian Artist Davido, it has a signature dance move and also references another old street dance move galala from Nigeria.
  •  "Azonto" is a single by British-Ghanaian singer-rapper Fuse ODG, featuring Itz Tiffany. Azonto is a dance and a music genre originating from Ghana. Azonto is known to have originated from a traditional dance called Kpanlogo which was derived from urban youth around the Greater Accra Region.
  • Skip to my lou: A dancehall banger by Jamaican recording artist QQ ft. ding dong.
  • Bruk it down: A booty popping Dancehall song by Mr. Vegas. We bruk it down!!
  • Velocidade Seis by Mulher Melancia from Brasil: Funk Carioca style. pelvic-booty excising rhythm
  • Ndombolo by JB Mpiana: Soukous is a genre of dance music that originated from Cuban Rumba music in the Belgian Congo and French Congo during the 1940s, the Kwasa Kwasa is a dance that was done to Soukous music. Ndombolo is a newer/faster offshoot of Soukou
  • African Skank: By Nigerian Recording Artist JJC as a homage to afro-urban dance from Africa. This your afro-pop dance quiz.
Performance Class
  • Azonto Skank by Tribal Magz for Warm-up
  • Jasi by Banky W for choreography workshop