Reflections on 'Stories of Revolt'

On February 6, 2016 I did the Stories of Revolt - From Azonto to Zouk curated by Stella Adelman from Dance Mission taking place at Red Poppy Art House in SF;  sharing personal narratives as a way to discuss the context of music and dance created by people of African descent in Urban settings. How Soukous, Dancehall, Coupe Decale, Hip hop and the Nigerian Pop soundscape play a role in my struggle with cultural identity, body image, and artistic expression. And how I hope to use the practices of Afro-Urban dance as a way to help rehabilitate the gory effects of colonialism and displacement on people of African descent.

I have to admit that at first I was a bit skeptical about how much mental ability and time I could muster to do this. Still not getting full nights sleep due to having an infant, breastfeeding and navigating a toddler... life is hella unpredictable these days. But I did it!! And I liked it.

I thoroughly enjoyed the experience with all the folks that came through. It was good for me to share the stories, discoveries and motivation that dance has unearthed in my life. It reinforced and reminded me that I REALLY really love to dance, and that I can do some positive work through this passion/interest.

Without going into too much detail about what I went down at the workshop, I'll share some music here (not all of them got played). Here's the short of it: How music and dance got me through life; From getting my first cassette tape on my 8th birthday (Shina Peters- Afro Juju), to choreographing a piece to Onyeka Owenu's 'Iyogogo' at 10, to discovering Ndombolo from my East African college friends as a freshman in Valdosta, Georgia, to working with African American girls in the Bay Area and sharing the music and dance I grew up with and was discovering as a way to bond with them and the death of my dance angels, my aunt who taught me to get down, and my really good friend Margaret 'Zara Gretti' Joseph, both gone way too soon!

Track List
  1. Shina Peters- Afro Juju (Part 2)
  2. Onyeka Onwenu- Iyogogo
  3. Sunny Okosun- Motherless Child
  4. Chaka Demus & Pliers - Bam Bam
  5. Ini Kamoze- Hotstepper
  6. Mr. Vegas- Heads High
  7. Inoj- I want to be your lady
  8. Lil Jon feat Eastside Boyz & Disco Rick - Shawty Freak A Lil Sumthin
  9. Crime Mob ft. Lil' Scrappy: Knuck If You Buck
  10. 1er Gaou- Magic System
  11. DJ Arafat- Jonathan
and endless more.

Check out my upcoming classes and events where I'll be continuing this journey