Ailey Extension’s annual World Dance Celebration: An 8-week workshop series
Step into the studios at The Joan Weill Center for Dance for a global exploration of traditional dance styles and rhythms during Ailey Extension’s annual World Dance Celebration. This highly anticipated eight-week workshop series – beginning April 15 and culminating with performances of what participants learned on June 8 and 9 – combines folkloric dance styles and live accompaniment native to Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East to celebrate the rich heritage of indigenous cultures, all united through the power of movement.
Taught by Ailey Extension’s internationally renowned instructors, World Dance Celebration participants will learn the historical and cultural significance of international dance styles as well as the unique expressions articulated by folkloric movements, acoustic instruments, and dynamic costumes. The workshop series comes to a close as students take the stage for a breathtaking showcase of global dance techniques for family, friends, and the general public on June 8 at 7:30pm and June 9 at 2pm at the Ailey Citigroup Theater.
Dancers of all levels and backgrounds, including absolute beginners, are invited to join World Dance Celebration workshops in the following styles:
- Samba/Afro-Brazilian with Quenia Ribeiro (Mondays, April 15 – June 3, 7:30-9:30pm): With live drumming, experience the cultural diversity of Brazil through movement and rhythm that integrates the nation’s Afro-Brazilian roots.
- Bellydance with Janelle Issis (Tuesdays, April 16 – June 4, 7:30-9:30pm): Discover the art of Classic Egyptian Bellydance through various isolations and undulations of the spine, chest, hips, and shoulders, focusing on the connection to yourself, the music, and the movement.
- West African with Maguette Camara (Fridays, April 19 – June 7, 8-10pm): This upbeat and celebratory fusion of dance, music, and oral tradition of West African people will energize dancers with live djembe and dundun drumming.
- Afro-Cuban with Noibis Licea (Fridays, April 19 – June 7, 8-10:30pm): While moving to energizing drums, participants will learn traditional Afro-Cuban movements that represent African deities brought to Cuba (called Orishas) and their cultural context.
- Mambo with Katherine Jimenez (Saturdays, April 20 – June 8, 6-8pm): Learn Mambo, a flirtatious partner dance with Cuban origins that features points, kicks, exaggerated movements, and sharp quick steps.
Beyond these exciting workshops, Ailey Extension offers more than 90 classes a week in over 25 diverse dance and fitness techniques. Traditional dance styles like Horton, ballet, hip-hop, and jazz, as well as fitness classes including Zumba, DanceFIT, Pilates, and more, are offered as weekly classes in addition to the world dance styles listed above.
Photo: World Dance Celebration's West African Performance. Photo by Tiba Vieria