You probably have seen African people dancing and will agree that African dances are expressions of art, love, and beauty. Apart from their didactic functions, their characterising involvement of vigorous body movements exercises the limbs and soul. African dances combine beautiful rhythm with body flexibility to produce an exceptional form of art.

From the first tap of the foot to the swirling movement of the arm, the rhythmic twist of the derrière capped with an intoxicatingly beaming face, African dances are a worthy therapy for happiness, healing, and agility.

Dance in Africa has become an art for all. From the old Afro dance to many new dance moves popularised by music artistes, everyone and anyone can now enjoy the sweetness of African dances.

Are you interested in some African dancing steps and sways? This article is a guide for taking African dance classes.

Why Learn African Dances?

Many people consider celebrated dances, like ballet and Waltz that come from the West, as more worthy to learn than African dances. However, there are many benefits in taking African dance classes too.

First off, African dance moves are known to be highly-engaging and cheerful. In African dancing, every part of your body creates its distinct movements and participates in the art exercise. African dance students, usually, enjoy great flexibility and good health because African dance moves let them work on their stamina, flexibility, and purge them of every stress.

Four Afro dancers grooving to some beats
Much like the vigour of spinning toys, African dancers are always beautifully energetic and fun to watch. Source: Pixabay

More so, African dance moves are communicative. By taking African dance lessons, you can better learn how to communicate with body language and how to express different emotions through dance.

Should this article forget to mention that Afro dances are also a proven way to blow off steam and share smiles? Past and present, African dances have served as a therapy to relieve stress and fear, and improve mood. Haven’t you seen the video on Kenyan nurses footing it with some Zumba steps to shed the COVID-19 stress published by the BBC?

Needless to say that African dances will suffuse you with sweat. You have got to sweat to the beats. Hence, African dance students often rig light breathable wears that will allow air seep through. For women, wearing a sports bra will be a good choice. It can help you forestall any awkwardness and make you comfortable in your dance activities.

Also, you need not bother about which shoes to wear and which not to. Just like bare-hand eating is African culture, bare-foot dancing is the spice of many Afro dances.

Different Dances, Same African Blood

They are all afro dances but in varieties and different styles. You should check out all options before deciding which dance style to learn.

Nonetheless, be certain that no matter what your interest is, you will find a matching dance style. Whether you are a fast-paced dancer or you want to learn how to combine stunts with dancing or you just want to learn how to pull off a traditional dance performance combining different moves, there is a dance lesson for you.

By taking private dance lessons, you can learn the African dances below and many more:

  • Gwara Gwara
  • Yankadi
  • Macru
  • Ndombolo
  • Afrobeat dance
  • Makossa
  • Step-dancing
  • Cultural dances, i.e Bata, Ekombi, and Sange

Owing to globalization, many music artistes and expert dancers have helped to increase the popularity of African dance styles. They have also modified old dance forms to make them more modern and fun.

Taking a preambular dance class is the best way to deciding what dance form to learn. You can do this by watching a free introductory dance video online or finding a dance school that offers free introductory dance lessons.

A smiling African dancer
Dancing is a form of therapy in African societies. It is a viable way to calm tensed nerves and release bad energies. Source: Pixabay

Once your mind is made up on what African dance style you want to learn, the next step is finding a dance school or you may consider private tutors.

Take African Dance Classes at a Dance School

There are dance schools in Nigeria that provide paid lessons in traditional and contemporary African dances from which you can up your mastery of African dance moves.

Usually, these schools are suitable for children and adults. From as early as age 3, children can start taking beginner lessons at these schools. Tuition varies across states and differs from a proficiency level to another. While some schools charge about ₦2,000 per class, some charge per program, i.e ₦150,000 for a 3-month beginner programme.

One major perk of learning African dancing styles at dance schools is that students receive structured and intensive learning, and often get a head start in their dancing career. Apart from the dance training, most of these dance schools, not only in Nigeria, offer mentorship and job offers to their students.

This can be an ideal option if you want to be a professional contemporary dancer. If you input a query like ‘African dance classes Nigeria’ on google, you’ll surely find many dance classes near you. But here are some dance studios in Nigeria that can raise your mastery:

  • Imagento Dance Company

Based in Lagos, Nigeria, this dance school is owned and founded by ace Nigerian dancer and Guinness World Record holder, Kaffy. It offers basic, intermediate, and advanced dance programmes.

  • Krump Dance Studios

Krump is an Abuja-based dancing school founded in 2011. Coupled with its dance training, it offers dance fitness and other entertainment services.

  • Mona Dance School

Mona Dance School was established in 2008 to provide dance lessons to inhabitants of the Niger Delta. It is based in Port-Harcourt, Nigeria.

  • D’Nero Dance Academy, Edo State, Nigeria
  • Body Speaks Dance Academy, Enugu
  • Rox Gedu House, Abuja

However, most of these schools, especially in Urban Nigerian states, do not teach African dances alone. They offer lessons in American and other World dance forms like the popular Ballet and Salsa. If you want to learn African dances alone, you may have to join a dance or cultural associations or hire a private tutor.

Learn African Dancing Steps at Dance Associations

Dance lessons at Dance associations are more relaxed, often like a fun exercise. Although dance associations are not popular in many urban areas, many a rural community in Nigeria has dance associations.

Dance associations can also be found in schools. Many universities in Nigeria have cultural groups and often hold dance lessons for their members. If you want to learn at your own pace in an affable community, joining a dance or cultural group is a good option.

These associations also provide deep cultural exposure to their members. They arrange tours, theatrical performances, and dance contests to deepen afro culture among young people.

A dancing African drummer
Beyond teaching African dance moves, most dance associations also train members in the basic use of drums and organise dance events. Source: Unsplash

Except for regular membership dues which are usually very little, learning to step it the African way at dance associations is very affordable and even comes with additional goodies. Many a time, all you need to do is get a membership form, fill it with your personal data, submit the form, and regularly attend meet-ups.

You, however, must know that dance associations don’t offer regular dance classes. Learning at dance associations is slow and mostly unstructured. Hence, you cannot attain professional mastery by learning at dance or cultural groups.

What other option is there then?

Take Personalised Home Lessons in African Dance

There are tutors who train students in African dance styles right in the comfort of the students’ homes. These are tutors who have built expertise over many years and love to teach afro steps to private clients.

Flexibility is a major benefit of private dance lessons. With private African dance tutors, you can have better control of your classes. You get to make key decisions like the time and duration of the class, and even the frequency of lessons.

You also stand a chance to enjoy a personalised learning experience. More than you can in dance schools or associations, hiring private tutors enables you to choose a specific African dance style that interests you and attain mastery.

You sure won’t have to bother about jumping buses or sitting a long time in gridlocks and arriving at your dance school or association tired even before your dance class starts. It is comfort plus personalisation and flexibility.

Irrespective of your current level and intending level of mastery, there is always a dance teacher out there willing to lesson you on African dance moves.

But should you just get any tutor? Or get a good African dance tutor? If the latter is your choice, then, you have got to check out Superprof African dance tutors. Superprof Nigeria has become a mecca for every category of Nigerian learners. Learning any style of African dance is nothing but fun with expert-dance tutors profiled on Superprof. To ensure that you get the best value for your money, most tutors on Superprof offer their first dance class for free. This free window affords you the chance to match your targets and needs with the teaching method of the tutor and consider his/her suitability.

Good private African dance tutors are expected to be friendly, fun, but meticulous. They should explain the minutest detail in the best of ways. If your African dance classes are becoming boring like watching paint dry, you should reconsider your dance teacher.

Do you want stellar tuition on African dance? Choose expert-vetted Superprof tutors!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Muhammad

A Nigerian freelance SEO Writer-cum-Editor and 2019 Writing Fellow of ALWF who blends creativity with rich content to produce sterling copy — persuasive, informative, or expository. He loves nature and trains in Karate, and he loves to help others grow — individuals and brands.