Contemporary African dance

Course Dates: 25/02/23 - 25/03/23
Time: 10:00 - 11:30
Location: Keeley Street
A dynamic and vibrant class that combines West African dance and music with some Contemporary dance influences. The movements, energy and music will leave you energised and rejuvenated.
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Full fee £89.00 Senior fee £89.00

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Course Code: DDP213

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Started Sat, day, 25 Feb - 25 Mar '23

Duration: 5 sessions (over 5 weeks)

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

Gain an understanding of the art of Contemporary African dance. You will learn how to allow your body to engage with movement in a more conscious, fluid and embodied manner to freely allow expression to unfold.

You will engage in dance art that draws from the teachings and practices of dance from the African Diaspora and Western Contemporary dance. The style is underpinned by Somatic practice, which is an embodied approach to working with movement and dance, which places focus on deepening one’s experience and awareness of the body and the processes going on within, by engaging with internal physical perception and experience.

What will we cover?

The course will allow you to experience the grounding of weight and rhythm through a range of lucid and fluid movement dynamics. You will learn how to undulate your spine, strengthen your back, limbs and core, to lengthen your body and extend your range of movement and flexibility.

Focus is placed on exploring the dynamic interplay between movement, breath, weight and rhythm in relation to one’s own physicality. You will be taken through technique of style, choreography, movement meditation and breath work, all within the context of embodied dance practice.

The course will use undulating sequences to develop fluidity within the movement. Further techniques will be incorporated to develop the grounded aspect of West African dance, synthesised with Western Contemporary dance. Each class will commence with a warmup followed by development of the movement topic. Travelling sequences are used to develop the dynamics of the style, incorporating elevation sequences which have a distinct rapport to the music. A sequence will be worked on which is a combination of movement learnt during the course and elements of improvisation.

The movement, energy and music will leave you energised and connected from within. Sessions are supported by great music to enable participants to let go, and move from their physical body, allowing individuals to develop a deepened awareness of self through a journey of exploration to reach a place of discovery.

Classes are taught in a friendly, embracing stress free, and non-judgemental environment, where exploration is the key to discovering one’s individual physical expression.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

Explore dance styles from different regions of West Africa
Use spatial awareness and co-ordination in relation to dance
Develop increased stamina and fitness
Demonstrate improved knowledge and musicality
Perform the dance sequences with a strong dynamic and confidence.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

This is a general level class suitable for beginners and those with prior experience. The skills needed are co-ordination and basic fitness, equally these skills will develop further throughout the course.

A beginner's dance class isn’t just for newcomers. In any dance class there will be student’s of all levels and abilities. We all have different learning techniques and paces. If your first class seems overwhelming and you can’t get it the first time, don’t worry: dance is heavily reliant on repetition so it will happen. We want you to learn and to have fun so just give it your best and keep coming back!

In order to get the most from the course you will be able to:
• Follow spoken instructions
• Use numbers to recognise rhythms within dance.
• Work within groups and pairs safely.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

Teacher demonstrations and supportive feedback

You may or may not be asked to participate in rigorous activity from time to time. Please consider whether you could do this, if you are in any doubt consult a medical practitioner.

As part of the course content, your tutor may record your image for initial and ongoing assessment purposes. You are entitled to decline to participate in the recording of your image.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

Please wear clothing that does not restrict your movement and allows you to adapt to changes in your body temperature. Bare feet or anti-grip socks should be used except in exceptional cases to be discussed with the teacher. We recommend a dance belt be worn by men and all students to tie their hair back if it is long for their own safety and comfort. Please remove jewellery for both comfort and health and safety.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

You can contact the department for guidance and information at or try one of our many other dance courses.

Francis Angol

Francis has been working in the field of dance for over 30 years, performing, teaching and producing works that have contributed to the enrichment of British dance culture through the production of a range of training programmes, classes, courses and performance works. As well as being a performing artist / choreographer and dance educator, he holds the position of Associate Lecturer in dance at the University of Surrey and Coventry University. Francis is also a Somatics Movement Educator and a dance health & wellbeing specialist. In addition he also holds the position of Director of Dance at Islington Arts Factory, a creative hub of art, dance and music in the heart of North London. He is the founder and Artistic Director of Movement Angol dance, a UK based Dance Company which produces work that blends the teachings and practices of Western Contemporary dance with dance from the African Diaspora, underpinned by Somatic practice, to form his distinctive language of expression.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.