Cumbe: Center for African and Diaspora Dance reopened its location inside RestorationART, located in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, in November. Cumbe recognizes itself as a home for African and Diaspora dance and music classes.
“Our classes fuel the joy and power that comes with African dance and culture. We measure our success by the smiles we see on students faces when they leave our classes and camps,” says Jimena Martinez, Cumbe’s executive director.
Cumbe’s classes, which are for children ages 1-4, are all taught by experienced teachers and staff. “Our teachers really understand the rich history and set of cultures that make up African dance,” Martinez says. “All of our teachers bring years of experience and education to the dance studios.”
Children can choose from a variety of African and Diaspora classes including Journey Through the Diaspora, Drum Beats, and Conga Kids, and Capoeira. Journey Through the Diaspora takes children on an imaginary journey to Haiti, Cuba, Guinea, and the Congo while moving, dancing and singing to the culture’s rich tunes. During Drum Beats, children have the opportunity to engage with African drums while learning to play rhythms from popular and traditional African beats. In Conga Kids, children are immersed in Caribbean music while learn traditional drumming from the Congo, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, and Haiti. And Capoeira is an Afro-Brazilian martial art that combines dance, gymnastics, and music.
In addition, Cumbe offers classes for adults, and are all taught by experienced teachers and staff. Classes are also offered at Gibney Dance in Lower Manhattan.
For the summer months, Cumbe will offer a unique Dance, Drum & Imagination Summer Camp at which children ages 3-7 learn about African-rooted music and dance. The program, which is scheduled to run July 9-Aug. 3, provides six weeks of dance, movement, song, percussion, and a wide variety of visual art forms.
Main image: Children ages 1-4 can take classes such as Diaspora, Drum Beats, Conga Kids, and Capoeira.