African Explosion: Traditional West African Drumming and Dance

Ka Bonya is a Malinke term from West Africa meaning, “To Respect”. This program promotes the understanding and appreciation of ancient cultural music and dance of the African Diaspora. Through the art of music, dance and cultural awareness, the curriculum focuses on life skills needed to pursue life goals and ethics needed to be successful, for students in grades K-12. Life skills include discipline, listening, coping, effectiveness, integration, and responsibility. Students will experience these skills through creating and performing professional percussion rudiments and dance techniques.

Through the Ka Bonya approach is designed to motivate and encourage students to pursue excellence in every area of life. Participating students will learn how to stay focused, how to concentrate and listen. They will understand the value of structure and discipline, and its effectiveness on creating a path to success.

Each class is lead by two instructors (mentors) on a weekly basis. Students begin the program with careful instruction on correct hand/stick positioning and striking methods for drumming, dance technique, history, and folklore. Each week, students will be introduced to specific rhythms and dances performed in the villages of West Africa. Students will learn how to physically express the history and meaning of each rhythm, musical and dance interpretation. At the conclusion of the 8 week curriculum, students will demonstrate their knowledge and skills by performing for their school community.