The African American Dance Company 24th Annual Dance Workshop: Black to the Future
Friday, March 4 and Saturday, March 5, 2022
Directed by Baba Stafford C. Berry Jr., the Annual Dance Workshop exposes participants to dance from the perspectives of African American culture and the broader African Diaspora through master classes, panel discussions, and performances. The workshop features a faculty of esteemed dance artists, percussionists, educators, performers, and scholars. Meet the faculty below.
Participants who attend in-person classes must 1) provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test taken within 48 hours of registration check-in, 2) wear a mask at all times indoors, 3) adhere to Indiana University's COVID-19 protocols.
Full Registration (Friday Bantaba + 3 Saturday Classes) — $100
All Saturday Classes (3 Classes) — $70
Friday Opening Masterclass / Bantaba — $30
Saturday Single Class — $25
Virtual Class Fees
Saturday Single Virtual Class — Sliding Scale $10–$30
Dance Workshop Schedule
Friday, March 4, 2022
Artist Panel Discussion “Black to the Future: New Torchbearers Continuing Legacies” 3:00–4:30 p.m. EST In-Person Location: Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center, Grand Hall Virtual Location: Register here to attend on Zoom Free and open to the public
Opening Masterclass / Bantaba with Baba Stafford & Guest Artists 5:00–7:00 p.m. In-Person Location: School of Public Health, Studio 161 Note: This class is offered in-person only. You must register and pay to participate.
Saturday, March 5, 2022
Note: Multiple classes are offered during each time, including one virtual class. Registration and payment is required to participate in classes. In-person classes are held in Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center, 275 N. Eagleson Ave.
9:00–10:15 a.m. EST
Contemporary with Qarrianne Blayr and Quentin Apollovaughn Sledge
West African with Baba McDaniel Roberts
Modern/Tai-Chi with Robert Burden
Umfundalai with Dr. C. Kemal Nance
VIRTUAL CLASS: Hip Hop/Street Dance with Danzel Thompson-Stout
10:30–11:45 a.m. EST
Drumming Masterclass with Andre Rosa-Artis
West African with Baba McDaniel Roberts
Hip Hop/Street Dance with Danzel Thompson-Stout
Tap with Robert Burden
Umfundalai Technique with Dr. C. Kemal Nance
VIRTUAL CLASS: Contemporary with Qarrianne Blayr and Quentin Apollovaughn Sledge
12:00–1:15 p.m. EST Luncheon
1:30–3:30 p.m. EST
Note: In-person participants must be available and agree to perform in the informal Dance Showcase at 6–7:30 p.m. in the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center Grand Hall. The 1:30–3:30 p.m. classes are focused on choreography and preparation for informal performance. Virtual participants will also be given the opportunity to perform in the Dance Showcase via Zoom.
Contemporary with Qarrianne Blayr and Quentin Apollovaughn Sledge
Hip Hop/Street Dance with Danzel Thompson-Stout
West African with McDaniel Roberts
Umfundalai Technique with Dr. C. Kemal Nance
VIRTUAL CLASS: House with Robert Burden
24th Annual Dance Workshop Showcase 6:00–7:30 p.m. EST In-Person Location: Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center, Grand Hall Virtual Location: Register here to attend on Zoom Free and open to the public
The word “Bantaba” is a Mandinka word meaning “gathering space or dancing ground.” As the director of AADC and the Annual Dance Workshop, we bring everyone together to launch into the workshop weekend with vigor and clarity, together. Through music and the movement, we will dance, for “as long as we dance together, we have no time to hate” (Baba Chuck Davis).
The Dayton Contemporary Dance Company (DCDC) is one of the premiere Black modern dance companies in the United States. DCDC recently celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2018. The founder Jeraldyne Blunden had a vision about Black dance in contemporary times, and her company is evidence of that. DCDC holds the largest repository of Black dance works of any company and is a living archive. DCDC represents Black dance in that particular way.
This class will be filled with history, culture, and FUN. We will explore the different dance styles, songs, and music from the different West African countries and tribes. Live music and instruments will accompany.
We will explore the free form movements of Tai Chi into the linear movements of Horton. We will begin with breathing and expanding our lungs and into the rest of our body. The class will start with warming of the body and body isolation. Combination, explanations and closing warm down. Wear dance clothes that are not cumbersome with jazz shoes, half soles, or bare feet. Bring water and hand towel . Tia Chi is a unique activity that bridges the gap between ancient and contemporary. The movements have qualities of calm , fluid and correctness. These movements represent philosophical principles, like relaxed power, wisdom in action, ancient knowledge, respect for tradition and being at peace with yourself and others. Tia Chi is known as an internal art because of its emphasis on energy cultivation and meditation. This helps with peace of mind and spiritual well-being. The origins of Tia Chi arts lie in the medieval China, where matters of life and death relied upon martial art skills. According to Chinese folklore, the creator of tai chi was a Taoist sage named Chan Sang Feng, who lived in the thirteenth century. According to the legends, he traveled extensively throughout China, eventually settling at the Wu Dang Mountain, famous for the spiritual practice of Taoism and for the Wu Dang Kung Fu. ( The style of Kung Fu used in the film Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon) As the story goes the inspiration for Tia Chi came when he watched a fight between a snake and a crane- noting not only the graceful movements of each creature, but also the way in which each creature held its own. We will explore some of the first forms of Tia Chi arms legs and full body of movement. Parting the horse’s mane, holding the ball, and brush the knee and press.
Lester Horton (23 January 1906 – 2 November 1953) was an American dancer, choreographer, and teacher. His interest in dance was mainly stimulated by his fascination with American Indian culture after watching tribal dances in a Wild West show. He studied the Iroquois and Red River Indians, and Penobscot and Ojibwa tribes. He studied ballet for two years with a local teacher in Indianapolis, Theo Hewes. At that time he also took classes at the Herron Art Institute and worked with the Indianapolis Little Theater. Seeing a performance of the Denishawn company had a great impact on him. Horton developed his own approach to dance that incorporated diverse elements including Native American Folk Dance, Japanese arm gestures, Javanese and Balinese isolations for the upper body, particularly the eyes, head and hands. Horton also included Afro-Caribbean elements, like hip circles. Horton's dance technique, which is now commonly known as Horton Technique, has no style, per se. The technique emphasizes a whole body, anatomical approach to dance that includes flexibility, strength, coordination and body and spatial awareness to enable unrestricted, dramatic freedom of expression.
Umfundalai is a Pan-African dance technique that was created by Dr. Kariamu Welsh. This technique came through her to the masses. The technique acknowledges the Africanist past and the African Diasporic dynamics of contemporary African dance. It is a system of movements and practices that are borrowed from various Africanist cultures placed into a system for teaching and creating choreography. It is important for African Americans because the Umfundalai Technique is expressly used to facilitate dance from a historical perspective. Students are able to attach movements with particular meaning and modality from our Africanist past.
“Hip-Hop Freestyle” is an improvisational class that uses Hip-Hop aesthetics, vocabulary, footwork and social dances to guide students in an exploration of freestyle culture. It is a guided experience that focuses on technique while then using these techniques to explore terms such as "innovation", "individuality", "aesthetic nuances", & "foundation" with fundamental and inventive improv scores that come from the authentic forms of hip-hop dance. Forms born out of hip-hop such as Hip-Hop Social Dances, Lite Feet, Breakin’ and more are the playgrounds we dance on while things such as isolations, groove, musicality, floorwork etc. are the tools used to guide this experience that ultimately pushes the boundaries of what freestyle dance is and could be.
Andre Rosa-Artis will be giving a beginning to intermediate drum class/lecture demonstration based on west African and African Cuban drums and rhythms. Although encouraged, no drum is needed to attend this class as we will focus on demonstrating the sounds one can get out of the human body and how the drum mimics sounds you can naturally produce.
LAVAUGHN ROBINSON PHILLY STYLE
Students will learn basic steps, time steps and (Paddle and Roll) a Philadelphia style of tap. They will learn a Philly Tap `etudes (LaVaughn Robinson). They will learn about timing in music, (4 beats to a bar or measure) to identify where measures starts and end and to recognize different time signatures. Students will learn ways to listen for and feel the pulse of a song or rhythmic pattern.
We will explore movements of free form of house. Be prepared to sweat and be out of breath first half of class. We will do a lot of moving in the first fifteen minute of class. The class will start with warming of the body into body isolation. Combination explanations explorations and closing warm down. House dance is a freestyle street dance and social dance that has roots in the underground house music scene of Chicago and New York. It is typically danced to loud and bass-heavy electronic dance music provided by DJs in nightclubs or at raves. House Dance was born out of House Music and the interchanging creative flows between Chicago and New York in the late 1970s. House Dance is a freestyle and social dance form that originated from the underground club culture. Highly informed by African diasporic culture and aesthetics as well as queer culture and bodies, House Dance has grown from local to a transnational exchange of movement explorations contributing to its wide range of expressions and aesthetic styles. Its international popularity, starting in the 1990s by House Dance practitioners teaching nationally and abroad, thereupon initiated a codification of the form.
The main elements of House dance include "jacking", "footwork", and "lofting". The element of "jacking", or the "jack", – an ecstatic, sex-driven rippling movement of the torso – is the most famous dance move associated with early house music. It has found its way onto numerous record titles like the Jack Trax EP by Chip E. (1985), "Jack'n the House" (1985) by Farley "Jackmaster" Funk (1985), "Jack Your Body" by Steve "Silk" Hurley (1986), or "Jack to the Sound of the Underground" by Fast Eddie (1988). House dance is often improvised and emphasizes fast and complex foot-oriented steps combined with fluid movements in the torso, as well as floor work. There is an emphasis on the subtle rhythms and riffs of the music, and the footwork follows them closely. The name of the style comes from the club Warehouse where in the first DJs started playing house music. Footwork, Skating, Stomping, Shuffling and Lofting. House dancing is a culture that promotes freedom of expression, sharing, a sense of family and an honest connection with the music.
Meet the Artists
Baba Stafford C. Berry Jr., Director
Opening Masterclass / Bantaba
Stafford C. Berry, Jr., MFA, is an accomplished artist, educator, activist, and scholar of African-rooted dance, theatre, and aesthetics with an extensive background in arts and education. He has studied performing arts in the US and in Guinea West Africa, and he has toured nationally in the US, and internationally to London, England, and the Caribbean. He is a certified teacher of the Umfundalai Contemporary African Dance Technique and a licensed Zumba® Instructor. Mr. Berry was Associate Artistic Director of Baba Chuck Davis' internationally acclaimed African American Dance Ensemble (AADE) for 14 years; Assistant to the Choreographer of Kariamu & Company: Traditions in Philadelphia for 5 years; and former Faculty at the American Dance Festival for 5 years. He served on National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), North Carolina and Durham Arts Council dance panels, and he served on Boards for the North Carolina Dance Alliance and Ohio Dance. In addition, he’s taught at several institutions in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. Read More »
Dr. C. Kemal Nance
C. Kemal Nance, PhD “Kibon” a native of Chester, Pennsylvania is a performer, choreographer, and scholar of African Diasporan Dance. Attendees at the Colloquium of Black Arts in Bahia, Salvador nicknamed him “Kibon” – the name of a Brazilian ice cream to reflect the “delicious time“ they experienced in his movement class. Nance performed as a principal dancer with Kariamu & Company: Traditions (Philadelphia, PA) and as a recurring guest artist with Chuck Davis’ African American Dance Ensemble (AADE) in Durham, North Carolina. Nance is a master teacher of the Umfundalai technique of African dance and in 2021, the technique’s progenitor, the late Dr. Kariamu Welsh bestowed him with the title, Oluko, the highest honor among Umfundalai teachers. His work with the National Association of American African Dance Teachers has resulted in the two teachers’ training programs in which artists can be certified to teach Umfundalai and recreational and professional levels. Nance holds a BA in Sociology/Anthropology with the concentration in Black Studies from Swarthmore College and M.Ed. and PhD degrees in Dance from Temple University. He is currently an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Dance and African American Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Hip Hop / Street Dance
Danzel Thompson-Stout is a native of Allentown, PA, is a performer, choreographer, and educator of Afro-American dance forms. Committed to being an agent who brings authentic representation of these forms into the academy he does so through his choreographic work with students and teachings as a Professor of Dance at California State University Long Beach (CSULB). Danzel teaches a variety of street dance courses, improvisation classes, and offering a Contemporary African technique entitled Umfundalai to the CSULB community. His latest work, “Manifesting Our…”, an ode to house dance culture, was accepted into the ACDA National Gala 2020 in Long Beach, CA and was invited to Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival prior to the global shutdown by covid-19. His work as a filmmaker, “Plight”, supported by Experimental Film Virginia, premiered at Flatland’s Film Festival this fall 2020. As a performer, he has worked with several street dance artists such as Rennie Harris, Kyle Clark, and Vince Johnson. He is a principal dancer for The Nance Dance Collective and a guest performer for the Stella Maris Dance Ensemble of Kingston, JA. He is one of the last generation of performers who has worked under Dr. Kariamu Welsh and holds a teaching certification in her contemporary African technique, “Umfundalai”. He has been sought out globally at universities such as University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and conventions such as Afro Dance Xplosion in London, UK.
Baba McDaniel Roberts
Baba McDaniel Roberts is a native of Durham, NC. Currently, Baba McDaniel is the Dance Teacher at Community School of Digital and Visual Arts in Durham, NC, Artistic Director of the The Harambee Collective, Co-Director of Baba's Rising Sons, and Assistant Artistic Director of the African American Dance Ensemble. Baba McDaniel is also the 2016 recipient of the Durham Arts Council's Emerging Artist Grant in Dance. Baba McDaniel pays homage to his Dance Father, the late Baba Chuck Davis and all the ancestors of greatness. His mantra: "Believe in Yourself, Keep the Faith, and Don't Give Up".
Qarrianne Blayr is from Fayetteville, North Carolina, and earned her BFA degree at Howard University, studying under Sherrill Berryman-Johnson, Pat Thomas, Sandra Fortune-Green, Katherine Smith, Akua Kouyate and Assane Konte. She also studied traditional Jamaican dance at University of West Indies at Mona. In 2004, Ms. Blayr founded the performing arts group Arts International. She joined Dayton Contemporary Dance Company's (DCDC) first company in 2012 after having performed for two seasons in DCDC2, the organization’s training company. In 2019 was named Associate Artistic Directors of the company, and remains a member of the performing ensemble. Ms. Blayr has taught master classes and choreographed for DCDC, DCDC2, several University of Dayton and Central State University dance and theater productions, Hill Dance Theater Academy (Pennsylvania), Kazyna Dance Ensemble (Kazakhstan), the International Association of Blacks in Dance, among others. Touring and teaching nationally and internationally is a passion of Ms. Blayr's. Some notable performances have been in Astana and Oskemen, Kazakhstan; The Bolshoi Theater in Moscow, Russia, and Dance Stages Shanghai Contemporary Dance Festival in Shanghai, China. A true believer in community, Ms. Blayr is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Ohio Teaching Artist Roster, and a Board Member of the Ohio Citizens for the Arts.
Quentin Apollovaughn Sledge
Quentin joined DCDC’s first company in 2014. He began studying dance with Homer Hans Bryant, a former member of the Dance Theatre of Harlem. Mr. Sledge graduated summa cum laude from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, where he earned a degree in business administration with a concentration in management. He also received recognition as a National Society of Collegiate Scholar and was accepted into a training program at Gotta Dance Atlanta under the direction of Daryl Foster and his LIFT company. In 2016, Mr. Sledge performed in Donald McKayle’s Rainbow Round My Shoulder at David H. Koch Theatre in Lincoln Center in New York City. He credits DCDC’s Associate Artistic Director, Crystal Michelle, as an important influence on his artistry because “she is an astounding choreographer who has poured her years of knowledge into her work at DCDC in such a short time!”
Robert F. Burden Jr.
Modern / Tai-Chi, Tap, and House
Robert Burden is a native Philadelphian. He received his B.F.A. in jazz dance from the University of the Arts in 1988 having studied with LaVaughn Robinson and Germaine Ingram two of Philadelphia’s tap masters. Mr. Burden has been mentored by Mr. Robinson since 1983 and continued to receive advice from him until his passing in 2008. Mr. Burden is currently the Artistic Director of Tap Team Two & Company, Inc. The company is based in Philadelphia and tours the country for Young Audiences. Through Young Audiences Tap Team Two has traveled nationally, working for fourteen of the thirty-two Young Audiences organizations. In 2000 Tap Team Two and Company was awarded The Artist of The Year, the highest honor in the Young Audiences organization. With the company Mr. Burden has created 7 shows “Cyndi-Ella”, “With or Without Shoes”, An Evening of Tap", "The Fifth Anniversary Concert", "Steppin Through the Strings" (a collaboration with John Blake Jr.), "Winter Rhythms" (a company collaborative) and “Feet Talk”. In 1992, Mr. Burden completed the work Cyndi –Ella, a tap ballet of the fairytale Cinderella funded by the IPAP award from the Community Education Center, which received rave reviews, and began the company Tap Team Two & Company. Inc. Mr. Burden has been one of the spearheads for National Tap Dance Day in Philadelphia since 1996. Mr. Burden has performed as a solo artist in the Next Move Concert Series “Fifteen minutes at the Annenberg Center. His performing and teaching skills have taken him abroad to Istanbul, Turkey, Taipei, Taiwan Holland, Germany and Prague, Czech Republic. Mr. Burden has had the pleasure of teaching the Czech Tap Champions from Prague and being a fly squad member of Riverdance, for which he studied in the Netherlands with the European Company and performed in Berlin, Germany. All of Mr. Burdens’ experiences have allowed him to start long term mentoring projects. He has completed a three year project that went from 2001- 2004 called The New Orleans/ Philadelphia Cultural Exchange Program, which gave children from New Orleans & children from Philadelphia the opportunity to experience each others culture and study with some of the Masters of Tap Dance such as, Diane Walker, LaVaughn Robinson, Buster Brown, Jimmy Slyde and many more. This project allows Mr. Burden to achieve his artistic mission of keeping tap dance alive and growing through to the next generation.
Meet the Percussionists
Andre Rosa-Artis is a world renowned west African and Afro-Caribbean percussionist and a Babalawo of IFA (high priest of the Yoruba spiritual system in Nigeria). He has toured and traveled the world in study and showcase of African and African rooted music, dance, and spirituality. He currently resides in Indianapolis, IN, where he is founder and musical director of the Indianapolis Pan-African Drum and Dance Ensemble. He is available for lectures, classes, performances and spiritual services. Contact Andre at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anthony J. ‘Tony’ Artis, aka “Baba Amoah” (AH-moe-wah) is a native of Kokomo, Indiana, and has lived in Indianapolis, Indiana since 1978. Baba received his Bachelor of Environmental Design at Miami (Ohio) University School of Architecture in 1975. After retiring from his 25-year practice of architecture and owner/operator of Artis Environments, he began his career as a full-time musician and teaching artist in 2000. He has studied West Afrikan and Afrikan Diaspora percussion and drum making in various cities in the U.S., Ghana and the Caribbean. He is a master drum maker and owner/operator of Amoah’s Afrikan Drum Works. Baba Amoah is also a master teaching artist with the Indianapolis affiliates of Art Mix (VSA) and Arts for Learning (Young Audiences) and co-founder and drummer of Sancocho Music and Dance Collage. He is the leader, vocalist and electric bassist in Ori Afro Jazz Ensemble and owner/operator of Coalbin Productions. He likes all genres of music as long as the music is performed to the best of the artist's abilities. Artis became known as Babalawo Awodele Ifasina (Bah-bah-LA-woe / Ah-WOE-deh-lay / Ee-FAH-shee-nah) in 2004 when he reached an advanced level in the Afro Cuban spiritual system known as Lukumi (Loo-koo-MEE). Lukumi is the Afro Cuban version of the West African Yoruba spiritual tradition known as Ifa (ee-FAH). Ifasina has been an Ifa/Lukumi practitioner for 25 years.
Greg Ince is a drummer and educator who is passionate about sharing African culture with others. In addition to previously working as a teacher in the Kansas City school system, Greg has more than three decades of experience teaching African drumming and dancing in schools across the U.S. Raised in Brooklyn, New York, by his Cuban father and Panamanian mother, Greg comes from a family of talented percussionists. His thirst for music led him to study with teachers such as Pap Ladji Camara, Mamady Keita, Abdou Kounta, Abdoul Doumbia, and Fadouba Oulare. Greg has performed both at home and abroad with great artists and ensembles such as Alvin Ailey, Arthur Mitchell and the Dance Theatre of Harlem, Marie Brooks’ Caribbean Dance Theatre, and the Chuck Davis African American Dance Ensemble.
Kwabena Osei Appiagyei
Kwabena Osei Appiagyei was born and raised in a family of traditional musicians in Ghana, West Africa. Being surrounded by the rhythms and instruments used in ancestral music during his youth moved Osei to follow in his family’s footsteps. For the past 13 years, Osei has served as a master musician and educator for the Ghana Dance Ensemble at the University of Ghana-Legon. Through his work with companies in Ghana, Osei has toured all over Africa, Europe, and Asia. In 1996 he relocated to Durham, North Carolina, to join Chuck Davis’ locally based African American Dance Ensemble (AADE). While with AADE, Osei has traveled extensively throughout the United States and parts of Africa acting in the capacity of master drummer and African culture specialist.
Robert Corbitt, III
Robert Corbitt, III, Founder of Kuumba Cultural Arts Collective (KCAC) was born and raised in Washington, D.C. From a young age, Robert was exposed to drum’s through D.C’s own local music known as Gogo music. When he was 3, his father took him to Congo Square, or, as it was also called Malcom X park. It was here that Robert first saw and experienced a Djembe (pronounced gym bae) and his life was forever changed. Upon graduation from North Carolina Central University in 2014, Robert was also teaching Djembe in various capacities. He established KCAC’s first partnership with Jacob’s Promise of Washington, D.C. to provide drum classes for children with Autism. Robert then moved to North Carolina in 2015 and worked with Baba Charles “Chuck” Davis’s (Baba Chuck) Durham based company, The African American Dance Ensemble. While working with Baba Chuck, Robert drummed for many local West African dance classes and workshops. In 2017 Robert along with KCAC established a partnership with North Carolina State University’s African American Cultural Center to provide campus wide drum classes. Recently, Robert has been named North Carolina Museum of Art’s 2022 Artist in Residence and has already organized various performances and classes for the year for the museum's Raleigh location and it’s affiliate the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art in Winston Salem.
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