Dance Workshop

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.

Register for the Dance Workshop

Who can participate?

No previous dance experience is required to participate. All adult levels and students ages 12-years-old and above are welcome. 

Can I take dance classes online?

Classes and events will be offered both in-person and virtually. See virtual class offerings in the schedule below. Register for online classes here.

How are we staying safe?

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.

Registration & Fees

All participants must register and pay for in-person and/or virtual classes.

The Artist Panel Discussion (March 4, 3–4:30 p.m.) and 24th Annual Dance Workshop Showcase (March 5, 6–7:30 p.m.) are free and open to the public.

Register for the Dance Workshop

In-Person Class Fees

  • 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

Class Descriptions

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.


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 Percussionists

Andre Rosa-Artis

Drumming Masterclass

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

Anthony Artis

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

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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