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Brooklyn African Dance Center Now Offers Classes for Children


Fort Greene's Cumbe: Center for African and Diaspora Dance offers a variety of new classes for children and young adults that are rooted in African dance and music styles. Classes include Hip Hop, Drumming4Toddlers, and DrumDance.
children's hip-hop classHip-Hop is just one of the classes children can participate in at
Cumbe: Center for African and Diaspora Dance.

Cumbe: Center for African and Diaspora Dance offers a variety of new programs for children ages 1-18, including Hip-Hop, Drumming4Toddlers, and DrumDance. Programs are rooted in dance and music styles from Africa and nearby countries where its influence spread and evolved. Jimena Martinez, co-founder and co-director of Cumbe, describes the children’s programs as something very unique in New York City as classes merge African music, dance, and drumming, which “go hand in hand, plus the kids love it,” she says.

Cumbe offers two classes for toddlers: the Ubuntu class for early walkers ages 12-18 months, which features free movement, drumming, and singing, and the Uhuru class for 18-month- to 2-year-olds, which introduces longer dance and drum sequences. There are plenty more options for kids age 5 and older, including a West African dance and drum class (ages 8-11) led by world-class instructor Vado Diomande, who spent more than 15 years as a principal dancer in the national ballet of the Ivory Coast.

The small class sizes, typically 10-12 children, allow children to grow at their own pace.

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