At the recent Thanksgiving Assembly – and to packed-house of parents, students, teachers and friends – the senior class performed their version of different African dances as part of their History of Africa main lesson course.
Sophomore, Ardo Ali, whose family is from Ethiopa, shared the Eskista dance with the seniors. She remarked, “Eskista is a traditional Ethiopian dance which originates from the northern highlands of the nation. It is typically preformed at social gatherings such as weddings etc. and is taught to all ages. The dance includes intricate shoulder movements which occur at high speeds as well as steady foot patterns which keeps the beat. It is enjoyable and brings people together. I was delighted to learn this dance from the people closest to me!”
“The Soli dance originated from Guinea,” said senior Charlene Brew. “It is a fast-paced dance that is held by a drum beat and can be performed by both men and women. It encompasses many movements that turn, jump, reach high to the sky and bend far down to the ground.”
“The Gumboot dance developed during the times of struggle (apartheid) in South Africa,” said senior and South African, Nombulelo Malunga. “The South African miners, who were not allowed to speak to each other, used the gumboot dance as a way to communicate with each other. Currently, the dance is mostly performed by South African youth as a way to salute and remember the gumboot of past years.”
The History of Africa 12th grade main lesson course presents students with a broad, general survey of African History in the hope that students can see more clearly the role of Africa in the world today. Emphasis is placed on the different cultures that arose on the continent, from ancient times, through the colonial period and up to the present – giving students a greater appreciation of the contributions and struggles of the African people. While lectures and reading packets serve as the basis of student learning, students also complete an artistic project inspired by current events in Africa.