Learning African culture through dance and drums

Art can take many forms but for one dance group in Lake Worth Beach, they’re teaching their members and the community all about African culture through the beat of drums and traditional African dances.

“Dance is art, it’s movement, it’s a different form of expression,” said Khinuu Nefer CEO/founder of Afrique Ngozi Dance and Drum Group Inc.

The Afrique Ngozi Dance and Drum Group Inc. rehearses out of the Downtown Dance studio, welcoming young girls to learn about their heritage in a hands-on way.

“Learning about it is like painting a picture in your head, but when you’re actually involved in it you see the entire frame,” said dancer Fanaa Haynes

For others like Captain Sarai Franklin, she’s become a mentor for the youngest members of the group.

Captain Sarai Franklin.PNG
Captain Sarai Franklin.PNG

“When I first walked in here, I was 12. Now I’m 16 turning 17, still proud to be here,” said Franklin.

For Franklin, she’s become a mentor for the youngest members of the group.

“I know where they’ve been, and I’ve stepped in their shoes before… And I’m watching them grow just like they’re watching me,” said Franklin.

“I look up to them a lot, seeing me is not just about segregation, it’s about what’s inside,” said Haynes.

Afrique Ngozi Dance and Drum Inc. was founded 8 years ago.

And performances at events like Kwanza and Black History Month are a way for them to share their culture with the community.

“It’s so diverse and you get to see other people’s cultures and their backgrounds and what they’ve been through,” said Naomi Masters, a Dancer with Afrique Ngozi. “Our ancestors definitely built a platform for where we are today, and I feel like they would love to see more.”

The group performs throughout Palm Beach County and hopes through their arts and presentations, the city creates more cultural activities year-round.

drums.PNG
drums.PNG

“Black history month celebrates the accomplishments of African Americans’ past present and future, and they are our future,” said Nefer. “They’re going to remember the bonds; they’re going to remember the performances. I feel like I’m building character one dancer at a time.”

Their next performance will be on Feb. 19 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Main Branch library located at 650 Summit Blvd. in West Palm Beach.

Scripps Only Content 2022

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