A new kind of dance through Bandan Koro

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Imagine walking into a room and being overtaken by rhythmic beats of an African drum or being overwhelmed by vibrant colors and patterns. This is Bandan Koro.

Bandan Koro Africa Drum and Dance Ensemble offers free dance classes every Tuesday at the Juanita Craft Recreation Center at 7:30 p.m.

Bandan Koro means “under the tree” In West African culture; a tree represents a gathering place for the community. Like its name suggests, the organization is dedicated to educating the community on the dance, music, and culture of Africa and the African diaspora through dance and drumming classes and also through special performances.

“Our purpose is to empower individuals and communities towards growth and excellence through self-study, and reinforcement of core values,” Browne said.

Browne aims to attack the negative stereotypes that surround African culture by offering classes that encourage pride and awareness. The classes are designed to help the community learn more about the African culture and tradition, Browne said.

In order to connect with African heritage, not only are you learning the technicalities of the dance, but you learn what each dance means, where it came from, various drum rhythms and claps, and common sayings. Bandan Koro aims to foster a greater awareness, understanding, appreciation, and respect for Africa and African Diaspora related music, dance, and culture.

“[I love] how the classes conveyed undertones of unity, justice and freedom,” said Victoria Goodlow, a student at Bandan Koro.

“These classes are a place to have a good time and to try something new,” said Dance Instructor Delia Watters. “Even if you are not interested in dance, you can get a good workout.”

The dance classes are structured similar to a typical dance class. There is a warm-up, instruction, then across-the-floor exercises. Bandan Koro offers classes for all levels of dancers and of all ages. Optional dance attire include African garb such as, the dashiki, headdress or skirt.

To find more information about Bandan Koro, visit their website at www.dallasafricandance.com.

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