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West African Dance Society

High-energy and affordable classes teaching dance choreography based on traditional West African rhythms, accompanied by live drumming.

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  • West African Dance Society Academic Year Non Student Membership£5.00
  • West African Dance Society Academic Year Student Membership£4.00
  • Risk Assessment

    26 Jun 2018

    The following document lists assessed risks associated with the Society's weekly classes as well as socials throughout the academic year 2018/19.

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Welcome all to the West African Dance Society!

The dance culture of Sub-Saharan Africa is often expressed as a time to connect with community as a collective rhythm of life.

As we come together to dance at the beating of a drum (or djembe, in our case!), we share amongst ourselves a sense of belonging and of solidarity with one another.

 

 
The Society was created in 2014 through the separation of the African and Arabic Dance Society. As of May 2018, the Society has been renamed to the West African Dance Society for the range of rhythms to which we dance. These include rhythms such as Sinte, Yankadi and Macru, which belong to the Susu people of Guinea and are often practiced at social gatherings.

 

 
Our classes are taught by Stuart Dinwoodie, who heads the drumming and dance group Waa Sylla. Originally from Colorado Springs, USA, Stuart studied the culture and traditions of drumming as well as the accompanying rhythms, rituals and songs under the guidance of Moussa Sylla from Guinea. Since then, he has taught and performed in Guinean styles of music and dance for over 20 years in the USA, Spain, West Africa and the UK. He began teaching and performing in Scotland in 2002 and has been collaborating with many other talented performance groups since, including Samba Sene and Diwan as well as Baobab Gateway.

 

 

"Through Moussa Sylla and my many other teachers, I learned the importance and the power of drums in bringing together people in community; connecting them through song and dance; connecting them to their ancestry, to their culture, to their land, and to themselves."

 

 – Stuart Dinwoodie

 

During term time, classes are on Wednesdays from 5pm (17:00) to 7pm (19:00) at the Chaplaincy Auditorium. We are open to all levels of proficiency, whether beginner or expert so do come along and join us if you're looking to move!

 
President
Felipe Valencia Pabon
Secretary
Anny Bush
Treasurer
Sophie Jacobs