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Diaspora West African Drum

and Dance Traditions

Exploring some of the ways African Diaspora performing arts practices are used to affirm community, communicate values and inspire dialogue, this program includes storytelling, dance, mask dance, music and song from Mali, Guinea, The Ivory Coast and Ghana.

Pennsylvania Curriculum Standards

(A=Assembly; W=Workshop; R=Residency)

9.1 Production, Performance and Exhibition of Dance, Music, Theatre and Visual Arts A, W, R

9.2 Historical and Cultural Contexts A, W, R

10.5 Concepts, Principles and Strategies of Movement W, R

15.4 Learning Through Experience A, W, R

25.3 Pro-Social Relationships with Adults W, R

25.4 Pro-Social Relationships with Peers W, R

Art Form(s): Music, Dance, Spoken Word/Literary Arts

Genre: African/African-American

Instrument(s):

  • Aerophone/ Membranophone: Voice

  • Membranophones: Djembe, Doundoun, Sangban, Kenkeni

  • Idiophones: Gankogui Bells, Kenken Bells, Wooden Sticks, Shekere, Axatse

Assembly, Workshop, and Residency Offerings

Diaspora West African Drum and Dance Traditions Assembly

Take a Passport Journey, explore some of the ways West African Diaspora cultural practices are used to affirm community, communicate values, enhance cultural sensitivity, and inspire meaningful dialogue. This program includes storytelling, dance, drum and song from Mali, Guinea, Senegal, The Ivory Coast and Ghana. Masked dance offered based on availability.


Best for: ELC  •  PreK-12  •  Special Needs  •  After-School/Community

Diaspora West African Dance Traditions Workshop

“Good dancing and drumming restores the community to wholeness.” African Proverb


An Introduction to Neo-traditional dances of West Africa; with a particular emphasis on the countries of Senegal, Guinea, The Gambia, and Mali. Dance for fitness and community building emphasized. Neo- traditional dance involves oral and physical communication between the dancer and drummer. Students will learn how to listen to dance directions that are embedded within the language of the drum rhythms. Students will learn polyrhythmic movements, spatial awareness, how dance affirms community values. Students will learn self-awareness and self-discipline through West African dance/drum traditions. (Max. ~25 students)


Best for: ELC  •  PreK-12  •  Special Needs  •  After-School/Community

Diaspora West African Dance Traditions Residency

Dunya Performing Arts Company members specialize in laying the groundwork for cultural sensitivity through intense study of the elements of various Diaspora West African drum, dance, song, storytelling and masquerade traditions from Mali, Guinea, Senegal, The Ivory Coast and Ghana. Our residency offers an artistic platform for participants to create, imagine, ask questions, think critically, and add value to their community.

Best for: 2-12  •  Special Needs  •  After-School/Community

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Featuring: Jeannine Osayande & Dunya Performing Arts Company

Dunya Performing Arts Company members specialize in laying the groundwork for cultural sensitivity through intense study of the elements of various Diaspora West African drum, dance, song, storytelling and masquerade traditions from Mali, Guinea, Senegal, The Ivory Coast and Ghana. Our programs offer an artistic platform for participants to create, imagine, ask questions, think critically, and add value to their community.


Jeannine Osayande is a teaching artist, choreographer and performer of West African dance (Mali Empire) for thirty-five years. She is founder and director of Dunya Performing Arts Company. Ms Jeannine apprenticed with De Ama Battle, The Art of Black Dance and Music, Boston, MA; Ibrahima Camara, Koumpo/Sahal,of Senegal; and Prof. F. Nii Yartey, Noyam African Dance Institute, Ghana. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from Temple University, and a Certificate in Traditional and Contemporary African Dance from Noyam African Dance Institute and the Ghana Board of Education. She serves actively on the Boards of The Philadelphia Folklore Project and The Stockton Rush Bartol Foundation. Ms Jeannine teaches technique and repertory courses at Ursinus College.

Joined Musicopia: 2016