Experiencing Black History Through Dance at JFK

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While February is officially Black History Month, a chance to learn about the roots of African-American culture can be enlightening at any time of the year, as mesmerized students at John F. Kennedy Intermediate found out during a recent performance at the school by the Phyllis Rose Dance Company.

The multicultural and multiracial company provided a celebratory tour of traditional and contemporary African and African-American dance and music, from Bashir Shakur’s African drumming to a limber, artistic display of hip hop dancing by James “Cricket” Colter. The costumed ensemble worked its way through a panoply of various historical dance techniques – samba, tap, swing and the Charleston, to name a few – before engaging the students in a participatory “Moon Dance” from the African nation of Ivory Coast.