About Us

Welcome to Cumbe: Center for African and Diaspora Dance!

Under One Roof
Cumbe is the new home for African and diaspora dance in Brooklyn, bringing together – under one roof – classes and cultural education for dances from Africa, the Americas and the Caribbean.

At Cumbe, young people, adults and families alike will immerse themselves in the joy and vitality of music and dance from Africa, the Americas and Caribbean. Through a rich array of classes and dynamic teachers, students from novice to the experienced will learn the rhythms and movements of Senegal, Guinea, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Haiti and a broad range of other cultures. Performances, talks, and dance parties will encourage a deeper understanding of the origins, meaning and evolution of these many dances, as well as connections between them. Marking life moments big and small, joyous and fierce, dances from Africa and countries nourished and inspired by African traditions bring tremendous spirit to our modern lives. Through dance and music, Cumbe will create a community that celebrates exuberance, sensuality, power and laughter!

Creating a Community
Cumbe seeks to create a community of people who love music and dance. Our community will:

  • Respect the traditions and the cultures for which we are creating a home. We acknowledge that we stand on the shoulders of elders from various traditions. We acknowledge that the dances taught at Cumbe have traveled a sinuous, complicated journey to us – their history is often not an easy one. Many dances from the Caribbean and the Americas, in particular, were brought here by people who were enslaved. These styles of music and dance, which have been transformed over time, have remained vibrant parts of the culture through the courage and tenacity of many generations. The dances we will teach at Cumbe are a triumph of the human spirit.
  • Welcome everyone graciously. All who are interested in African and African-inspired music and dance will be welcome at Cumbe and supported in their learning. We seek to create a community of learners who bring our individual spirits and knowledge to the dance and who are continuously deepening our understanding of the dance.
  • Connect with others who love music and dance. We are lucky to live in a borough and a city rich in ethnic diversity and blessed with large numbers of immigrant residents who are a treasure trove of resources for those who love this kind of music. In particular, there are many people and cultural and arts organizations in Brooklyn who have kept dance, music and spiritual traditions from Africa and its diaspora alive, both in their historic forms and in modern incarnations. Cumbe will work with these fellow lovers of dance and sister organizations to promote African-inspired dance and music.

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