Afro-Cuban

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TORONTO AFRO-CUBAN LESSONS


Add organic flavour and real soul to your Salsa dancing by incorporating Afro-Cuban movement in your dance, the way they do it in Cuba!

OUR AFRO-CUBAN CLASSES


Return to the Roots of Salsa - with authentic and inspiring Afro-Cuban movement. Learn fascinating and organic body movement and musicality as the incredible beat patterns touch your soul. Combining these movements with your salsa, will add power to your dancing and set it on fire!
This course covers some of the vast Afro-Cuban vocabulary, such as:
  • Yoruba (Orishas) dances: Elegguá, Yemayá, Oyá, Changó, Oggún, Ochosi, Ochun, Obatalá
  • Arará dances: Babalúu Ayé
  • Congo dances: Palo, Makuta, Yuka
  • Afro-Cuban Haitian dances: Gagá

CURRENT AFRO-CUBAN CLASSES


RELATED DISCIPLINES


 

AFRO-CUBAN CULTURE


The rich variety of music and dance in Cuba has its roots in Cuban history. When the Spaniards settled Cuba, a combination of disease and abuse largely obliterated the native peoples. African slaves brought in to work on the sugar plantations soon outnumbered Europeans. Although Cuba’s African population was undeniably oppressed, they also managed to preserve many rituals and customs, and their rhythms and instrumentation were eventually absorbed into existing mainstream Spanish music culture. These rituals and traditions many a times had to be disguised to be connected with catholicism, in order to be allowed.

YORUBA / ORISHAS TRADITIONS

A big branch of Afro-Cuban culture derives from the Santeria religion, or Regla de Ocha. Based on the Orisha worship by the Yoruba people from West Africa, in what is now northwestern Nigeria and Benin, Santeria in Cuba presents a series of synchronocities with catholicism, where each one of the African deities (Orishas) are also known by the name of a catholic saint.
The Yoruba branch of Afro-Cuban is also represented by a set of music and dance, of a sacred character, connected to religious cerimonies. Played by a set of sacred drums called the Batá drums, the music is also considered a representation of an Orisha, and is used as a vehicle to invoke the spirits of the different deities. Characterized by complex rhythms played by 3 dual drums, this polyrhythm is a central base of modern Cuban music. The dances are also complex in the sense that the dancer needs to know which steps go with each one of the specific rhythms and chants.

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