K-12 Arts in Education

Wacheva Cultural Arts believes that Art is education.

AFRICAN DANCE AND DRUM WORKSHOPS AND PERFORMANCES:

Wacheva Cultural Arts is an organization that presents and supports multicultural dance, drum, and fitness programming in the Central New York community. Wacheva is a not-for-profit organization with 501(c)3 tax-exempt status

Teaching dancing and drumming in the schools provides students with an incredible multicultural experience. Learning about African culture through interactive lessons has a profound effect on the students. Wacheva Cultural Arts is able to provide the following programs for your school:

Elementary (grades K-12 )

Dance/Drum Workshops

Dance/drum workshops which allow for a hands-on cultural experience through a unique educational interaction between students, the art form, and its fascinating history;

Workshops

Wacheva Cultural Arts offers 3 types of workshops for schools to choose from:

  1. An Hourly Dance/Drum Workshop

An hourly workshop means the school determines based on their scheduling the total amount of hour the workshops are to be held. For example, per the school’s request, a hour workshop may be broken into four 30-minute sessions with 2 different classes. Regardless of how the school breaks down the hourly sessions, the pricing is based on an hourly rate.

Part 1: All students will participate in learning African dance and drum. They will be separated into two groups — one group is learning dance while the other group is learning drum. After some practice, the two groups then switch so each student experiences African dance and drum.

  • Students will be told the name of the dance and drum rhythm that they will learn, it’s place of origin and meaning.
  • Each dance step will be broken down to a simple form and taught in an A, B, C-style of instruction.
  • The teacher will verbally play the drum rhythm, much like beatboxing, so the students become familiar with this style of drum rhythm and dance movement before they dance with live drums.
  • Once the students are able to dance by themselves, without the teacher showing each step, they will be taught an African song which they will sing before they dance. The students will then repeatedly dance and sing to the beat of live drums.

 

Part 2: The students will sit down and learn about African culture. As a group, the teacher will explain to them the history of African dance and drum and how they play an intricate role in African culture.
The students will have an opportunity to ask questions about Africa.

  1. Full-day dance/drum workshops

A full-day workshop means from the beginning of the school day to the end. So the whole school students will participate. It is up to the school and the teaching artist to determine together the day’s schedule. For example, the length of each class, the number of students in each class and the total number of workshops offered. There are six sessions at about 45 minutes in length and should have 35-55 students.

Part 1: All students will participate in learning African dance and drum. They will be separated into two groups — one group is learning dance while the other group is learning drum. After some practice, the two groups then switch to gain both experiences.

  • Students will be told the name of the dance and drum rhythm that they will learn, its place of origin and meaning.
  • Each dance step will be broken down to a simple form and taught in an A, B, C-style of instruction. The teacher will verbally play the drum rhythm, much like beat boxing, so the students become familiar with this style of drum rhythm and dance movement before they dance with live drums.
  • Once the students are able to dance by themselves, without the teacher showing each step, they will be taught an African song which they will sing before they dance. The students will then repeatedly dance and sing to the beat of live drums.

Part 2: The students will sit down and learn about African culture. As a group, the teacher will explain to them the history of African dance and drum and how they play an intricate role in African culture. The students will learn the different names of the drums and will have an opportunity to ask questions about Africa.

  1. All week dance/drum Residency: Mon-Fri.

The workshops will be taught the same as noted above for the Full day workshops for five days. The student will have the opportunity to learn the drum rhythm and techniques, dancing techniques, and their stories. The residency will provide a deeper level of learning and understand.

Many benefits can be gained from integrating this innovative learning approach into your educational program including the opportunity to expand your students’ cultural understandings through exposure to historical the multicultural dances and their traditions presented by an indigenous professional artists.

Performances

Performances vary in length and are customized based upon the school’s request. Performances include traditional African dance, drum, song, story and the audience participation just to have fun. They are educational, energetic, athletic and incredibly entertaining.

“Biboti Ouikahilo and the Wacheva Dance Company provided the students (and staff) of our school with an engaging and educational performance… Students were mesmerized by the high-energy music of Biboti and his fellow musicians. The African dancing demonstrated by Biboti and members of the Wacheva Dance Company exuded the joy and human spirit one might imagine seeing in a celebration in his native Ivory Coast… The cultural context of various songs and dances were shared with the audience and provided students with a basic understanding of how music and dance played an integral part of African society… A month later students are still happily recalling the performance. Thank you for a wonderful and unique show!
– Teacher at Onondaga Middle School

Community Events

Wacheva is proud to be active in the Syracuse community. We are happy to provide drum concerts and dance and drum performances at events around the community. Please contact us for more information.

About our African dance and drum group

Our performances and team-building exercises are also ideal for:

  • Churches
  • Nonprofits
  • Community groups
  • Colleges and universities
  • Businesses (e.g., staff retreats)
  • Athletic and creative arts organizations seeking cross-training opportunities

Wacheva Cultural Arts dance group consists of many dancers and drummers based in Syracuse, NYS and USA.

The group performs with local dancers at various Schools, from K-12 colleges, Universities, and other organizations events, and offers all types of African dancing, drumming, and song performances.

The group is able to provide highly dynamic, energic and multifaceted traditional performances that include professional African’s performers living here in USA.

Our performance concludes with an invitation and demonstration for the audience to dance and experience some of our movements.

For school groups students will have time to ask questions to the performers.

Biboti Ouikahilo artistic director and the group exude the joy and human Spirit one might imagine seeing in a celebration in his native Ivory Coast and Africa.

Wacheva Cultural Arts
117 Harvard Place
Syracuse, NY 13210 315-396-0748 (office)