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West African Dance

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Why West African dance?

A. Lorraine Crittendon always felt that a good foundation in dance should start with cultural genres. With this, she sought to broaden her technical training at the university by taking a traditional West African dance class. It would be confirmed that the rhythms and styles of the African dance genre would be a life-long commitment.

Unable to attend local West African dance classes, L.Critt auditioned for a local dance company. There, she reignited her love for West African dance. Soon, she'd experience African traditions through the African company members and obtained knowledge of their various traditions and customs. 

African dance makes you feel alive and connected with the world.

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West African Training

A. Lorraine Crittendon was first introduced to West African dance in 2010 during her Junior year of college at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. While there, she learned the fundamentals of four West African styles: Yankadi, Soli, Kuku, and Sofa(r). In addition to learning the dance styles, she was trained by an experienced drum master in all four West African drum rhythms. 

Now, L.Critt works for a Zimbabwean based African contemporary dance company, MufukaWorks Dance Co.. She continues her African dance training under the guided of the company founder/director. L.Critt will finish her additional West African training on a graduate level at UNCC with a focus on Guyanese West African dance. 


Future Plans

At the aim of representing the West African culture in its most authentic forms, L.Critt will make an anthropological based trip to Guinea, the source of most of the West African dance styles. While there, she will immerse herself into the culture to best understand the role and function of the heritage of West African dance.

For now, she will continue to train with local masters gaining their knowledge and respect through hours of practice of rhythms, dancing, and cultural understanding.

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