This class introduces students to the rich dances of the African culture preserved in Cuba including the traditions of the Congo, Arará, Yoruba and Franco-Haitian. Experience the passion of this ancient embodied wisdom. Dance is a reflection of life. Afro-Cuban dance is deeply connected to nature, the qualities of human character and the power of spirit. Instruction focuses on developing technique, rhythm, and character while learning about the history and context of these dances. This is a mixed level class open to all ages. All classes are accompanied by live traditional Afro-Cuban percussion and song. Engage your body, feed your soul and let your spirit soar!

Taught by master Cuban artist Juan Carlos Blanco, former lead dancer for Havana’s renowned folkloric company Raices Profundas (deep roots) and director of Omo Aché Afro-Cuban Dance & Music Co. Juan Carlos was born and raised Guanabacoa, a community of Havana respected for it’s rich African heritage. He spent 15 years dancing and drumming professionally with music, dance and theatre companies in Cuba including Cumballé, Oba Ilu, Grupo Arawe, Ban Rra Rrá, Arte Popular and Teatro de la Havana. While in Cuba he taught Afro-Cuban folklore and Cuban popular dance and percussion at the Instituto Superior de Arte and La Escuela Nacional de Arte. Since coming to the U.S., Juan Carlos has taught all styles of Cuban dance and percussion to people of all ages through a variety of arts and culture institutions including: UCLA, UCSD, SDSU, San Diego City College, Humbolt State University, Stage 7 School of Dance, Institute for Arts Education, World Beat Cultural Center and Centro Cultural de la Raza.

Saturday, 3:30-5:00pm