As part of our Dance Symposium Series, Director Karen Love of Umoja Dance Company taught West African dance masterclasses at Arts High School-Newark. Due to the pandemic, classes were taught virtually this year but that didn't stop over 70 students from attending!
Each class was accompanied by live drummers and began with a short lesson on the culture of West African Dance. We invite you to watch the masterclass below!
Watch Umoja Dance Masterclass at Arts High School
Karen Love | Dancer, Choreographer, Teacher, Director of the Dance Dept. at Hillside High School, and Founder/Artistic Director of Umoja Dance Company
Love earned her MFA from New York University Tisch School of the Arts and her B.F.A. from Montclair State University where she was awarded the 1992 Excellence in Choreography Award and the 1993 Senior Award. Presently, Love is the director of the Dance Department at Hillside High School, NJ and the director of the After School Dance Program for Hillside Public Schools District. Love is a certified Pilates Mat Instructor and certified 300 RYT Yoga and is a registered teacher with Yoga Alliance.
In 2006 Love created the Wofabe African Dance and Drum Festival. Wofabe!, New Jersey’s 1st and only African dance and drum festival. The festival consists of African dance and drum classes, panel discussions, free children classes, and an evening dance concert. The festival has been presented at Newark Arts High School, Science Park High School, Newark Symphony Hall, and NJPAC.
She has studied West African dance and culture for the past 14 years and has had the opportunity to learn dances from Guinea, the Gambia, Mali, Senegal and the Ivory Coast. Love has traveled to Guinea, West Africa, Mexico and Bermuda under the tutelage of Bangoura. Love has traveled to Morocco, Senegal and the Gambia, West Africa under the direction of Baba Chuck Davis.
To learn more about Karen Love and Umoja Dance Company visit: umojadance.com
Thank you to everyone who attended and a special thank you to our sponsors, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts / Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts and administered by the Essex County Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs.