Drum and dance ensemble brings women back to their African roots

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Senakhu Donald formed this group in the summer of 2017. She noticed a lack of African dance groups in Colorado and knew she was the right person to do something.

“Since!” Senakhu Donald’s voice echoes through the stone gymnasium filled with drummers and women of African descent.

” Soul ! »A dozen voices call back. This is a workout for the Intergenerational African Percussion and Dance Ensemble for Women, or IWADDE for short. Quickly, the drummers start to hammer the beat. The dancers take their places and start to move.

Senakhu has been dancing in the traditional West African style since 1986. She formed this group in the summer of 2017. She noticed a lack of African dance groups in Colorado and knew she was the right person to do something.

“Senakhu means following ancestors, so that’s in keeping with what I think I am supposed to do,” Donald said.

She formed IWADDE to create a space for women of African descent to explore their roots. Dancers of all backgrounds and ages are welcome.

“We have to carry on this tradition,” she said. “I want this to be really community-oriented and really fun! ”

Their colorful skirts called lapas flow as they dance around their practice space. For Senakhu, this experience is more than just a dance.

“It’s partly linked to your African roots. Go back and find what you have lost so that you can see who you are and where you are going, ”she said.

As the drums turn off and the feet remain still, the smiles on the faces of these women linger long after they stop dancing.

The connection with their history, their ancestors and with each other is felt long after the drums stop beating.


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