Get ready to dance, drum, move and groove as Durham Region’s Afiwi Groove School presents Afiwi Roots and Revival, an exciting new series of free virtual workshops for Black youth to connect with their roots and identity through the power of African Dance and Drumming. Afiwi Roots and Revival is presented in partnership with community organizations and is funded by the Canadian Red Cross.
Responding to the challenges faced by community organizations who continue delivering vital services during these times, the Red Cross’s Emergency Grant boosts Afiwi’s capacity to provide safe, accessible, virtual dance curriculum, and drum instruction to audiences from coast to coast. Known for their inspiring teaching and dynamic live performances, Afiwi Roots and Revival showcases the very best of Afiwi’s training, music, tradition and entertainment across a variety of African Diasporic dance genres. The drumming program is steeped in a deep repertoire of Djembe mastery directly from Burkino Faso, Western Africa.
“Despite our challenging and unprecedented times, we are so pleased to be supported by the Canadian Red Cross to present this Afiwi Roots and Revival series. We are in a strong, healthy position to engage our community locally in Durham, and to activate a national audience of students from across Canada by being available virtually, Sanaaj Mirie, Founder and Director, Afiwi Groove School.
Founded in Ajax in 2013, Afiwi provides students with a viable and vital creative outlet and pathways for mental wellness that come with physical activity, personal connectivity and identity. With programming that is intentionally designed to promote positive self-esteem, and to educate participants about creative expressions of the African Diaspora, these are timely conversations, which are particularly important during COVID-19 as Black communities have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic.
Dance and Drumming Highlights:
The free dance classes, which began on October 5, 2020, consist of:
- Afro Beats Dance
- West African Ghanaian Dance
- West African Malinke Dance
- Afro Caribbean Dance
Each class is 45 minutes in length and takes place in 2 time slots, depending on age, on Monday and Wednesday evenings.
The drumming program, which will be provided concurrently, happen in person and online. These will be in the format of traditional drumming circles, and take place at various locations throughout the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Accessible via live stream, the drumming program is fully available to the general public and does not require advanced registration.
Also included in this programming is the Roots & Revival: Groove Queen’s Edition, a partnership with Me to Moi Health. Curated by and for women this special “virtual groove” honours the power of sisterhood through experiential learning, sharing and healing over the course of seven weeks. Participants can join empowering conversations about resilience, the power of self-care, trauma awareness, and more. Register now at the Afiwi Groove School project page, available online here.
About Afiwi Groove School
Afiwi Groove School was established in 2013 and became a non-profit organization five years later. We aim to empower, educate, and inspire all ages through African and arts and culture. Our programs promote positive self-esteem, confidence and an active lifestyle while educating and connecting participants to arts and culture of the African Diaspora. The positive learning environment encourages personal growth within the students and nurtures a deeper connection to their sense of self and identity. The word AFIWI means community, unity, and connection.