Afra Dance @ The Center

The Center Dance is excited to be welcoming back Ashirah DeviDalomba and Kalpana Devi for a special series of classes this fall!

Afra Dance (1 hour, grades 3-8) is a diverse, spirited and life affirming celebration. Afra Dance provides a deeply energizing experience of dance and drum from the roots of traditional African dance forms. The call of live drums and the movement they inspire, supports dancers of all ages to flow in the breath, rhythm and art of living!

Ashirah DeviDalomba, a junior at Amherst Regional High School, is a dancer, performer, choreographer and musician. In addition to teaching “Afra Dance” at The Center, she enjoys assisting Tracy Vernon’s dance class at ARMS and is a member of a pre-professional dance company, Hatchery, out of the School For Contemporary Dance and Thought in Northampton. Ashirah is also a member and part-time teaching and directing assistant of One Earth Drum Dance CO, an Amherst-based company for teens.

Kalpana Devi has taught African Dance and drumming at the Putney School in Vermont, Williston Northampton, Suffield Academy, Northfield Mount Hermon and Pioneer Valley Performing Arts High School where she also served as interim director of the department of dance and founded and directed the school’s first African dance company. She is the recipient of numerous grant awards including a finalist in the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship for dance in education. 

Kalpana’s experience in teaching includes facilitating dance experiences in various settings in and around New England, the eastern seaboard, and West Africa. Her contributions in dance education incorporate West African dance technique; also taking into account, world history of dance, dance in the community, drumming, drumming for dancers, composition, and body conditioning, all curriculums which she has taught. Her signifying strength is the way in which she loves fiercely and invites students and dance company members into a dynamic relationship with their soul purpose. She is known as a “rare change maker” who compassionately facilitates young people to express leadership and to raise their voices as influencers from the heart. She founded and directed a drum and dance company and brought them to tour in West Africa where they had opportunity to study with master dancers and drummers of the region. She also toured the company to Philadelphia where they were competitively selected to perform at the National High School Dance Festival by a rigorous panel of international judges. Between 2001 and 2008, she founded and produced an intergenerational summer dance and drum camp, housed at Smith College.

She has training and certification in the healing arts and is the creator of Tuning Mastery, a counsel and private practice where she has been helping clients for over 10 years. She is currently editing her first book.

Afra Dance meets Tuesdays from 5-6PM.

12-week session is $180. Register today!


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