Akwaaba Dance and Drum Festival 2015

Courtesy photo

Akwaaba means welcome in Twi, a language spoken by the Akan of Ghana. The festival welcomes local and international performers who offer workshops and performances to HCC students and community members. Together, the performance artists, spectators and participants present a culmination of African art, music, dance, culture and food to the Houston community.

The theme of the festival is "Africa to America: Making the Connections."

Traditional African dance as well as dances of the Diaspora will be explored. The Texas Commission on the Arts assisted in bringing Dallas Black Dance Theatre in for a performance as well as master classes by April Berry, who is a certified Dunham technique master and the artistic director for Dallas Black Dance Theatre. Houston's own Urban Souls Dance Company will also take part. 

Throughout the three days, workshops will feature dance and drum classes by artists from The Saakumu Dance Troupe of Ghana, Cote West Africa, Strictly Street Salsa, Son Kiss'd Dance Theatre and others.

Feb. 26

  • 11 a.m.-1 p.m. - Hip Hop Dance Class with Son Kiss'd Dance Theatre.
  • 7-8:30 p.m. - West African Dance by Jean Claude Lessou (Cote D'Ivoire).

Feb. 27

  • 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. - Diasporic Movement Practice by Lela Aisha Jones.
  • 6:30-7:30 p.m. - Pre-class discussion with April Berry and lecture/discussion (including video) on the Katherine Dunham technique.
  • 7:45-9:15 p.m. -  Katherine Dunham Technique class with April Berry, certified Dunham technique master and artistic director, Dallas Black Dance Theatre.

Feb. 28

  • 9-10 a.m. - Free West African Children's Class by Yaa Bekyore (Ghana).
  • 10-11:15 a.m. - Drum Master Class by Saakumu Dance Troupe (Ghana).
  • 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. - West African Dance Class by Saakumu Dance Troupe (Ghana).
  • 1:15-2:45 p.m. - Katherine Dunham Technique with April Berry.
  • 3-4:30 p.m. - Afro Latin with Raul Orlando Edwards.
  • 4:45-6:15 p.m. - West African Dance with Jean Claude Lessou (Cote D'Ivoire).
  • 8 p.m. - Performance with Urban Souls Dance Company, Dallas Black Dance Theatre and Saakumu Dance Troupe.



Houston Community College - Spring Branch
1010 W. Sam Houston Pkwy.
Houston, TX 77043


All classes free to HCC students/faculty; $10 for others ages 12 and older; $15 for Saturday performance.
All events are subject to change due to weather or other concerns. Please check with the venue or organization to ensure an event is taking place as scheduled.