Dance may be a playacting sort consisting of sequences of movement, either temporary or purposefully selected. This movement has aesthetic and sometimes symbolic value. Dance are often categorised and represented by its choreography, by its repertoire of movements, or by its period or place of origin. African dances are earth-centred, African dance refers chiefly to several} dance sorts of desert Africa. These dances should be viewed in shut reference to the normal rhythms and music traditions of the region. Music and dancing is an integral part of many traditional African societies.
Dance is the rhythmic movement of the body in time and space. African dance is a means for education,entertainment and cultural heritage preservation. There are meaning to all African dance for specific reasons. (ogunwoye oluwaseunayo esther).
Cultural dances in Africa are usually segregated by sex, where gender roles in children and other community structures such as kinship, age, and political status are often reinforced. Many dances are divided by gender, as a result of associations with gender-divided labor, as well as cultural beliefs about gender roles and gender expressions. Dances celebrate the passage from childhood to adulthood or spiritual worship. Among the Lunda people of Zambia, for example, young girls remain in seclusion for months to practice the dance for their coming of age ritual.
In traditional African societies, children begin to learn their traditional songs, rhythms, and dances from the moment of birth, starting with the lullabies sung by their mothers.While carried on their mother’s backs during day-to-day work and social events, they are exposed to the music their mothers sing or listen to. Thomas Edward Bodwich, an early European observer, noted that “children will move their heads and limbs, while on their mother’s backs, in exact unison with the tune which is playing.” Many traditional African children’s games, particularly in western and central Africa, include elements that promote the child’s ability to understand rhythms. When children are old enough to attempt the dance moves, they imitate accomplished older dancers until they can replicate the dances precisely. They are only permitted to improvise when they have mastered the prescribed choreography.
specific notable African cultural dances, divided by region, include:
|Dance||Purpose||Country / Tribe of Origin|
|Agwara||Courtship||Uganda / Alur|
|Akogo||Courtship||Uganda / Iteso|
|Bakisiimba||Celebration||Uganda / Buganda|
|Uganda / Acholi|
|Ekizino||Courtship||Uganda / Bakiga|
|Entog||Gaze||Uganda / Lugbara|
|Entogoro||Gaze||Uganda / Banyoro, Batooro|
|Kakilambe||Fertility ritual||Guinea or Mali / Baga people|
|Kwassa kwassa||Celebration||Congo (DRC)|
|Lamban||Celebration||Guinea, Senegal, Mali|
|Larakaraka||Courtship||Uganda / Acholi|
|Mwaga||Courtship||Uganda / Bagisu|
|Ndombolo (Soukous)||Courtship||Congo (DRC)|
|Runyege||Celebration / Courtship||Uganda / Banyoro, Batooro|
|Sabar||Celebration||Senegal/ Wolof people|
|Sunu||Wedding||Guinea, Mali / Mandinka|
|Tamenaibuga||Friendship||Uganda / Basoga|
|Ukusina||Rite of passage||South Africa|
|Zaouli||Celebration and funeral||Côte d’Ivoire / Guro|