What we're about

Cumbe is a home for African and Diaspora dance and music. Through classes and cultural programs, we invite everyone to feel the joy and vitality of rhythms rooted in Africa. Cumbe champions African and Diaspora culture as a vibrant legacy for people of African descent and as an exuberant source of power, spirit and knowledge for all.

We host dance classes daily along with special workshops, parties and cultural events.

Upcoming events (4+)

Dunham Technique I with Penny Godboldo

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Register here: https://bit.ly/DunhamPenny

Dunham Technique is a vibrant African American dance form that engages the body, mind and spirit! Created by dance pioneer Katherine Dunham, the technique is informed by the traditional dances of the African Diaspora, as well as by modern and ballet. Dunham Technique creates strong, dynamic dancers who embody rhythm and grace. Classes will offer a variety of experiences, including breathing, isolations, floor work, barre work and progressions across the floor. Dancers will explore the intersection of Dunham technique and high-spirited, folkloric-inspired movement. In this beginner class, dancers will learn the foundational movement of the Dunham Technique. Don’t miss this opportunity to study with teachers from the Institute for Dunham Technique Certification!

Penny Godboldo trained at the Alvin Ailey School in NYC. She incorporates her larger philosophical view that dance is life — a methodology developed through research in dance history – into her pedagogy as a teacher. Her work is informed by travel to Haiti, Cuba, Benin, West Africa, Brazil, Japan, China, Italy and most recently Israel and her role as chair of Marygrove College Dance Department for two decades. She began her studies in Dunham technique in Detroit at age 14 with Clifford Fears, mentored by Madame Lavinia Williams in NYC and Haiti. She continued her mentorship with Katherine Dunham for 21 years as her demonstrator in St. Louis, Denver, Detroit, and Port au Prince, Haiti and performed in Dunham repertory: “Shango,” “Adagio” and “Americana.” Godboldo trained with Dunham Masters: Talley Beatty, Lucille Ellis, Vanoye Aikens, Pearl Reynolds, Tommy Gomez and certified teachers Theo Jamison, Keith Williams and Ruby Streate.

Afro-Haitian with Julio Jean

Needs a location

Register here: https://bit.ly/AfroHaitian2020

Journey to the nanm (“soul” in Haitian Kreyol) of Afro-Haitian dance and become acquainted with the different Iwa (gods) in the Vodou religion through their dances, songs, rhythms and rituals. You’ll explore the undulating movements of Yanvalu, the powerful precision of Nago, and the grace and beauty of the Kongo dance – all traditional Haitian dance forms with roots in West Africa and the South American Amazon.

Julio Jean is a renowned master Haitian dance teacher and choreographer. He blends traditional Haitian forms with modern and contemporary dance to create compelling movement narratives. His extensive career of over 20 years includes work with Katherine Dunham and performances of his company’s choreographies at Alvin Ailey and Central Park’s Summer Stage. Julio studied with Lavinia Williams, a company member of Katherine Dunham, at the National School of Arts in Haiti. In 1989, he moved to New York City and worked directly with Katherine Dunham, teaching traditional Haitian dance for her teacher trainings. He has been a guest teacher at Webster University in Saint Louis and Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany; and has taught workshops in San Francisco, Milwaukee, and at the Dance New England Dance Camp in Poland, Maine. Currently, Julio teaches in New York City and at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. Julio is also a songwriter and composer of traditional Haitian music; he released the album: “Kenbe la,” which encompasses the panorama of traditional Haitian music.

West African Dance – Ivory Coast with Vado Diomande

Needs a location


Hybrid (join us in-person or online)
Register here: http://bit.ly/VadoIvoryCoastDance

Vado draws on the rich and diverse dance tradition from the Ivory Coast. With over 60 different ethnic traditions, the variety of steps and rhythms taught is complex, exciting and vigorous. Class is taught first with a simple 20-minute warm-up, followed by 30 minutes of learning steps to a particular dance. Music begins and the dance is performed as a whole for the last portion of class.

ONLINE – Creative Caribbean Movement w/ Kendra J. Ross

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$Donation ($Free for Elders)
Register here: https://bit.ly/EldersCreative

Come explore the ways dances of the divine spirits of the African Diaspora of the Caribbean can inform the essence and personality of creative movement. This slow paced fusion class will use traditional folklore movements that represent varying themes such as play, passageways, flow, beauty and strength as a foundation to color and inform a modern dance combination. The class will begin with a gentle warm up that includes body articulations, isolations and flow to prepare the body to move. Next, students will learn traditional folkloric movement taught at a pace dictated by students with a number of variations offered to accommodate varying mobility levels. The folkloric movements will be the base for the combination that is co-created by the teacher and students. The class will finish with light stretching to allow all the work to settle in. All ages and mobility levels welcome.

Kendra J. Ross is a Pilates instructor, dancer, choreographer, teaching artist and community organizer from Detroit, MI. A graduate of the BFA program from Ailey/Fordham University in Dance, Kendra has worked with Urban Bush Women, Andrea E. Woods/ Souloworks, Ase Dance Theater Collective, Ronald K. Brown/Evidence, Monstah Black, MBDance, Oyu Oro, Ase Dance Theater Collective and Movement of the People Dance Company. Kendra is a certified instructor in the Silvestre Technique created by Roseangela Silvestre of Salvador, Bahia, Brasil. She is also a Power Pilates Certified Mat instructor who has taught Pilates, fitness and dance fitness classes at Power Pilates, Crunch, And Yoga Studios and various NYC public schools. Kendra has taught as an artist in residence at Detroit School of Performing Arts, Brooklyn School of the Arts, Brooklyn Studios for Dance and Bates College. She has been a guest teacher at Florida A&M University and Florida State University. An avid student of many different movement modalities, Kendra’s classes focus on understanding the history, cultural contexts and idiosyncrasies of the various styles she employs while recognizing the connections and applications in each body, mind and spirit. Kendra specializes in teaching Pilates, Hip-Hop, Afro-Cuban, and Contemporary dance. She challenges students to train their minds and bodies to understand the focus and initiation points of the various forms of dance and how to seamlessly move between each modality.

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