This film is part of Free

East African Dance in Weymouth

Basil, an East African performer educates school children in traditional dance

News 1976 8 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for South West Film and Television Archive


An East African performer, Basil, visits a local school in Weymouth to teach the children about his culture and traditions. African dance is related to personal history of ethnicity, region and language. Each dance is a way of teaching social values to the community. The dancer’s voice and a drum beat accompany the dancing and individual expression follows.

Dance in most African countries is seen as an expression of community and draws on the experiences of life. A collective rhythm encourages audience participation. Dances of Love, Rites of Passage and Coming of Age are performed and a young person is encoraged to express themselves building confidence. Modern African dance with its polyrhythms has a global appeal and marries traditional dances with contemporary moves.