This video is the product of a West African dance workshop hosted by Drumroots in the British Council Manchester office in May 2016, held in celebration of World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development.
Drumroots are a Manchester-based UK organisation who specialise in West African music and dance and are a partner on our EU-funded Horn of Africa Leadership and Learning for Action (HoLLA) programme (Sudan, South Sudan & Ethiopia). The workshop was led by dance teacher Sens Sagna, from Senegal, with music by professional drummers Jamie Riley (UK) and Iya Sako (Guinea). As well as learning, performing and filming this short traditional routine within one hour(!), colleagues also had an opportunity to learn and sing a traditional West African song. British Council colleagues from all SBUs and all different backgrounds took part since all that was required to participate was a sense of enthusiasm and a willingness to learn. The poem ‘The British’ by Benjamin Zephaniah was chosen to accompany the dance to demonstrate diversity here in the UK, and the need for justice and equality for all.
We all hope you enjoy watching the video. We certainly had fun making it!