The Brooklyn Cumbe establishment is celebrating its 10th anniversary!
Cumbe: Center for African & Diaspora Dance has officially entered double digits!
The dance school celebrated its 10th anniversaryand birthday this week, marking a decade of culture and life in her Brooklyn community through the many changes that have taken place around her.
In 2012, dancer and choreographer Pat Hall, longtime nonprofit executive Jimena Martinez, and lifelong artist advocate Dominique Bravo joined forces to create the space where African dance and culture can live. and thrive.
The team has strived to house the varied traditions and dances of the African Diaspora – offering adult classes in West African, Afro-Cuban, Afro-Brazilian, Afro-Haitian, Caribbean, Modern, Dancehall , dance fitness, Chicago Style Steppin, Samba and Congolese Dance among others, as well as creative movement classes for 1 to 4 year olds.
Over the years, Cumbe has created a thriving dance community, first from its original location in Fort Greene and now in its new home in Bed-Stuy. It has weathered the storms, including the past two years of uncertainty and COVID-19-induced closures and a period of homelessness, but it has remained active and continued to deliver the dynamic dance classes and workshops for which he is the best known.
The School of Dance has worked with local schools, organizations, corporations and small businesses to offer special programming, performances, ongoing classes, immersive experiences and free events, and from its location in Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Plaza, it offers a wide range of courses, workshops and cultural events.
Co-founder and executive director Jimena Martinez said having passed the ten-year mark was incredible, alongside the community the dance school had built.
“Over the past ten years, a whole constellation of people – thousands of students, teaching artists, musicians, staff, partners and funders – have come together to learn, dance, drum, laugh and supporting each other as we dive deep into Africa/Diaspora Culture,” she said.
“They’ve been supportive of each other and Cumbe – over the past two years we’ve really experienced all the ways dance is medicine.”
Jimenez said the team is entering the next ten years with “dynamic new programs”.
“Watch for Afro’Dance Emerges in February, where we’ll bring together some of the brightest performers and innovators in the scene and genre with workshops, performances, film screenings and conversations. And a celebration of Katherine Dunham’s legacy and choreography in the spring.
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