On Septmeber 21st, 2016 I attended a master class taught by Ayinde Hurrey. This class was based in West African dance and exaggerated the importance of drumming and rhythm in both African culture and dance as a whole.
Ayinde offered a master class that was open to the public of OU but ended up consisting of mostly modern majors. Ayinde began the class in a circle, having us introduce ourselves so that we could feel connected as a community. After this introduction, Ayinde introduced us to a few of the instruments and classical West African rhythms. We practiced these rhythms as Ayindes wife accompanied us on the drums.
Once we were familiar with the rhythms we learned some basic sequences. Ayinde explained that West African dance is based in a celebratory, communal setting. He explained the importance of having an awareness of those around, staying in time and in formation with those in the class.
This high energy class opened my eyes to the basics of West African dancing, drumming, rhythms and culture. Ayinde’s high energy class left everyone refreshed and happy. By the end of the night I understood why this kind of movement was used as a communal celebration, and how dance could be used to unite many different people.