Preview: Afrochique dance classes can get you moving this weekend

The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center is lit up as dusk approaches.

With NextNOW Fest almost upon us, you may feel overwhelmed with the wide variety of options to occupy your weekend. Although this year has some great musical acts and performances, if you and your friends are craving something a little more engaging, the Afro Dance classes hosted by Afrochique both Friday and Saturday evenings in Dance Studio 2 at The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center might be a good fit.

Afrochique is an all-female African dance team comprised of University of Maryland undergraduate students. Amira Walton, a senior family science and psychology major and the group’s secretary and treasurer, said that the group’s mission is to showcase different African and Carribean dance styles with the goal of bringing awareness to the diversity among African cultures to this community. Some of the aforementioned styles include Afrobeats, coupe decale and West African dances.

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Though this is Afrochique’s first time teaching at NextNOW, they are no strangers to displaying their artform at large events. The group has performed at events like Pan African Festival USA and Carbonado Summer Series, and it has also competed in major dance competitions like the DMV Battle of the African Student Associations.

The two classes are free to attend, with Friday’s class at 9 p.m and Saturday’s at 8 p.m. If you’re unfamiliar with this style of dance, or are nervous about your skill level, there’s no need to worry. The class is beginner-friendly, and will include African dance moves that Walton says anyone can learn.

So what should you expect from this event?

In Walton’s words, “Attendees should expect to learn new moves, [learn] about African culture, to sweat and to have a lot of fun.”

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