African dance and drumming ensemble Dema prepares for year-end performances – Emerald Media

“Dema is a class at the University of Oregon focusing on dance, music and storytelling traditions of Ghana and West Africa.

“We have Ph.Ds in physics, political science and undergraduates in various studies,” she said. “People probably stay for two terms at least because everyone falls in love with what Dema is.”A large portion of the class is devoted to building relationships with other members and forming a community.

Dema participants divide into three committees focusing on outreach, fundraising and social events. The social events portion is highly valued by the group.“We like to do stuff outside of class that helps us come together as a dance troupe, but also just as a community,” King said. “We want everyone to feel comfortable.”

“Our performance is not about competition. It is more about people expressing their individuality, and if I make it a group with only people who can dance well then I miss the basic principle,” Iddrisu said.

Fifth year student Nelson Trujillo joined Dema this term, and is enjoying the experience so far. “It’s a totally new thing on many levels,” Trujillo said. “I had no experience drumming and they brought me in for sure.”

Continue reading at Source: Preview: African dance and drumming ensemble Dema prepares for year-end performances – Emerald Media

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