Full turnout for annual dance workshop

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Nicole Manker leads intermediate participants in an African Caribbean dance in the Al Muller Studio Theater on Nov. 2 at Delta College. Photo by Maria Abugarade Rayo
Nicole Manker leads intermediate participants in an African Caribbean dance in the Al Muller Studio Theater on Nov. 2 at Delta College. Photo by Maria Abugarade Rayo

Delta College held their 11th annual Dance Workshop on Nov. 2 at the Warren Atherton Auditorium.

Curious dancers of various backgrounds came together to learn new movements and cultural styles:Caribbean, West African, Contemporary, Mambo, Jazz and Hip Hop.

Each style is instructed by distinguished dancers including Nicole Manker and Bernard Brown.

Students danced throughout the day, with the workshop being scheduled from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. , transitioning from one style of dance to another.

An event such as this is typically very costly.

“Usually people are exposed to these different kinds of dances in school, but what about those who never get that exposure?” said Valerie Gnassounou-Bynoe, Delta College Dance Professor and Curator of the workshop.

She made it a point to bring along children from the inner-city in hopes to spread enthusiasm of dance to everyone.

“People [from the inner-city] would never be exposed to something like that,” she said. “The workshop’s purpose is to bring dance to the community, not only our students [at Delta] but people who don’t have the means to go to a dance workshop,” said Gnassounou-Bynoe.

The workshop’s accessibility does not only benefit those from the inner city, it benefits all dancers in the community.

Celeste Coe has been a dancer for over 20 years and is still looking for new movements and ways to improve.

“It’s a great deal,” she said, “I have been coming here for a while, usually this kind of event costs a lot.”

Gnassounou-Bynoe said that dance is a way of showing one’s true self. She encourages students to not simply go through the motions and to celebrate movements.