Program Basics

1/ The Rhythm & Movement of West Africa is an on-campus, interactive arts education program appropriate for students in grades K-12. The program complements STARR and TEKS requirements by introducing music vocabulary, authentic instruments, dance and math, history, geography and culture. Features energetic dancing to traditional, live West African drumming, vibrantly costumed performers, a brief history of musical instruments, and call/response songs in English and SuSu (a Guinean language). This program can be tailored per presenter, and can be presented in 30-45 minute increments during general assembly, and back-to-back performances. Schools can be provided with assessment materials, in addition to educational materials. Suitable for small/large audiences and diverse facilities. During the program students will:

  • See, hear and learn about traditional musical instruments from Guinea, West Africa;
  • See traditional costumed dances;
  • Learn how math and dance are related through time and space; dance movement can be all sorts of circles and lines (geometry!);
  • Learn call and response song(s);
  • Learn about the continent of Africa’s distinct geography [54 countries!] and languages;
  • Understand new vocabulary and use it;
  • Identify patterns and recognize their significance;
  • Learn about the cultural history and background of West African drum and dance, as records of human achievement;
  • Be invited onstage to learn traditional dance steps.

2/ Drum/Dance Residency (two week minimum for drum and/or dance).

  • Dance Residency: Introduces students to the African aesthetic through movement and gesture. Students will learn cultural specific reasons why and how dances are performed; students will learn, improvise and perform short dance phrases. Various different diasporic social dance forms presented from countries like Guinea, Ghana, etc.
  • Drum Residency: Introduces students to culture and traditional music of West African countries such as Guinea, Mali, The Ivory Coast, etc. Students will learn the culture specific reasons why the polyrhythmic songs are played in the villages and the cities in West Africa. Students will learn to play some of the main drums played in that region of Africa which are called “djembes” and “dununs.”

3/ African Diasporic Drum / Dance Workshops, (45 min minimum, on-campus). Features one lead instructor, and drum accompaniment scheduled as needed. Interactive instructional workshops in either diasporic dance, drumming [or both!] can be incorporated in classroom, family, and other festive group activities. Participants explore music or dance as a reflection of West African culture.

  • Drum Workshops / Classes: participants explore musical phrasing, singing, listening, performing, and the elements of music. 
  • Dance Workshops / Classes: participants explore the elements of dance, phrasing, creating through improvisation, and creating dances that tell a story. 

4/ Drum and dance performances of traditional, and innovative Guinea and diasporic rhythms. Suitable for small/large audiences, and diverse facilities.

Book Lannaya for your next school show, festival, family function, corporate event, meeting/workshop, public concert, reception, party, flashmob, or other special occasion!

Tech Needs

  • Program Length: We can do it all. 15, 45, or 60 minutes, and back‐to‐back sets are fine (feel free to contact us).
  • Recommended individual group size: Up to 650 for grades K‐12. ** We can also accommodate larger audiences, e.g festivals, etc.
  • Recommended ages: K‐12, adults.
  • Number of shows: 1‐2 shows for a half‐day or special event; 3‐4 shows for a full‐day.
  • Location: We can perform in diverse facilities, including covered, cleared and swept outdoor stages, theatres, libraries, cafetoriums and gyms are all workable venues.
  • Tech needs: Level, clean surface free of sharp objects (preferably sprung floor, but we’re adaptable).
  • More details on Lannaya’s FAQ page

Save 50% with Arts Grants!

Grants from the Texas Commission on the Arts could cover up to 50% of Lannaya’s total fee!

“Arts Respond Performance Support grants” provide support to nonprofit organizations in Texas interested in booking Lannaya and other artists from the TCA Touring Artist Roster. This means that these grants are open to schools, libraries, and nonprofit organizations to apply for grants to hire artists like Lannaya.

Here are a few facts you need to know:

  • Applications are funded on a sliding scale (typically 25‐50%) of contracted fees. Support is based on TCA’s available funds.
  • Maximum award is 50% of Lannaya’s total fee, including all expenses.
  • The largest awards typically go to groups in rural and/or socio‐economically disadvantaged areas. Special programs are available for groups in the Rio Grande Valley, Midland/Odessa & El Paso areas.

TCA Arts Grants application deadlines:

  • August 1, for performances between Sept. 1 through Dec. 14
  • November 1, for performances occurring Dec. 15 through March 14
  • February 1, for performances between March 15 through June 14
  • May 1, for performances between June 15 through Aug. 31

How to apply for a grant:

  1. If your organization doesn’t have one already, you’ll need to get a user ID for the TCA website and online grant applications at‐up/.You will need to provide your organization’s federal tax ID #, proof of non‐profit status and some other information.
  2. Once you have the user ID & password, sign in and get started here

PLEASE NOTE: when hiring a performer, YOU are the PRESENTER. For example the nonprofit, We Can All Dance, presents dance/drum classes for 3rd graders.

The person or group performing the program is called the ARTIST (that’s Lannaya).

This confuses nearly everyone when they first look into arts grants!