Ouagadougou: American Dancers meet Access Program Students

Through the Arts Envoy Program of the United States government, director/choreographer Chris Rudd and his 7-member dance company, RudduR Dance, came to Burkina Faso to participate in FIDO (Festival International de Danse de Ouagadoudgou) and the In-Out Dance Festival in Bobo-Dioulasso.  During their visit, these dancers met with about 150 students in the U. S. government English Access Microscholarship Program in the amphitheater of Université Aube Nouvelle, Ouagadougou. After practicing introductions and greetings in English, RudduR Dance members continued to reinforce the students’ English by leading group discussions. Through often boisterous question and answer group sessions, the dancers promoted U. S. values of respecting diversity, made connections between their work and Black History Month, and also clearly linked the arts and economic development. Students and artists also explored the role of dance in local African culture and economy in Burkina Faso. Access students demonstrated some traditional dance moves, and finally Access students were treated to an excerpt from one of RudduR Dance’s performance pieces.