Red Clay Dance Academy’s new class series honors the diversity of the African Diaspora

Red Clay Dance Academy announces the continuation of its exciting African Diaspora Dance Series.

Founded by renowned choreographer, artivist and Red Clay Dance Company Artistic Director Vershawn Sanders-Ward, the February series features a dreamy line-up of both traditional and contemporary African-centered dance styles.

Empower yourself in the movement of play and resistance in Afro-Brazilian “Capoeira,” led by Gingarte. Learn popular Nigerian dances with Afro-beat in a class guided by Jeremy Noah. Tap into your sensual power with belly dancing taught by Azeema Akram.  An easily-accessible adult drop-in format, lets you flow throughout the African Diaspora with an array of classes—taken either singly or, more ambitiously, as a series on Wednesday’s from 7-8:15 pm.

Last Fall, I had the opportunity to explore the African Diasporic Dance Series by taking both an Afro-fusion Class led by Amansu Eason and a Dunham Class led by Ward herself. The sessions were just the right size giving us an opportunity to grace the room with expansive power but intimate enough to create community during both warm up and cool down. Infused with relevant history and technique, the classes were a playground for embodied understanding, cultural empowerment, spiritual connection and fun. Co-ed classes, with inter-generational and multi-skill level dancers, each class was a melting pot of diverse backgrounds.

One of the more uplifting things to come out of the pandemic was Red Clay Dance Academy’s grand opening in its new space on 63rd and Cottage Grove in the Fall of 2021.

Although the academy doors have only officially been open for a few months, the “Artivism in Motion” and Touring Company have been dedicated to Red Clay’s two-fold mission of artistry and activism for the past 10 years. Touring nationally and internationally, they have committed themselves to Afro-Contemporary style, dance education, community engagement and social change. 

To see Red Clay Dance Academy flourish in my stomping grounds in a premiere space, designed with intentionality and care, feels so hopeful for my personal dance development, but more importantly, for the impact this cultural nexus will have on the greater South Side and global communities.

The African Diasporic Dance Series is the perfect opportunity to form new memories with friends and family, and to experience the African Diaspora as a celebration of the many coming together as one.


The African Diaspora Dance Series takes place Wednesdays from 7:00-8:15pm through June 1 at Red Clay Dance Academy, 808 East 63rd Street. Online registration ends daily at 4pm at or by calling 773.624.8411.