The final eight counts of this Afro dance combo “is all about vibes,” says instructor Kiné Camara. “It’s all about having fun, it’s all about that celebration moment.” It’s also a pulsating lunge with core, back, and arm activation. But, really, who gives a hoot about that when the vibes are so strong?
Camara is Well+Good’s Trainer of the Month for September, and is delivering a weekly master class in Afro dance. In week one, she taught us some of the common dance moves from around the African continent, so you may want to check out that video if you’re new to this art form.
This week, Camara leads us in a combo that uses the whole body. You’ll be squatting and lunging but you won’t even realize it because these common strength moves are simply part of a flowing dance routine packed with energy and attitude. “Even when you’re doing something kind of simple, or that feels maybe even more fitness-like, when you’re dancing you have to bring some energy and feeling into it,” says Camara.
A combo might sound intimidating, but Camara breaks down each eight-count in multiple ways so that the phrases become like building blocks you’ll be able to put together. Her words of wisdom? Don’t be intimidated to try something new.
“If you’ve never done choreography before, it’s a new skill, it’s a different skill, it’s different than just being a great dancer because you’re memorizing things in a sequence,” Camara says. “So hopefully this will make it more digestible for you.”
Spending time dancing will do more than just work out your body. It turns out dance specifically taps into parts of your brain that deliver warm and fuzzy feelings.
“The act of dancing can subconsciously remind people of how they felt other times they were dancing, like at their prom, wedding, or out with their friends because it activates the part of the brain where emotions and memory are held,” Kristin Sudeikis, the founder and creative director of dance studio Forward_Space, previously told Well+Good.
Check out Camara’s routine and you’ll get those good vibes flowing in no time.