the one where i took an african dance class

Janet PeckHere at Dickinson College (that’s where I go to school), we are required to take four blocks of PE. Each block of gym is half a semester, so it amounts to two full semesters of gym. But, luckily for me, going to the gym and running for 50 minutes, three times a week is not the only gym option that I’m offered as a student.

This is where the picture above comes in. That’s Janet. I see her once a week every Monday night from 6-8 PM at The Site. She teaches African dance. She’s this little tiny ball of energy whom I can always count on this class to brighten up even the darkest of my Mondays.


Map of the region in West Africa where the song that we learned comes from.

Anyways, the reason why I decided to dedicated this post to my African dance class is because tonight we learned a new song. We’ve learned songs in the past, but this one spoke to me. We all gathered in a circle and Janet stood in front of us and explained how in Guinea, when somebody extends their left hand to you, you shake it. Shaking hands with your left doesn’t mean goodbye, it means I’ll see you later. This song is the song of goodbye for the Malinke people. Those who are staying sing it to those who are leaving. Here’s a video of my class singing the song:

 Not everybody in this class is best friends with one another. Yes, we all have people that we gravitate towards, but, every Monday at 6 PM, something remarkable happens. Those 30 kids all become best friends making complete and utter fools of themselves, throwing their arms around and jumping up and down singing songs about never having to say goodbye to one another.

 Instead we’re just saying, “See you later.”

*featured image can be found here*

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