Kapa‘a Elementary celebrates Black History Month

The African dance and drumming troupe Dance Africa Live, led by reading teacher Kimberly Gladysz, will be performing in an assembly for the students of Kapa‘a Elementary School on Monday at 10:15 a.m. and 1 p.m., in celebration of Black History Month.

The morning show will be for students in preschool to second grade, and the afternoon performance will be for those in grades three through five.

The performance is funded by a grant from leaders of the Kauai Concert Association.

Gladysz first started the dance troupe in Virginia, but has since moved to Kaua‘i, and sought out people who were interested in African dance and drumming, to put this together.

“I linked up with people who were into the same dance. I studied with teachers in Guinea, and I met people who studied from teachers in Senegal,” she said.

“I’m interested in bringing dance classes in the schools. My goal is to have the schools open up to workshops for things like music and dance.” The Dance Africa Live troupe will start off with this assembly in the cafeteria at Kapa‘a Elementary School.

“We try to make it interactive for the kids, and get them to dance. Because we’re in the cafeteria in an assembly format, we can’t interact with all of the kids, but we will bring some kids on stage and teach them some drumming,” Gladysz said.

Gladysz’s teaching experience spans more than 10 years, and as a teaching artist, she has designed programs for public-school systems in New York. She performed with the troupe Les Gazelles de Guinea, a troupe under the instruction of performers from Les Ballet Africains.

For more information on Gladysz or the dance troupe, visit www.danceafricalive.com.

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