Coming Together through African Dance

What: Dance residency for 6th to 8th graders

Where: Fairfield Academy in the Chicago Lawn neighborhood

During this African dance residency, Urban Gateways teaching artist Amaniyea Payne’s goal was to teach her students dance as a means of self expression and communication, open them up to another culture, build their vocabulary, and explore the strong relationship between drumming and body movement. With dedication and enthusiasm and with Amaniyea’s guidance, students prepared a piece, which they performed for teachers, parents, and other students during a school assembly.

“This small production really worked as a catalyst for our young people to understand coming together in the spirit of cooperation and unity to accomplish, achieve and evolve,” said Amaniyea of her students’ final performance.

This dance program is one of three Urban Gateways’ artist residencies – one dance, one theatre and one visual arts residency – all taking place at Fairfield this year, thanks to corporate sponsor Jenner & Block.


Did you know…because of residencies like Amaniyea’s, 75% of Urban Gateways students say they participate more in classroom activities.