APRIL 26 – MAY 2, 2024

April 23, 2024


OAKLAND, Calif. – The Malonga Arts Collective (MAC) will open its doors and welcome
enthusiastic dancers from around the Bay Area to celebrate the annual Bay Area Dance Week
(BATW) with dance and drum classes from April 26-May 4, 2024. The classes will be held at the
Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts, the cultural pearl that is home to the 10-member arts
organizations and teaching artists that comprise MAC. As always, all classes during the event
are free to the public.
“We want everybody to bring good energy and fill up the building with joy,” said Nikka Maynard,
Co-Artistic Director of the Diamano Coura West African Dance Company.
“This is one of the many ways the resident companies and artists give back to the community,
which has supported us through many, many years,” Maynard added. “They make it possible for
us to do what we do with their love and support.”
MAC – whose members also include African Queen Dance Company, Bantaba Dance
Ensemble, Dance-A-Vision Entertainment, Dimensions Dance Theater, Fua Dia Kongo, Likha
Filipino Dance Ensemble, Omulu Capoeira Group, Rara Tou Limen, and SambaFunk! – will offer
19 classes total and host a Press Day on Saturday, April 27, when eight classes will be held
from 10:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. (A complete schedule of classes follows below.)
Additionally, Dimensions Dance Theater will host its annual program celebrating its youth
students on Sunday, May 5, at the Phillip Reeder Performing Arts Center at Castlemont High
School in Oakland. This year’s theme is “Dreaming of Joy… Seeking a Just World,” and the
event is free to youth.

Bay Area Dance Week was conceived in 1998 as an offshoot of National Dance Week, which
was founded in 1981 to increase awareness of dance and its contributions to our national
culture. Bay Area dancers and organizations united to give the BADW a distinct local flair,
ensuring that the local festivities boast the innovative and inclusive spirit of the Bay Area.
According to organizer Dancers’ Group, BADW’s events are always among the most popular in
the country. More than 100 dance organizations present events that draw 2,500 artists and
20,000 attendees on a yearly basis.
BATW went dark from 2020-2022 to ensure the safety of all during the COVID-19 pandemic. Its
return last year was a rousing success as dancers from around the Bay Area were eager to get
back on the dance floor.
MAC’s BADW individual classes from last year averaged about 40-50 attendees, according to
Marynard, and the Collective is anticipating up to 3,000 total participants this year. Everyone is
invited to join the classes – from first-timers and novices, to expert dancers who have been
performing for decades.
“The hardest part last year was bringing awareness back, but now everyone is more
comfortable coming back to downtown Oakland,” Maynard said.
MAC is also excited about once again showcasing its historic Malonga Casquelourd Center for
the Arts, which is located at 1428 Alice Street in Oakland.
“What makes this event so special is that we welcome the community and provide free
programming, an outlet for all ages,” Maynard added. “And being cultural bearers, we remind
people that the Center is still here. We all get to see the building come alive with back-to-back
Interested participants may register in advance at https://bit.ly/MalongaBopsidy.
All events held at Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts unless otherwise noted
Friday, April 26
Senegalese West African Dance, with Ousseynou Kouyate, 6:45 p.m. (Studio C)
Saturday, April 27 (All Saturday Classes held in Studio A unless otherwise noted)
Praise Dance, with Nikka Maynard, 10:30 a.m.
Haitian Dance, with Laurie Fleurentin, 11:30 a.m.
Kongolese Drum, with Kiazi Malonga, 12:30 p.m.

Kongolese Dance, with Muisi-kongo Malonga, 1:30 p.m.
West African Drum, with Baba Mosheh Milon, 2 p.m. (Studio D)
Afro-Caribbean Fusion, with Queen Mega, 2:30 p.m.
West African Dance, with Diamano Coura WADC, 3:30 p.m.
Hip-Hop Dance, with Corey Action, 4:30 p.m.
Sunday, April 28 (All Sunday Classes held in Studio C)
Cuban Dance, with Royland Lobato, 11 a.m.
Jazz, with Mecca Boutte, 1 p.m.
Hip-Hop Dance, with Ebonie Barnett, 2:30 p.m.
Guinea West African Dance, with Alseny Soumah, 4 p.m.
Tuesday, April 30
Kongolese Dance, with Muisi-kongo Malonga, 8 p.m. (Studio A)
Wednesday, May 1
Capoeira (Ages 7+), with Omulu Capoeira, 6 p.m. (Studio A)
Talawa Technique, with Latanya d. Tigner, 7:30 p.m. (Studio C)
Thursday, May 2
Youth Pan-African Movement (Ages 3.5-5), with Ms. Leslie Carter, 5 p.m. (Studio A)
Youth Pan-African Movement (Ages 5.5-8), with Ms. Leslie Carter, 5:45 p.m. (Studio A)
Detroit Ballroom & Hustle (Line Dance), with LaKiesha Golden, 7 p.m. (Studio C)
Saturday, May 4
Children’s Hip-Hop Dance (Ages 6-12), with Ms. Carla Service, 10 a.m. (Studio A)
Sunday, May 5
“Dreaming of Joy… Seeking a Just World” – Dimensions Dance Theater’s Annual Celebration of
Youth Dancers, Castlemont High School, 8601 MacArthur Boulevard, Oakland, 4 p.m. For more
information, visit DimensionsDance.org.
About the Malonga Arts Collective (MAC)
The Malonga Arts Collective (MAC) is deeply rooted in culture, tradition, community impact,
education and artistic expression. MAC comprises 10 nonprofit arts organizations—many of
them legacy organizations spanning decades—and individual teaching artists who have
partnered with the City of Oakland for over 30 years. They are situated on the 2nd and 3rd
Floors as well as the theater space and lobby of the Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts
in Oakland, California, where they deliver a range of arts programming. Collectively, these
organizations represent roughly 300 years of community presence, preserving and perpetuating
the cultural art forms of each organization, and bringing community together through the arts.
The MAC’s vision for the Malonga Casquelourd Center is to establish it as a flourishing and
dynamic international cultural hub, the pearl of Oakland, that embraces the convergence of arts,
culture, community belonging, and activism. Learn more at malongaartscollective.org.

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