African Dance & Music

Parent Q&A

Select any title to view the full question and replies.

  • My 6 year old son would like to take "hand drum" lessons. I believe he means congo drums. Can anyone recommend group drum lessons in Oakland for 6 year olds in this style? I would love to support him and his desire to learn to drum with his hands.

    Check out DRUMMM Rhythmic Events! Jeni Swerdlow and her co-facilitators are amazing, world-class drumming teachers, and many of their public events are very family-friendly. The library events are especially focused on kids; the 2nd Sundays monthly East Bay Drummm Circle is usually attended by many folks of all ages, including kids, and its FUN! Ear protection is recommended for kiddos. Hope to see you there!

    Malonga Casquelourd in Oakland has djembe lessons.

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Questions Related Pages

African Music Class for Babies

Jan 2013

Does anyone know of an African music class that I can take my 6 month old daughter to? We love African music in this house and play it all the time for her. It would be amazing to find a class where we could learn and play even more! Thanks! anon

I highly recommend Tacuma King's class at the Malonga Center in Oakland. It's not a ''baby'' class per se but our sons have been going since they were a baby. It's a diverse group (age, culture, language, race, ability/disability . . . ), family friendly . . . It is a VERY special place and Tacuma is an incredible teacher. The kids learn African percussion, songs, and dance from all over the continent of Africa as well as Haiti, Brazil, New Orleans and all over the diaspora. The class is every Saturday from 12-2. Bay Area Youth Arts mama

Hi- This is exactly what you're looking for: Katherine Ndungu-Case, a native of Kenya, founded this amazing organization. She teaches the kid's music classes which are filled with dancing, drumming, singing and lots of fun. She used to teach at Habitot once a week but sadly is not doing it this year. Supposedly she'll be teaching classes in Berkeley on Saturdays soon, but I haven't heard any updates. My daughter and I both loved going. The music is awesome and totally unlike all the cutesy, painful stuff that you have to sing in other music classes. anti itsy bitsy spider mama

Hacker Mom Space in Berkeley has an African Dance, Song, and Drumming for Kids session on Saturday mornings. It's really great. My daughter really enjoyed it. Here is their calendar of Events: silvia

African dance classes for kids?

Nov 2009

I would love to find an African dance class for my 6-year-old daughter, near or in Berkeley. Anyone know of one? kh

Try the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts in Richmond. Betty Ladzepko (AKA Miss Betty) is a well known and respected African dance teacher and she has classes for kids from age 3 on up! --love the EBCPA

east bay center for the performing arts has african dance classes. they also have a program in in albany. anon

African dance lessons for 10 yr old

Jan 2009

Hello - My 10 yr. old daughter would like to take African dance lessons and I was wondering if anyone knows where they might be offered in Berkeley or close to Berkeley. Thanks! Balbina

East Bay Center for the Performing Arts has wonderful teachers for African Dance and many other things. They're located in Richmond. Do not let that deter you from checking them out. I've worked with them for over a decade and cannot speak highly enough. Many of my friends' children have taken classes there and I've seen a number of their excellent performances. Sydney

Brasartes located at 1901 San Pablo Avenue at Hearst in Berkeley offers wonderful Afro-Brazilian dance classes every Tuesday and Thursday from 4-5. More than a dance studio, Brasarte and the Capeiora Arts Foundation join forces for community events that all the children perform in including the Yemenja festival on Feb. 28 and Carnival in May.This is a high quality studio and incredible community. They also have a wonderful summer day camp. I highly recommend the school, teachers and the entire program. See their web site at Aberger

Try East Bay Center for Performing Arts in Richmond near Kaiser. I have not seen their spring class schedule yet but they have offered African dance before. Great place! My daughters have been taking ballet there for over a year and the teachers are very good. I appreciate that it is not a silly or competitive place. The classes are fun but real. anon

My daughter has taken great African dance classes and a summer camp from Madeleine Rogin, who is now teaching at Prospect Sierra School so I don't know if she is offering weekday classes any more. I do know that she will have a summer African Dance and Theatercamp -- AKOMA Camp -- for ages 5-11. Held in Berkeley on Bonita Street, August 3-7 and August 10-14. Madeleine is a great teacher, and we loved the dances and music, and the final performance the kids put on at the end of summer camp was lovely. I don't think she has a website, but you can contat Madeleine by phone 510-558-0975. lori

My daughter has been taking African Dance at school as an after school class for years. Her teacher, Madeleine Rogin, is wonderful. She has good energy and the kids seem to want to re-enroll every semester for years on end. I don't know if she teaches a regular after school class in the larger community but I do know she is teaching two different weeks of African Dance camp this summer. You can reach her at school: madeleine [at] And here is pasted in the information from her camp flyer. You might also ask her if she teaches other places during the afternoons or weekends. Enjoy and good luck. -Tracey

African dance teacher/performer for school fair

Oct 2006

Hi. We're thinking ahead to our school's Spring Fair and we'd like to hire an African Dancer who could maybe do a bit of a performance and then teach a short class to the children and parents there. This would be most exciting if she brought with her a percussionist. Can anyone recommend the right person? Thanks

I know EXACTLY who you need for your spring fair - I have an African drummer in my adult ESL class, and he works with his girlfriend, who is a dancer and teaches African dance to kids in the afternoons. I talked to her to get their email for you: jade_itiene [at] If by chance I got it wrong (cell phones - gotta love 'em!) ask at the Berkeley Adult School. They are going to begin teaching there in the evenings in November, I believe. (They work with the M. Casquelord Center in Oakland now, I think.) Great people . . - Happy ESL teacher!

email: keepdancindelisa [at] Delisa is an instructor and dancer in her own right, and is in contact with individual and groups of dancers, as well as at least one percussionist.

May 2006

AKOMA: African Dance/theater camp

My 8-year-old daughter has been taking African Dance classes with Madeleine Rogin, a *wonderful* teacher! She's doing a summer camp with her, as well. Here's info about the camp for those who may be interested: ''This summer come celebrate dance, theater and music! Akoma Camp is an African Dance and Theater camp for children ages 5-11. Children will learn about rhythm, musicality, improvisation, choreography, and how to work together to create a performance for family and friends. Akoma Camp is led by Madeleine Rogin, a substitute teacher at Step One School, and a graduate of a Masters' program in Theater and Dance from the University of New Mexico. There will be two sessions: Session I is July 24 - 28, and Session II is July 31 - August 4. The fee for each session is $250, with the option of doing both weeks at $450. Camp time is from 9-3 and extended care will be available from 3-5 daily, at $8 an hour. Please contact Madeleine Rogin at 558-0975 or at madrogin[AT] for registration information.'' loridair