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National Museum of African Art Community Day

The Smithsonian National Museum of African Art held a Community Day September 18, where local African dance groups were featured, as were the Beat Ya Feet Kings, a D.C. dance crew that appeared on the MTV show America's Best Dance Crew.

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Dr. Johnetta Cole, director of the National African Art Museum, speaks about why she decided to hold the Community Day event. She explained the event was meant to encourage pride and to celebrate African soul present throughout the community.

Dr. Johnetta Cole, director of the National African Art Museum, speaks about why she decided to hold the Community Day event. She explained the event was meant to encourage pride and to celebrate African soul present throughout the community.1Picture by Emma LansworthLesole Maine, artistic director of the Lesole Dance Project, invites the audience to clap and sing along with him and the other dancers for their next song.2Picture by Emma LansworthLesole Maine dances to the drum beat provided by a member of the Lesole Dance Project. The Lesole Dance Project was created to preserve such traditional South African dances.3Picture by Emma LansworthA dancer from the Afro-Cuban dance and drum group Alafia swirls her skirt in a dance inspired by the busy marketplaces in Cuba.4Picture by Emma LansworthArtistic Director of Alafia Dance and Drum Company Oscar Rousseaux teaches a group of audience members steps found in Afro-Cuban dances.5Picture by Emma LansworthDancers introduce the Brazilian group Sambart by performing a dance with traditional Samba moves.6Picture by Emma LansworthMembers of the Capoeira MalÍs self-defense group perform with Sambart. Capoeira MalÍs is a blend of self-defense, dance, and basic movement that come together to create a fluid and entertaining performance.7Picture by Emma LansworthDancers dressed in Brazilian samba costumes perform after the Capoeira dancers. Their extensively decorated costumes dropped feathers and glitter across the floor.8Picture by Emma LansworthThe D.C. dance crew Beat Ya Feet Kings, featured on the MTV show America's Best Dance Crew, perform their modern hip hop style of dance.9Picture by Emma LansworthThe Beat Ya Feet Kings teach a large group of audience volunteers basic steps they developed from older dances.10Picture by Emma LansworthA young girl paints on a large giraffe sculpture set up outside for children who attended the event to decorate.11Picture by Emma Lansworth

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