Africa, Kenya, Tanzania

CHAKACHA DANCE from Kenya and Tanzania (African Dance)

Chakacha is an African dance performed mainly by women during auspicious events such as marriages. This traditional dance is to have originated from the coastal region of Kenya and Tanzania, and belongs to a community known as “Swahili”.  Apparently, this dance is also said to be closely linked to a Taarab, yet another African music and dance genre. Furthermore, dances such as Congolese Soukous, and belly dances originating from the Middle East involve hip movements that are also used in this dance form.

a. Where did the Chakacha dance come from?

This dance was basically created by a community called “Swahili” belonging mainly to the coastal regions of Kenya and Tanzania. Furthermore, these coastal regions at one point in time were filled with Persian and Arab traders, and thus were heavily influenced by their culture. It was therefore taking inspiration from the Persian belly dancing, that the Swahili community created this dance form which was named Chakacha.

b. Costumes used in the Chakacha dance:

The costumes worn by the performers (mainly female) include light and transparent clothing and a belt that is worn around the waist to provide for ease in moving during performance.

c. Music involved in the Chakacha dance:

The musical instrument mainly involved includes the bass guitar, drums, guitar, percussion tools like drums, and vocals.

d. Training availability and technique involved in the Chakacha dance:

In terms of technique, this dance mainly involves seductive swaying of the hips of the performers. In fact the hip swaying has been inspired from dances such as the Persian belly dance and the Congolese Soukous. As for training centres/schools, there are none available around the world since this traditional dance is mainly performed by the Swahili community in the coastal region of Kenya and Tanzania.

e. Some videos of the Chakacha dance:

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