Thursday, June 12, 2014

Dancing the Night Away - Kika Center

The weather was perfect for our afternoon and evening at Kika Center. Under the expert direction of the proprietor, Kaddu, the students learned a dance traditional to the Buganda Kingdom. Kika (pronounced Chicha) is a new dance center located in dark green foothills near Entebbe. The setting was perfect as the students learned the movements to a 'dance to make the king happy'. I kept up for about an hour until the jumping moves began. Then I opted for African tea with colleagues while the students continued to refine their moves.

The evening began with a traditional dinner of matooke, rice, ground nut sauce, goat skewers and more. A performance by the Kika dance troupe filled the rest of the evening as the dancers illustrated that 'Uganda is a very big world in a small country'. The highlight for our group was when they were called to the stage, walked behind and emerged as Uganda dancers! They artfully ;-) performed the dance they had practiced so diligently during the afternoon. 


Throughout, Kaddu emphasized the need for Ugandans to preserve their incredible culture. He is doing a great job insuring this will happen! For more information and pictures go to www.kikauganda.com.

9 comments:

  1. I had a blast learning how to dance a traditional Ugandan dance! I thought it was really fun to get to know a little more about the origins of the dance and attempt to do it myself. I was a little nervous about the performance, but it ended up being really fun and really funny to watch the recording. I now have a lot more appreciation for what those dancers do. Listening to all the traditional Ugandan songs and watching the dances really helped me get a better sense of their culture.

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  2. I really enjoyed the cultural experience of learning the dances even though the day was very tiring! I think this is a perfect example of the importance of culture in Uganda, especially dancing. From the health center opening to visiting the schools, we have always been treated to traditional African dances. Therefore, it was especially fun to learn the moves though we may not have been as saavy as the actual African dancers. I hope the center continues with its success, and I hope more tourists learn about this unique dance center.

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  3. The dance was definitely not easy to learn, but it was so much fun! Like Jena said, I too have a lot more respect for those dancers. Throughout the night performance I loved how different dances and songs from the different regions of Uganda were incorporated into the show. They were all unique in their own way but as a whole, it showed how important the preservation of tradition is in this culture. Overall, it was a great day!

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  4. First of all, I did not know there was a recording of the dance! Yikes. I accidentally was front and center during the performance, dancing some, but laughing more. This was one of my favorite things we have done so far. I love to dance, even though I am horribly uncoordinated. Like Hayley mentioned, we are always greeted with dancing. Every time a group performs I think to myself, hey I could do that! Now I know that I most definitely cannot. I love that you mentioned when the main performer said 'Uganda is a very big world in a small country' because this was very apparent through the variety of songs and dances that were performed. Being here has made me appreciate the variety of culture that exists. The people here love where they come from, and one of my favorite things was when Ronald, a MUBS student, went on stage to join in with his local dance. The joy people get from expressing their culture is different and exciting to see.

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  5. I also thought it was so great when Ronald went up there and joined in his local dance! Although we've been able to travel somewhat around Uganda, this show made me realize how much variety in culture there is amongst Uganda's different regions. I also thought it was interesting to hear the modern pop-like songs that had been written with traditional Ugandan instruments, in order to show the young generation that these instruments can still be relevant. This was their approach to trying to make cultural music appeal to today's taste, and therefore to make their business sustainable in today's industry.

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  6. What a great time! It was a nice change of pace to do something relaxing (and at the same time strenuous) and not sit in a meeting all day. I think that its very impressive that traditional song and dance in Africa has survived for hundreds or years virtually unchanged. I believe that this is a great tradition to uphold as it helps to really define African culture. As Karli mentioned about Ronald, I love that everybody knows the dances- its common among the tribes and it helps hold people together. I think a strong sense of identity will be very important as Uganda begins to urbanize and become a first world country.

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  7. Dancing was one of my favorite things we have done on the trip. In the USA, almost anyone can dance just by pumping their fist. Here, they expect you to get a workout in. For the guys, jumping and kicking your legs was compulsory, as was swinging your arms. We even did one dance move that was literally just a push-up. The girls did not have to do as much jumping as the guys, but learned how to shake their hips Ugandan-style, which is substantially harder than it looks. I’m just thankful that I wasn’t on camera while I was attempting to get the hip-shaking down.

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  8. The weather in Uganda makes these kind of nights very enjoyable. Sitting outside with good food, good friends, good weather, and god music all made for a fun night. It is interesting to see businesses like the dance center that typically target a middle class, starting up in Uganda.

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  9. David Jonathan SsentongoNovember 11, 2014 at 6:40 AM

    well what can i say .. ...
    i was really overwhelmed to see people from a different part of the world dance to my cultural dance tunes and it was really fun .
    i actually get some time and visit the kika cultural centre its really wonderful.

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