Dance It Off!By Iquo B. Essien, The AFRican Blogger

Dance It Off!
By Iquo B. Essien, The AFRican Blogger

Published on Mon, Jan 28 2008 by Iquo Essien

For the most part, I tend to stay in pretty good shape. One of my old capoeira buddies used to say that I reminded him of Wunmi, which is a major compliment since the woman doesn't have an ounce of fat on her. I'm certainly not Wunmi, but I do have my share of muscle.

I realize that one of the only reasons why I stay trim in life, aside from being a lactose-free vegetarian (which shaves a lot of calories off the top) and dancer, is because I'm always so busy running around that I can't really carry around extra pounds. There was a study once that showed people who keep moving, by pacing for instance, stay thinner than those who don't, all things being equal.

I don't know when it happened, but over the last couple of years I've become an avid pacer. If you see me standing on a subway platform, I'm likely to be walking back and forth between the Brooklyn and Manhattan tracks or, one of my more annoying habits, walking in circles around one of the platform columns (I know, annoying). I've become one of those people who just can't sit still for whatever inexplicable reason and we hate when people stare at us as though there's something wrong with that. ;)

It also just helps me think. The more I'm moving, the more my thoughts are moving, and the better everything seems to work together. There's something about that kind of constant activity which spills over into productivity.

At any rate, though I didn't have much of a vacation from grad school, I somehow managed to slow down enough to put on the "holiday 10." At first I thought it was cute (you know, cause it went to the right places), but then someone took a very unflattering photo of me this past weekend and I realized that I needed to get trim FAST. Yeah, and all y'all get to see is the little thumbnail image! LOL. Not that I mind the booty, of course, it's just when it looks like it doesn't want to stay in my pants that I start to have problems.

I'm not getting into anything unhealthy, just gonna cut back on the junk (don't sleep, vegan desserts can pile it on too!) and get moving again. I went back to dance class on Saturday and Nia Love kicked my butt. If any of y'all want to dance it off too, take a look at a couple classes for sistas and (specifically!) brothers below.


The AFRican Blogger

Movement for the Urban Village Director Shalewa Mackall will be teaching free classes for the next couple of Saturdays at the Kowteff School of African Dance. For more information, contact Sewaa Codrington at


I.S. 271 1137 Herkimer Street
between Saratoga Avenue & Thomas S. Boyland Street
Brooklyn, New York

Yalani Bangoura will be at Ifetayo Cultural Arts for a free workshop, the next few Saturdays, teaching a Guinean rites of passage dance, "Ye-Mah Mah," with live drummers. Bangoura has been a member of award-winning Les Merveilles de Guinea since 1995. He I know that you guys sometimes feel outnumbered if you're even brave enough to go to a dance class. But this one is just for you, which is a rare and beautiful thing. RSVP to

Address & Info:

Saturday, January 26, February 2, 9, and 16
St. Mark's Day School
1346 President Street (corner of Brooklyn Ave)


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