Programs

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Capoeira Regional: Capoeira Regional is characterized with more acrobatic moves. It is much faster and aggressive than Capoeira Angola and the players are often using head kicks and strikes, jumping and spinning movements. Capoeira Regional is very graceful and an admirable style that stops your breath from the first sight.It was developed in the early 30’s of the 20th century by Mestre Bimba (Manoel dos Reis Machado) for which he is called the father of Capoeira Regional.


Diaspora Dance (African Dance):African dance utilizes the concept of polyrhythm as well as total body articulation. These Dances teach social patterns and values and help people work, mature, develop coordination, and advance improvisational movements. African dances are largely participatory, with spectators being part of the performance. With the exception of some spiritual, religious or initiation dances, there are traditionally no barriers between dancers and onlookers.


Capoeira Angola:Capoeira Angola is the traditional style of Capoeira. It was held by Mestre Pastinha (Vicente Ferreira Pastinha) who was considered a father of this style. Capoeira Angola is mainly played in slow and smooth motion, low to the ground. It is characterized with low kicks, head butts and dodges. In Angola, the two players (called Angoleiros) are very close to each other.  Capoeira Angola contains a lot of ritualistic and demonstrative movements and while played it brings the sense of the African rituals and philosophy to the fighters and to the observants. The music of Capoeira Angola is slower than the one played in Capoeira Regional and its focus is less on aggressive interaction between the Angoleiros and more on positive energy.


Kids Capoeira Regional(See Capoeira Regional)


Jidokwan Tae Kwon Do: is one of the original nine schools of the modern Korean martial arts that became Taekwondo and was founded in what is now South Korea at the end of World War II. Its name translates as “School of Wisdom”.


Twerk Aerobics:  is a type of dancing in which an individual, usually a female, dances to music in a manner involving thrusting hip movements and a low squatting stance.Though the term suggest it represents a combination of “footwork” or  “twist” and “jerk. There is evidence from ethnographic interviews in New Orleans that the term began as street language in New Orleans with the rise of the local hip hop music known as bounce. Since the late 1990s, twerking was associated with bounce music of Southern hip hop.


Salsa/Mambo dance Study Group: Salsa is a popular form of social dance that originated in New York with strong influences from Latin America, particularly Puerto Rico, Cuba and Colombia. The movements of salsa have its origins in Cuban Son, Cha-cha-cha, Mambo and other dance forms, and the dance, along with the salsa music,[ originated in the mid-1970s in New York.

The Mambo dance that was invented by Perez Prado and was popular in the 1940s and 50s in Cuba, Mexico City, and New York is completely different from the modern dance that New Yorkers now call ‘Mambo’ and which is also known as Salsa “on 2”. The original mambo dance contains no breaking steps or basic steps at all. The Cuban dance wasn’t accepted by many professional dance teachers. Cuban dancers would describe mambo as “feeling the music” in which sound and movement were merged through the body. Professional dance teachers in the US saw this approach to dancing as “extreme,” “undisciplined,” and thus, deemed it necessary to standardize the dance to present it as a sell-able commodity for the social or ballroom market.


Yoga Study Group: Yoga is a physical, mental, and spiritual practice or discipline which originated in India. There is a broad variety of schools, practices, and goals inHinduism, Buddhism (particularly Vajrayana Buddhism, and Jainism.

The origins of yoga have been speculated to date back to pre-Vedic Indian traditions, but most likely developed around the sixth and fifth centuries BCE, in ancient India’s ascetic andśramaṇa movements.The chronology of earliest texts describing yoga-practices is unclear, varyingly credited to Hindu Upanishads and Buddhist Pāli Canon, probably of third century BCE or later. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali date from the first half of the 1st millennium CE, but only gained prominence in the West in the 20th century. Hatha yoga texts emerged around the 11th century with origins in tantra.


Batala (Brazilian Percussion)Batala is an international samba reggae music project based in Salvador de Bahia in northeastern Brazil. The name Batala is a combination of the phrase “bateu lá” meaning “hit there” in Portuguese and Obatalá (Oxalá), the Candomblé deity who is the father of the Orixas and of all humanity.


Drum Institute (West African Percussion): West African percussion are played on multiple instruments with different rhythmic patterns. This interplay results in complex rhythmic patterns (polyrhythms). The different accompaniment parts are played on djembes that are tuned to different pitches; this emphasizes the polyrhythm and creates a composite overall “melody”.

A djembe and dunun ensemble traditionally do not play music for people to simply sit back and listen to. Instead, the ensemble creates rhythm for people to dance, sing, clap, or work to. The western distinction between musicians and audience is inappropriate in a traditional context. A rhythm is rarely played as a performance, but is participatory: musicians, dancers, singers, and onlookers are all part of the ensemble and frequently change roles while the music is in progress.


Bomba (African Puerto Rican Percussion)Bomba is one of the traditional musical styles of Puerto Rico. It is the mixture of the three different cultures of the Island: the Spanish, African and Taino cultures. The base rhythm is played by two or more drums.

While bomba can be used as the generic name for a number of rhythms, its real meaning is about the encounter and creative relationship between dancers, percussionists, and singers. Bomba is a communal activity that still thrives in its traditional centers of Loíza, Santurce, Mayagüez, Ponce, and New York City.


Afro-Cuban Percussion: The music of Cuba, including its instruments, performance and dance, comprises a large set of unique traditions influenced mostly by west African and European (especially Spanish) music.Due to the syncretic nature of most of its genres, Cuban music is often considered one of the richest and most influential regional musics of the world. For instance, the son cubano merges an adapted Spanish guitar (tres), melody, harmony, and lyrical traditions with Afro-Cuban percussion and rhythms.

Cuban music has contributed to the development of a wide variety of genre and musical styles around the globe, most notably in Latin America, the Caribbean, West Africa and Europe. Examples include rhumba, Afro-Cuban jazz, salsa, soukous, many West African re-adaptations of Afro-Cuban music (Orchestra Baobab, Africando), Spanish fusion genres (notably with flamenco), and a wide variety of genres in Latin America.


Art Collective: To be announced.


Reading Collective:  SpiritHouse Inc is excited to announce the title of the 3rd book in our Durham City wide Book Study Series. From February – April 2016 we will look at the resilience of African American communities, from enslavement to today, through the eyes of Dr. Jessica Gordon Nembhard, in her book “Collective Courage: A History of African American Cooperative Economic Thought and Practice.”


Outdoor Afro:  Outdoor Afro has become the nation’s leading, cutting edge network that celebrates and inspires African American connections and leadership in nature. Its aim is to help people take better care of themselves, our communities, and our planet.


Latino-outdoorsaims to bring cultura into the outdoor narrative and connect Latino communities and leadership with nature and outdoor experiences.

We connect familias and youth with nature, engage and inspire Latino leadership, empower communities to explore and share their stories in defining the Latino Outdoors identity.