Korye spreads Ghanaian drumming culture

The spirit of Africa visited the Knight Spot with stamping feet and powerful drums on Saturday Feb. 18. In partnership with Geneseo Late Knight, Korye Geneseo brought the infectious energy of Ghanaian dancing to campus with their “Night in Africa” event.

Sitting still was not a practical option at the Knight Spot when Korye took over. Korye uses dynamic Ghanaian dance and drums to create spirited performances, with the wish to spread that very same dance fever onto people who have never felt it.

A circle of students in the corner learned how to beat drums in powerful patterns—an essential part to the dances of Korye. Their large circle of students sitting in front of drums and other percussion instruments encompassed Korye members and new learners alike. All equally lost themselves to the rhythm of the sounds under their hands.

Meanwhile, two lines of students formed in the middle of the Knight Spot. Korye members were mixed between these lines, teaching participants how to dance to the rhythm of the practicing drums.

By instructing the members on the simple movements that string together into completed ones, Korye members taught participants their iconic dance moves. They supported the new participants through cheering them on at every opportunity with whoops and calls of “unity,” which is the English translation of “Korye.”

“Personally, I’m a dancer,” neuroscience major sophomore Dimitri Wing-Paul said. “It’s really a wonderful experience for me to learn different styles of dance.”

The excitement on participants’ faces when their swinging hips and swaying arms eased into a complete dance move was obvious. Even GLK coordinators could not resist the aura of the Knight Spot, as they sometimes mimicked the moves of the dancers by their table.

When groups took five-minute breaks to drink and to eat the food provided, participants got to opportunity to chat with Korye members. The music turned to more popular culture during these breaks, with “Leg Over” by Mr Eazi even playing at one point. Many participants took advantage of this opportunity to freestyle the moves that they had learned just minutes before.

“It’s really fun,” French and adolescent education double major freshman Emily Cecala said. “I really enjoy learning about other cultures, especially in these times.”

The event concluded with the new drummers and dancers joining together to bring their moves into one performance. Participants on both sides could see how their rhythm directly correlated to the music and to the movements.

Once they finished, both the participants and Korye members joined their fists in a circle.

“Korye! Unity!” they said while raising their arms into the air.

The enthusiasm of their voices felt like the event brought together the campus as one, if only for a moment.