Workshops for Adults

VERTEBRAE: A Dance Workshop

  • Image courtesy of the artist, Germaine Acogny
    Image courtesy of the artist, Germaine Acogny
Workshops for Adults
VERTEBRAE: A Dance Workshop
Sunday 26 March, 12—3pm
Event Information

Time and Date: Sunday 26 March 2023,
Location: Footscray Community Arts, Performance Space

VERTEBRAE is a program that celebrates the life and work of Germaine Acogny, a visionary dancer, choreographer, and founder of École des Sables. This is a two part program, with Part One being a dance workshop that invites participants to experience the joy of dance and explore new ways of feeling alive in their bodies. To find out more about Part Two of this series, head to VERTEBRAE: A Creative Conversation.

The workshop is an entry-level, movement-based program open to young people of all dance backgrounds and experiences, including those with no experience at all. Germaine Acogny herself will teach The Acogny Technique, which connects deep roots of culture, nature, and the body as a source of life energy and power. Expert rhythms will be provided by Lamine Sonko on drums.

Lee Masiyane, a local dancer and instructor, and Aminata Diallo, a yoga teacher, will be on hand to assist participants as needed. Participants are encouraged to wear comfortable clothes and bring any sensory aids that may support them.

The program is designed to connect young First Nations, African diaspora, and creatives of colour between the ages of 14 and 30 with Germaine Acogny’s transformative work. Light snacks and refreshments will be provided during breaks.

This event is produced in partnership with Footscray Community Arts, and SIGNAL, City of Melbourne.

Date & Times

Sunday 26 March 2023, 12—3pm  

Performance Space



Please contact Nyaruot Ruach via ruthnyaruot@footscrayarts.com if you have any access requirements.

Meet the Dance Instructors
  • Germaine Acogny
    Germaine Acogny

    Senegalese and French, Germaine Acogny has evolved her own technique of Modern African Dance and is considered worldwide as the “mother of Contemporary African Dance”. From 1977 to 1982, she was the Artistic Director of Mudra Afrique, created by Maurice Bejart and the President L.S. Senghor in Dakar. She dances, choreographs and teaches all over the world and has become a forceful ambassador of African Dance and Culture. In 1997, Germaine Acogny was appointed Artistic Director of the Dance section of Afrique en Creation in Paris. With her husband Helmut Vogt, she created in Senegal the International Centre for Traditional and Contemporary African Dance, the Ecole des Sables, inaugurated in 2004. It’s a place of exchange between African dancers and dancers from all continents. Here dancers from all over Africa receive the rigorous training which guides them towards Contemporary African Dance. Since 1988 Germaine Acogny creates regularly solo pieces for herself and since 2003/2004 she choreographes for her company Jant-Bi which tours successfully all over the world. Germaine Acogny is Chevalier de l’Ordre du Merite, Officier des Arts et Lettres, Chevalier de l’Ordre de la Légion d’Honneur, and Commandeur dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of the French Republic. She is also Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Lion and Officier des Arts et Lettres of the Republic of Senegal. In 2007, she received, jointly with the Japanese Kota Yamazaki, a BESSIE Award in New York for the choreography of their piece “Fagaala“. 

  • Lamine Sonko
    Lamine Sonko

    Lamine Sonko is a director, composer and multi-instrumentalist, originally from Senegal and living in Melbourne since 2004. In his artistic practice he draws on traditional wisdom to create inter- disciplinary & multi-sensory arts experiences inspired by his Senegalese cultural background as a Gewel (hereditary cultural role) to be a keeper and communicator of history, customs, rituals and sacred knowledge through music, dance and oral storytelling. His creative practice is informed by a lifetime of learning embodied cultural knowledge within my community, guided by elders through participation in rituals and ceremonies. In his artistic practice he draws on these ancient concepts to present to audiences in a current and tangible form that seeks to evoke new community consciousness, connection and unity in diversity. Through his work he aims to communicate themes of interconnectedness through interpretative narratives, sacred music composition and dance, and illuminated by words, sonics and visual art. ‘He has directed large scale performance works including ‘One Africa’ for Boite Millenium Chorus (Arts Centre Melbourne) and ‘Singing the Journey’ (Hawthorn Arts Centre)He has cemented his role as a highly talented and innovative composer, arranging and recording a vast body of award-winning music including two compositions for Grammy Award-winning album ‘Winds of Samsara’ (2015). 

  • Lerato Masiyane
     Lerato Masiyane

    Lerato Masiyane is one of the top dance performers and instructors in Melbourne, Australia, specialising in Afro Dance and Dancehall. Lerato was born in Zimbabwe, later migrated to New Zealand where she lived most of her life before moving to Melbourne, to complete her studies in youth work. Since completing her studies Lerato has continued to build her youth work skills and combine them with her passion for dance to inspire those around her. She has performed with some of Australia’s highest profile musicians including Sampa the Great, Baker Boy and international artist Jojo Abot. She has also worked with multiple communities and school in Australia, sharing her culture and love for dance. Lerato is now focused on building her skills as a choreographer and helping to build the Afro Dance community in Melbourne. 

  • Aminata Diallo
     Aminata Diallo

    aminata (pronoun is ami) is a double air sign, teaches yoga, loves brewing up potions and creating scrumptious recipes. You’ll often find ami talking to plant friends and daydreaming.  


This is a past event