Cover for WELSH, DIOUF, & DANIEL, EDS.: Hot Feet and Social Change: African Dance and Diaspora Communities. Click for larger image

Hot Feet and Social Change

African Dance and Diaspora Communities

Indelible stories of living African dance within the African diaspora

The popularity and profile of African dance have exploded across the African diaspora in the last fifty years. Hot Feet and Social Change presents traditionalists, neo-traditionalists, and contemporary artists, teachers, and scholars telling some of the thousands of stories lived and learned by people in the field. Concentrating on eight major cities in the United States, the essays challenges myths about African dance while demonstrating its power to awaken identity, self-worth, and community respect. These voices of experience share personal accounts of living African traditions, their first encounters with and ultimate embrace of dance, and what teaching African-based dance has meant to them and their communities. Throughout, the editors alert readers to established and ongoing research, and provide links to critical contributions by African and Caribbean dance experts.

Contributors: Ausettua Amor Amenkum, Abby Carlozzo, Steven Cornelius, Yvonne Daniel, Charles “Chuck” Davis, Esailama G. A. Diouf, Indira Etwaroo, Habib Iddrisu, Julie B. Johnson, C. Kemal Nance, Halifu Osumare, Amaniyea Payne, William Serrano-Franklin, and Kariamu Welsh

"Many of the authors are themselves the sources of both dance traditions created within the last decades and of significant studies about them. This work is unprecedented and, thanks to its insider perspectives, only possible as the editors have constructed it."--Sheila S. Walker, editor of African Roots, American Cultures: Africa in the Creation of the Americas

Publication of this book was supported in part by the University of Illinois Press Fund for Anthropology.


Kariamu Welsh is a professor emerita of Dance at Temple University. Her books include Umfundalai: An African Dance Technique. Esailama G. A. Diouf is the founding director of Bisemi Foundation Inc. and the Arts and Culture Consultant at the San Francisco Foundation. Yvonne Daniel is a professor emerita of Dance and Afro-American Studies at Smith College. Her books include Dancing Wisdom: Embodied Knowledge in Haitian Vodou, Cuban Yoruba, and Bahian Candomblé and Caribbean and Atlantic Diaspora Dance: Igniting Citizenship.

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