;

African dance performance educates, entertains Volney Elementary students

Volney Elementary School students received a lively lesson on African culture during a musical performance by Biboti Ouikahilo and his dance troupe on Wednesday afternoon.

“We are going to take you to a culture that is significantly different from ours,” Interim Principal Michael Egan told the students prior to the performance. “We want you to keep your minds open.”

Volney Elementary students (from left) AnnaAlice Banner, Aubrey Taber and Cassidy Calaman enjoy a performance by Biboti Ouikahilo and his dance troupe on Wednesday afternoon at the school.
Volney Elementary students (from left) AnnaAlice Banner, Aubrey Taber and Cassidy Calaman enjoy a performance by Biboti Ouikahilo and his dance troupe on Wednesday afternoon at the school.

Although many of the students were unfamiliar with the musical instruments and dances popular along the Ivory Coast, the five-member troupe gave them a memorable lesson.

Wearing bright-colored traditional African clothing, Ouikahilo and his crew used a variety of drums, a xylophone, song and dance to engage the audience.

“Whenever we play music, we smile because it’s from the heart,” the troupe told the students.

Smiles were contagious throughout the program as students joined the musicians and dancers on stage and delivered performances that kept the audience smiling and clapping.

Dancer and musician Biboti Ouikahilo welcomes Volney Elementary School students on stage as he shows them African dance steps during a performance Wednesday at the school.
Dancer and musician Biboti Ouikahilo welcomes Volney Elementary School students on stage as he shows them African dance steps during a performance Wednesday at the school.