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More Than Movement Dance Education: International Dance Day

Welcome to another More Than Movement Dance Education spotlight! These spotlights are dedicated to sharing the history and culture of various Black dance forms. We specifically aim to spotlight dance forms that are historically appropriated and set the record straight about where so many of these beautiful dance forms originated!

Have a dance form you would like to see spotlighted next? Let us know at!

Happy International Dance Day from Rae Studios!

In honor of International Dance Day, we're highlighting some of the international dance forms we offer at Rae Studios, from Afro Dance to Raqs Sharqi! Read more about these dance forms below.

Kimaya Rane (She/Her) @kimakeitrane
Bollywood Funk
  • Bollywood dancing in earlier Bollywood films was based on Indian classical dance or folk dances from all over India. The term Bollywood combines “Bombay” (now known as Mumbai) and “Hollywood.”

  • As cinema evolved, Bollywood films started having larger musical numbers with intricate choreography.

  • Now, much of Bollywood dance is influenced by Western culture and other cultures which is where the Bollywood Funk/Fusion style comes from - Bollywood with Jazz and Hip Hip influence!

Kimaya's biggest cultural element from what she teaches is Bollywood/Punjabi film and music as well as influences from more commercialized dance styles in media. Ever since she could walk, Kimaya’s loved all forms of dance and mixing and matching styles and music.

She started exploring Bollywood Funk after college because she missed being on a Hip-Hop team but also felt deprived of her Bollywood roots. It started with pop-up classes teaching more open-style and Hip-Hop to Bollywood music and now has transformed into a happy medium of many western styles with classic Bollywood steps.

Kimaya says Bollywood Funk is easily one of the things she is most proud of and is always the highlight of her week!

Kimaya currently teaches Bollywood Funk Choreo on Saturdays 12:20pm. Click here to register for her class.
Leo Fonseca (He/Him) @leoguida, @brazilhitsdanceclass
Brazil Pop Hits
  • Brazilian Pop is not a new style. This is a new format of dance that mixes elements from Hip-Hop, Reggaeton, and street dance to create choreography that can be replicated. The trend in Brazil for the past years is learning the original choreography from a new hit video clip and being able to dance the same choreography at the club, at your party, for TikTok videos, etc. It’s an easy format and has the Brazilian signature moves and energy.

  • Famous Brazilian singers like Anitta, Pablo Vittar, and Luisa Sonsa realized the power of this format and started to use it as one of the most important parts of promoting a new song/album, for example. It became crucial to know the choreography, so you can smash at the club.

  • Before all of that, only professional dancers knew the official choreography and had an anti-ethical to teaching the original choreography but now, is part of the show that everyone knows.

Leo incorporates elements from Hip-Hop, Reggaeton, and street dance into his choreography. Leo started dancing almost 20 years ago in a dance crew, doing showcases, dancing in the clubs as a drag queen's backup dancer, and teaching kids basic Hip-Hop. His relationship with this format started when he came to the United States years ago and the desire to listen to and dance to Brazilian music became unstoppable. He found more Brazilians that were homesick and united through dance. They gathered at the park just to play a song and do choreography that they danced back in the nightclubs in Brazil and Carnaval.

Leo currently teaches Brazilian Pop on Tuesdays 7:45pm. Click here to register for his class. 
Danaite Gebremeskel (She/Her) @danaite_96
Afro Dance
  • Afro Dance is a dance style passed down from generation to generation starting from our ancestors.

  • Nowadays, it’s taking a modern form and we group it under the umbrella of Afro Dance/beats/fusion.

Danaite emphasizes the people and the feeling of Afro Dance. For her, Afro dance is life. It’s about turning real-life scenarios into action or play!

Danaite currently teaches Afro Dance on Wednesdays 7:30pm. Click here to register for her class. 
Clyde Dennis (He/Him)
Umfundalai (um-foon-duh-luh)
  • Umfundalai is a contemporary African dance technique that comprises its movement vocabulary from dance traditions throughout the African Diaspora. In Kiswahili, Umfundalai means “essential”.

  • The late Dr. Kariamu Welsh, Umfundalai’s progenitor, has designed a stylized movement practice that seeks to articulate an essence of African – oriented movement or as she has described, “an approach to movement that is wholistic, body-centric and organic.”

Clyde incorporates Polycentric and polyrhythmic movement, community, and traditional African dress into his classes. He is a certified M'Singha Wuti instructor of Umfundalai which means he has studied Umfundalai's history and engaged in the movement practice. It is a style that is very grounding and therapeutic to him, so he holds it very close to his heart.

Check out our full roster of classes. Click here to sign up. 

Andrea Sendek (She/Her) @andreasendek
Raqs Sharqi (Egyptian Belly Dance)
  • Raqs Sharqi has its origins in the traditional dance styles of Raqs Baladi (the social form of dance) and Egypt's original professional entertainers the Ghawazi and Awalim. In the late 1800's Egypt's big cities Cairo and Alexandra were international hot spots and the arts and entertainment industries were flourishing.

  • The audiences were composed of people from all over the world and many venues offered variety shows that were inspired by European variety shows. Dance was a part of these shows and this was the first time that Raqs Baladi and the dances of the Awalim and Ghawazee were offered in a theatre type of venue.

  • Egyptian dancers incorporated foreign elements into their dancing, lots of inspiration came from Latin and Western styles of dance. Thus a new style of dance was born and Egyptians called it Raqs Sharqi (Dance of the East).

Andrea's relationship with her dance form is very deep. She has been studying Raqs Arabi (Arabic dance) for over 20 years and it has been the rock of her life. She has become a more cultured and experienced person through dance and made friendships with people from all over the world. She thinks about it many times a day every day for her whole adult life. It's her life and she's still madly in love with it until this day!

Andrea currently teaches Belly Dance on Fridays 7:50pm, Sundays 10am, and Sundays 11:15am. Click here to register for her classes. 
Resource List

Interested to learn more about the dance forms we offer at Rae Studios? Visit our living resource document which we are continuously updating with more resources on different dance forms!

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Make sure to tag the Rae Studios @raestudiossf and the instructors, and use the hashtag #MoreThanMovement.


Learn More About More Than Movement

If you have any questions or comments regarding our More Than Movement program or have any resources you’d like to share, please email our More Than Movement Committee leads, Lexi and Kristie at

Please continue to follow this page, our Rae Studios newsletter, and on social media for upcoming events, workshops, speaker series, panels, performances, materials for dance educators, and more. We look forward to growing as artists and community leaders that will show the world that what we do is #morethanmovement.


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