Dance: Dance Groups


Aspects of African Canadian Dance Culture
Dance | Organizations | Step & Urban Dancing | African & Caribbean Canadian Dance Groups | Dance Schools

Dance Groups

ADE African Dance Ensemble

304 Assiniboine Road #1601
Toronto ON M3J 1L2

ADE African Dance Ensemble focuses on African traditions in all their diversity in performance, research, and pedagogy. They practice and perform traditional African dance and music that encompass over sixty-five ethnicities of Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Mali, The Gambia, and Kenya, and South Africa. They perform publicly and offer instructional and educational workshops for all ages and all sizes of groups.

ADE was founded in 2001 by African Choreographer and Master Drummer Isaac Akrong, MA Dance, PhD Candidate Ethomusicology (York).


The Afro-Caribbean Dance Ensemble

10275 Jasper Ave. Suite 4
Edmonton AB T5J 1X9

Founded in 1990 by artistic director Sharlene Thomas, The Afro-Caribbean Dance Ensemble is a board-governed volunteer organization that fosters community and learning. In collaborations with other dance companies, community performances, charitable work, and social initiatives, the group aims to inspire and educate the public about African and Caribbean arts and multiculturalism more broadly. The ensemble performs African and Caribbean dance and their home studio, Movements, offers classes as well.


Ballet Creole

375 Dovercourt Road
Toronto ON M6J 3E5

Formed in 1990, Ballet Creole is a non-profit charitable organization directed by a ten-member board that aims to preserve and perpetuate African and Caribbean culture and arts in Canada. Under the artistic direction of Patrick Anthony Parson, Ballet Creole is a professional performing company that specializes in contemporary African and Caribbean dance and music. The organization also offers classes in percussion and various forms of dance (African/Caribbean, Jazz, Modern, Capoeira) from beginner to professional, and children's arts camps and adult's dance camps are offered in the summer. The school also offers a scholarship (partial and full) program for youth at the Ballet Creole School of Performing Arts and adults at the Ballet Creole Professional Training Program. Student co-op opportunities in arts administration, performance and touring management, and professional dance, and an apprenticeship program are also available. While Ballet Creole is a professional company, children can also be a part of a performing group in the Kids Creole dance group, which is accompanied by the Ballet Creole Music Ensemble.


Baobab Tree Drum and Dance Community

99 Fifth Ave. Unit 5 Suite 131
Ottawa ON K1S 5P5

Baobab Tree is a non-profit charitable organization that focuses on the arts of Ghana. They are committed to community development and education through their workshop and outreach programs, and they offer classes in drumming and dancing for children and adults. They also have two performing groups, the Akpokli Drum and Dance Society (adult) and the Baobab Youth Performers. Founder and artistic director Kathy Armstrong has a Master's degree in music education from the University of Toronto.


Caribbean Dance Theatre

53 Root Cres.
Ajax ON L1T 4M3
e-mail: or

Artistic director Tamla Matthews leads this all-female dance group, which calls itself a cultural ambassador that wishes to celebrate Canadian culture with Caribbean flair. Performances can include Caribbean dance, as well as African, Latin, lyrical, hip hop, gospel, chutney, and contemporary styles. The group also provides choreography, makeup and stylist, and headwrapping services.


Caribbean Folk Performers

Toronto ON
416-728-5545 or 905-672-1263

Founded in 1988 by Cheryl Findlay, Eddison Lindsay, Janice Dyer and Marlene Richardson, the company is
committed to preserving and promoting traditional African and indigenous Caribbean culture through dance, music and drama. Dance classes are also offered for all ages at Aurora Live Studios, 392 Queen St. East.


COBA: Collective of Black Artists

610 Queen St. West, 2nd Floor
Toronto ON M6J 1E3

COBA was founded in 1993 by Junia Mason, Charmaine Headley, Bakari E. Lindsay (formerly Eddison B. Lindsay) and Mosa Neshama (formerly Kim McNeilly) to present traditional West African folklore, music, and dance, and to create new work in an "Africanist aesthetic." Their current repertoire ranges from traditional African and Caribbean indigenous folk to modern and contemporary forms, and is under the creative leadership of co-founders Bakari E. Lindsay and Charmaine Headley. COBA is a professional performance group, and offers instruction in dance and drumming for children, teens and adults, and also offers a professional apprenticeship training program.


Compagnie Danse Nyata Nyata

4374 Bld. St. Laurent, 3rd Floor
Montreal QC H2W 1Z5
toll free: 1-877-NYATA-08

Founded in 1993, Compagnie Danse Nyata Nyata is a non-profit charitable organization that focuses on the creation and performance of artistic work, pedagogy, and research. The company's performances and classes focus on central African forms of dance. They instruct from the beginner level up to advanced, they offer drum and dance summer workshops, and they run a 2-year Professional and Artistic Training Program in African Dance (PATPAD). Compagnie Danse Nyata Nyata was originally developed in an earlier incantation in 1986 by Zab Maboungou, who remains the artistic director and principal dancer.


The Cultural Arts Studio School of Afro-Caribbean Dance

Ottawa, ON.
web page:

Established in 1994 by artistic director Suzan Lavertu, the School of Afro-Caribbean Dance is committed to preserving and sharing Afro-Caribbean culture through dance. The school has a performing company, and focuses on various forms of African and Caribbean dance. They also offer classes for children and adults.


Dance Caribe Performing Company

90 Robbinstone Drive
Toronto ON M1B 2E6
e-mail: or

Dance Caribe is a non-profit performance group that focuses on Caribbean and Afro-Caribbean dance. Founded in 1989 under the direction of Martin Scott-Pascall, Dance Caribe's repertoire embodies the cultural diversity of the Caribbean. The company presents dance in traditional forms as well as in contemporary and modern dance styles while preserving Caribbean aesthetics. The group maintains close ties to the greater Caribbean Canadian community and actively participates in multicultural festivities around Toronto and the south western Ontario region. The group performs, volunteers in community events and education, and provides choreography services.


Doundounba Drum and Dance Ensemble

Vancouver BC

The ensemble performs and offers workshops and residencies in schools and community centres. Performer Aboubacar Camara also runs a music camp, which requires travel to his native country of Guinea.


Dzolali Drum and Dance Ensemble

83 Lemarchant St.
Carbonear NL A1Y 1A9


Ijo Vudu

436 Brock Ave.
Toronto ON M6H 3N3
416-901-1340 or 416-884-8805

Ijo Vudu dance company strives to celebrate African heritage and art through performances, demonstrations, dance and music classes, educational programs, residencies, and workshops. Directed by Sani-Abu Mohammed Allen, the company focuses on traditional African music and dance, but also works in contemporary and abstract dance styles.


Kokoma African Heritage Dance and Drum Ensemble

119 W. Pender #404
Vancouver BC V6B 1S5

Kokoma performs African dance and music with a focus on Nigerian traditions. Artistic director Maobong Oku also offers classes and workshops for children and adults.


Maritime Centre for African Dance

2594 Aricola St. Suite 2
Halifax NS B3H 4C6

The Maritime Centre for African Dance (MCAD), formed in 2005, is an organization dedicated to teaching, sharing and promoting African Culture among youth and adults across Nova Scotia and Canada. This organization was formed out of a necessity for cultural representation in the form of traditional dance in Nova Scotia and across Canada. MCAD is a collective of different individuals from Africa who have are trained in traditional dance and ranges from the South, North, Central, West and East of Africa.


Masabo Dance Theatre

40 Sixth Street
New Westminster BC V3L 2Z2

Masabo provides African music and dance performances from "hereditary master musicians and dancers" in both English and French. They also provide artist-in-residence programs in schools for grades kindergarten to 12 to introduce students to the traditional music and dance of Côte d'Ivoire, and perform school, community, and festival concerts. At their studio they offer bilingual instruction in dance and drumming as well as workshops, private lessons, and children's programs.


Nouvel Exposé

Toronto ON

The Nouvel Exposé Dance Troupe specializes in traditional and contemporary dance from Ethiopia, Eritrea, Congo and Egypt accompanied by traditional live music and current chart-topping hits from Africa. Founded by Miss AfriCanada 2000 pageant participants, and led by Savahna Ochola, a seasoned dancer and choreographer, the group was created to permit the members to dance recreationally. In 2002, under Saba Alemayehu Asfaw's direction, the troupe became a professional performing company whose repertoire is ever-expanding. Aside from its function as a performance group, Nouvel Exposé also offers private lessons, workshops, and choreography services.


Troupe de Danse Ekspresyon

185 rue Mance
Longueuil QC J4L 1V2

Founded in 2003 by artistic directors Régine Cadet and Sibyl Graham, EKSPRESYON Dance Company aims to promote Haitian culture through Haiti's traditional dance. The company's goals are to bring together Montreal-based Haitian dancers, and to introduce other dancers to Haitian Folklore dance.


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