The international workshop allows professional dancers from all continents to explore the essence and the universe of the traditional and contemporary dances of Africa, but also of its Diaspora. The workshop Black Dance Forms. Between Engagement and Resistance is based on triangular meetings and dialogues between African dances, dances of the African Diaspora and dances from Europe and America. A journey through Black Dance! The next international BLACK DANCE FORMS #2 workshop. Memory and Evolution will be held from 17 July - 26 August 2017.

For 2015, Ecole des Sables has chosen to set up a new training method, rooted in the long term, based on continuity, destined for a smaller number of rigorously selected dancers, in order to obtain better results in terms of creativity and choreographic production. The new program comprises three modules, each lasting three months, and will take place over a period of three years (2015-2017), with one module per year. The first module ran from 6 April – 13 June 2015, and focused on the dancer as interpreter.

Into New Territories” - Research and Creation workshop on Hip Hop and African dances Continuing the work begun with the dancers from hip hop, in 2014, Ecole des Sables organized a research workshop in choreographic writing based on hip hop and African dances, bringing together around thirty young choreographers, all professional dancers, from Africa and all over the world, who have strong hip hop basics (all styles). So they can explore cross-cutting links between hip hop and African dances and project their practice, chorographic research and creativity into new territories.

April 14 to May 10 2014, the workshop "100% Senegal" was for the first time dedicated exclusively to young dancers from all regions of the country, in order to promote and develop new dance in Senegal, by offering younger generations of Senegalese dancers new technical tools to help them project their art towards the future of dance in Senegal.

Criss-crossed traces”; this 6-week professional course for dancers from the 5 continents was aimed at allowing dancers to explore what dancing means, how tradition marks and shapes people to a certain extent and how today, so-called contemporary dance transforms people, leading into unknown and unexplored territories. For dancers from outside Africa, this workshop serves as an introduction to the dances of Africa.

A corps accords” a 10-week professional course bringing together 42 dancers from all over Africa, including 10 Senegalese dancers, on the theme of improvisation. This workshop aimed at giving dancers a space to find the keys to master the formal techniques proposed but also to understand the various steps of improvisation as a form of instant composition, and as a movement material for the choreographer.

Workshop list


International professional workshop: Thinking and dancing differently the traditional dances of Africa #1

It was held from July 17th to August 27th. The 2019 international workshop saw the participation of 37 dancers from 5 continents. It was under the artistic direction of Patrick Acogny.This workshop was led by 8 professors including:

Blandine Yameogo from Burkina Faso: Traditional dances from Burkina

Germaine Acogny: Master Classes

Richard Adossou from Benin: Traditional dances from Benin and Acogny Technique

Stéphane Paugam from France : Body percussions

Saky Tchebe from Ivory Coast: Traditional dances from Ivory Coast

The great ladies of African dances

From January 31st to February 13th, Léna Blou and Chantal Loial from Guadeloupe, Nora Chipaumire from Zimbabwe and Mamela Nyamza from South Africa, four real artistic references for generations of dancers from around the world come together at the Ecole des Sables to transmit their dance to the young dancers.


100% Senegal Itinerant

The 100% Senegal itinerant training course took place from January 21st to February 23rd.

It offered to a hundred Senegalese dancers the opportunity to learn the use of the basic principles of choreographic composition to know themselves to built their dance within the space.

The trainings were provided by Saky Tchebe and Patrick Acogny and took place at:

Kaolack: from January 21st to 26th at the Alliance française de Kaolack with Saky Tchebe

Ziguinchor: from February 4th to 8th at the Alliance Française de Ziguinchor with Saky Tchebe

Saint-Louis: February 14th to 21st at the French Institute of Saint Louis with Saky Tchebe

Dakar: February 18 to 23 at the Blaise Senghor Cultural Center with Patrick Acogny


Weekend workshops for amateurs

To offer everyone the opportunity to dance, École des Sables offers every two months a dance weekend open to all.

9-10 February: Contemporary African Dance by Patrick Acogny

6-7 April: ” Sabar”, Coupé-Décalé and Afro Pop by Baldé and Saky

June 15-16: Contemporary African Dance by Patrick Acogny

12-13 October: Traditional and Urban Dances of Ivory Coast by Saky Tchebe


Professional workshop in Traditional and Contemporary Dance in Africa
Diploma 2018-2020

The 2018-2020 Diploma is a three-year program divided into three-month sessions / modules each year for young African dancers.

The first module was held from April 18 to June 28 2018.

In this module, participants are trained in the art of interpretation in choreography. Each teacher through a piece of his repertoire taught the technical and intellectual means to enter the expected role.
The dancer learned what it’s like to own a dance by making the difference between being as close to the original as possible and respecting your own style and technique while freeing yourself from the original.
He also learned how, through a choreographic proposal, he finds his own inspiration and develops his own vision.
The workshop took place in 3 phases:

From April 18th to May 7th with Alesandra Seutin, Belgium (Acogny Technique) and Patrick Acogny, Senegal (deconstruction of traditional dances)

May 9 to May 29 with Raouf Tchakondo, Togo (Acogny Technique) and Patrick Acogny, Senegal (deconstruction of traditional dances)

From May 30 to June 20 with Vincent Verburg and Dayna Martinez Morales, Holland (authentic movements and improvisation).

The second module, which took place from April 28th to June 28th, 2019, focused on the theme  “Choreographic games”.
“Choreographic games” is a continuation of the theme already addressed in 2018 on the needs of young learners to master the techniques of performance and the roles of the dance performer.
5 choreographies were presented at the end of this module on the occasion of the public restitution at the French Institute of Dakar:
Study Nehanda by Nora Chipaumiré
No title by Raouf Tchakondo
Silence of … by Vincent Verburg and Dayna Morales Martinez
One, two, three, more? By Alesandra Seutin
On the road …! By Patrick Acogny

Black dances 3 “Around the Technique Acogny”

The École des Sables organized from 18 July to 28 August its international workshop on traditional and contemporary dances in Africa. This course, which was in its third edition, saw the participation of 35 dancers from 5 continents and 20 countries to explore the essence and universe of the Acogny dance technique for six weeks.

The courses were insured by:

1-Technique Acogny: Ise Verstegen (Netherlands), Raouf Tchakondo (Togo), Aida Colmenero Diaz (Spain) and Alesandra Seutin (Belgium / Uk / Zimbabwe) and Germaine Acogny (Master class)
2- Traditional dances: Raouf Tchakondo (Togo) and Rokhaya Thioune (Senegal)

3- Research workshops and theoretical approaches: Patrick Acogny, Germaine Acogny

 1st session of the workshop Art de l’Enseignement de la Danse

The art of dance teaching is a professional tarining on the pedagogy of dance for the child and the adult.
It is a 14 weeks workshops divided into two sessions with the same 20 participants all from West Africa.
It accompanies the dancers in an educational reflection and prepares them for the teaching profession.
The first session was held at the Ecole des Sables from September 3 to November 10, 2018.

The training was provided by:

Raouf Tchakondo (Togo): Acogny Technique
Sherry Sable (France): Pedagogy of the child Sylvie Fortin (Canada): What faculty? What subject and pedagogy for which audience?
Christine Lentheric (France): Functional Analysis of the Body in the Danced Movement ((FABDM)
Patrick Acogny (Senegal): Deconstruction of traditional dances

Emmanuelle Lyon (France): Functional Analysis of the Body in the danced movement (FABDM)

Fatou Traoré (France): Questioning the Origin of the Movement

Bienvenue Bazié (Burkina Fasso): Construction by accumulation

Lila Green (USA): Sensory Workshops
The second will be held in Burkina Fasso this year 2019.

The Art of Dance Teaching is a program supported by École des Sables, eegcowles foundation and CDC La Termitière

The great choreographers from Africa

Twenty dancers from around the world came to the School from October 22 to November 3 to explore the essence and universe of the various styles of four great names in contemporary African dance including Serge Aimé Coulibaly of Burkina Fasso, Serge Tsakap of Cameroon, Gregory Maqoma and Vincent Mantsoe from South Africa.


Dance and Culture for Elders

Germaine Acogny decided not to deal only with the young dancers who come for a training at the Ecole des Sables, but also people of a certain age who often think they cannot anymore dance, move, have fun, feel the rhythm in their body. She invited them from December 3rd to December 15th to meet other people of their age from all over the world to dance and discover the life of the Elders of Toubab Dialaw, a small fishing village in Senegal.


Weekend workshops for amateurs

August 25-26: Acogny technique workshop by Aida. C Diaz

6-7 October: Contemporary African dance workshop by Patrick Acogny
December 8-9: Coupé-Décalé and urban music from the Ivory Coast by Saky Tchebe

June 15-16: Contemporary African Dance by Patrick Acogny.

12-13 October: Traditional and Urban Dances of Ivory Coast by Saky Tchebe

2012/2013 :

– 8-week training and exchange Project between 15 African students from Ecole des sables and 15 students from P.A.R.T.S, the international performing arts school in Belgium.

2012 :

  • collaboration with Don’t Hit Mama Company from the Netherlands for a 5-week training/creation “War & Peace” project involving 15 Dutch and 15 African Hip Hop dancers
  • collaboration with the German Company Steptext for a 2-week training/creation project “Home” involving 15 European and 15 African dancers

Both projects brought African and non-African dancers together for a 3 to 5-week training experience. After this session, a number of dancers were selected to take part in a choreographic creation and subsequent touring.

2011 :

« Crossing paths », third 6-week professional course for dancers from all over the world to discover and share the variety, complexity and specific energy of traditional and contemporary African dances and exchange with dancers and choreographic artists from everywhere.

2011 :

«Relationships between African/Hip-Hop Dances» a 10-week professional workshop for African dancers. This innovative program gave dancers from really different horizons an opportunity to meet and explore, deconstruct or invent correspondences between traditional and contemporary African dances and contemporary urban dances such as Hip Hop.

2010 :

Chrysalides Program (3-month phase at Ecole des Sables). Out of the 42 African dancers participating in the «Creating the future» workshop about 20 took part in the Chrysalides Program – a training and residence for choreographic creation. This program, organized in three stages, was a collaboration between Ecole des sables, the national choreography development centre “la Termitière” in Ouagadougou and Gaara Projects in Nairobi, Kenya. The aim was to give experienced dancers and young choreographers the necessary tools for research and choreographic creation.

2010 :

« Creating the future » a 3-month professional training session for African dancers.
Based on solid professional training for dancers from Africa and the Diaspora, this workshop gave the opportunity to the trainees to explore the tremendous richness of traditional dances and assimilate diverse techniques of contemporary African and Western dances.

2010 :

first phase of the « Transmission of Germaine Acogny’s Technique », to train African and non-African students from Ecole des sables. The workshop aimed at improving the trainees’ knowledge of the modern African dance technique created by choreographer Germaine Acogny to enable them to teach this technique. The program included three 7-week courses over a 3-year period. There have been two phases. The first from 2010 to 2012, the second transmission session took place from the end of 2011 to May 2013.

2009 :

« A New Step » second 2-month professional course for professional dancers from all over the world focused on traditional and contemporary African dances.

2009 :

« Choreographic Tools »; 3-month professional session for African dancers designed as an intensive workshop for dancers already working as choreographers or wishing to become choreographers.

2008 :

« Tradition / Innovation »; 3-month professional training course for African dancers based on traditional dances, analyzing, deconstructing them for reconstruction and re-creation.

2007 :

first encounter between choreographers and musicians from Africa and the African Diaspora. For 2 weeks, 30 choreographers and 12 musicians had the opportunity to explore one another’s’ dances and music, analyze their common roots, in order to create together on the basis of this great diversity.

2007 :

« Encounters and Exchange » first training course for dancers from other continents The African dancers selected had already been students of Ecole des Sables so this was an additional training for them.

2006 :

first partnership with a Western university (U.C.L.A) for 24 American students from the University of California in Los Angeles and 15 Senegalese dancers from Ecole des sables. This 3-week session was an excellent opportunity to put together various dance styles around Contemporary African Dance.

2005 :

« Finding one’s roots »; a 3-month professional training course for African dancers, focusing on returning to the roots of traditional African dances to rediscover their specificities, their fundamentals and transcribe them into modern choreography.

2003 :

a 10-week collaboration with DasArts, a section of the Art College of Amsterdam known for its multidisciplinary dimension (stage directors, video artists, musicians, writers, etc.).

2002 :

« Learning Choreographic Skills »; 3 months professional training dedicated to the study and experimentation of techniques, principles and methods of choreographic composition.

1998, 1999 and 2001:

s3-month professional courses organized for African dancers. These workshops focused on transmission of fundamental tools for professional dancers and an initiation to Contemporary African Dance.


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