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


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.