Come join us at a West African Dance class! All ages and levels are welcomed to attend each classes. We focus on one rhythm monthly, giving you an opportunity to really get to know the steps and music, but most importantly have fun!

Check out our FAQ below:

Cardio & Culture

Traditional West African

Music and Dance

EVERY Thursday @ 7pm


$5/ Children

$2/ Suggested Drummer Donation

$5/ Watchers Fee


Prices range from $15-$18

Noda @ 28th Creative Arts Studio

2424 N. Davidson Street

Charlotte, NC

What is African Dance?

African dance incorporates movement from everyday life. In African dance, gestures are used to tell a story or to celebrate life. Traditional dances often do not appear in isolation but are parts of broader cultural activities and embodies athleticism and graceful beauty flowing with rhythm. In Africa, dance is a means of marking the experiences of life, encouraging abundant crops, celebrating life changes, and healing the sick soul and body. It is also done purely for enjoyment.

What do you wear?

Women typically wear what is called a “lapa,” along with a t-shirt, sports bra and shorts beneath the lappa. The lappa is usually 2 yards or less, dependent upon body size, of African print material, worn similarly to the American styled wrap-a-round skirt.

Men typically wear socatos or warm-up pants with a t-shirt. Socatos are the “droop-seated” pants in African print.

Everybody is barefoot. Overall, students are encouraged to wear comfortable workout clothing. Lapas and Socatos are NOT required for class. All dance is performed barefoot but not required. Periodically we will have them for purchase in class.

Are beginners welcomed?

All beginners are welcomed and encouraged to dance. The movements are broken down to their simplest form to help those who have never studied this artform.

Is African dance a good workout?

Our classes represent Cardio & Culture. It is our goal that while learning about movements and culture, you are experiencing a WONDERFUL cardio workout simultaneously. Through Cardio & Culture, you will elevate your heart rate in this high-energy workout by challenging your muscles and spirit all while moving to the beat of LIVE DRUMMING for a full-body, cardio workout.

Are children welcomed?

Children are most definitely welcomed to class, both boys and girls. All levels are welcomed at all of our classes.

When are your classes?

Currently we have classes on Thursday. Check out our calendar for more information.

How do you pay for class?

SMAA has a "pay-as-you-go" policy. In other words, students can pay for class when they attend. We accept payments as cash and debit/credit card. See pricing information for classes in the left sidebar. If you pay for classes monthly, your rate will be discounted.

Do you have drum classes?

We currently do not have any drum classes but there are local classes being offered in the community however, we strongly encourage you to attend class and connect to one of our drummers. 

How can I contact SHAE Movement African Arts?

We can be reached by submitting a request on the site's "Contact Us" page or through email @ Also take the time to join our meetup page (Charlotte West African Dance) to receive regular notifications about class offerings and events.