Although I haven’t lived in the United States for quite a while now, there’s one American lady who is always popping up in my Facebook newsfeed in posts related to Afro House and kuduro: Shafeeha Monae. I reached out to her to discuss her personal dance journey and her thoughts on the role of African solo dancing in the kizomba community in the US.
As usual, what follows is my adaptation of Shafeeha’s words from our interview. Any mistakes are my own.
The first time I came to Germany as an adult was for a blues dance festival: the 2013 American Blues Classic in Hamburg, Germany. I had an amazing weekend. I got hosted through Couchsurfing and my hosts were amazing. I got to see the sights, eat delicious home-cooked food and go to an awesome house party in addition to enjoying the blues festival. I remember commenting to friends, “I really feel like I could live here!”
That weekend I also met another dance teacher who was living in Germany. I asked him a bunch of questions about how he had managed to to get a self-employment visa. I went online and did some more research. I filed this all away for later use.