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From War to Peace, Love and Joy

From the land of Sudan, deeply embedded in Africa, bordered by Ethiopia, Libya and Egypt, lives the Sudanese people. Sudan is known for its diverse cultures where you can find intriguing music and dance as a staple part of African life.

The dance culture is rich in Sudan. Embraced in everyday life is the need to express joy and spread good cheer; not only on special occasions but in daily rituals and ceremonies too. As you would expect, because of the influence of Sudan’s bordering countries, Ethiopia and Egypt, much of the music can reflect the styles and musicianship of those cultures. However, the dancing rhythms differ depending on territories and ancestral beliefs.

There is a Sudanese dance called Hadandawa. Traditionally, the Hadandawa dance was derived from a nomadic tribe of people. This tribe was famous for being quite proficient in making swords and knives, carried over to being used in fights and battles.

Hadandawa, through cultural Sudanese history, developed into a folk dance. It is also called the Sword Dance. It’s a unique dance where the men carry swords and the women carry sticks. The beauty of this dance is how it turned from men having sword fights, signifying war, in the old days, to incorporating women, more modern day. The presence of women dancers emphasizes peace, love and joy in life! This gave the Hadandawa dance a brand new meaning and way to embrace hope.

How many dances can you think of that turn negative into positive? I think the Hadandawa is a great way to start the New Year!

Peace, love and joy to you,


**We have received contributions from individuals who would like to have a dear relative or friend who passed on remembered that loved to dance or was a dance aficionado. We call these memorial contributions. Perhaps you would like to have someone memorialized in this manner. Make a donation and give us their name. We will soon put on our website a yellow brick road to add their name to a brick as a memorial to that person. This contribution will assist future generations of dancers and help keep young people more positive and healthy.

Thought Of The Week:

Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go. They merely determine where you start. - Nido Qubein


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Shane Meuwissen is the Media Specialist for Fordney Foundation.  He is a former dance instructor who know works with his company Slow Motion Dance Videos capture the beauty of dancing. If you would like to learn more about Shane and his video work, visit his website

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