Ghanian Saakumu Dance Michell hernandez

Intercultural Communication and Leadership

  • The people that danced throughout the night expressed that to be a good religious leader in Ghana, one had to be able to dance and sing. The dance leader compared American and Ghanaian religious ceremonies and explained that no one would attend an American ceremony in Ghana because there is no music, dancing, or singing.
  • They also mentioned that in Africa, people are innovative and use the resources that are around them to accomplish tasks. This skill would be useful for leaders that have limited resources and would allow them to find out of the box solutions.


  • Stereotyping: the Saakumu Dance Troupe leader talked about how some people place a patriarchal stereotype on many African cultures. He talked about how many people believed that African women were oppressed, but in reality, African women were greatly respected and independent.
  • Equality: the group had a dance that demonstrated the belief that there everyone was the same and there was no black or white, no rich or poor, and no student or teacher. The dance also celebrated the equality and independence of women by making all of the dancers, including the men, women.

Cultural Differences

The people talked about various things including differences between the American culture and the Ghanaian culture. Some of the differences included the way their instruments were created by the musician from things found in nature such as plants and spider webs whereas in America people bought their instruments in a store. They also talked about the different methods of communication. While Americans relied on phones, some people in Ghana used a drum to communicate with the community about celebrations and the arrival of leaders.

Diversity and Liberation

  • Diversity: During the equality dance, the Saakumu Dance Troupe went into its diverse crowd and became a part of it. They danced with many people from various types of races and ethnicities and demonstrated that while the people in the diverse crowd might have looked different, they were all the same inside.
  • Liberation: The event was actually held near Ghana's independence day, which is March 6. On that day, the people of Ghana were freed from the oppression of the British Empire and accomplished that through civil disobedience and resistance.

The Energy in the Room

The entire event was filled with energetic people dancing and singing to upbeat music. It filled me with joy and made me want to get up and dance along with them. It also made me feel like I was engulfed in the Ghanaian culture and I am glad that they could share a small piece of themselves with the the university.

This is not a picture of the show I went to, but it is a picture of one of the people in the dance group.

Lessons from Art

  • Babies that have their hands in the air when they come into the world will play an instrument with mallets because it is a symbol that they will hold them well.
  • Musicians are the only ones that know how to make instruments and tune them.
  • Some of their instruments are being lost because of the modernization of the world. For instance, they make one instrument from old storage containers made of clay, but the change to plastic has made it more difficult to keep the instrument alive.
This is me at the University Auditorium.

Works Cited


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