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The Journey Begins - The Akwaaba Dance Project - August 2014

Greetings, I am Olubayo Jackson. I have been a New York City Public school teacher for over 14 years. I am currently on Sabbatical leave, researching African cultural retentions in the dances of the diaspora. I have an undergraduate degree in International and African Studies and a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Teaching from Teachers College, Columbia University. For the past two years I have taught dance at Public School 87 in Manhattan to more than 400 students a week. I have learned from experience that their engagement is directly inspired by the passion, knowledge, joy and dedication that I am able to bring to the subject that I teach.

Therefore, I have decided to embark on a year long research project, "The Akwaaba Dance Project" to study the impact of African culture on various Caribbean, United States and Latin American dance forms. The Dance and Media Pen Pal Project was created to connect students in New York City to students in the countries I travel to over the course of my Sabbatical and to permit peer exchange of historical, cultural, and dance traditions.

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