(African dance workshop with Merlin Nyakam/africafest.ca)

One of the best ways to stay warm in the winter is to burn some calories and MOVE – and we can’t think of a (much) better way to do that. Than. To. DANCE!

Victoria always seems to attract world class talent, and it seems Merlin Nyakam – “one of the world’s best dancers in West African dance styles” according to Tourism Victoria  – almost snuck by us.

The French Cameroonian dancer / choreographer is on the island teaching dance camps for those lucky enough to attend here in town, and elsewhere on the Island (including Duncan and Nanaimo) for a short while longer.

It’s all part of Africa Fest which is connected to Black History Month, so it’s a great opportunity to learn some new things about African culture, as well as step outside your comfort zone (while still getting to bust-a-move – just *new moves!)

The various shows at this event will be taking place at the following dates and times:

  • Thursday February 21, at the Mary Winspear in Sidney
  • Friday February 22, at the Port Theater in Nanaimo and
  • Saturday February 23, at the Victoria Event Center

And the dance camps are happening on Wednesday February 20th, and Sunday, February 24th in several schools on Vancouver Island.

Nyakam told Victoria Buzz that this is his third time visiting the city, and we couldn’t be more glad that he’s back.

His accomplishments and personality could stem from the fact that he has travelled the world, working in and teaching dance, and is as charismatic as you could expect. This charming nature is just the surface of it, as the classes he teaches are a can’t-miss blast, and are guaranteed to make you shave some serious calories.

Keep in mind that this isn’t Jazz, Salsa, or Hip-Hop, and is instead is a mix of traditional and modern dance styles from Cameroon, Guinea, and the Ivory Coast, just to name a few.

If this sounds like a great shake-up to you as well, make sure that you catch Merlin Nyakam at the Africa Fest 2019.

Merlin Nyakam African Dance Camp

  • When: Wednesday, February 20th, 9:30 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.
    Sunday, February 24th, 4:30 p.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Where: École Victor-Brodeur, Esquimalt on February 20th
    Cowichan Secondary School, Duncan on February 24th
  • Admission: $30 tickets. Contact the organizers at (250) 884-0379 or email vaccsociety@gmail.com to purchase.