Akuma Dance Ensemble Sells Ghana To New Yorkers

Akuma Dance Ensemble introducing students to Ghanaian traditional music


Students of the English Village Elementary School at Rochester, New York in the United States of America (USA) and their families were served tasty doses of Ghanaian traditional music when the Rochester-based Akuma  Dance Ensemble participated in the school’s first-ever Family Cultural Night programme on March 30, 2023.

It was a night to introduce the students and their families to cultures from different parts of the world.

The Akuma Dance Ensemble had a week earlier, performed at the school as part of the Black History Month.  Its return there for the Family Cultural Night was facilitated by the African Cultural Arts International company  in Rochester.

Three of Akuma’s performers: Freeman Ametepey, Samuel Akuffo Ankrah and Frederick Anum Odai, with some help from Eric Asuanda of Buffalo, also in New York, showcased traditional music from the Ga people of Ghana.

“We are not only performers. We are teachers as well. So it was a good opportunity to familiarize the students and their families with unique Ga renditions like Kpanlogo and Fume Fume. We all enjoyed the sessions tremendously,” said Freeman Ametepey in a telephone chat with Beatwaves.

The students and their families were initially requested by the school to register for the programme.

They were then divided into three groups. Akuma Dance Ensemble took each group through the social context of the selected pieces, drumming demonstrations and some basic dance movements.

“It’s always a wonderful experience to share our rich Ghanaian culture with others,” Frederick Anum Odai pointed out. “I think people get along better when they understand the cultural circumstances that shape each other.”

Staff of the English Village Elementary School thanked the Akuma Dance Ensemble for their willingness and commitment to helping the students and their families expand their horizon on cultures from other places.

“Young people growing up with an appreciation of what other people’s cultures entail is the right way to go. It helps  to ensure harmony among people of the world,” stated  Samuel Akuffo Ankrah after the evening’s lively interactions.


By George Clifford Owusu