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How An Oakland Based West African Dance Company Became One Of The Biggest In The US

Diamano Coura West African Dance Company

The National Endowment for the Arts named the artistic directors of Oakland-based Diamano Coura West African Dance Company, Zakarya and Naomi Diouf, 2020 National Heritage Fellows. 

In this interview, Naomi Diouf, who is known to students as Mama Diouf, talks about how they became one of the biggest West African dance companies in the country.

We do not just move, we are telling stories.

Diamano Coura holds classes every Saturday on Zoom. Find more information here.

This interview originally aired on Nov. 25, 2015

Crosscurrents OaklandAudio Academy
Jen Chien was the managing editor for Crosscurrents and KALW News from 2016 to 2018. She has been a contributor to All Things Considered, Radio Netherlands Worldwide, BBC/PRI’s The World, Making Contact, SF Public Press, East Bay Express, New America Media, and KPFA in Berkeley, where she took part in the First Voice Apprenticeship Program. She is the recipient of the 2013 Outstanding Emerging Journalist Award from the Society of Professional Journalists of Northern California. She holds a BA in American Studies from Smith College, and an MA in Interdisciplinary Performance from New College of California. Before entering the field of journalism, she had a successful career as a professional dance and theater artist, teacher, and massage therapist.