Dance Workshops

Are You Syncopated?! is a music and dance festival with the intention of reuniting both art forms in a joyful and inspiring celebration. The dance workshop will focus on the roots of African and African American dance, musicality and movement. Everyone is welcome to participate and there will be no division into levels.

The workshop is a solo class, but what you learn is also applicable to partner dance. Ultimately, the experience we aim to provide goes beyond the steps you learn; it’s one of discovery. Our wonderful teachers have unique profiles, and most importantly, they have been chosen specifically for their approach to dance. One comes from a tap dance background, the other from traditional and Afroswing dance. One comes from America and the other from Africa. Two points of view that you will meet in an authentic atmosphere to discover, appreciate and have fun!

Dance Teachers

© Felix Nordino Chibuane

Judith Novela & Sussekane

Judith Novela is a dancer and teacher at Hodi Maputo Afroswing Cultural Association, specializing in traditional and Afro Swing dance. Judith moves in different circles and she has performed at international festivals, including the Herräng Dance Camp. She also attended contemporary dance workshops with renowned choreographers. Recently, she contributed to the choreography of Idio Chichava’s #VAGABUNDOS# and is working on her project “Wansat Wa N’tamo: Strong Women.”

José Carlos Cossa, known as Sussekane, is a young musician, percussionist, and drummer from Mozambique, focusing on traditional rhythms and dances. A key member of the Hodi Maputo Afro Swing Cultural Association, Sussekane’s vibrant energy shines through whether he’s playing percussion or dancing Amapiano and Lindy Hop. Starting as a young drummer, he has grown into an accomplished percussionist and dancer, performing with several bands, including the Tchaia Life Band. Sussekane’s presence promises to bring energy and unique rhythms to the class.

The Class

You will discover the vibrant world of Mozambican dance and find yourself in the positive energy of traditional and contemporary Southeast African culture.They will be offering dance classes in Afro Swing and Traditional Dance “Zore”. Zore is a dance that, in the past, was performed by the Bitongas, after agricultural harvests. It was held mainly on full moon nights, as this was a symbol of fertility. It was performed at festivals organized by traditional authorities to celebrate the end of the harvest, as part of dance competitions between groups from various regions. The sound of the Pundu (impala horn) called people to the party.

© Philamonjaro

Kelly Isaac

Kelly Isaac began tap dancing at the age of 4 in Washington DC, and began performing professionally at the age of 13. Some of his highlights include dancing in Riverdance – The Tour, a Stormy Weather review, and National Tap Dance Day with Gregory Hines. He has also worked with the cast of Swing, performed at New York’s Waldorf Astoria at Carnegie Hall and the Dudley Moore Tribute. His participation in the Broadway cast of Bring in ‘Da Noise, Bring in ‘Da Funk gave Mr. Isaac the opportunity to work extensively with Savion Glover and Ted Levy. Kelly has also had the experience of working with Henry LeTang, Harold Nicholas and Diane Walker among many tap legends. Mr. Isaac has had the privilege of dancing and teaching in over 20 countries around the world. His classes are a fusion of jazz, swing, classical and funk, creating a style that actually plays music with the rhythms of the feet.

The Class

Mr. Isaac’s fun, upbeat and original rhythms are his way to ignite the creativity of the students. In Kelly’s classes, Jazz and R&B are central to convey the importance of the musicality in tap dance, and dancing in general. Even if you do not get all the steps, you are guaranteed to leave with the knowledge of something new to explore.


Saturday Schedule

TimesStatthaus BöcklerparkDolce Vita
12:00 – 14:00Judith Group AKelly Group B
14:00 – 15:00BreakBreak and walk to the other venue
(15-minute walk)
15:00 – 16:00Judith Groups A + B

Sunday Schedule

TimesStatthaus BöcklerparkDolce Vita
12:00 – 14:00Kelly Group AJudith Group B
14:00 – 15:00BreakBreak and walk to the other venue
(15-minute walk)
15:00 – 16:00Kelly Groups A + B