Baila With the Best at Cumbe Center for African and Diaspora Dance

The brand new center had its soft opening last week and is gearing up for its grand opening in early January.

Dominique Bravo and Jimena Martinez met six years ago at their children’s pre-school.

Since then, they’ve managed to combine their passions for African dance and the arts in order to fill a void long missing from the Brooklyn arts scene.

“We wanted to create a home for African dance, and bring together top notch professionals and artists,” said Martinez.

And so the Cumbe Center was born.

African and Diaspora dance takes its influence mostly from Africa, the Carribean, and South America. It can encompass everything from salsa to tango to traditional folkloric dance deeply rooted in African culture.

Cumbe offers a healthy mix of classes, including Zumba, hip-hop, yoga, West African drumming, various folkloric dance classes, and salsa and tango.

Cumbe’s classes are suitable for extreme beginners or advanced students. It also has after school classes, and ones for toddlers all the way up to seniors.

“Our teachers bring such a depth and love for their areas,” said Martinez. In fact, a lot of the teachers are pretty renowned themselves.

Baba Richard Gonzalez is an Afro-Caribbean dance master with 25 years of experience. Artistic Director Pat Hall is an internationally acclaimed dancer and choreographer who’s won awards from multiple artist organizations. Daniel Fetecua Soto is a European salsa champion.

“We really want to be a home for artists as well,” said Bravo.

Since many of Cumbe’s teachers are also performers, Cumbe will double as a space for rehearsals and performances.

Cumbe just had it soft opening last week, and for the month of December, it’s offering a bunch of deals, including $13 walk-in classes (they‘re normally $17) and free Zumba classes every Friday.

In celebration of it’s grand opening on Jan. 7, Cumbe will also be offering two full days of free dance and percussion classes.

Cumbe is located at 558 Fulton Street between Hudson Avenue and Rockwell Place. For more information, check them out at www.cumbedance.com.




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