Freestyle, groove, jam: Improvisation has always been a key tool in the creation and evolution of dances of the African Diaspora. This movement-based course will deepen the inquiry of the Africanist aesthetic in dance through an improvisatory experiential framework. What movement conversations are created through a deep listening to self and our impulses to engage with sound/music, the environment, and our community? How do we honor the self in collective experiences? Students will embody explorations of the improvisatory concepts, sequences, and modalities that are rooted in the dances of: West African, Afro-Beats, Afro-Brazilian, Jamaican Dancehall, Capoeira, Jazz, African American Social Dances, House, and Bomba. We will use the foundational improvisational principles of these dance forms through a balance of play, investigation, and rigor. Studio work will be supplemented with readings, video, and homework assignments geared toward creating new improvisational scores. The course will also include visits from guest artists.