GBG Case Study
YouTube and Senegal’s dance center, The Dance Hall, create African dance sensation
About The Dance Hall
• thedancehall.sn • Dakar, Senegal • First urban dance center for amateurs in Senegal • 9 employees • Founded in November 2013
The Dance Hall, in Dakar, offers dance classes for amateurs in nine different styles of dance, including urban dance, such as hip hop, traditional and modern African dance, and Latin dance. The center was initially founded by Mariama Touré in November 2013, when she returned to Senegal from Canada and discovered there was nowhere she could practice her passion. Today, Mariama works with a highly trained team of seven dance teachers. She is general manager of The Dance Hall but also employs a day-to-day supervisor. When she established The Dance Hall, Mariama’s first challenge was to promote awareness of her studio and bring in customers who love to dance as much as she does. After she posted a video called ‘The Dance Hall | A-Z of African Dance |’ on YouTube, she says, “Everything went crazy! The response to our YouTube video has been amazing.” People from as far afield as the US, the UK, Sweden and Spain arranged vacations to Senegal, just so they could learn African dance at The Dance Hall. So far, over 250,000 people have viewed the YouTube video, and the numbers are still growing.
“The response to our YouTube video ‘A-Z of African Dance’ has been amazing.” — Mariama Touré, Founder and General Manager
Now the studio has around 40 to 50 regular customers, with the ‘modern afro’ dance class attracting up to 30 people per class. Mariama’s next step will be to make tutorial videos for every single letter in the modern African dance alphabet, from Azonto to Zoropoto. Thinking big, her ultimate aim is “to promote African dance and be the most dynamic dance center in West Africa. We want to help people see professional dancing as a noble profession. My dream is for the center to generate jobs for professional dancers.”
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