The Gleaner

These boots are made for talking

PHOTO Chateauguay Valley Regional High School
PHOTO Chateauguay Valley Regional High School

At the end of February, Chateauguay Valley Regional High School (CVR) had a visit from Just Gumboots, an organization that teaches its participants about the art of South African Gumboot dancing. 160 grade 7 and performing arts students participated in the event, which was organized by the New Frontiers School Board cultural committee. Founded by Just Aïssi, the company states on its website states that “Just Gumboots wishes to make African art accessible to all and lead to a cultural discovery of the world. We offer services to schools, recreation centers, and businesses.” It also explains that the history of Gumboot dancing is rooted in “the gold mines of South Africa during the era of racial segregation. The miners were given rubber boots to work with and were forbidden to speak. The latter then invented a form of non-verbal communication using the pounding of the feet and the clapping of the hands.” Gumboot is a direct link to the popular dance genre, Stomp. (CF)

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