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19th March 2016 — ZOCAthon in cel­e­bra­tion of World Down Syn­drome Day

The ZOCAthon was fea­tured in the Post news­pa­per last Sun­day! A big thank you to Wana for com­ing out explor­ing and shar­ing what the ZOCAthon was all about!

Pride Magazine

If you’re in the U.K. — check out the arti­cle on ZOCA dance in April’s edi­tion of Pride Magazine!

The Post, Zambia

The Wash­ing­ton Post

THE WASH­ING­TON POST14th Octo­ber 2014

Print ver­sion: http://​issuu​.com/​e​x​p​r​e​s​s​n​i​g​h​t​o​u​t​/​d​o​c​s​/​e​x​p​r​e​s​s​_​10142014​?​e​=​3870620​/​9709504

Online ver­sion: http://​www​.wash​ing​ton​post​.com/​e​x​p​r​e​s​s​/​w​p​/​2014​/​10​/​14​/​z​o​c​a​-​d​a​n​c​e​-​c​l​a​s​s​e​s​-​b​r​i​n​g​-​z​a​m​b​i​a​n​-​m​u​s​i​c​-​a​n​d​-​m​o​v​e​s​-​t​o​-​d​-​c​/

Zoca dance classes bring Zam­bian music and moves to D.C.

Octo­ber 14

Zambia’s biggest export is cop­per. But Namaala Lieben­thal would like to see the land­locked African nation become known for some­thing even shinier: the faces of peo­ple joy­fully bust­ing a move.

That’s why Lieben­thal, the cre­ator of Zoca — short for Zambia’s Own Caribbean and African dance fever — plans to turn her fit­ness pro­gram into a global sen­sa­tion. She has a team help­ing her teach it all over Lusaka, Zambia’s cap­i­tal. Classes also recently started up in Papua New Guinea.

As of last month, there’s now one other place in the world to take Zoca: Joy of Motion’s Friend­ship Heights studio.

The loca­tion is not as ran­dom as it seems. Liebenthal’s Zam­bian mother and British father raised her in North­ern Vir­ginia, and she went on to attend the Uni­ver­sity of Vir­ginia. When­ever she was home on break, Lieben­thal returned to Joy of Motion to develop her dance skills.

She even­tu­ally relo­cated to Lusaka, where she worked in bank­ing and law. But she kept up her ties to the D.C. dance world. And when Lieben­thal decided to pur­sue Zoca full time (“I had more fun doing this than con­tracts,” she says), she knew she had to bring it to Washington.

Joy of Motion instruc­tor Tanya Nuchols, who was trained by Lieben­thal and teaches the two Zoca classes now offered each week, says D.C. has never seen a dance work­out like this.

The clos­est for­mat is Zumba. They’re both focused on eth­ni­cally diverse rhythms and they share a sim­i­lar struc­ture: The sound­track keeps chang­ing, and each new song has its own chore­og­ra­phy. “And there’s bound to be a lot of com­par­i­son because they both start with z,” says Nuchols, who also teaches Zumba.

The steps of each are heav­ily influ­enced by the musi­cal choices. But instead of Latin tunes, this playlist is what’s pop­u­lar in Zam­bia — a mix of African pop and Caribbean soca.

Most Zoca dances fea­ture some vari­a­tion on a cir­cu­lar hip move­ment called a “wine.” As Lieben­thal explains, “It’s very much the mat­ing dance” of Zambia’s 70 or so tribes. There’s also a lot of jump­ing, and some fairly com­plex steps.

I want peo­ple to be able to fol­low along, but I want them to be chal­lenged,” Lieben­thal says.

No wor­ries there. After a recent class, stu­dent Robin Allen’s pedome­ter cal­cu­lated that she’d taken 7,000 steps. But her calo­rie burn was even higher, she esti­mated, based on how much she’d squat­ted and twisted.

Liebenthal’s work­ing on more exports, includ­ing low-​impact and kids versions.

In addi­tion to classes Mon­days at 6:30 p.m. and Tues­days at 10:30 a.m. at Joy of Motion in Friend­ship Heights (5207 Wis­con­sin Ave. NW, $17 for a drop-​in), Tanya Nichols will lead a Zocathon Nov. 8 at Georgetown’s Reebok Fithub (1251 Wis­con­sin Ave. NW). It’s free to par­tic­i­pate, but dona­tions for Bright Begin­nings are welcome.

Zam­bian Eye — August 28, 2014


Barefeet The­atre to enter­tain Lusaka families

Filed under: Enter­tain­ment |

Carnival flyerCen­tral Lusaka will come alive on Sat­ur­day, 30th August with a fes­tive car­ni­val atmos­phere and a fun day for dancers, chil­dren, fam­i­lies and spec­ta­tors alike.

Barefeet The­atre have part­nered with ZOCA Dance Lim­ited to present a rev­o­lu­tion inspired Car­ni­val. Begin­ning at 12hours at Manda Hill Shop­ping Mall, the road march will wind through the sur­round­ing areas in one breath-​taking pro­ces­sion, and fin­ish at NAS­DEC at 13:30 hours. Spec­ta­tor points for the parade include Manda Hill car park, Ody’s fill­ing sta­tion, Pro­tea Arcades and NAS­DEC. The parade will cul­mi­nate in a free per­for­mance at NAS­DEC at 14 hours called Viva The Rev­o­lu­tion, where there will also be a picnic.

Around 2,000 adults and kids are expected to be a part of the parade this year, with some excit­ing cos­tumes inspired by a rev­o­lu­tion theme and show­ing off the art and cul­ture from Zam­bia and other inter­na­tional influ­ences. The ZOCA dance cos­tumes are designed and made by Nada Fashions.

Namaala Lieben­thal, Founder of ZOCA Dance Lim­ited, said: “Car­ni­val day is approach­ing quickly and we’re delighted to be able to announce the oppor­tu­nity for chil­dren and adults to watch the ZOCA Dance road march”.

We have a huge day planned. Our parade is set to be really excit­ing, with a great mix of our local ZOCA dance car­ni­val group, called the ‘ZOCA Rebels’, and the won­der­ful chil­dren who dance with Barefeet The­atre,” she said.

Spec­ta­tors will have the oppor­tu­nity to watch the Car­ni­val of Kites and Crea­tures mak­ing its way to NAS­DEC for a day of per­for­mance, music, colour, spec­ta­cle and fun. The pub­lic can also enjoy a pic­nic amongst the mys­te­ri­ous crea­tures as the Barefeet youth and ZOCAcre­ate an after­noon never to for­get blend­ing music, the­atre, rhythm, dance and celebration.

Visit the ZOCA Dance Zam­bia Face­book page and the Barefeet The­atre Face­book page for more infor­ma­tion, includ­ing a list of all the artists per­form­ing on the day.

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