On Saturday, July 9th, ICONS Dance Group and their Resident Artist, Zahra Badua, kicked off the first of their 3-part workshop series, “The Power of Movement,” at Dixon Park in Etobicoke as part of Arts in the Parks. Music for the day was provided by DJ Mr. Akil D, who smiled and grooved along with ICONS from behind his DJ booth.
ICONS is an Afro-Carribean-led dance group that formed in 2018 after meeting through UrbanArts Toronto. Each member of ICONS incorporates different genres of dance influenced by their individual backgrounds, with a shared goal of empowering women and celebrating Afro-Caribbean culture. Resident Artist Zahra Badua is a Toronto-based dance instructor who formed “Zahra Moves,” a company that explores and teaches Afro-Caribbean culture and dance.
For the first hour of the workshop, participants explored a wide range of dance genres, led by the women of ICONS. Sulaire, Kristen, Lina, and Alysehia took participants to Jamaica, San Tome, Angola, and Brazil with Afro-Portguese music and to Guyana with Soca music. In the second hour, Zahra Badua brought us to Ghana, Nigeria, and Côte d’Ivoire with thigh-busting moves and lots of motivation!
Music, cheers, and words of encouragement could be heard up and down Dixon Road. DJ Mr. Akil D’s sounds bounced off surrounding buildings, and even had TTC bus drivers honking in admiration! Residents of the area joined in throughout the afternoon. This event had a true feeling of “community,” and the structure of the workshops allowed for people to join in at any time and take breaks when needed!
It was an afternoon full of connection, empowerment, and, of course, SWEAT!
ICONS and Zahra will be returning to Dixon Park as part of Arts in the Parkson Saturday, July 23rd and Saturday, August 13 with two hours of workshops beginning at 12:00pm.
Not able to make it to any of their Arts in the Parks events? ICONS will also be performing later this summer at Thomson Park with Behind the Arts Collective on August 27th. This event is free, and you can register in advance on Eventbrite.
To find out more about ICONS Dance Group, you can follow them on Instagram at @iconsofficial_; you can also follow artist Zahra Badua at @zahra_abena. If you have questions about the upcoming workshops on July 23 and August 13, you can contact ICONS at firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope to see you smiling and dancing with us at Dixon Park this summer!