The Bangoura Method is an educational concept which combines traditional West African musical traditions and rituals with contemporary knowledge taken from Gestalt therapy. As a method for dance education and therapy, it can be used effectively in a broad variety of contexts. It is aimed at ordinary people who love to move their bodies, professional dancers, therapists, social workers, and institutions focused on cultural cooperation and integration. The goal of the method is to provide dancers, educators, and therapists with a theoretical and practical basis that will empower them to lead groups in movement and dance to strengthen communities and individuals.
Western dance education is influenced by efficiency-orientated thinking and ideals which place emphasis on the external expression of movement as well as the dancers’ bodies (‘slim and young’). To date, there is no state training for those wishing to teach African dance. The ways in which African forms of dance are taught in dance schools and workshops often lead to the reinforcement of cultural stereotypes: ‘Africans have music in their blood. Europeans are stiff and less emotional.’ The Bangoura method establishes an alternative which is unique in its approach. Since 2016, dancer and educator Stephanie Bangoura has offered training in holistic dance education with the contribution of the musicians, dancers, and teachers of the Bangoura Group.