Nearly five years ago, I created this dance video while I was living in Senegal. Today, I am traveling to Tennessee to visit a whole bunch of people who lent their groove thangs to the making of this work of art.
There’s so much I love about this video. There are, of course, my hilarious and beautiful friends awkwardly dancing in restaurants, grocery stores, and on rooftops. There are the “oh no, how do I fill this space?” moments where I single-handedly address the camera. But mostly, I love how so much of my Senegal experience is captured in these tiny moments.
That’s the school room where Liz and I taught English and practiced the Kochibama skit with high school students. That’s the rooftop where we sang hymns until the sun set and I couldn’t see anyone’s faces. Those are the birthday decorations for Liz and Kim’s combined birthday party, hosted in the guest house in Dakar where I once had horrifying food sickness. That’s my tiny bed with the mosquito netting I used regularly after hearing about a lizard snuggling into someone’s pillow. Those are the pictures of friends I brought, assuming I would be paralyzed by home-sickness, only to find a new family in Fatick.
My Fatick family. I shared life with them for five months, and that could have been the end. But I love them, and five years later, I never want to stop hanging out with them.