Moving it in Morocco with Step Africa!

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Step Afrika!  will be turning up the heat this summer with their friends in Morocco!  And there is still space to join this tour made specifically for Step Afrika! patrons to experience the exciting Rabat Festival  – a premier cultural and musical event.  Then alongside Step leaders, explore Casablanca and finish the thrill of the tour with the sounds and sights of Marrakesh.   What a better way to spend summer break than with Step Afrika! On  June 17-25, 2013.  More details at www.stepafrika.org.

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Step Afrika! is the first professional company in the world dedicated to the dance tradition of stepping and Washington, DCs one and only Cultural Ambassador. The Company promotes an appreciation for “stepping” and its use as an educational tool for young people. Step Afrika! accomplishes this mission through arts education activities, international cultural exchange programs and performances world-wide.

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Step Afrika! stands out as one of the stars of DCs arts and cultural life and has been recognized with three Mayor’s Arts Awards–Innovation in the Arts, Contribution to Arts Education and Excellence in an Artistic Discipline. Internationally, the Company pioneered the use of stepping to bring young people together across class and color lines with a week-long Residency in Beirut, Lebanon. Based on its success, Step Afrika! will host a similar Regional Reconciliation Youth Camp in the Balkans in April 2013.

In 2012, the Company performed in Croatia, Samoa, Djibouti, Canada and the Democratic Republic of the South Sudan. This summer, Step Afrika! looks forward to sharing their experience at the Rabat Africa Festival in Morocco with you! www.stepafrika.org

RESERVE YOUR SPACE TODAY!

Cities: Casablanca, Rabat, Marrakesh
Dates: June 17-25, 2013
Price: $4775 (double occupancy)

For more information or to register call Sophie Green at Academic Travel Abroad

Book Now! 1.800.556.7896

ATA heads to Morocco

Moroccan musician

Moroccan musician

I was standing on the Djemaa el Fna in Marrakech in March when I “got” something about Morocco that had been eluding me.  The Djemaa is the sprawling square in the Medina where the sounds, the smells and the soul of Marrakech jump and dance and waft all day every day and far into the night. I was standing there as evening began to fall, watching a group of gnaoua musicians perform for an appreciative crowd of Moroccans. The audience surrounded them in a thick circle on the square, clapping, laughing, swaying their shoulders to the infectious beat. I didn’t understand the words of the song, but I could feel how completely involved the audience was with the performance. I could see it in their eyes, feel it in the movement of their bodies.

That’s when I understood this simple truth: despite the impossibly rich spectacle of Moroccan markets and the awe-provoking tableaux of deserts, mountains and farm villages that greet you as you travel through, the real richness of Morocco is in the people. This is a truly warm, friendly country where a sincere smile will melt a scowl like the spring sun on the Atlas snow. They are as complex and diverse as their long turbulent history, but their hospitality is sincere. Even when Moroccans are trying to sell you something (often), they will be happy just to talk, learn about you, offer you sweet tea and opinions. Yes, it helps if you speak Arabic or Berber or French, but they will find a way to communicate with you.

Street olive market

Street olive market

On the Djemaa that night, when the musicians had finished, a story teller came into the circle, dramatically took off several layers of clothing, then began to move around the group, making jokes about people and extracting a 5 dirham coin from each of them.  Again, I didn’t understand the words, but couldn’t help myself from joining in the infectious laughter of the crowd. I was enfolded into Morocco that evening, entranced, enticed. I am very glad indeed to be going back.

Andrew Simon
Tour Manager

MOROCCO TOURS:

National Geographic Expeditions: Moroccan Odyssey

American Museum of Natural History: Morocco

Academic Travel Abroad

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