Rebelle brings Afro-Caribbean dance to campus

Brandeis is home to many different types of dance groups of various genres and cultures. One such group is Rebelle, an Afro-Caribbean dance team that uses the universal languages of music and dance to share the flavors of the many cultures that make up the diaspora. A crowd favorite, Rebelle dances vibrantly and with exuberant energy, giving their all into every performance.

According to Fatoumata Diaboula ’20, the captain of the team since 2017, “Rebelle is not just a dance team, it’s a community that builds friendship and trust through fun and creativity. Together as one, we are family.” Having such a close bond between their members allows them to give such compelling performances and grow as a team.

Diaboula is majoring in Health, Science, Society and Policy on the nursing track. She joined Rebelle in 2016 and is now both captain and choreographer. A relatively new dance group, Rebelle formed in 2012 and now is made up of 14 proud members, including Diaboula.

During this fall semester, Rebelle has performed at many different venues and events. Some of them include the Toxic Majorette Dance Line Showcase and Night for Africa, organized by Brandeis African Students Organization (BASO). The group also went off-campus to perform at an African wedding in Rhode Island.

“We’re getting ready for Culture X,” Diaboula explained. This spring, it will be the 20th anniversary of Culture X, a major Brandeis production that “seeks to celebrate the diversity that exists within the Brandeis community… as part of the Intercultural Center, Culture X also seeks ways to unify the student body and effectively display the best the Brandeis community has to offer,” according to the Culture X website.

As for the goals that Diaboula has for the team next semester and throughout the next year as a captain, she hopes to further involve the team in on-campus and off-campus performances, not just around Brandeis and close-by universities but also to perform at more weddings and other events. She also wants to “get us a Rebelle official outfit set and [to] take the choreography to a next step.”

“My favorite part about being in Rebelle is witnessing and learning about everyone’s culture and bringing our different taste of dance and music into one,” said Diaboula. Not only does Rebelle help its members learn about new music and culture, but it also spreads that message to the rest of campus.

“It is very important to have Rebelle on campus because of our diversity, bond, talent, knowledge; we can help bring more cultural understanding and positive energy,” said Diaboula. “Rebelle stands out because it represents the whole African diaspora.”

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