So You Think You Can Dance – Kilgoris Edition

So You Think You Can Dance-Kilgoris Edition

While in Kilgoris, we are staying with a Maasai family, one of the most culturally distinctive tribes in Kenyan and known internationally. On our second night Sapalan, the head of the house where we are staying and an ambassador for the Maasai culture, educated us on the traditions of his people. Included in this were Maasai traditional dancing.


The dance is beautiful, resembling an undulating wave in movement performed at ceremonies and celebrations. And the women wear dozens of beaded necklaces that move as they dance. Interestingly, depending on where various clans of the tribe have migrated, while many Maasais in Kenya begin the movement from the head, others instead begin the movement from the legs and hips. After watching a video of several famous Maasai singers and dancers, Sapalan’s daughter, Eve, taught me the dance herself, and we spent the rest of the evening dancing around the kitchen.

The next week, at the Sister’s 25th Anniversary at the Catholic Mission in Kilgoris, we received some more dance lessons. Representatives from Catholic schools of the Little Sisters of St. Joseph Ngong Dioces across Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda were gathered for the celebration. Each group of students wore a different costume and had a choreographed set of steps for each song; needless to say, we have a lot to learn! It was a really wonderful experience to see how song and dance are so integrated into the church in Kenya.

I look forward to learning more dance moves during my last few weeks here. That’s all for now!


Paula Trepman