BINGHAMTON, NY – Some local elementary students were dancing to the beat as a Binghamton University African drumming troupe returned to their school for the first time since the pandemic.

The kids at Horace Mann in Binghamton were treated to a performance by Nukporfe last week.

Nukporfe performs recreational dances from various ethnic groups in the West African nation of Ghana under the direction of B-U ethnomusicologist James Burns.

Principal Peter Stewart says the visit is part of a broader effort to reflect the diversity of the student population through literature, field trips and guest performances.

“This is just an extension of that. This is music and this is dance. It’s important that our kids get to see their cultures up front and center. We’re excited about having them back today,” says Stewart.

Nukporfe also educated the students on the culturally specific instruments they were playing along with the traditional clothing, songs and dance steps.

And they were invited to get up and join them for the final dance.