Jerusalema, my home


Masaka Kids, Uganda
Fenomeno de Semba, Angola
The Popular Art Centre, Palestine
From Saudi Arabia!
Lizt Alfonso, Cuba
Nairobi Women’s Hospital, Kenya

If you didn’t catch it, check out my previous post on the story of the Jerusalema dance challenge.

These are some of my favourite Jerusalema dance challenge renditions. It was so hard to choose!

Over the past couple of years, a few videos of African children dancing have popped up on my Facebook. Perhaps you’ve seen them too? Until I delved a bit more into the Jerusalema story, I hadn’t realised that these super-talented children were part of the Masaka Kids Africana Orphanage in Uganda where they are supported with education and wellbeing to rise, shine and dance. Feel free to check out their wider range of dances!

Fenomeno de Semba, a youth dance group from Angola, put their feet (and food) to the music to create the dance, which itself builds on a long tradition of dancing, especially at weddings, in South Africa and, across much of Africa – and really the world. We all dance at weddings, don’t we?

The Popular Art Centre in Palestine offers a space for young people to positively engage, especially through dance. I watched this video several times, flooding back memories from time in Palestine (and Israel), recognising several locations and marvelling at the complexity of filming this especially given the political and security context. Did you notice the young men swirling their handkerchiefs? That is so traditional in Palestinian Debke dancing. This is the connection – our ability to build on what others have started, adapt it, feel at home in it and, importantly, still honour and respect where it came from – that’s what makes me feel alive.

It was a tough choice between the Algerian breakdancing version of Jerusalema and the Saudi version but I had to choose the latter because a group of women dancing in Saudi Arabia is, well, really remarkable! Oops, I just offered you both!

Cubans are used to adapting what comes from the outside so it’s no surprise to hear this fabulous song in Spanish, and such a magnificent scene in Santiago de Cuba!

Finally, I’ve often driven past the Women’s Hospital in Nairobi and wanted to share this as a glimpse of the inside of a hospital in Kenya, and during the pandemic. I’ve had to attend hospitals in Nairobi on more than one occasion and always been impressed with the quality of service, sometimes better than in the UK! There are many more renditions in hospitals from South Africa to Croatia, and a great one in a school in China.

If, like me, you can’t get enough of this dance, just keep googling…

Do you have a favourite?

Rating: 1 out of 5.

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