Dancing in Malawi

In Africa, to dance is to live.

Ever since I arrived in Malawi, it seems that I have been surrounded on all sides by impromptu dancing. Just clap your hands or bang a drum, and someone within earshot will start dancing.

Dancing is also one of the principle education methods for  Save The Children’s HEART program (Healing & Education Through the Arts) and over the past few days (as I have visited villages in the Zomba District), I have watched children dance and I have danced along with them.

To watch these children dance with freedom and ease is encouraging and cheerful. While most of them have reasons to be sad and discouraged, they are not. Instead they move their bodies with joy and celebration, expressing themselves freely.

This video captures some of the dances I saw in Malawi. I also hope that it captures a small part of the happiness I felt among these wonderful children.


A young boy dances in a circle as part of Save The Children's HEART program in Malawi. (Photo by Andrew Evans, National Geographic Traveler)


  1. […] Dancing in Malawi In Africa, to dance is to live Ever since I arrived in Malawi, it seems that I… […]

  2. Cristina
    April 5, 2012, 8:00 pm

    Thank you for writing this. Such a touching story. Something as simple as dance can mean the world to so many.

  3. Jeff Coulter
    Washington, DC
    April 5, 2012, 8:10 pm

    I think I saw some of the boys stealing your moves there at the end! What a beautiful video. Thanks for sharing this part of the Malawi culture with us.

  4. se7en
    April 6, 2012, 1:09 am

    I just wanted to thank you for your trip to Malawi… I have so enjoyed your taste of Africa.

  5. […] Nicest Locals: Malawi. I mean—it’s very hard to beat the Hawaiians, but spending time among Malawians in Malawi was true happiness. I loved both their gentleness and kind energy, and that they all know how to dance! […]