LINZ, Austria – When just-married Ugandan-born traditional dancer Monica Felda arrived in Linz, Austria, a few years ago, she found common ground with a music-loving country famous for Mortzart, yodeling, and the Vienna philharmonic orchestra.
As a music lover, Monica, 33, quickly realized her niche through introducing a different genre of music.
In November 2015, rather than seek employment, she started a project called Monic Afro Dance under a club that she had earlier formed called “Hope and Motivation” that supports war children and also kids from poor backgrounds in Northern Uganda.
“The love for music has always been a hobby for me; I love to dance and sing and often write songs, too. Through music, I have been able to interact with lots of people here in Austria.”
She trains traditional dance from East and West Africa, mainly the Luo Dance (Larakaraka from Uganda) and a fusion of dance steps from Benin and Nigeria. Monica has since trained a professional dance group including a couple of Austrians that perform traditional and modern dance shows and organize regular workshops and courses.
The courses are run on a monthly basis every weekend in a beautiful Gymnastic Hall on Diesterwegschule Linz, Khevenhüllerstraße 3, 4020 Linz.
Monic Afro Dance also aims at promoting integration and introducing culture and traditions in diaspora in the form of music and folklore.
Currently, the group lacks promotional videos, but once available, they hope to use their intervals to showcase short videos with a positive African story in contrast to the mainstream media that portrays the continent in a negative light.
Recently, the Uganda Tourism Board hired public relations firms to market Uganda in the German-speaking countries, including Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. In Austria, they would not have to look too far.