The Ugandan Orphan Dancers: Turning Tragedy into Dance

The Ugandan Orphan Dancers: Turning Tragedy into Dance

The Ugandan Orphans Dance Troupe on Tour

The Ugandan Orphans Dance Troupe, also known as The Spirit of Ugandan Orphans Dance Troupe, is a dance troupe comprised of Ugandan orphans who tour in order to financially support themselves and the children of two orphanages in Uganda. Most members of the group have lost one or both parents to AIDS, have had parents killed by rebels or have seen poverty or disease cause enough family hardship that parents felt compelled to turn their children over to orphanage care.

The Ugandan Orphans Dance Troupe was founded by Texas banker Alexis Hefley, who first traveled to Uganda in 1993 to live and work with AIDS orphans in Kampala. Upon returning home, she founded the Uganda Children’s Charity Foundation and partnering with Sister Rose Muyinza, who also worked with Kampala-area orphans, launched the Spirit of Uganda Orphans dance touring program in 1996. The Orphans of Uganda Dance Troupe raises awareness about the continuing HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa, while at the same time supporting the 700 other orphans who live in the two Children of Uganda homes.

Embodying the warmth and light of their nation, The Spirit of Uganda Orphans Dance Troupe is comprised of twenty-two children between the ages of eight and eighteen, who are serving as cultural ambassadors for Uganda’s 2.5 million orphans. Resonant with melodic tones of standing drums, dramatic choreography, bright layered rhythms and gorgeous vocals, The Spirit of Ugandan Orphans Dance Troupe recently toured the United States, bringing the transformational power of their native song and dance to America in their spirited and hope-filled performances.

Following is the documentary Transcendent Spirit: The Orphans of Uganda by Douglas Menuez, as well a video of dance performance by Uganda orphans.

Transcendent Spirit: The Orphans of Uganda

Uganda Orphan Dancers: Turning Tragedy into Dance

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