On January 1, 1985, Baba Chuck Davis and  the African American Dance Ensemble (AADE) held our first KwanzaaFest in the city of Durham. Kwanzaa is a celebration for all people, focusing on family, friends, and the fruits of the earth. Celebrated December 26th – January 1st, the name Kwanzaa comes from the Swahili phrase “matunda ya kwanza,” which means “first fruits of the harvest.”

Celebrating the holiday season and Durham's diversity, AADE’s annual Kwanzaa celebration is a time

to enjoy family, community, and culture. Kwanzaa itself is a seven-day African holiday that celebrates

a different principle each day. AADE’s Kwanzaa takes place on the seventh day, which is dedicated

to Imani, or faith.


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, AADE is operating cautiously in compliance with CDC guidelines. For

that reason, the African American Dance Ensemble made the decision to hold KwanzaaFest virtually in

2021. KwanzaaFest 2022 will be held at the Durham Armory on January 1st, the doors will open at 12

noon. We will continue to monitor the guidance from the CDC regarding the COVID-19, as the safety  

of our staff and attendees is priority. 

Hope to see you soon!

Photo credit: Juan Richardson



The Davis-Williams Scholarship is named after the late Baba Chuck Davis, founder of the African American Dance Ensemble, The Chuck Davis Company and DanceAfrica and Mr. Jimmie Williams, former dancer of AADE.

The scholarship will be awarded to youth who are interested in the performing arts and desire to learn their craft

and pursue the art of dance and or teaching. We believe the education of our youth is important, and the way to

ensure the continuance of dance is to make sure that we do our part to assist those who desire to carry the banner.

The education of our youth is important, and the way to ensure the continuance of African and African American

Dance is to make sure that we do our part to physically, mentally and financially assist those who desire to carry the


                                                                                        Help Us Help Our Youth

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THE AFRICAN AMERICAN DANCE ENSEMBLE                                                                                    


The African American Dance Ensemble is a 501(c) 3 organization, and our mission is to    preserve and share the finest traditions of African and African American Dance and            Music through research, education, performance and entertainment; to focus on the          health and education of our community.


Our purpose is to help our youth become more active through dance and the arts. With our motto: "Peace, Love, Respect for Everybody" the Ensemble celebrates traditional African culture, aesthetics and values to encourage cross-cultural dialogue, cooperation and understanding. 



​Face Painting


Arts & Crafts