On July 11, 2007, in front of a lively audience, Kankouran West African Dance Company delivered an exciting and engaging performance. Despite the day being one of the hottest of the summer, the performers had more than enough energy for high-powered kicks, stomping, shimmies and drumming. Between dances, Artistic Director Assane Konte spoke proudly of the 34 members in his troupe. He explained how the drum-based music and the dances tell the history of Africa. He also spoke of the importance of children and community, and he even invited young audience members to come up front and join in the dances. This local dance company, based in Washington, D.C., has been an integral part of the dance community for over 20 years.