Master Afro-Cuban, Afro-Brazilian Dance and Music Workshop. Photo: Maira Angelica.

Extra Ancestral

Traditional music and dance from West Africa, Cuba, and Brazil

About the Organization

Summer Sunset Series Skirball. Photo: Farah Sosa.

In 2017, Kahlil Cummings founded Extra Ancestral, an inspiring cultural movement dedicated to both educating and entertaining audiences by blending diverse cultural expressions of the African Diaspora. Extra Ancestral’s storytelling unfolds through the mesmerizing art of ancestral dance, delivering a profound exploration of temporal and geographical borders that stretch from Africa to the Americas. This cultural movement seamlessly integrates music, dance, visual arts, and community engagement into a potent force for empowerment, aimed at mitigating the transgenerational trauma experienced by communities of color. Recognizing the time-tested healing properties of music and dance, Extra Ancestral embraces this tradition in their performances to elevate and empower communities of color. Their vision materializes through a diverse range of offerings, including performance productions, dance classes, workshops, and music education programs featuring artists from across the African Diaspora.

Extra Ancestral featured in Skirball Stages, 2022.

Living Cultures Grant


Extra Ancestral and the African Diaspora through Music and Dance

Summer Sunset Series Skirball. Photo: Farah Sosa.

Funding from ACTA’s Living Cultures Grant Program will support Extra Ancestral’s performances, master classes, and events during the 2023-2024 performance season. It will also aid Extra Ancestral in creating new works and collaborating with Traditional Master Artists, documenting artistic work, training artists and community members, and funding rehearsals and creative spaces of practice.



Rachel Hernandez |

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