Pata Pata

Jaclyn continues to teach world folk dances by teaching a Soweto, South African contemporary folk dance!

It’s a universal axiom that when different cultures collide the friction releases a spark of creativity that generates new ideas in dance, music, and art. Pata Pata is an example of western culture penetrating a Black African neighborhood in Johannesburg called Soweto, where through the natural folk dance process, the result of communal input rather than individual work, a new dance was created for the folks of Soweto. Pata Pata was not really choreographed, it simply emerged as a neighborhood party dance, easy enough for everyone to enjoy, and that’s exactly what they did… they enjoyed it.

FormationNo specific formation. Dancers distribute themselves randomly around the room.
PositionThe dance is a solo experience done close together or spread apart.
StepsStep, kick, point, toe-heel, knee-lift. A little of everything.
Music2/4 meter with dance patterns counted in 4.
Teaching HintsThe steps are easy, but there are no sequences of repeated steps. One of this, one of that, one of another… Be patient, the dancers will eventually learn the patterns.


A long introduction with 4×8 counts instrumental, and 4×8 counts preliminary vocals.

Pattern A

Feet begin in a parallel position.  Point right toe to right side (1) step on right foot (2) point left foot to left side (3) step on left foot (4)

Pattern B

Open the toes to make a “V” with heels kept together (1).
Open the heels a little wider than the toes if possible (2).
Close the heels returning to the “V” shape with toes still open (3).
Close the toes returning to the parallel foot position (4).

Pattern C

Lift right knee (1).
Tap right toes to the floor (2).
Lift right knee again (3).
Step right foot next to left (4).

Pattern D

Do a little kick toward the front with the left foot (1).
Walk 3 steps (left, right, left) to a new location in the room (2, 3, 4).

The dancers kind of migrate around the room as they choose a new location. Creative positioning with friends (one or a group) is certainly possible. The dance repeats from the beginning.


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Jaclyn Brown is originally from Roosevelt, Utah. Jaclyn hails from Utah Valley University’s (UVU) BFA Modern Dance program, where she performed with Contemporary Dance Ensemble, the department’s pre-professional modern performing group, and also choreographed and performed for Synergy Dance Company. Outside of RDT, Jaclyn performs with Monica Campbell & Dancers. As a member of these companies, Jaclyn has worked with nationally recognized artists, such as, Susan Hadley, Damon Rago, John Allen, Doris Hudson de Trujillo, Jennifer Huffman, Omar Olivas, and Mike Esperanza. Beyond her local training, Jaclyn also traveled to Spain for a study abroad in dance (2010). She also appeared in Alex Boye’s music video “Merci Bon Dieu.” Jaclyn was also honored to first perform for Repertory Dance Theatre as a guest artist in “Commonplace” (2013). Jaclyn is thrilled to be joining the company for her sixth season and would like to thank her husband, family, and friends for their unwavering support.

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