A local dance troupe has been selected to perform at president-elect Barack Obama’s African Inaugural Ball in Washington, D.C. The Maritime Centre for African Dance’s adult troupe has been invited to dance at the historic event on Sunday, Jan. 18. It is the only African-Canadian group selected to perform at the ball to celebrate the election of the first African-American president. “The Maritime Centre for African Dance deserves heartfelt congratulations for being chosen to perform at this great occasion,” said Barry Barnet, Minister of African Nova Scotian Affairs. “Being the only group of African dancers from Canada selected to perform at the prestigious event speaks to the centre’s dedication to preserving and promoting African culture in Nova Scotia and across the country.” The troupe consists of dancers Vida Ggunney, Dally Baldeh, Ruvimbo Mzududuand and Mufaro Chakabuda. They will be accompanied by drummers Wayn Hamilton, CEO of African Nova Scotian Affairs, and Jeff Chown. “It is more than a privilege to be invited to participate in such an event, performing before world dignitaries. It is extraordinarily humbling,” said Ms. Chakabuda, the centre’s creator. “I have been adopted by my Nova Scotian community and am forever grateful for its support and the chance to showcase African culture at such a historic event. We are all very excited.” The performers will travel with representatives from the Council on African Canadian Education and the Office of African Nova Scotian Affairs. “The African Inaugural Ball is an opportunity for people of African descent to celebrate the election of one of their peers to one of the most powerful offices in the world — an event that many thought would not occur in their lifetime,” said Mr. Hamilton. More information on the Maritime Centre for African Dance is available at www.mcafricancamps.com/about_us.html .