Washington, D.C. native Baba Melvin Deal, the founder of the Heritage Drummers & Dancers, is one African dance pioneer who brought a mass appreciation of African dance and culture to southeast and northeast DC.  A Howard University alumnus, Deal began his dance career at the Northeast Academy of Dance in 1959. Melvin, devoted his time and talents to the positive development of youth in the community. He founded the former African Heritage Center in 1973 (Housed on Minnesota Ave/Now Park 7 Apartments)[1]. His company Heritage Drummers & Dances trained many city youth and adults through their classes and provides them with a performance opportunity. Image: DC Humanities  Council Video

[1] “African Heritage Drummers and Dancers.” The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.Web. 17 Dec. 2011. <http://www.kennedy-center.org/explorer/artists/?entity_id=9687>.