The first lady Michelle Obama already made a name for herself as a voracious dancer, but her husband President Barack Obama has recently shown once again that he can do justice to the dance floor. At the end of a long day of meetings and news conferences, the US commander-in-chief President Obama’s first trip to Kenya as president was well-acknowledged with an official state dinner at Nairobi’s State House on Saturday where he showed off a little bit of his dancing moves. This time around, he didn’t bust the same move as he did at the Ellen DeGeneres show during his 2008 campaign but he did entirely Kenyan traditional dance move.
He threw formality out the window and joined guests in an improvised dance. When the Kenyan band Sauti Sol started their performance called the Lipala, a traditional dance experiencing a resurgence in popularity after the band gave it a modern upgrade earlier this year, President Obama came on the dance floor. According to the lead singer: “We are so sad that our mother Michelle could not come,” referring to Obama’s wife, Michelle as he introduced a song called Coming Home.
Immediately the event started, Obama sat for a while and then stood up, buttoned up his jacket and joined in the Lipala – a dance that has taken Kenya’s dancehalls by storm. The entire top table soon joined him, including the Kenyan president and first lady Uhuru and Margaret Kenyatta, and the US national security adviser, Susan Rice. When it was over the laughing president gave his half-sister Auma a wide happy hug. Other VIP guests include American hip-hop artist Akon and Obama’s step-grandmother, Mama Sarah.
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Barack Obama was entertained in English and Swahili by the Kenyan afro-pop band Sauti Sol at the weekend also sang along, though without a microphone when Kenyatta’s niece Kavi Pratt offered a rendition of At Last at the time the next artist, Nairobi youth orchestra and choir came on stage accompanying her as she was on vocals.
President Barack Obama in fact has been spotted dancing on different occasion including when he and First Lady Michelle Obama danced together during the Governors Ball in the East Room of the White House, Feb. 21, 2010.
Obama dancing with Ellen DeGeneres during his 2008 campaign
While offering a toast in the white marquee at Kenya’s state house, President Kenyatta said: “What President Barack Obama has given back to us is a belief and a hope that, empowered, we can do and achieve for ourselves.
He furthered said “He has given us the tools and the belief that it is possible, through our own initiative and hard work, that we can take control of our own destiny, and that we can lead change, not just on our continent but in the world. I don’t think there could be a bigger gift.”
Obama responded: “Part of what makes this a special evening for me is the presence of my family members who are here. My grandmother, Mama Sarah, who told me I had to come back to Kenya. And when she says you should do something, generally you have to do it.
“My siblings are here, aunts, uncles. And so, tonight, I welcome all of them to a somewhat unusual Obama family reunion. I suspect that some of my critics back home are suggesting that I’m back here to look for my birth certificate. That is not the case.”