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Christmas may have Kwanzaa (and every other religious or secular holiday on the planet) beat when it comes to material excess, but Kwanzaa wipes the floor with Christmas when it comes to dance moves. The overgrown rats and soldiers stiffly prancing about in The Nutcracker could learn a few steps from Coyaba Dance Theater: Since its inception in 1997, the resident company of Dance Place has performed traditional and contemporary West African dance and music on many of the same D.C.-area stages graced by productions of Tchaikovsky’s ballet. As part of its “Kwanzaa Celebration”—which will feature singing, drumming, and dancing—the troupe will also open the stage to some of Dance Place’s African-dance-class students, including the adorable pupils of the children’s program. Though the kids’ performance isn’t likely to be as practiced as, say, the “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy,” it’s all but guaranteed to be much cuter than a bunch of grown-ups dressed as toys parading around the stage. The performance begins at 8 p.m. at Dance Place, 3225 8th St. NE. $20. (202) 269-1600. (Sarah Godfrey)