It’s all About the Love

Tuesdays & Thursdays all year long… 

If you’re ready to try West African Inspired Dance, 2016 is your time! 

~ Spreading the Love ~
NEW special offers

  • New Student Discount: $20 for 1 month with promo code: Guinea Love
    (Good for either Tuesday or Thursday class, not combined)
  • Introduce a Friend to Class: If they buy a 4 pass, you get a FREE class,
    if they buy an 8 pass, you BOTH get a FREE class
  • Discounted 4-class or 8-class passes may now be used in either class!
  • New pass details & regular pricing listed here: Dance & Drum Class Page

~ Dancing for Love ~


On Tuesdays this month we will dance Yankadi and Makru, dances for courtship and love from the Susu people of Guinea, West Africa.
Learn some sultry moves to take home and
share with your sweetheart.

celebrate dance


Thursdays we will dance Djolé, a celebratory dance
from the Timiné people of Sierra Leone, West Africa. Inspire the one you love with your powerful new moves.

~Giving Back the Love ~

Sending out immense gratitude and love to some of my amazing teachers:
Check out this powerful dream team (click photos to enlarge) ~

(I took these photos at Camp Fareta, July 2015)

More to come !

 Connect with us on Facebook and spread the word

See you on the dance floor!
Peace and blessings


Thanking the Moon & Stars

Happy New Year! I am still beaming from New Moon Rising on January 2nd. The very first show of the New Moon Ensemble was a fabulous success, thanks to an absolutely wonderful ensemble, and to the amazing community that showed up and packed the venue to the rafters! 

~ Here are a few photos from New Moon Rising at Mayo St. Arts ~
from photographers, Sage Hayes and Tony Castro

I dedicated this performance with a prayer for the expansion of interconnections in community that celebrate diversity, and the creation of beautiful and transformative ways for us all to learn from one another. May there be ever-growing energy, action and change-making that benefit the good of all.

We sold out all the seats, and even the standing room for this show. For all who couldn’t make it in the door, there will be more! Meanwhile, come dance with us Tuesdays and Thursdays, and enjoy the beautiful grooves for yourself. 
For weekly dance and drum class info, click HERE. 

This month in class we are dancing Sinté on Tuesdays and Gumbé on Thursdays.
Visit us on Facebook and Instagram at: Embody The Rhythm 

Here’s to the healing power of music and dance!

New Moon Rising!

Click HERE for Dance & Drum Class Info for 2016

At the dawn of the new year, a new performance ensemble will bud in Portland. We hope you will join the New Moon Ensemble for our kick off celebration on January 2, at Mayo St. Arts. We’re excited to share an evening of rhythm, dance, community, and cultural exchange, and gather donations of clothing to be taken to Guinea, West Africa.

New Moon Ensemble Flier 5

For tickets, click here: Brown Paper Tickets
Let us know you’re coming here:
Facebook Event Link 

New Moon Ensemble rehearsal sneak peeks:


Working out some moves…


Wait til you hear these rhythms!


…you might just want to bust some moves too

Post rehearsal goofiness... Namory and Marita try to pose for a photo

Post rehearsal goofiness… Marita and Namory try to pose for a photo

Click HERE for our schedule of weekly classes 

We are dancing Kassa on Tuesday nights and Sofa on Thursdays in December!

(No classes on Dec 24, 29 or 31)

The Winds of Change are Blowing…

Fresh winds are blowing, the colors outside are changing, and things are evolving and shifting too at Embody the Rhythm…

Click HERE for our schedule of weekly classes 

Here’s a moment from our Thursday night class, last month ~

After long last, the formation of an official West African-Inspired Performance Ensemble is under way in Portland.
This exciting project is “under construction” as I build the ever-evolving, pop-up performances by Blue Moon Tribe into an official ensemble offering. Keep your eyes out for a kick off party for the newly-formed Blue Moon Tribe (same name, new form) in the coming months! 

A small portion of the larger ensemble performed this past weekend, at the Biddeford Ball. I’m awaiting more photos, but in the meantime, here’s one of just a few of us, posted on Faces Maine ~

Dancers & Drummer from the Blue Moon Tribe

Gina, Marita, Alysia & Sandra ~ Blue Moon Tribe performers at the Biddeford Ball. Photo by Hannah Holmbom

Sandra & Adrian, Blue Moon Tribe Drummers at Biddeford Ball.

Sandra & Adrian, Blue Moon Tribe Drummers at Biddeford Ball.


Early in September, Annegret Baier (another of our fabulous drummers) and I teamed up again for a presentation in a few Southern Maine schools. Here are a few highlights from that collaboration ~

An upcoming change to note for Tuesday Class:

On October 27th, there will be no Tuesday night beginner dance class. Drum classes will continue, with Namory Keita as usual, at the Woodford’s Club at 7:15pm.

On Tuesday November 3rd, beginner dance class will be held at Evo Rock & Fitness, at 65 Warren Ave in Portland. Class will begin at 5:30pm. 

See you all on the dance floor!


Fresh Fall Air, Fresh New Moves & Fun Incentives

The days are beginning to cool down outside, but we are heating things up in the studio on Tuesday & Thursday nights!  

Click HERE for our schedule of weekly classes 

On Thursdays this month we’re celebrating the rhythm and dance Soko, from the Malinké people of Faranah, Guinea. Check out the video and preview Soko fun. 



RAFFLE – Throughout the months of September & October, bring or send a total of 3 new friends to dance class on Tuesday (beginners) or Thursday (all-levels), and be entered into a raffle for a FREE month of classes for you! Please have them mention your name when checking in. All new student’s 1st class is 1/2 price.


FMI on Classes & Prices Click HERE



photo by Ben McCanna

Namory Keita and Lanssine Traore playing for Tuesday night dance class. Photo by Ben McCanna

Instructor Marita Kennedy-Castro leads a class in West African inspired dancing Tuesday, April 7, at The Woodfords Club in Portland.

Marita Kennedy-Castro instructing Tuesday night dance class at the Woodford’s Club. Photo by Ben McCanna.

UPCOMING PERFORMANCES – The Blue Moon Tribe will bring some West African Inspired Grooves and Fire Dances to the Biddeford Ball fundraiser, on October 3rd.

Biddeford Ball 2015

Celebrating Mill Workers and raising funds to illuminate the historic Pepperell Mill Building in Biddeford, the Masquerade Ball will include an array of performance acts, a delicious feast of local foods and drinks, and a band to boogie to. Find more info and purchase tickets to the event, HERE.

With the changing seasons, and more exciting things coming up soon, this is a great time to share the dance and drum class experience.
See you all soon! Peace.


Dancing to Remember

Click Here for our Schedule of Weekly Classes

Come join the fun ~ We begin a new dance every month!

Freshly inspired by the incredible master teachers at Camp Fareta (annual West African dance and drum camp in California), I am excited to share Gumbé on Tuesdays this month, and Soli on Thursday nights.

Dance Class.Camp Fareta

Marita dancing at Camp Fareta – Photo by Dawn Cerf

Dance Class2.Camp.Fareta

Dancing at Camp Fareta – Photo by Dawn Cerf

This month I am dancing in honor and remembrance of our beloved teacher, Abdoulaye Sylla, who has so recently left this world. I am still stunned that he has passed, and give thanks for having been able to see and dance with him again, just a few weeks ago.

Abdoulaye had an incredible, lively spirit and energy. May he rest in peace, love, respect and harmony ~  the things he wished for everyone in the world ~ and may his spirit live on.

Dancing with Abdoulaye Sylla - Photo by Dawn Cerf

Dancing with Abdoulaye Sylla – Photo by Dawn Cerf

Abdoulaye Sylla2.Camp Fateta

Dancing with Abdoulaye Sylla – Photo by Dawn Cerf

Abdoulaye Sylla - Photo by Dawn Cerf

“Peace, love, respect, and harmony for everybody – Unity. Together. One.” ~ Abdoulaye Sylla (Photo by Dawn Cerf)

At Camp Fareta there are both beginner classes and intermediate/advanced classes in dancing and drumming every day, all day long.

There is a kid’s camp, offering amazing activities for the young ones while their parents take classes, the food is was delicious local, organic and made with love, the community is international, warm, open and beautiful.

I’d love to get a big group from Maine to come along next year!!

Photographer Dawn Serf captured the energy of the dance and drum classes so beautifully. Check out more of her beautiful photos at this link ~ Joyful West African Dancers at Camp Fareta 2015.

See you on the dance floor!

With love and gratitude.

Dancing from Coast to Coast

 Click Here for our Dance & Drum Class Schedule

Portland is still buzzing from Mini Guinea Fest 

One of the highlights was the celebration of Namory Keita’s move to Portland, and the moment Youssouf Koumbassa, Sayon Camara and Abou Sylla gave their blessings for his move here, and bestowed him to the Maine community. 

Our honored guests rocked the house with their incredible performances, including Theo Martey and Youssouf Koumbassa busting up the dance floor!

Namory Keita

It is truly a gift to have Namory in Maine. If you haven’t gotten to one of his drum classes yet, now’s a great time to start! New students always welcome. Every Tuesday 7:15pm, 179 Woodford St. in Portland.

See more beautiful moments from Mini Guinea Fest 2015, HERE

The month of June brought more special performances to Portland, including Seacoast West African Dance & Drum hosted by the Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project at Old Port Festival on June 13~

Old Port Festival 2015

And Portland’s Blue Moon Tribe, hosted by Friends of Congress Square Park for the Heart of Community Placemaking Launch on June 24 ~

This week I’m gearing up to head out to CA to study with master teachers Moustapha Bangoura, Abdoulaye Sylla, Djeneba Sako, Marie Basse-Wiles, Mabiba Baegne & Aziz Faye, Youssouf Koumbassa and many more, at Camp Fareta

Camp Fareta, Dancing Village Productions

I’ll be building connections to bring more master artists to Maine in the future. I’m excited to bring back some wonderful energy to share with this community!

Come dance with me in class this Tuesday, June 30th, before I go.

There will be *no class in Portland Thursday July 2nd* ~ It’s a great night to pop down to Kittery for drum class with Namory Keita and dance class with Elizabeth Fowler and Seacoast West African Dance & Drum

All other Portland classes are on, as usual.

We will have some wonderful subs for Tuesday classes (Janice Erickson) and Thursday class (Ashley Edmondson), until I return in mid July. Have so much fun with these lovely teachers! 

Reminder: Now is the time to sign up for Dundun Dance and Fire Dancing Workshops in July & August. More details in last months blog (scroll down) or at the Facebook links provided below.

Click the class name for more info:


Dundun Dance Workshop Series 

Fire Poi Dancing ~ A Beginner’s Series 


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