Movement is Medicine

A movement for social change, and a syncopated step/jump/spin on the dance floor; intersectional movement building, and a communal arm raise to the heavens and back to Mother Earth. . . We need the medicine of movement.
We need each other.

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Move, rise, love, and lift up those who need it most.

This month we’ll be practicing the  rhythm/dance, Yoki/Guinea Faré.
Guinea Faré translates as “women dance”, from 
the Susu people of Guinea, West Africa. It is traditionally danced the day before weddings, accompanied by the balafon – a type of xylophone made of wood, with gourds resonating the sound.

In honor of my beloved teacher Youssouf Koumbassa, and the blessing he gave me to teach these dances, it is a joy to share my passion for Guinea dance and music with our community. Join me this month, and let’s dance for healing ~ May the good energy we generate on the dance floor resonate out for the good of all. 

SPECIAL NOTICE:
Time and Location change for one-class-only ~ Tuesday February 21st
We will bring our regular Tuesday class with live drumming to:
Equilibrium Studio in the Pepperell Mill, 40 Main St., Biddeford, ME
Class will be 6:15-7:30pm.
Regular dance passes and drop-in fees will apply.

Otherwise, classes continue as usual (Feb 14th, 28th and beyond) at the community space in Portland New Church, 302 Stevens Ave. 5:45-7:15pm.
Visit this LINK for more info

REQUEST & BARTER PROPOSAL:
Embody the Rhythm is seeking someone with experience to exchange tech and web based media support for dance classes. Please contact Marita if interested. 

See you on the dance floor!

May we dance through the darkness

May we dance through the darkness and back again through light. The cyclical seasons reminding us, we are rhythm. Life is rhythm.

May we all know our part in contributing to the swift creation of a safe, and more just and more open minded society
for ALL people to thrive. 

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Beautiful print by Mel Shapiro, via Pickwick Independent Press.

Weekly Tuesday classes continue through 2016, and right on into the New Year.
Sweat it out. Bring a friend.
Dance for sanity. Dance for peace.
Dance your prayers.
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REQUEST & BARTER PROPOSAL:
Embody the Rhythm is seeking someone with experience to exchange tech and web based media support for dance classes. Please inquire if interested.

EMBODY THE RHYTHM TEACHERS & NEW MOON ENSEMBLE:

Marita Kennedy-Castro
Namory Keita 
Annegret Baier

New Moon Ensemble

 

Donations for Guinea Welcome Through Nov 8th

Weekly Dance Classes Continue through the New Year. Click Here for Class Info.

Hi community!

We’re calling for donations of clothing and medicine items to be taken to Guinea very soon. We’ll be collecting donations at Tuesday dance classes Oct 25, Nov 1 and Nov 8th.

WHAT’S NEEDED:
Medicines (unopened/new) ~Anything you might find in a first aid kit
Ibuprofin, neosporin, triple antibiotics, bandages…

Clothing items ~ (children’s sizes as well as adults) for summer weather, sandals, dresses, shirts, shorts, leggings, hats, jeans, shoes, sheets, towels are all greatly appreciated.

Many thanks in advance for anything you can donate, and for helping to give back to the people of La Guinea!

WE’RE BEGINNING A NEW DANCE, November 1st (as with the beginning of every month) See you on the dance floor!
DRUM CLASSES ARE ON HOLD UNTIL FEBRUARY – Please contact Janice Erickson, FMI.

Surprise Special Guest, Wadaba Joins us for Dance & Drum Class this Week!

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 18 ONLY – Special drum & dance opportunity!

Mamady Kourouma, affectionately known as Wadaba, and a good friend of Namory Keita is a true Djembefola (master drummer), expert of Malinke Rhythms and one of the world’s great djembe players!

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THIS TUESDAY WADABA WILL PLAY FOR OUR WEEKLY DANCE CLASS
@ 5:45-7:15pm
AND GUEST TEACH AN ALL LEVELS DRUM CLASS
@ 7:30-8:45 pm

This is a surprise visit and a unique opportunity to experience the rich artistic playing of Mamady. He brings Malinke rhythms, songs and an understanding of the ceremonies of his village of Oroko, Guinea (just down the Niger River from Namory’s village of Sangbarala).

Don’t miss this special unexpected treat and opportunity!

Beginners to professional levels – All are welcome.
Bring your djembe for drum class
(some extra djembes available).

Drum class just $15.

Our weekly classes are at: Portland New Church, 302 Stevens Ave, Portland ME

See you on the dance floor!

We Have Moved!

After 12 years of West African Inspired Dance & Drumming on Congress St. in downtown Portland, WE’VE MOVED to TUESDAYS.

NEW DANCE & DRUM CLASSES BEGIN OCTOBER, 2016
Join us at our new place, time and location!
(please see below for details) 

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Videos from our final Thursday night dance class at Maine Ballroom, Sep 29, 2016. 

I am beyond grateful to all of the drummers and dancers who’ve shared Thursday nights with me over the past decade, building and being part of this ever-growing community ~

Thank you for helping create space for movement without judgement, movement that brings people together, movement that brings liberation to bodies and minds, that allows us to feel and be and still keep moving amidst our grief, to celebrate our successes together and to honor and give thanks to the tradition and culture of Guinea dance & drumming for showing us how.
May we continue to create modern community rituals that bring us together across cultures and creeds, honoring our unity and our diversity at once, and connecting us with the cycles and seasons of nature – to the Earth, from which we all come.

TUESDAY NIGHTS –DANCE & DRUM CLASSES – BEGIN OCT 4th
Portland New Church, 302 Stevens Ave. Portland, ME


TUESDAY DANCE CLASS | 5:45-7:15pm

This class is for true beginners and experienced students together. 

Dance class is taught by Marita Kennedy-Castro. This is an open, welcoming space to learn something fun and new. Special discounts for both new and returning students. 

The same amazing lineup of musicians provide live drumming, including most frequently Janice Erickson, Jeff Howe, Sandra Benson, Chris Gager, Annegret Baier and master village drummer from Sangbarela, Guinea, Namory Keita.

 

TUESDAY DRUM CLASS | 7:30-8:45pm
This drum class is for intermediate to advanced drum students.

Drum class, taught by Namory Keita will include a full ensemble of West African Traditional Melenke Rhythms on djembe, as well as the full doundoun family of drums.

WEDNESDAY DRUM CLASS* | 5:45-6:45pm
This drum class is for true beginners. 

*Wednesdays are at Woodford’s Club. 179 Woodford’s St., Portland, ME
Beginner drum class with Namory Keita is a blast, whether you want to improve your drum circle skills, or dig deeper into the wonders of West African rhythms. 


We look forward to meeting and welcoming new students in this move!

Meanwhile, I’m working on development of a family dance class (kids and parents together). Please contact me if you’re interested.

Big Up to everyone who came out to classes with Youssouf Koumbassa & Namory Keita in September, (photos/video HERE). Special thanks to Maine Ballroom Dance Studio for the space to enjoy these fabulous teachers in Portland! 

Follow Embody the Rhythm on Facebook

Peace

Youssouf Koumbassa Returns to Maine!

Special Dance & Drum Classes 
September 24th, Portland, ME

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Youssouf Koumbassa

Catch the experience! Dance class FOR ALL LEVELS,
true beginners alongside experienced dancers, with deeply beloved teacher, best of the best, world-renowned, g
rand master dancerYoussouf Koumbassa

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TWO DAYS – Saturday Sep 24th, Portland
Sunday Sep 25th, Kittery

Youssouf leads a warm-up for dance class, Portland, ME 2015

 

Perhaps the world’s most sought-after teacher of Guinea-style African dance, Youssouf Koumbassa was born in Conakry, Guinea. For the past 25 years, Youssouf has taught countless devoted students around the world the beauty and energy of Guinea dance. He teaches at conferences and workshops from Mexico to Amsterdam, California to Japan, yet maintains his position at the center of his African dance community in New York City. Youssouf returns to Guinea every year to lead a month-long immersion workshop for international students in drum and dance.  For extended bio, click HERE.

 

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Youssouf Koumbassa

Saturday, September 24th, 2016

DANCE CLASS w/ Youssouf Koumbassa
DRUM CLASS w/ Namory Keita

Fun for total beginners & advanced students alike!

 

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Youssouf Koumbassa

Hosted by Marita Kennedy-Castro @ Embody The Rhythm, with special thanks to Maine Ballroom Dance, 614 Congress St, Portland

9:30-11:00am | All Levels Dance Class
$16 advance | $20 door | $14 students with I.D.
Maine Ballroom

11:15 – 12:45pm | All Levels Drum Class
$16 advance | $20 door | $14 students with I.D.
Maine Ballroom

These classes fill fast. Guarantee your space in class/get tix in Portland’s weekly dance class Tuesdays or Thursdays, or online at: dancedrumwiththemasters.bpt.me

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Namory Keita

 

Master drummer Namory Keita, born in Sangbarala, Guinea has been the lead drummer in his village since 2006, and performs all over the world.  He moved to Portland, Maine in early 2015 and currently teaches drum classes throughout New England. Namory is a fun and patient teacher for all skill levels. 

Youssouf Koumbassa and Namory Keita, all smiles and talent.

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Drum workshop with Namory Keita in Portland, ME 2015

Click HERE for classes September 25th in Kittery, ME

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Click HERE for Weekly Dance & Drum Class in Portland
with Marita Kennedy-Castro and Namory Keita. 

We’re excited to see you Tuesdays & Thursdays in September as we prepare to consolidate all our classes to Tuesdays in October ~ Stay tuned! 

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Can’t wait to see you September 24th & 25th, with Youssouf Koumbassa!!

Click HERE to visit us on Facebook, let us know you’re coming, share the event.

 

 

Dance from your heart & your feet will follow.

*NOTICE: No Dance or Drum Class AUGUST 30th*
 – Find weekly drum & dance class info HERE –

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Marita Kennedy-Castro & Namory Keita singing at Congress Square Park, July 15th, 2016. Photo by Sullivan Photography

Thanks to all who joined Namory and I, and New Moon Ensemble on July 15th!
It is essential that we create occasions for inter-cultural celebration, recognizing and celebrating the gift of sharing and learning from one another across cultures.
It is my great pleasure to be able to collectively bring healing vibes to our community, through music and dance.

May we all use our creative fire, as Alana Fairchild so eloquently puts it,  
“to burn new ideas of love, healing and transcendent hope onto the world stage.” 

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Marita Kennedy-Castro.  Photo by Tony Castro

WHATS NEW:
In a large nutshell, Embody the Rhythm is undergoing a renovation.

 This work is expanding in ways that I’m really excited about and proud of, and some of these changes will bring new experiences to our community.
Recently I’ve begun…
  • Leading modern community rituals, baby blessing ceremonies and healing rituals with dance and drumming. Contact me if interested.
  • Volunteer teaching dance and drumming at Longcreek Youth Detention Center, alongside inspiring leader Anne Esguerra (yoga therapy), and through the incredible program Maine Inside Out.
  • Developing some of our collaborative classes for women at the Maine Correctional Center.
  • Offering individualized private and small group movement lessons, to help folks get “unstuck”, work through inhibitions and find their freedom of movement. Contact me if interested.
  • Developing a women’s empowerment retreat along with Anne at Horizon Line , and Clara at Prevention.Action.Change. Think, embodiment yoga therapy, self-love-based dance and movement, empowerment self defense… Stay tuned!
  • Designing a very exciting new program to facilitate intercultural music and dance collaborations in local high schools, based on my college thesis project, Bakunda (We Love). This program is in seed form, and all supportive connections are welcome!
  • Setting up a 5 day tour of teaching work for my biggest influence and beloved teacher in West African Dance, Youssouf Koumbassa, to bring him back to Maine (!!!) 

SAVE THE DATE ~ Classes with Youssouf Koumbassa Sep 24th in Portland & Sep 25th in Kittery, ME.

 

Youssouf Koumbassa performing in Portland, ME in May 2015.

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Youssouf Koumbassa teaches dance in Guinea, Conakry, At Bagatai.

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BIG NEWS for dance students – CLASS TIME/LOCATION CHANGES THIS FALL:

 

This fall we’ll be consolidating the two dance classes into ONE, WONDERFUL, ALL-LEVELS, DANCE CLASS, for true-blue beginners alongside advanced students. The new dance class will be 1.5 hrs on Tuesday evenings, likely to begin at 5:45pm, followed by drum class with Namory Keita.
This is a very exciting opportunity to bring the whole community together as one supportive community.  
Location and date change will be announced just as soon as confirmed. Likely to begin in October. Going to be great! Both classes continue as usual until then.
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New Moon Ensemble performance photos from July 15th show at Congress Square Park.

Peace. Love. Unity.
See you on the dance floor!
*Notice: No Dance Class AUG 30th*

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Follow Embody the Rhythm on Instagram & Facebook 

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