Movement Medicine and Social Change

movement medicine social change

There is a Need for Healing.  
All people, all genders, all ages, ethnicities, creeds…
We all need the healing medicine of movement.
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We need spaces in which we become so present in the experience of our body’s movement that we forget our heartache, forget our struggles, and remember our Selves. Even for a moment. Even for an hour.
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We need community.
We need safe spaces in which we can collectively align in movement, share in rhythm, and breathe in the company of others … to shed the heaviness, despair, anger, fear,
even if for the moment …

So that the lightness of our being, suspended in air, in rhythm, in movement, can return us to the presence of our own spirit, can grow our resilience, grow our strength, rekindle our fire and most importantly, inspire the actions we take to change the systems that are not working for the good of all. 
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Let’s cultivate the healing energy we generate on the dance floor to go beyond ourselves and take outward into the world. Let’s find more ways to take action together to create the changes needed for all people to be safe, for all people to be free, for all people to thrive.

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As a small step toward collectively channelling the healing medicine of movement directly toward social change  $1 from each student in our Tuesday dance classes in 2019 will be donated to these important initiatives
here in Maine and in Guinea:

For Us By Us (a fund for POC, by POC) in Maine. Learn more here:
https://www.patreon.com/forusbyus/posts 
Black Girl in Maine (BGIM media) – education, awareness, participation: 
https://blackgirlinmaine.com/
Hamana Arts Center (school for traditional cultural arts) in Guinea, West Africa:
https://www.gofundme.com/hamana-arts-center-project
Youssouf Koumbassa’s School for traditional cultural arts in Guinea, West Africa.
(link coming) 

Check out the important work of each organization and consider donating directly, by visiting the links provided above.

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Movement, Music & Community

 

While we are dancing through precarious and trying times,
we also have new beginnings to celebrate.
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Let’s continue to come together, build community, hold each other up and knit our neighborhoods together, celebrate one another and create space for the light to grow within each individual.
Let’s reach beyond preconceived boundaries and learn from one another.
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Come dance.

Tuesdays, Fridays and some Saturdays! (link here FMI)

Nobody turned away for lack of funds. Barters and discounts available.
All bodies, all genders welcome.

See you on the dance floor! Welcome 2019!

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Bring a Friend FREE this week, New Classes in 2019

Happy nearly Solstice! As the days get short and chilly it can be tough to motivate for physical activities, but it’s one of the best things we can do for our spirit.

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Our mental, emotional and physical bodies benefit from movement and music, and dancing in community is a proven uplifter. 

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Round up a friend or two and make a little pact this winter to get each other out to a warm and welcoming dance floor ~ A little group motivation can help us keep commitment to our wellbeing.

As incentive, INTRODUCE A FRIEND to class THIS WEEK and they attend FREE for our final dance classes in 2018 ~
Tuesday Dec 18 & Friday Dec 21!

EmbodytheRhythm.Drummers

Keepin’ it toasty every TUESDAY you can’t beat the LIVE DRUMMING with dance moves offered for all levels of dancers.
Note: Classes prices increase by $1 in 2019. Nobody turned away for lack of funds.

FRIDAY morning classes  ~ Next series: Jan 4 – Feb 22*
9:00 – 10:00am
*Minimum # students needed ~ Please share.

Early Bird Discount before January 1st: $104 cash, check / $107 online
Link HERE to Pre-register

After January 1st: $120 cash, check / $124 online

No experience needed for either class, a self-loving attitude is encouraged, and all bodies are welcome.

Link HERE for DANCE CLASS DETAILS
Location: Portland New Church, 302 Stevens Ave, Portland, ME

EnjoytheLittleThings

PRE-SCHOOL & FAMILY DANCE & RHYTHM ~ 5 Saturdays
Feb 9 – Mar 9, 2019

For 3-5 year olds with participating parent/guardian
10:30 – 11:15am
Class size limited to 20 little ones
Early Bird Discount before January 31st:  $65 cash, check / $68 online
Link HERE to Pre-register
After January 31st:  $75 cash, check / $78 online

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SPREAD LOVE. BE LOVE.
SEE YOU ON THE DANCE FLOOR

Connect on Instagram
Connect on Facebook

Dance Class photo credits to Kendra Smith

Across the ocean and in our hearts. Giving back to Guinea

Do you have plans for staying warm and inspired, active and connected this winter? Come beat the winter blues with a community you can groove with!


Movement and music are languages that transcend words, helping to build intercultural understanding and connection.

Movement and music are medicines needed by all.

 


GIVING BACK TO THE PEOPLE OF GUINEA:


DECEMBER 4 – Right after dance class, POTLUCK PARTY & DONATIONS COLLECTION for Namory Keita’s annual winter trip.

Dance class 6-7:30pm, Potluck Party 7:45pm on,
Portland New Church, 302 Stevens Ave, Portland, ME

 What you can bring:

  • A dish or beverage to share and extra paper plates/cups if you have ’em (silverware provided – let’s keep it compostable/recyclable)
  • Donations of over-the-counter first aid supplies and children’s summer clothing to be delivered in the villages.
  • Financial contributions for the Hamana Art Center – This is a school Namory is building in the beautiful Hamana region of Guinea. Here masters and students from around the world will come together to exchange, teach, perform and study the traditional arts of the region. Photos of the school building progress:
     

    You can also support this project online, at this link:
    Hamana Art Center

DRUM CLASSES with ANNEGRET BAIER

Annegret Baier

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Annegret offers small group and individual percussion/drumming lessons. A great gift for the holidays! Contact her: annegret@maine.rr.com

Stay tuned for weekly group lessons and workshops in the New Year and visit her website: www.annegretbaier.com

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TUESDAY DANCE CLASS CONTINUES YEAR-ROUND AND IS GENDER-INCLUSIVE:IMG_7044
  • DID YOU KNOW? To encourage gender diversity on the dance floor, 1st Tuesday of every month is just $5 for male-identified and gender-non-conforming dancers. Dance is good for all bodies.
    We start a new dance every 1st Tuesday.
  • Our last Tuesday class of the year will be December 18, 2018. Winter weather cancellations are posted on the top of this page, and on our facebook page (see link below)
  • Our Friday morning series continues through December 21st (open to drop in. See classes page)

GIVE THE GIFT OF DANCE:

  • Purchase a 4-class or 8-class pass for someone you love (including yourself!) at this link:  Embody the Rhythm Store 

MORE DANCE CLASSES COMING SOON! 

Embody the Rhythm on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EmbodyTheRhythm/
Embody the Rhythm on Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/embodytherhythm/

A special thanks Kendra Smith of Mainer Media, for the video in this post. 

Let’s Dance it Out

Bring on the empowering medicine of movement and music!
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EnsembleDancers

New Moon Ensemble, performing at Henry Fest on Sep 8, 2018

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In response to the myriad reasons we need movement medicine, I’m excited to announce a
NEW DANCE CLASS OFFERING

 

8-Weeks | Fridays Mornings | 9 -10am
Oct 26 – Dec 21 
(
skipping Nov 23)
Portland New Church, 302 Stevens Ave

This class is now open for drop-in students. 

 

Accompanied by beautiful traditional rhythm recordings, this class will focus on the therapeutic aspects of Guinea style, West African dance; tuning in to breath and heartbeat as our guiding force and energy.

An opportunity to dip your toes in or dive deep into a new form of expression and connection through heart and hip opening movement. Beginners and experienced dancers welcomed. No experience needed.

Minimum number of pre-registrants needed to run the class. Sign up for the Early Bird discount and help this class fly.*

Early Bird Price = $110

After October 15 = drop-ins $15/class

*Once minimum # of pre-registrants is met to run the class, it will open to drop-ins

SHARE WITH FRIENDS:
  https://www.facebook.com/events/245969029421873/


NEW MOON ENSEMBLE PERFORMS at
York County Mini Makers Faire
Saturday, Oct 13 | Pepperell Mill Campus, Biddeford, ME | 4:00pm

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For details about York County Mini Makers Faire, SEE THIS LINK.
For directions and parking info, SEE THIS LINK. 


HENRY FEST WAS A SUCCESS 

Thanks to everyone who came out to support all of the fabulous artists and the annual fundraiser for 317 Main, last month.

We had a great time performing in the field, and I loved offering this mini dance workshop with our drummers bringing the fire ~ Check out the overflowing dance floor energy:

View this post on Instagram

We had so much fun bringing Guinea style West African Drum & Dance to all ages at Henry Fest last month. Thank you to all who danced with us!! That dance floor was overflowing. ✨Thanks to @317main & @unfaithfulservant ✨Thank you to the parent who sent us this video ✨Thank you New Moon Ensemble drummers and dancers @embodytherhythm ✨ #embodytherhythm #movementismedicine #movewithspirit #danceforthesoul #bodypositive #bodyempowerment #trysomethingnew #danceforallbodies #livedrumming #comedancewithus #Guineadanceanddrum #cultivatecommunity #peace #love #unity #dancelove #drumlove #danceforallpeople #danceforhealing #artismedicine #supporttraditionalarts #diversityisbeautiful #dancelife #drumlife #findyourmovementmedicine #portlandmaine

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Thank you to all who came out
for the drum & dance workshops with Namory Keita and Seny Daffe!!

Your presence in these workshops makes them possible.

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Amazing class with Seny Daffe yesterday! ✨ So grateful to everyone who showed up to support our guest artist. Thank you to our fabulous drummers @namorydjenekeita, @jerickson002, @jeffreyahowe !! Thanks to @alisongreenparsons for the delicious sorrel and handmade jewelry market. Thanks to everyone who helped make it such a great day. 🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽 Come dance with me ✨ West African Dance, Guinea style, every Tuesday, 6-7:30pm 302 Stevens, Ave Portland, Maine • Live drumming. ✨ All levels welcome ✨ No experience necessary✨ New student discount: $20 for 4 classes ($5/class!) Returning student discounts too ✨ Spread love. Be love. Find your movement medicine. EmbodyTheRhythm.com • #embodytherhythm #movementismedicine #movewithspirit #danceforthesoul #bodypositive #bodyempowerment #trysomethingnew #danceforallbodies #livedrumming #comedancewithus #Guineadanceanddrum #cultivatecommunity #peace #love #unity #dancelove #drumlove #danceforallpeople #danceforhealing #artismedicine #supporttraditionalarts #diversityisbeautiful #dancelife #drumlife #findyourmedicine #portlandmaine

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COMING UP NEXT MONTH
JEH KULU’S ANNUAL WEST AFRICAN DANCE & DRUM FESTIVAL BURLINGTON, VT

Are you aware there are many annual West African Dance & Drum festivals throughout the nation, as well as world-wide? These cultural traditions have inspired an international family, bringing people together from all over the globe through dance, drum and song.

Join dancers and drummers from Embody the Rhythm community in attending Jeh Kulu’s Annual West African Dance & Drum Festival this year!

 

For all who, like me, feel little rattled by what’s going on in our world, I invite you to move it on out with me on dance floors, here there and everywhere. 

Movement is medicine.
Let’s dance it out. 

 

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New Moon Ensemble Joined by Seny Daffe at Henry Fest, Workshops and More

Saturday SEPTEMBER 8th,
join New Moon Ensemble at Henry Fest

New Moon Ensemble returns for a later summer outdoor performance at Henry Fest, in N. Yarmouth, Maine, joined by Seny Daffe of Jeh Kulu. 

For weekly, on-going Dance & Drum Class info, please click HERE. 

NewMoonEnsemble

Henry Fest is an annual celebration hosted by 317 Main, offering a day of outdoor workshops, performances and family style fun at Skyline Farm in North Yarmouth.

New Moon Ensemble (with Embody the Rhythm) performs amidst a line up of many fabulous local dance bands, including Primo Cubano (with Portland Maine Salsa), King Day & His New Imperials (with Portland Swing Project), and Joy Compass (with Portland Intown Contra Dance).

Each group is offering an open dance workshop to be included in your ticket to the Festival. We hope you’ll join us September 8, and come see what we’ve been up to!

Links for Henry Fest @ Skyline Farm, 95 The Ln, North Yarmouth, ME 04097  
Henry Fest 2018 Website
Facebook Event Page
Volunteer Sign Up Page (Volunteers get in free)
Henry Fest 2018 Tickets

Sunday SEPTEMBER 9th,
Drum & Dance Workshops
with Namory Keita & Seny Daffe

Namory Keita and Seny Daffe will teach high vibes Guinea West African Drum & Dance workshops, right here in Portland, at Maine Ballroom Dance Studio.

SenyDaffe.NamoryKeita
10:00-11:00am – DRUM CLASS w/ Namory Keita – All-levels
11:30am-1:00pm – DANCE CLASS w/ Seny Daffe – All-levels

No experience necessary ~ All-levels welcome in both classes.

Maine Ballroom Dance Studio, 614 Congress St., Portland, ME
Individual class = $16, or $30 for both (Cash preferred, small surcharge for credit)
Enjoy free on-street parking on Sundays.

To reserve your spot in a class contact Marita here.
To reserve a drum for class contact Namory: info@namorydrum.com
FMI Link to: Facebook Event Page


Wednesdays, starting Sep 5th
5 week Drum Workshop Series
with Annegret Baier

Annegret

Annegret Baier is a fabulous musician and teacher, cherished dance class drummer and New Moon Ensemble performer. She brings 25+ years of experience to her playing and teaching of West African rhythms. 

These workshops will be 5 Wednesdays: 9/5, 9/12, 9/19. 10/3 & 10/10
6:00-7:30pm
Friends Meeting House, 1837 Forest Ave, Portland, Me
$120  
Pre-registration is required.
To register and rent a Djembe, contact Annegret here.

Looking forward to seeing you at Henry Fest, dancing & drumming with you in September workshops, and in our weekly classes!

 

May you find your movement. May you find your medicine.

See you on the dance floor! 

Keeping Warm & Cultivating Community

This is how we keep warm as we anticipate a long-awaited summer in Maine … (Click the arrow embedded in right side of image, to see more sweetness)

WE’VE BEEN HAVING SO MUCH FUN BUILDING COMMUNITY WITH SOME FABULOUS GUEST TEACHERS THESE PAST FEW MONTHS.

IF YOU’VE MISSED THEM, THERE’S STILL MORE TO COME IN JUNE:

Thursday June 14th, Seny Daffe returns to the Dance Hall in Kittery, to teach Dundun Dance & Namory Keita teaches Drumming. Visit the links for details, and see videos below from our recent workshops.
Facebook Event Link / Seacoast Dance & Drum 

Friday June 15th, Music on Main – A Night of West African Drumming & Dance with special guests, Theo Martey, Abou Sylla, Seny Daffe and Namory Keita!
For more info and tickets, visit Music on Main

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Here’s a peek at the fun we had in Dundun Dance Class with Seny Daffe, April 3rd in Portland, ME:

.. and April 5th in Kittery, ME:

Meanwhile, as we cultivate the Earth with the coming of warmer weather, we also continue to plant, water and grow this community.

Join us for Weekly Dance & Drum Classes, every Monday & Tuesday!
CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS

Movement is Medicine. Find your movement. Find your medicine. 

View this post on Instagram

Come dance tonight ✨ Movement is medicine. West African Dance (Guinea style), honoring the source and teachers of this form, every Tuesday 6-7:30pm. Live drumming. All are welcome. No experience necessary. New student discount: $20 for 4 classes in 4 weeks ($5/class!) Returning student discounts too. Spread love. Be love. Portland, Maine Find your movement, find your medicine. www.embodytherhythm.com #embodytherhythm #movementismedicine #movewithspirit #danceforthesoul #bodypositive #bodyempowerment #danceforallbodies #livedrumming #musicismedicine #Guineadanceanddrum #community #peace #love #unity #GuineatoMaine #GuineaLove #drumlove #dancelove #danceforallpeople #danceforhealing #diversityisbeautiful #artismedicine #supporttraditionalarts #dancelife #drumlife #findyourmedicine #portlandmaine

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See you on the dance floor.

Link Here for Dance Class Video Samples 

Link Here for Dance & Drum Class Details

May the Sunshine Pour from our Pores

*FROM GUINEA TO MAINE*
4 UPCOMING WORKSHOPS WITH SPECIAL GUESTS!

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Room Island, Guinea

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Hamana region, Guinea

Home

With our friend, Namory Keita, and his son.

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The beautiful location where Namory has begun building Hamana Art Center.

2018 began for me amidst the beauty of Guinea, West Africa, with dear friends old and new, to study at the home of my long-time teacher, Youssouf Koumbassa:

 

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Grand Master Dancer and Teacher, Youssouf Koumbassa

 

It has taken me a Moon or more to settle back into Maine’s long winter, and tonight as I reminisce these sunny photos, we prepare for another big snow storm. 

 



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This beauty, dear friend and long time student Steph Harmon, came along for the month-long dance and drum immersion studies.

We invite our community to join us for a sharing of stories & slideshows from our trip: SUNDAY, MARCH 18
7pm, Hustle & Flow Studio, 155 Brackett St., 3rd floor, Portland.

I will continue to share Guinea stories here too, bit by bit.
There is so much!

*FROM GUINEA TO MAINE*
UPCOMING DANCE & DRUM WORKSHOPS
WITH VERY SPECIAL GUESTS!

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Bolokada Conde

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Seny Daffe

 

THURSDAY, MARCH 29
All Levels Drum Class with
Grandmaster djembefola,
BOLOKADA CONDE

The Dance Hall, 7 Walker St., Kittery, Maine
5:30-6:45pm, $20
Bolokada will lead the drum accompaniment for Liz Fowler’s dance class, directly to follow.

TUESDAY, APRIL 3
All Levels Drum Class with
Master Village Drummer,
NAMORY KEITA
The Portland New Church, 302 Steven’s Ave. Portland, ME
5:00-6:00pm, $15
Contact Marita to reserve a drum. 

TUESDAY, APRIL 3
*Dundun Dance* Class with
Master Drummer & Singer, SENY DAFFE
The Portland New Church, 302 Steven’s Ave. Portland, ME
6:15-7:45pm, $18

*Space is limited. ALL DUNDUNS HAVE NOW BEEN RESERVED, which means we’re at capacity, but we do have a WAITLIST. You may join the waitlist by contacting Marita.

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Namory Keita

SUNDAY, APRIL 15th
Special *Advanced* Drumming Workshop with
NAMORY KEITA

1:00-3:00pm, $25
Portland New Church, 302 Stevens Ave.
One-Time Event. Register HERE 

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Guinea Story #1
FIRST AID, FROM NEW ENGLAND TO GUINEA

 

Guinea, West Africa is rich in culture, contributing incredible music and dance to the rest of the world, the roots of which are seen in many popular contemporary art forms worldwide. As you might have noticed, as a follower of West African dance & drumming, Guinea has *incredible* talent. 

Meanwhile, the reality remains that the average person in Guinea has only the very basics for survival. While colonizing countries have established businesses there, and imported all manner of packaged items, there is no place to deal with trash and plastic waste, no sanitation system, no running water, and scant/rationed electricity for the non-elite. The average person has no access to basic health care or even first aid such as antiseptic, bandages, fever-fighting medicines and pain reducers, no simple life-saving conveniences such as bug spray (while malaria, and other mosquito born illnesses are rampant). My friends and fellow artists whom I became close with are not even guaranteed to have food to eat each day, nor a bed to sleep in. 

On my recent journey to the country, I was able to bring along a suitcase full of traditional first aid items and lovingly prepared herbal medicines, coming from many of you in our local community. I cannot tell you how incredibly far this went. A special shout out to wise herbalists, Angel Putney Noe and Isa Beaulieu for your beautiful healing remedies ~ the herbal medicines were most deeply appreciated. 

An amazing group of friends and community members in Guinea volunteered to help with separating all of the donations into smaller units, which we then distributed home by home, around numerous villages. Local volunteers came along to ensure that proper use of the medicines was translated into the local languages. It was a most beautiful effort, linking together communities that I love and cherish from both sides of the ocean. Thank you to all who donated, and to all who helped.

As I would hear people say every day in Guinea, “Wontanara” (We are together / We are one). Let’s find more ways to give back, to share the wealth, and to honor this truth of our common humanity with care and action. 

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