As the nights get longer… What’s in store for December/January~

Dear dance and drum community,

As the days begin to get shorter and the nights get longer I hope to raise our collective light together on the dance floor, a few more times before the new year! 

My deep gratitude to all who came out to the Dun Dun Dance workshops in support of my fundraising efforts, and to all of the drummers who donated your time. I appreciate you all immeasurably. We will surely do more Dun Dun Dancing when I return from Africa!

In exactly one month from today I’ll be on a plane to Guinea, West Africa. I’m feeling so excited and so deeply blessed.

I’m seeking the collective support of family, friends, and community in order to get to where I need to be with the final details of this massive endeavor. A link for my project fundraiser through the site, Kickstarter, will be posted here just as soon as possible. Whether or not you’re able to offer financial support please check out my project when it’s posted, learn more about my plans for my time in Guinea and support me by envisioning it fully funded. Thank you thank you!

DECEMBER DANCE CLASS NEWS~

Thankfully we still have 4 classes in December to celebrate community through drum and dance! We won’t have class on December 29th, but other than that all Thursdays are on. 

We’ll wrap up 2011 by heating up the studio with the dance, Guinea Fare. Phonetically pronounced Ghin-ee Far-ay , this dance literally means Women’s Dance in Susu. All you fellas out there can dance this one too~ It’s not exclusive~ Let’s celebrate women together! 

Here is an example of some young dancers performing Guinea Fare~ 

JANUARY DANCE CLASS NEWS~

For the month of January you will have two wonderful substitute teachers while I am away~ Janice Erickson and Nyama McCarthy-Brown. Their bios and descriptions of what they’ll be teaching are included below.

Have a great montht!  I am so excited to dance with you when I return!!!

Janice Erickson has been studying world music and dance for almost three decades. Focusing on African style dance and drum, she has taught for many years at various venues such as Casco Bay Movers, The Rythm Inlet, World Arts, and Maine Ballroom Dance. Currently she is playing drums for dance classes and teaches hand drumming and African-inspired dance. Though her primary style is Congolese, she has also studied and taught Samba basics and West African styles as well. Her class starts with a stretch and warm up to get you into your body. From there isolations and across the floor moves will keep you moving as the class gains momentum to give you a great workout-African style!  

Dr. Nyama McCarthy-Brown is a Postdoctoral Fellow at Bowdoin College. She completed her PhD with a focus on Dance Education and Cultural Studies at Temple University, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Originally from San Francisco, she received her BA Degree in Political Science from Spelman College and completed her MFA in Performance and Choreography at the University of Michigan in 2003.  Nyama is committed to dance education for  at-risk youths and has been teaching dance in public schools snce 1999. In 2009, Nyama became a fellow of the Center for the Humanities at Temple. Her current research examines values of cultural diversity dance  departments as articulated in their mission statements. She recently  compleed a three year residence as a Teaching Artist with Dancing Classrooms Philly, and has been a salsera since 2003. 

Nyama says:

“I will be teaching Manjani. This rites of passage dance was initially connected to young women, but today it is a celebratory dance performed by men and women. The dance combines steps from many other dances, some of which will certainly be familiar to the class.”

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Please feel free to bookmark my website, share it, post it, subscribe to my monthly blog (by clicking on “stay tuned” in the upper right of this page), and take a peak here from time to time. I’ll continue to update the Community Connections page as things come my way.

Just for fun, I wanted to share this video I found of dancers and drummers performing Guinean dance, including some hip hop in the mix and Dun Dun dance at then end!

Happy holidays, peace and blessings to you all! 

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