Dance when you’re broken open…

“Dance, when you’re broken open. Dance, if you’ve torn the bandage off. Dance in the middle of the fighting. Dance in your blood. Dance when you’re perfectly free.” ~Rumi

There is a longer version to this poem, which I really love and have somewhere, but can’t seem to find at the moment… However, the words are particularly potent for me so I wanted to share as much of it as I could find.

The past months have been so rich and full, joys and sorrows and all. I am still reveling in the amazing depth of music, dance and culture I steeped myself in while in Guinée; so deeply grateful for West African music and dance coming into my life (14 years ago now!) and remaining my favorite outlet for life’s passing tides.

I am excited to say that we can look forward to even more visits from West African dance and drum master teachers here in Maine this fall. Look who’s coming to Kittery again next month! ~

Check out the details to take classes with and see a performance by Sidiki Sylla, Ismael Bangoura & Soriba “Simbo” Camara at the Kittery Dance Hall on October 6th! Let’s get together a big caravan of folks from all over Maine to attend these exciting classes!

Also, opportunities coming up to take a series of marimba classes right here in Portland, starting October 10th! Keep an eye on Related Events & Classes to get advanced notices and more details about such things… Scroll down on the page to find information on the marimba classes right coming up.

Throughout the year I also teach occasional workshops and mini-series, outside of our weekly class, to children and/or adults  in after school programs, summer camps, at special events, etc..

I recently had the opportunity to work with a wonderful group of very supportive adults through the Bomb Diggety Arts Program in Portland, teaching a dance workshop accompanied by the incredibly talented drummer, Annegret Baier. The experience made quite an impression on me… and I think on everyone involved~

May we all experience freedom, joy, and complete abandonment of judgement through dance!

Dancing at Bomb Diggety Arts

Bomb Diggety Arts dance class

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And last, but definitely not least~

For the month of September in our weekly class we will be dancing Djolé! (or Yolé depending how you say it or who taught you)

I’ve learned that this vibrant dance comes from the southwest region of Guinée called Forekaria, and also from the neighboring country of Sierra Leone, from the Timiné people. The dance would traditionally be done as a way to showcase the various masks of the region to the younger generations. 

In this video you can see a celebration of Djolé/Yolé in Conakry, the capital of Guinée… and their guest drummer might surprise you! 

I hope to see you on the dance floor in September!

Peace

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