Guinea is coming to Maine!!

Click HERE for our Current Weekly Class Schedule


I never anticipated a day would come that I’d get to make this special announcement:  Portland is welcoming master drummer Namory Keita, from Guinea, West Africa ~ to LIVE HERE!

I am thrilled to share that this gracious, kind, djembefola (master drummer) from Sangbarala, Guinea, has chosen Portland, Maine as his new home and community. Big Up to you Namory! We have much to celebrate!

A Warm Welcome to Namory Keita!!!!!!! 


Namory Keita, djembefola

Starting in January, Namory will be accompanying our Tuesday night beginner dance class at the Woodford’s Club (yes yes!) and teaching drum classes directly following. We are blessed!

Weekly Drum Classes with Namory Keita, starting January 6th, 2015

Tuesdays 7:15-8:45pm at the Woodford’s Club, 179 Woodford’s St. in Portland

Please bring a drum if you have one. Limited number of drums available for reservation.

FMI contact Janice Erickson:

Dancing & Drumming Without Borders ~ Supporting ebola relief efforts

Reminder: Over the next 2 months a percentage of funds from every dance class will be donated to Doctors Without Borders to aid in ebola relief efforts. Please consider donating directly, via their website, and help to support the people and families from which this music and dancing comes!

HOLIDAY Discount Offers &  Gift Certificates Available in December & January

Good for Tues OR Thurs night Dance Class ~ (we can’t do multi-location passes)

*4 classes ~ $48
*8 classes ~ $88
*12 classes ~ $120
*Introduce someone new to class and you BOTH attend their 1st class at 1/2 price (redeemable one time only)
*Barters available for members of Hour Exchange Portland
*Students: $2 discount with I.D.

SAVE THE DATE  January 17-18, 2015

Workshops & Performances with Special Guest: 

Ismael ‘Bonfils’ Kouyate!

Ismael ‘Bonfils’ Kouyate, world renowned artist of traditional Guinean dance and song is coming to Maine in January 2015, for a weekend of workshops and performances.
Bonfils comes from a family of artists, and was a long time performer with Les Percussions de Guinea and Les Ballets Africains, one of Guinea’s national ballets. You may have caught him in the Broadway musical FELA!, or performing with Ismael Kouyate: Waraba Band.
Spread the Word
Saturday Jan 17th ~ Ismael teaches song, dance, drum and dundun dance classes in Kittery, topped off by an evening performance with several other musicians and dancers from Guinea, including master balafone player, Abou Sylla.
Sunday Jan 18th ~ Ismael teaches song, dance, drum and dundun dance classes in Portland
 More Details Will Be Posted Soon!
Click HERE to find us on Facebook

Drum (& Dance) With 5-gallon Buckets in August

I’m excited to offer 3 Drum/Dance workshops in August ~ Mondays: August 11, 18 & 25th

Join the fun and learn a rhythm and dance in a style inspired by West African dundun dancing. We will be drumming with drumsticks on 5 gallon buckets, and a few dundun drums will be provided for students to experience as well.

Those who wish to drum, but are not yet ready to dance, are also welcome!


Bucket Drumming and Dancing


Dundun dancing in the traditional style

Dundun dancing in the traditional style


August 11, 18 & 25th


$10 per workshop
Come to all 3 (get solid on the rhythms), and there’ll be potential to perform for First Friday Art Walk on September 5th!

If it’s SUNNY~
Fort Sumner Park, 60 North St., Portland, ME

If it’s RAINY~
U.U. Church, 425 Congress St., Portland, ME

*Pre-registration is advised, so we can assure there’s room for everyone.*

5 gallon bucket & set of drumsticks.
A limited number of 5 gallon buckets and drumsticks will be provided. Please let me know if you’d like to reserve a set.

It is best to wear clothing that provides you with ease of movement, bring a water bottle and stay hydrated.

*Tell your friends*

We also have 2 weekly classes in West African Inspired Dance ongoing throughout the summer. Click HERE for more information.

Exciting West African Dance Opportunities Coming Soon

A very special guest & my beloved teacher, Youssouf Koumbassa, will return here on June 20th, to teach an all-levels dance class @ the Mechanic’s Hall!


Youssouf brings incredible talent, breath-taking dancing and masterful teaching to this experience.

Live drumming in gorgeous Guinean rhythms will be provided by special guest drummers from Guinea – Namory Keita, Abdoulaye Toure- and beyond.

This is guaranteed to be a summer highlight!

Friday, June 20th, 2014, 6:00-7:30pm,

Mechanic’s Hall, 519 Congress St., 3rd floor, Portland, ME

$16 advance*/ $20 day of  

Additional opportunities to take drum and dance classes with Youssouf & Namory in Kittery, Maine on June 19th & 22nd, and Cambridge, MA, June 23rd. 

*Find out how to pre-register (by pre-paying) for Yousouf’s classes & sign up for the carpool to Kittery in either of our local classes or contact me.

I can’t wait to share this experience with you! 

Youssouf Koumbassa is returning to Portland, ME!

SAVE THE DATE ~ Friday, June 20th, 2014

Master dancer and teacher, Youssouf Koumbassa, is returning to Portland for a West African Dance workshop with live drumming lead by special guest, Namory Keita on djembe!

All levels are welcome ~ Youssouf makes class very accessible and always an unforgettable experience. Come dance with this amazing teacher and total treasure of a human being!


6-7:30pm @ the Mechanic’s Hall 519 Congress St, 3rd floor.

$16 in advance / $20 day of class

 Pre-registration is strongly encouraged.

Click HERE and contact me to pre-register & please spread the word.        

See you there! 

Youssouf Koumbassa & Namory Keita Coming to Portland, ME!

Still buzzing from an amazing day of Guinean drum & dance yesterday, I am thrilled to announce that master Guinean artist, Youssouf Koumbassa, will be returning to Portland, Maine on a mini New England tour and teaching class here on Thursday, October 31st, accompanied by master djembefola, Namory Keita!!

Please help me to spread the word!

Youssouf teaching in Guinea, 2012

Youssouf teaching in Guinea, 2012

Namory in Guinea, West Africa

Namory in Guinea, West Africa

Join us at Maine Ballroom Dance Studio for an exciting night of dancing and drumming!

* Thursday, Oct 31st 2013 *  7:30pm *  $15-$20 sliding scale * Please pre-register a.s.a.p. & reserve your spot by contacting Marita Kennedy-Castro *

*Youssouf will be in New England for 4 days in a row and for 2 consecutive weekends!*

Wednesday October 30th ~ Brattleboro, VT, 7-8:30pm @ Brattleboro Stone Church:

Thursday October 31st ~ Portland, ME 7:30-9pm @ Maine Ballroom Dance Studio:

Friday November 1st ~ Kittery, ME 7-8:30pm @ The Dance Hall: Seacoast West African Dance & Drum

Saturday November 2nd ~ Cambridge, MA @ The Dance Complex (details TBA)

$15-$20 sliding scale for all Locations

The following weekend catch Youssouf and many, many more talented artists from Guinea at JEH KULU’S ANNUAL WEST AFRICAN DANCE & DRUM FESTIVAL in Burlington, VT! Pre-registration is open. Join the fun!

Falling into the arms of Autumn

This month in class I look forward to sharing Djolé with you as the leaves continue to change to lively reds, oranges, and yellows throughout the month. The energetic dance, Djolé, comes from the Timiné people of Sierra Leone. 

Here’s a preview of Djolé~

There are a number of exciting Guinean drum and dance opportunities coming to Maine this month:

*This Saturday, October 5th, we’ll welcome 3 fantastic Guinean artists: Sidiki Sylla, Ismael Bangoura and Mangue Sylla to the Dance Hall in Kittery (link here for details) … AND … 

*Thursday Oct 31st, we’ll welcome Youssouf Koubassa back to Maine Ballroom Dance Studio in Portland accompanied by Namory Keita ~ I couldn’t be more pleased!

Let’s pack the studios and give these artists a warm welcome so they’ll come again and again~

Please mark your calendar & spread the word!

See you on the dance floor!  

Classes with Sidiki Sylla & Ismael Bangoura, April 6th

Sidiki Sylla and Ismael Bangoura

Of Jeh Kulu Dance and Drum Theatre are returning to the Dance Hall in Kittery, Saturday April 6th for classes

Don’t miss these gifted instructors!


1:00-2:30 pm  Drum Class with Ismael Bangoura

2:45 -4:15 pm  Dance class with Sidiki Sylla

Cost: $15 per class

For more information or to register ahead for the classes contact:

Liz Fowler-Camara

There is nothing like the sweet opportunity to study with the masters in West African dance, and it only happens in Maine a few times a year. These teachers are fantastic!

Join the carpool from Portland by adding your name to the carpool list at our weekly class, or email:


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