Dance & Drum Classes


Inspiration~ Kindia, Guinea

All are welcome ~ No experience needed.
On-going Classes. Drop-in any time!

Embody the Rhythm
 brings weekly Guinea style West African Dance Classes to Portland, ME with dancer/choreographer Marita Kennedy-Castro, and live drum accompaniment from a talented crew of local drummers including master drummer Namory Keita from Sangbarala, Guinea.


with Namory Keita
6:15-7:15pm ongoing 

Beginner/Adv Beginner, Weekly
Intermediate/Adv Drum on final Mondays monthly

@ Root Wild Kombucha, 135 Washington Ave., Portland, ME

For details contact Namory

Namory also teaches on Thursdays in Kittery, ME and accompanies dance class with Liz Fowler. See Seacoast West African Dance & Drum for details. 

with Annegret Baier
Contact Annegret for dates of the next series
All Levels Welcome
@ Portland Friends Meeting House, 1837 Forest Ave, Portland
For details and sign up, contact Annegret


@ Portland New Church, 302 Stevens Ave., Portland, ME

These classes are designed for beginner and intermediate students, bringing community together through the healing power of movement and music. No experience necessary.
Classes are gender neutral ~ Same moves danced by all.

TUESDAYS – Ongoing Weekly (open to drop in)
with Marita
June – August ~ 7:00-8:30pm / September – May
 ~ 6:00-7:30pm
Live Drumming Accompaniment
See class pricing below

FRIDAYS – 8 Week Series (preregister for discount*, open to drop in)
with Marita

Next Session: October 4 – November 22
*CLICK HERE to Sign up for Early Bird Discount through Sep 15!

See class pricing below

Would you love to take a dance class, but don’t quite dare?
Do you wish to find your movement freedom but struggle with image, or feel “stuck” in some way? Marita provides a safe and fun environment in which to explore, and is passionate about helping people find more ease within their bodies.

A few individualized classes can help to unblock and access movement and expression at your own pace. Private or small-group lessons are available by request.
Contact me for arrangements by clicking HERE.

Embody the Rhythm Dance Class Video Samples: LINK HERE 


Prices increased by $1 in 2019 to support social change initiatives. Nobody is turned away for lack of funds. CLICK HERE to learn about Movement Medicine for Social Change.

TUESDAYS On-Going Weekly
|First-Time Students: Guinea Love Pass – $24 for 4 classes in 4 weeks
|4 Class Pass (lasts 8 weeks): $56 
|8 Class Pass (lasts 12 weeks): $104
|Drop-in: $16

|1st Tuesday special for the FELLAS & NON-BINARY dancers: To encourage gender diversity on the dance floor, the 1st Tues of every month is just $5 for non-binary and male-identified dancers. Dance is good for all bodies. Movement is medicine.
|As-needed Discounts – Contact Marita. Nobody turned away for lack of funds.

FRIDAYS – 8 Week Series – Returns in October, 2019!
Next Session: October 4 – November 29 (skips Nov 22)
rop in any Friday!
|Full series: EARLY BIRDS: $100 before Sep 15! (cash or check) / $112 after 
|Drop in:
There is a small surcharge for credit card payments.

“If you can walk, you can dance. If you can talk, you can sing.”
~ Proverb from Zimbabwe


Guinea Style West African Dance Class 

Dance and drumming are a rich part of culture and community in Guinea. There are traditional rhythms and dances that accompany all manner of life’s passages and natural cycles, including births, weddings, coming of age ceremonies, the planting and harvesting of crops, full moons, and celebrations of many sorts.

In these classes Marita shares dances from 20 years of study under master West African dance and drum artists, both in the U.S. and in Guinea. She will share the names, meanings, regions and ethnicities from which the dances come. Marita seeks to promote awareness and appreciation for the culture and traditions of her teachers; for the interconnectedness of all life. 

What to expect:

Classes begin with a warm up, to tune into our bodies and get our blood flowing…


Next, dance sequences are broken down and repeated in parts…


Inspiration~ Doundounba in Conakry, Guinea

Once the steps are broken down students move and groove the dance through the studio. We let loose and have fun, while generating a lot of energy. 

Marita teaches a different dance each month, starting a new dance at the beginning of the month. Live drumming in the traditional rhythms is provided by a fantastic crew of professional drummers!

Dance steps and sequences are broken down for every class. No prior knowledge is required for drop-in students. Those who come consistently can really get the moves into their bones.

dance class 3

Inspiration~ Nongo, Guinea

What to wear & bring:

We generally dance barefoot, but dance shoes (not street shoes) are fine too, if preferred.
Wear comfortable clothing that allows ease of movement, and the ability to work up a sweat.
Please bring a water bottle and stay hydrated. 


For more information about Dance Instructor, Marita Kennedy-Castro, click HERE
For more information about Drum Instructor, Namory Keita, click HERE
For more information about Drum Instructor, Annegret Baier, click HERE

Still have questions?  Get in touch. We hope to see you on the dance floor!

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. jazel40
    Dec 02, 2011 @ 06:02:08

    Thank you Marita for bringing this dance to Portland. You don’t have to be a dancer to learn this. This dance is a special experience because you will have a great work out but so much fun while you sweat. Live djembe drumming create vibration and energy, dancing barefoot allows a great connection to the floor and earth, and a beautiful cultural experience of learning dances from different tribes and areas of West Africa. Experiencing a part of a different culture that is more in touch with nature and their heart chakra is so good for this western society that is very much in our head, busy, and distracted. Marita’s class is fun, a real work out, a cultural experience, and a healing experience. Check it out.


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