Special Guest Classes

Special Guest, Nafi Diabate!!
West African Dance of Guinea
with Live Drumming
Tuesday May 23, 2023 – 6pm

Pre-registration is strongly encouraged to reserve your spot in Nafi’s class ~ If you prefer paying cash on day of class, use Coupon Code: CASHFORNAFI when you register (your credit card won’t be charged, but your spot will be reserved).
$20-25 Suggested / Sliding Scale Access


This class is hosted by Embody the Rhythm,
at the Breakwater Gym, 856 Brighton Ave. Portland, ME


Nafi Domani Diabate is a multi-talented master dancer, singer, mama and incredible teacher. This will be Nafi and her son’s first visit to Maine! She shared this message for our community:

“Hi everyone my name is Nafi Diabate. I’m a dance professional from Guinea, West Africa. I am very excited to meet everyone. We are going to dance, sing, telling y’all little about me and the music. Can’t wait, Wonkhai Wontanara Worafama.”




Special Guest Seny Daffe!!
Tuesday July 26, 2022
– 6pm
Payson Park entrance by Back Cove

Our fun, multi-talented teacher (dancer, singer, drummer, comedian)
Seny Daffe returns to Embody the Rhythm,
sharing Guinean traditional dance!
$20 suggested* – sliding scale access

Don’t miss an opportunity to dance with Seny!

Seny Daffe (left) and Namory Keita (right) all smiles after dance class!

Seny Daffe was born in Conakry, Guinea. He began studying dance and drum at the age of ten. He is a versatile musician and plays the djembe, krin, bolon, gogo ma, sangban, balafone, and doundouns. He is also a very talented singer and comedian, and is considered one of the world’s finest doundoun players.

Daffe has a wealth of performing experience in traditional and Contemporary Dance and Drum. He has been a member, director, and composer for Messages of Boulbint-African Rhythm Tap Company, Ballet Bassikolo, and Seny Daffe Company. He also toured extensively in West Africa, Europe, and the United States and has performed with renowned artists Mamadi Keita, Fatoubou Camera, Abou Sylla, and Bahaly Camera.

Since coming to the United States in 2006, he has traveled the Eastern coast from Florida to Vermont working with several companies and well known artists. He is now a member of Jeh Kulu. Seny plays regularly for Jeh Kulu dance and drum classes, and assists in musical direction and choreography. He is a multi-talented and dynamic performer who is gaining a reputation in the U.S. for his electrifying doundoun playing and rich and powerful voice.

Learn More about Seny Daffe


Special Guest Class, Tuesday October 26, 2021
to Join Waitlist:
Message Marita

Join us for an Introduction to the Movement of

Brazilian Orixá Dance with, Maestra Isaura Oliveira!

Maestra Isaura Oliviera, from Bahia, Brazil is a master artist of African Brazilian Cultural Dance. Isaura is a multidisciplinary artist and Cultural Educator, dedicated to studying and teaching the African roots of Brazilian Sacred & Popular Dances, Rhythms, Chants, and Performance-Rituals. She is currently mentee Artist in Residence at Indigo Arts Alliance. Learn more about Isaura in the details below.

Maestra Isaura Oliviera will be our Special Guest Teacher on Tuesday October 26, during our regular class time and place ~ 6:00-7:15pm in the Dan Gym at Breakwater School,
856 Brighton Ave. in Portland, ME.

$20-25 sliding scale*
Masks are required and spaces limited.
Please wear a long circle skirt or sarong if you have one.

*For current pass-holders we ask that you pay what you can to match the difference in price ($5-10 more) to attend class with Isaura, but nobody will be turned away for lack of funds. If you are able to give higher on the suggested scale it will help to balance those who are not able. 

Ready to register? Visit this link


Maestra Isaura Oliveira was born and raised in Salvador-Bahia, Brazil, the cradle of African Brazilian culture, where many African traditions and arts are maintained and nourished. She is a multidisciplinary artist and a Cultural Educator; an actress, singer, dancer, costume designer, dance teacher, yoga instructor, choreographer, community leader, healer, activist, and an innovator. Isaura is dedicated to studying and teaching the African roots of Brazilian Sacred & Popular Dances, Rhythms, Chants, and Performance-Rituals. She holds a BFA from the School of Dance, Federal University of Bahia, and won numerous awards in Brazil, France, and the U.S. for her research, choreography, projects, and performances. Isaura is guest choreographer and Maestra on Brazilian Dance at Wellesley College on Yanvalou Dance Drum Ensemble, since 1997 to 2004 and from 2018 to Present. She is currently Mentee Artist in Residence at Indigo Arts Alliance.

Embody the Rhythm is happy to partner with Indigo Arts Alliance to bring you this Special Opportunity!


Indigo Arts Alliance is an incubator space for Black and Brown artists. We amplify the creative voices and visions of global and local artists and facilitate cross-cultural collaboration using a multidisciplinary approach. This approach is exemplified by Indigo’s Artist-in-Residence program and the mentor-mentee relationships central to it. The impetus of IAA is to connect Black and Brown artists from around the world with Maine’s artists of African descent through a multidisciplinary artist-in-residency program that embodies a Black-led approach to creativity, community-building, and mentoring. With intentionality and purpose, our programming facilitates open discourse as a means to form deep partnerships that build the necessary framework to unite the arts and culture sector with social activism and social justice. We believe artists play a key role in creating a healthy multi-racial democracy.

Content © 2011-2023 Embody the Rhythm

Portland New Church, 302 Stevens Ave., Portland, ME 04103 | (207) 200-4834