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Class Descriptions BTD 2023

Adwoa Kudoto & Sena Kugbega

Drum & Dance from Ghana

All Levels

Drums, Dance, Songs and Culture from Ghana. This class will include basic drum rhythms and songs from Ghana with some history of what they are used for. We will learn the drumming that goes with the dance. This is an opportunity to put the drum, dance and song together.

Amikaeyla Gaston

Sonic Sound

All Levels

Come experience a soothing space to lay your burdens down and heal through silence and sound.  Envelope your senses in calm tranquility and let your stress melt away in this sonic sanctuary. 

Several incredible healers are donating their talents. Jnana Gowan will be doing Gong healing; Debbie Fier will be using her healing Hang (Handpan); Amikaeyla will be doing crystal bowl chakra clearing, and Regina Oji will be doing vocal tone healings.

While you wait for the start of your session, you can sit and enjoy soothing sounds from chimes and fountains while you journal or do arts, crafts, or make prayer ties. This is going to be a special & beautiful area to visit!!  The Sonic Healing area will be under the Big Tree across from the Amphitheatre.

Ava Square

West African Dance with Live Drums

All Levels

Come have fun with Ava and dance, dance, dance.

Carolyn Brandy

The Conga Drum!

Some conga drums will be available.

Beginning Class

We will learn basic technique and sounds; how to sit and hold the drum; and a few simple rhythms to get us started with this charismatic drum. We will also learn some of the history of the development of this drum from Africa to Cuba to North America.

Orisha Song Class

Orisha are the powers of nature. The mythology and culture of Orisha philosophy originates from the Yoruba people of Nigeria.  The majority of the songs praise the power of the wind, ocean, rivers, the herbs etc. Other songs tell the ancient stories from the mythology of the Orisha. Come join us to learn some of these beautiful songs.

Conga Drums: The Rhythm Güiro & Iyesa

In this class we will learn several of the most popular rhythms from Afro-Cuban musical tradition that accompanies Orisha songs. A Güiro is a gourd, in this case a beaded gourd known as a chekere. The drum pattern in 6/8 is also called Güiro.  The drum pattern in 4/4 for Orisha songs is called Iyesa. We will learn this music on the conga drums, chekeres, and the bell patterns and also sing songs that we learned in the Orisha song class.
A knowledge of conga technique, and the 6/8 African bell pattern are recommended.

Conga Drums: Rumba!

In this class we will look at the Rumba, one of the most popular and charismatic rhythms from Cuba. The Rumba cycle has 3 movements: the Yambu, the Guaguanco, and Rumba Columbia.We will touch upon the basics for all 3, and concentrate on the Guaguanco. This class will be geared for intermediate/adv students. 

A knowledge of conga technique, clave, palito and the basic parts are recommended.

Debbie Fier

Middle Eastern Percussion

All Levels

Come enjoy the wonderful connection that we will create in our circle of drummers! We will warm up and then move into learning drum technique and Middle-Eastern rhythms. Come enjoy the power of the drum!
Class is open to all levels. It is a basic skills class so is very accessible for beginners. Bring your dumbeks, riqqs, tars and hand percussion. All hand drums are also welcome! There will be a limited number of drums to borrow on a first come, first served basis.

Denise Solis

Afro-Puerto Rican Bomba

Dancing the Drum (Saturday)

Intermediate

In the tradition of Afro-Puerto Rican Bomba, the interaction/conversation between the dancer and the drummer is key. This is an improvised conversation and friendly challenge led by the dancer whose movements the lead drummer (Subidora(or) interprets. The dancer is inspired by the song and/or rhythm and enters the Batey (circle/cypher that Bomba happens in) and tells their story by way of their dance, an improvised set of movements that the lead drum person interprets in real time. Students will see this interaction modeled and learn how to start this conversation with the dancer in the Rhythms of Sica and Yuba.

(Please see Julia Cepeda’s class description.)

Dancing the Drum (Sunday)

Intermediate

El subidor me llama (Call and Response phrases on the drum)

Students will review Sica, Yuba, and Cuembe rhythms and then practice some intro language phrases with a call and response exercise between the Buleadoras (accompanying drum) and the Subidora (lead drum).

Elizabeth Sayre

The Batá Drum!

All Levels (see note below)

The batá drums of Cuba are part of the collective musical genius preserved and still developing in Afro-Cuban communities in Havana and Matanzas. The batá drums salute the revered forces of nature known as orisha (the crossroads, iron, the forest, the mountain, the wind, thunder & lightning, the river, the seas, etc.) and are part of a living spiritual tradition. They have also over time become part of the national cultural heritage of Cuba.

This class will introduce a bit of history (or herstory–crucial in the case of the batá for women students and players), correct posture and hand technique, several fundamental rhythms (such as Lalubanche, Ogún, Yakotá, Egbado [Rumba Obatalá] or others) and possibly some orisha songs. We will cover different material in each class.

At least one year of hand drum study and knowledge of 6/8 bell patterns/clave are recommended for the classes. The batá have their own hand technique (similar to congas and bongo) and require the constant development of listening and ensemble-playing skills.

Students at all levels are welcome: beginners will have a crash course in the batá; intermediate and advanced players can try a part or drum they have not played before.

Please bring batá drums (no other type of drum) and maracas (or a similar type of shaker with a handle and a clean sound). Some drums will be provided for those who don’t have them!

Jeni Swerdlow

Rhythm Reboot!

All Levels–Friday Night All-Camp Jam

Join in an uplifting community drummm celebration that will unite, energize, and inspire as we play rhythms for vitality and transformation. We’ll release the old and drum in the new.
Bring any kind of drum or percussion instrument or play one of Jeni’s.

Julia Cepeda

Puerto Rican Bomba, Drum and Dance

All Levels

Dance to the rhythms of Puerto Rico’s national rhythm the Bomba.  Denise Solis and students from camp will accompany the class on the drums and rhythm instruments of Bomba.

Mabiba Baegne

Dunun (Bass Drums) from Guinea

All Levels

Those drums are the heart of the Malinke rhythm: the bass drum are made from hallowed tree trunks cut to a cylindrical shape and covered with cowhide at both end: the musician strikes the drum with a wooden stick on one hand, while the other hand simultaneously holds a metal stick that is used to strike an iron bell attached to the drum. The Dunun comes in three different sizes. 

The names of the drums are: Kenkeni, the smallest and the keeper of the time; Sangban, the middle one is the heart; Dununba gives power and heat to the rhythm as well adding great rhythmic dimension; the bells bring another tonality and fill the space between the beats. In some regions they play one or two. Only in Kurussa and Kankan region, they play all three Dununs and bells.

West African and Congolese Dance with Live Drums

Mar Stevens

Drum Meditation

All Levels

Open your morning with the drums in a spirit of meditation. Deepen your connection with the drum, the breath, and the healing that is manifested.
Bring your drums and percussion instruments. Loaner drums and percussion are available on a first come first serve basis. All are welcome to come and participate in the meditation. You can sit, lie, or stretch while listening to the drums.

Djembe Vibrations

All Levels

Come and experience the power of the drum through traditional West African rhythms. Class will start with a short warm up to connect with the vibrations of the drum as you start your journey. We will transition into a West African rhythm that will be upbeat and fun. This class will help improve your technique, timing, listening skills, and confidence as you sit with the drum.
Bring your djembe, djuns, congas, hand percussion, etc. There will be extra djembes available on a first come, first served basis.

Marian Knox

The Game of Griot

All Levels

This workshop will introduce you to the game Griot. You will learn Griot’s simple rules and directions.  We will combine four story prompt cards, and share a true story in three minutes or less. We will play Griot and get to know each other and our own stories in new ways. Taking turns, each person will share a story based on their story prompt cards.
Griot is a non-competitive game that uses stories to build community, among family, friends, strangers, and even Drum Campers! People have shared that they felt closer after hearing each other’s stories. New information is discovered from friends, family, and strangers. Griot is for connection.  The heart of Griot, the game, is the125 Story Prompt Cards, a three minute sand timer, and your openness to share you stories.

Michaelle Goerlitz

Brazilian Samba

All Levels

We’ll play Rio-style samba with traditional percussion (snare, repinique, surdos, tamborims and agogo bells), but also add hand drums – so djembes and congas are welcome!
Some instruments will be provided.

Stick Tricks!

All Levels

If you’re a newcomer to sticks, or want to improve your technique and stamina, I invite you to come learn a few new tricks. Using a variety of rhythms, we will apply the stick parts-and have fun in the process! Sticks provided, all levels welcome.
Sticks will be provided.

Neena McNair

Native American Drum

All Levels

We will be sharing songs and respect for the mother drum indigenous to the Great Plains. We will make drumsticks, while discussing origin of materials, and share songs, rhythms and dances specific to this particular drum. Also, we will explore reasons women are called to this style of drumming and find another community of nurturing support. Please come share your knowledge and gather some, too.

Queen Hollins

Sacred Magic Wand / Staff Making

All Levels

Join us to re-remember the sacredness of making Magic staffs and wands. Wands and staffs are made to connect with the invisible world, to extend and direct energy and to magnetize energy. This ancient practice is used by many indigenous people around the world. The journey into the magic of sacred wand / staff making allows us to tap into a childlike space to a time when we remembered our unlimited connection to Source.  The only thing  required for attending is an open heart and no judgement around the capacity of your creativity.

Some craft materials will be provided and if you have crafts to share, please bring them.

Bells, Cowry shells, Burlap, Buttons, Pipe Cleaners,Yarn, Needle and thread, Raffia,Twine, Sand paper. If time permits: a wood burner, different carving tools. A couple of knives for carving. Silver and gold spray paint. Acrylic paints of eight basic colors: purple, yellow, orange, blue, red, black, white, green. All kinds of copper wire. Glue guns and packs of glue sticks. Fake flowers that look real 🙂 with leaves. Fake leaves that look real. All different sizes of crystals, but not super big or heavy. A saw and shears.

Regina Wells (Rashida Oji)

Embodied Movement

All Levels

Warm, stretch and prep for whole-self drum, dance, song and healing. Connect to places inside you that drum, dance, sing and heal with effortless passion, physical ease and presence. Learn and create simple moves that lubricate joints, renew muscular elasticity, reduce strain and invite Goddess presence to pour through you with unhindered joy.

Wear soft, loose clothes. Bring a mat, towel or blanket. Make brief notes if you like.

Renaye Brown

Your Brain On Drums

All Levels

In my workshop, we will create new rhythms! I will not teach traditional rhythms, (although some patterns based on traditional rhythms in the African Diaspora will be used). We will create new rhythms, in the moment, with my guidance. You, see, I am especially excited to invite those who may have experienced nerve damage, or brain trauma, or who may be on the spectrum to come create rhythms based on your capacities and interests.

Long ago in the womb-environment you were surrounded by various sounds and motion, and all were rhythms of one sort or another; the heartbeat, the ebb and flow of your mother’s blood, your mother’s walk, her dancing. Those rhythms are still in you. Once born, other repetitious movements, sounds and patterns were useful for learning in general, and your brain instantiated that learning by creating new neuropathways.

Emotionally, rhythm is a wonderful way to calm babies, and older children. Children, especially those on the spectrum, employ it spontaneously, often rocking themselves in stressful social encounters.  Many published studies show that drumming repairs nerves from strokes, chemical exposure, accidents and brain trauma.  Furthermore drumming can help with the following: improve moods, boost immune response, and encourage the development of fine and gross motor skills.

It’s my hope that this can be an exciting mutual exploration of the deep rewards of drumming, and that we will learn much from each other. I hope you’ll come and participate. I look forward to meeting you.

Sahar El Khatib

Traditional West African Rhythms

All Levels

Immerse yourself in the vibrant rhythms of West Africa with Sahar who has learned under grand Master Mamady Keita and his school Tam Tam Mandingue Djembe Academy. Gain expertise in Djembe accompaniments, Dunun parts, and traditional songs. Learn to play in harmony, master rhythm entrances, and endings, and develop patience, good listening skills, and a steady sense of timing. Embrace the joy of the journey, savor the present moment, and embrace new experiences on your drumming path.
Bring your own drum, there may be extra drums, but it’s first come, first serve.

Susu Pampanin and Amina June Goodyear

Middle Eastern Percussion

All Levels

Great class for new players and players looking to review technique to make clear sounds on the drum (dumbek, darbuka, Egyptian tabla), frame drum, riq, and finger cymbals. We will do drills and introduce a few of the most important rhythms found in Middle Eastern music.
Bring instruments of your choice. We will provide finger cymbals for all and a few drums.

TerriAnne Gutierrez

Belly Dance

All Levels

“Belly Dance” is a term used to describe a style of dance enjoyed for fun and entertainment that originated in the MENHAT (Middle East, North Africa, Hellas Greece, and Turkey) and is now performed and appreciated all over the world.

Middle Eastern Percussion and Dance with Live Drums

All Levels

With live accompaniment led by Susu Pampanin, who will be joined by Amina Goodyear and Friends, we will learn MENHAT rhythms and the core movements of belly dance, including shimmies, undulations, hip circles and more. Using both fast and slow movements, we will connect the moves into creative combinations. This is a chance to flow, to be present, and to play and smile with other dancers. As we dance, we will also touch base on the history and stylizations of belly dance, comparing & contrasting Egyptian style with other styles of belly dance, and talking about the cultural roots of the dance and music.