If you have been looking for a summer activity or always wanted to do a drum intensive or simply experience West African drumming, dance and music and can’t make it all the way to West Africa here is the next best thing, African dance camp. Not only do you get to drum and dance as much as you want (or can), but you also get to live in a comfortable community setting with children, friends and family in beautiful surroundings, swimming and nature, too! Do as much or as little as you like. You are fed great , healthy food and there is always something interesting going on. Some people wait all year just to go to camp.
Here’s a short video from Camp Fareta 2010. You can see rare excerpts from dance classes with Youssouf Koumbassa, Marie Basse, and Aziz Faye, and a drum class with Mangue Sylla. This year the legendary and incredible grand master djembe fola Mamady Keita will be joining the camp to teach a few drum classes — it’s the year to be there! This is a rare opportunity indeed.
At a dance and drum camp you can really progress quickly, more so then in any other situation because there are no distractions from work or your normal life. Drumming or dancing two or three times a day for a period of time really clicks into the body especially after a few days and also the atmosphere that is created for learning is conducive to personal growth as well. Your level of drumming and dance will improve greatly from this experience and it is so much fun, too!
I first met Youssouf Koumbassa on the island of Maui at the Maui International Drum and Dance camp in the early 90’s. He was amazing then and he has not slowed down since then! He is a wonderful and skilled teacher for any level of dancer. I do not know if we will see it but Youssouf Koumbassa is also a great djembe drummer as well. No matter what the venue, the size of the place or the number of people Youssouf Koumbassa always gives 100% positive energy and effort and is amazing to dance with and watch.
Write to firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions. This year’s dates are July 10-16, in a beautiful, natural location in central California, plus meals campers rave about and a harmonious village vibe. Prices go up July 1 (postmark date), so make it happen for yourself soon!
Youssouf Koumbassa is a former artist of Ballet Djoliba, the National Ballet of Guinea. Youssouf began dancing at the age of six with members of Djoliba, as well as with Sekouba Camara of Ballet Foronbi and Kemoko Sano of Les Ballets Africains. In his thirteen years with the Ballet National, Youssouf traveled extensively throughout the world. Youssouf has established himself as the pre-eminent teacher of dance from Guinea and now travels throughout the world as a much sought after master teacher at dance conferences, workshops, camps and schools. In New York, Youssouf is the founder and director of the companies Les Ballets Bagata and Children of Bagata.