Class Descriptions 2017

Adwoa Kudoto & Sena Kugbega

Drums, Dance, Songs And Culture From Ghana

Adwoa is Ghana’s only recognized female Master drummer. Adwoa is from Cape Coast (West Africa) and has been teaching drumming and dance since she was 13 years old. As a young girl growing up, she always knew what she wanted to do, but women were not allowed to drum. Adwoa managed to break through the obstacles she faced and this struggle has made her so unique! Her fame, talents and skills in performing and teaching are known locally and internationally.

In 2000, Antoinette Adwoa Kudoto received an award from the Arts Critics and Reviewers Association of Ghana (ACRAG) as the Only Versatile Female Master Drummer in Ghana. She has also received honors from both Television Africa, International Center for African Music and Dance, and Center for Intercultural and Talent Development. She has enjoyed traveling all around the US and Europe sharing her culture with others – both drumming culture and Ghanaian culture in general. In Cape Coast, Adwoa is the leader and founder of the group, Nyame Tsease African Traditionals, comprised of young and talented drummers and dancers in Cape Coast, Ghana.  Adwoa and her daughter, Sena, will be teaching. All Levels

Afia Walking Tree

Djembe Dunun Fevah!*

Excel in your Djembe playing with body postures (sitting and standing), rhythm placement, precision, introductions, accompaniments, “Solos.” Fine-tune specific hand techniques, rolls, flams and ambidextrous playing. We will play rhythms from Guinea West Afraka Yamama and Lamine Solo. This class is great preparation to drum for dance classes, drum activations, and women on the path to becoming a great facilitator of drumming. We will have a blast moving and drumming together getting more into our skins.*Course Prerequisite: Course taught at intermediate levels. Newbie and Beginning drummers are welcomed to observe/witness and possibly play simple accompaniment parts. Intermediate/Advanced

Rhythm: Yamama drum, dance, and solos for intermediate advanced players.I

Gourd Song Shekere

At 24 years old, when I received a Shekere as a birthday gift, I began playing instinctually and never stopped!  Since then, I have played Shekere in bands, ensembles, dance classes and has taught the making and playing of it.  Over the years I designed a technique of playing and teaching Shekere that allows for easy integration of this very complex instrument, and have hand-crafted over 300 Walking Tree brand Shekeres for musicians all over the world.  Learn the basic rhythmic technique of this exquisite uplifting instrument, sing and play Shekere-lingo, and practice top and bottom-hand techniques that are essential to mastering the Shekere, as well as 4/4 and 6/8 forms.  The Shekere is a wonderful accompaniment instrument that is a great skill for budding musical enthusiasts to have in your repertoire, and for those who have already mastered other drums.  Join us for this exciting gourd song feast! PLEASE PLEASE Bring your Shekere or naked gourd or use ours.  If you have extras, we always run out of Shekeres and we share with each other. All Levels

15 naked gourd and shekeres available on a first come, first served basis.

Amikaeyla

Elemental Medicine Woman ~ The Wisdom Of Spirit Sound

Working with sacred chants and songs to call to the natural spirits and ancestors, we delve into the knowledge from various global traditions. This workshop teaches the ancient tradition of singing with large groups in what is known as a circle song. Utilizing the traditions of various cultures, both ancient and contemporary, we focus on developing and improving playing techniques and our own rhythmic vocabulary, and together, we experience the unifying and revitalizing effects of group playing, toning, and singing. All Levels

Angela Porter

All Doors Are Open To The Heart

This class is a moving invitation to receive ourselves in the ultimate compassion of breath: via body centered mediation and the nurturing practice of Breema, we will explore the natural rhythms and movement of formation and transformation, inhaling and exhaling, holding on and letting go, receiving and releasing…  Come prepared to relax and enjoy simple moving meditation practice and nurturing bodywork in an atmosphere of non-judgment and mutual support. No previous experience necessary.

Arisika Razak

Spirituality, Justice, Healing and Community: Building Alliances in Difficult Times

How can we safely share our different stories and the stories of our ancestors? Have we recognized the power and privilege that exists in our life – and what are we willing to change or unlearn? Is there a common and inclusive language that supports us all, or do we need to create new processes for the current times? What can be learned from the struggles of those before us – and what must we create anew? Join us for a session of small group sharing, diversity exercises, non-denominational ritual, movement and mindfulness as we explore our diverse histories and her-stories, and increase our capacity to serve as genuine allies to one another, committed to the ending of oppression, and the healing of the Earth. All Levels

Avotcja (Pronounced AVACHA)

When Ancestors Speak Through Rhythm

For this Festival my Workshop will be “When Ancestors speak through Rhythm” It’s all about La Palabra Musical, The Music Of The Word, the Rhythm that speaks in us & through us & our responsibility in using this most sacred of gifts wisely. Be ready to write, bring your instruments & be prepared to surrender your egos to each other & the Music of the Word. I want to unlock a waterfall of poetic metaphors as strong as any Rhythm you’ve ever heard played on the Drum & see where it take us!!! I’m ready, are you?  All Levels

Ayisha Knight-Shaw

American Sign Language

In this fun, lively and engaging American Sign Language (ASL) class, students will learn the basics of conversational ASL as a first step to developing receptive and expressive skills. Using direct method and language immersion, role-playing, practice and other activities, everyone will leave this easy-paced, fun-filled class having learned commonly used signs, the basic grammar of ASL, and cultural information on interacting with the Deaf community.

Barbara Borden

The Joy Of Drumming! Improvising & Soloing For Drummers

Here is what we’ll do together to deepen and explore improvising and soloing in a safe setting while having a whole lot of fun! First, we’ll prepare to drum by loosening up the body and relaxing into the pulse, our home. Then, we’ll light up the body & spirit by tapping into the vibrating energy field surrounding us as we drum. We’ll continue the journey by focusing on: inner and outer listening…creating strong beginnings and endings…using themes and variations…making smooth transitions…using dynamics (soft to loud)…trading 4 and 8 bar solos…exploring ways to structure solos…playing duets…jamming (playing together)…learning a rhythm or two that will provide a grounded groove for solos and jams. Since we’ll be improvising, be prepared for surprises, new discoveries and being with what is! See you in the BEAT! All Levels – All Kinds Of Drums

Bobi Céspedes

Renowned singer, folklorist and Lucumí priestess, Bobi Céspedes will lead participants in giving praise through song to the mothers of the Ocean, River and Wind.

A workshop on Lucumí chants to Yemayá, Oshun & Oyá

The Yoruba, whose descendants are referred to as Lucumí in Cuba, brought a rich, ancient tradition whose influence on Cuban culture and identity is vast, and permeates Cuban popular music and dance. The Lucumí celebrate Bembé in community to pay tribute to Orisha—divine forces manifested through nature. In this workshop, we will learn a sequence of chants used in the Bembé ceremony to honor some of the major female Orishas: Yemayá, Oshun and Oyá. Bembé is sung in a call and response pattern, giving everyone the opportunity to fully participate in this traditional Lucumí celebration. No previous experience necessary.

Carolyn Brandy

Fundamentals of Rhythm

Come learn and feel some of the most basic concepts of rhythm: upbeat, downbeat, syncopation, polyrhythm, clave and related clave patterns. This class will help you to better understand and enjoy all the music presented this weekend. All drums, feet, hands, sticks, claves and bells welcome.

Basic Skills Class For Hand Drums

This class will focus on the very beginning lessons for drums: how to hold your drum, good technique and drawing beautiful SOUND out of your drum. All drums, sticks and bells welcome.

Corrina Gould, Chochenyo Ohlone

Campfire Talk

Corrina is a Chochenyo and Kerkin Ohlone woman born and and raised in Oakland, CA, Corrina is the mother of three children Corrina is the Co-Founder and a Lead Organizer for Indian People Organizing for Change(IPOC), a small Native run organization that works on Indigenous people issues as well as sponsoring an annual Shellmound Peace Walk to bring about education and awareness of the desecration of the sacred sites in the greater Bay Area, 2005-2009. IPOC has led many actions including the 2011 Occupation of Segorea Te in Vallejo, California which was successful in preserving the sacred site. Corrina also sits on the California Indigenous Environmental Association Board , the Board of Directors for the Oakland Street Academy Foundation and is the treasurer for the Edes HOA.

Christina Tavera

Ofrenda/ Personal Offerings Class

In this class we will have a hand on experience of making a personal offering or ‘Ofrendas.’ Ofrendas are thousands of years old, and come to us from the Andean region of South America. The ofrendas are created in gratitude for blessings received, or made to ask for blessings. They are made with colorful seeds, beans, flowers and crystals, no two are alike, all are beautiful self-expressions of gratitude. The making of the ofrenda is a ceremony, this class will be held in a container of sacred silence and connection. Once completed, each participant will have their own completed ofrenda. Participants should bring 2-3, or more, of the following elements to incorporate into their offering: (1) cup, each in separate bags – rice, lentils, corn, beans, colored candy sprinkles, or lavender.

Debbie Fier

Drums and Rhythms of the Middle East

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 on Dumbeks/Darbukas, Riqqs (Egyptian Tambourines) and Tars (Frame Drums). Class is open to all levels. I will make it accessible for beginners and challenging for intermediates. Bring your dumbeks, riqqs, tars and hand percussion. All other hand drums welcome! There will be a limited number of drums to borrow on a first come first serve basis. Come enjoy the power of the drum!

Living In The Rhythm, An Exploration Body Percussion

We live in our bodies each and every day, and the body is the original instrument, made up of pulses, beats and more. Come play as we tap, snap and clap our way into a playful rhythm zone. We will work with a variety of rhythms, starting simple and progressing into more challenging rhythms. Be prepared to have fun, stretch your limits and become immersed in the joy of being in your body in rhythm!

Elizabeth Sayre

Afro-Cuban Batá

The batá drums of Cuba are a beautiful facet 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, as well as ancestors, 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, and some relevant orisha songs, depending on students’ interests and requests.

At least one year of hand drum study and knowledge of typical 6/8 bell patterns or clave are recommended for this workshop. The Batá have their own hand technique (similar to congas and bongo, but also different) and require the constant development of listening skills. Students at all levels are welcome: beginners will have a crash course in the Batá; intermediate and advanced players can try a drum or part they haven’t 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!

Basic Skills: Basic technique for hand drums, clave, bell, and stick parts

This workshop is for women who have never played hand drums before, or who are just beginning. From the perspective of Afro-Cuban folkloric music, we will study technique for accompanying instruments (clave, bell, and sticks), as well as hand technique and posture for conga drums. Beginners

Evelie Delfino Såles Posch

Journey into Sacred Indigenous Instruments

Evelie invites you to join this workshop with the intention of opening the heart, connecting to spirit, deep groundedness of being, healing, inspiring action and transformation. Everyone will be treated to sacred indigenous instruments from southern Philippines such as “kulintang” (2-thousand year tradition comprised of “kulintang”, “agong”, “pong” brass & bronze gongs; “dabakan” upright skinned drum; “tungkaling-kaling” brass bells, ancestor of gamelan by 3oo years); “gansa” (brass & iron gongs from northern Philippines); “pattonggok” buzz stick, “tong-a-tong” clave, “kubing”mouth harps, rainsticks (bamboo percussion), to co-create an amazing soundscape.
No other drums needed. All Levels

Fatima Zohra Lahlou

Magical Moroccan Song and Rhythm

Sing, drum, and clap with Fatima. Explore Gnawi , the healing song/rhythm of Morocco; and also Sufi, a spiritual song/rhythm. No experience required, everyone is welcome, bring any drum or just sing and clap.

Fredrika Keefer

Taiko

Taiko class will start with a brief introduction to Taiko and its history. Then Fredrika will introduce the basic Taiko rhythms and their form, which will then be combined into a short song. Also adding movement and dance along with these rhythms, Fredrika will teach how to move from drum to drum articulating basic to complex phrases. Leaving you with a deep and satisfying experience of the fundamentals of Taiko and its power.

Hip Hop Dance

Fredrika wastes no time to get moving! Starting with a fun, up beat warm up for all levels, she then slows it down to some body isolation and stretching. Fredrika then combines basic Hip Hop moves that will then compile into a short choreography. Fredrika will then teach a series of phrases to help students get a good sense of weight transfering while traveling through space, boosting confidence and self esteem!

Genny Lim

Jazz Poetry with Genny Lim (and Carolyn Brandy)

What is jazz poetry? The underlying theme and impulse of this workshop is to make your poems sing and to sing your poetry! By listening to the rhythm and syncopation of your word patterns, the tones and textures, cadences and lyricism of your language, you learn to free yourself from the bondage of the written word on the page and explore your poem the way jazz musicians do. Writing exercise prompts will be used so bring pen and paper or electronic notebooks.

Isabelita Papa

Self healing with Qigong and Sound

This Workshop includes self-healing and self-care through

  • Qigong massages
  • Tapping on meridian points
  • Bringing awareness in the body
  • Breathing, stretching and Gentle Qigong moves
  • Meditation on being
  • Letting go of stuck QI and releasing through sound
  • Live Healing sound bath with the Singing Alchemy Crystal Bowls

All of the above helps to release physical, mental, and emotional stress and make meditation easier. When we are free of stress, we exist in a state of well being, peace and we feel more present, focused, and mentally alert.

Self-care through massaging and tapping involves massaging and tapping the meridians of the acupuncture points, releasing stuck energy and physical, emotional, and mental stress. When we are stressed and overwhelmed it has to do with the fight or flight response center of the brain, known as the amygdala. This primitive and ancient part of the brain is critical for survival so, for example, we used it to run from dangerous predators. The mind is preconditioned by our early childhood survival experiences, which can create unneeded stress triggers in the present. Tapping releases this preconditioning, allowing us to relax and feel energized at the same time.

The sound bath with Crystal Singing Bowls has numerous healing benefits. Emotional imbalances are at the root of many physical diseases and when we heal our emotional bodies and subtle bodies physical symptoms disappear. Stress is the underlying cause of many physical conditions and it melts away with ease when you are bathed in a sea of Alchemy Crystal healing sound vibrations. It is a great vehicle to experience a deeper state of meditation. This is a wonderfully relaxing and rejuvenating way to end the day.Please bring a blanket, eye pillow and dress comfortably.

Jeni Swerdlow

Opening Celebration Drummm Circle

Bring your drum, rattle, voice or booty (or all of the above) for a joyful kickoff to Camp! Jeni will get us in the mood to groove and as we raise our energy to the sky. Together we will beat as ONE. Drums will be available to play if you don’t have one.

Rhythms of Resilience – Drumming Your Way to Well-Being

Take a healing journey with the HealthRHYTHMS method, scientifically proven to help strengthen the immune system, reverse the effects of stress and improve a sense of well-being.

Jennifer Berezan

The Healing Ecstasy Of Sound, A Transformative Chant Circle

Experience chant and song as a form of medicine and a tool for healing and transformation. We will chant and sing for ourselves and each other to awaken joy, healing and help us connect to our own deepest wisdom. All Levels

Jnana Gowan

Despacho Ceremony – Creating a Gratitude Bundle

Thursday we come together with our highest forms of thanks & gratitude to begin the Born to Drum Weekend together. Jnana Gowan, Healer & Ceremonialist will lead us in the creation of a despacho, or gratitude bundle. This is a contemporary rendition of ancient Andean ceremony. By using ritual offerings, or “foods” such as seeds, flowers, incense, crystals and more, we will make a beautiful mandala-like art piece as a gift to the natural world. As we create this “shamanic pizza” we offer prayers & thanks for the many gifts that we receive from the Spirit Realm. When prepared and offered with love and sincerity, the bundle restores balance & harmony to our lives. It is a beautiful celebratory ceremony and a powerful way to begin the drumming weekend.

Kanchan Dawn Hunter

The Plants, The Womb and The Earth Who Supports Us!

I will be focusing on plant medicine in the form of raspberry leaf, motherwort and tulsi as allies to aid in tonifying and nourishing the womb as a body as well as nourishing the spirit, mind and corporeal body. I would also like to tie in how the drum is linked to the matrifocal aspect and that it is the womb and heartbeat of all the instruments. Also, I would like to connect that plants love music and percussion and how we can use percussion to attune to the heartbeat of Earth, our heartbeats, and the vibrations of the plants who are our ancestors.

Dr. Karen Burt-Imira

Presence and Rhythm

We are born to drum! And we can drum upon our own bodies and each others’ with simple presence – to experience greater connection and harmony within ourselves and with others. In this healing journey, Breema will be introduced: bodywork, self-exercises and Principles of Harmony which support us to bring mind and body together, and welcome the joys of the present moment. Using natural motions, touch and rhythms of the body, Breema is both relaxing and energizing, as well as nurturing to both receiver and giver. Come discover the possibilities of gently releasing tension and stress, opening the heart, revitalizing and nurturing ourselves and others.

Larissa Montfort

West African Dundun Dance

Drum while you dance, dance while you drum. Dundun dance is an art form from the Baga women of northern Guinea. We will learn several stick patterns and dance simple moves around the drums. Build your coordination and technique. Dununba and sangban drums are preferred due to size. Kenkeni drums are also welcome. No lifting of your drum is required during the dance. There will be several loaner drums available. All levels

Lichi Fuentes

Songs from Latin America

Lichi will lead us in simple harmonies with repertoire from the New Song movement from Latin America.

Linda Tillery

Music Of The Gullah Sea Islands

Coastal Georgia and S. Carolina are two of the very few places in the US where African retentions survived the restrictions of plantation life. This music is vibrant and uplifting. Bring Djembes, Cajons and Pounding Sticks (48 inch by 3/4 inch dowells). All Levels

Sing It Play It

This class is designed to help drummers and singers gain independence while performing both functions simultaneously. Bring hand percussion. Beginning

Mabiba Baegne

Dunun (Bass Drums) From Guinea

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 tree Dununs and bells. All Levels

Mar Stevens

Djembe Vibrations

Come and experience the power of the drum thru traditional West African rhythms. Class will start with a short drum meditation to connect with the vibrations of the drum as you continue on 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 drums available at a first come first serve basis. All Levels.

Michaelle Goerlitz

Rio-style Samba

Learn about the instruments that are played during Brazilian Carnaval, and how their patterns fit together: tamborim, agogo bell, caixa (snare drum), repinique and surdo! Some instruments will be provided. All Levels

Basic Skills: Hand Drum and Stick Technique

Learn technique that can help advance you to the next level of playing, and some rhythms that are commonly played in Latin, Brazilian and New Orleans styles. Some sticks will be provided. All Levels and Drums.

Neena McNair

Native American Plains-style drum (mother drum)

We’ll be sharing songs and respect for the mother drum indigenous to the Great Plains. We’ll make drumsticks, while discussing origin of materials, and share songs, rhythms and dances specific to this particular drum. We’ll also 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. All Levels

Nikki Campbell

Basic and Intermediate Djembe with Dunun support

Panamanian and Afro Colombian Rhythms with, Djembe Congas, Dununs.
We will share the historical context of traditional rhythms, and the fundamentals of each drum rhythmic pattern, songs, while utilizing the rhythms to build community and create positive social change. Beginners/Intermediate

Panamanian and Afro Colombian Rhythms with, Djembe Congas, Dununs

We will share the historical context of traditional rhythms, and the fundamentals of each drum rhythmic pattern, songs, while utilizing the rhythms to build community and create positive social change.

Ouida Lewis

Jamaican Traditional Folk Forms: Breaking The Chains

Walking through the Traditional folk forms of Jamaica with rhythm and song, from enslavement to emancipation to the birth of Reggae.

Nyabinghi Drumming: Root To Rise

We will explore the origins of the Nyabinghi movement and the evolution of the chants and rhythms as it relates to our music today.

Cultural Healing

Exploring the healing rhythms beliefs and practices in Jamaica’s cultural Landscape.

Queen Hollins

Yoga

Queen is offering Yoga classes from 7:00am – 8:00am on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

West African Dance Class

Queen teaches Nu Traditional Afrikan Dance Movement. She is visionary to a combination of ancient ancestral movements and modern concepts that fill each movement with intentions of physical, emotional balance and well being whereby self-empowerment via self expression unfolds harmony and the desired state of being. All Levels

GRANDMOTHER AND WISE ELDER COUNCIL

In this workshop we will create a Rites of Passage for entering into a new life cycle of wisdom and wonder.

Regina Wells

Warm, Stretch & 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. All Levels

Sacred Hands & Touch

Welcome. Cultivate your natural ability to give and receive safe, caring, respectful touch. Begins with guided self-resourcing activity and energy assessment; discovering your sacred hands; brief contemplative movements and intention sharing; then work with a partner or small group. Bring an intention. All levels

Sheree Seretse

Mbira Music from Zimbabwe

Come learn the basics of this beautiful instrument and music. Instruments will be provided. Students will explore tunings, finger techniques and the structure of a song and how to play the Nyunga Nyunga Mbira. No experience necessary!

Songs of the Shona People of Zimbabwe

Come learn traditional and contemporary songs. “If you can talk you can sing and if you can walk you can dance”. Many of the songs are in 4-part harmony and accompanied by movement. Come join the fun!!! All Levels Welcome

Suki

Congolese Style Class

This class will focus on technique, rhythms and drum songs from the Congo. Bring Ngomas, Congas, Djembes, bells, shakers, sticks, shekeres, voices, and energy to share a great time! All Levels welcome

Basic skills for African/Caribbean drums and percussion

We’ll learn how to get a good sound from the drum, and play rhythms as part of an ensemble.

Susana Arenas Pedroso

Afro-Cuban Folkloric Dance

Susana is a renowned dancer and professor of Afro-Cuban Folkloric styles. The dance and the music is beautiful and Susana is a very wonderful and fun teacher. The class will have live drumming led by Elizabeth Sayre and other drummers. All Levels

Susu Pampanin

Sounds and Rhythms of the Middle East. Playing from your heart

Technique basics, drills , rhythms on the Darbuka ( AKA Dumbek ), frame drum, and Riq

Taller Bombalele with Julia Caridad Cepeda and Denise Solis

The classes offered by Taller Bombalele founders/teachers Julia Caridad Cepeda and Denise Solis will focus on Bomba Dance and Percussion in the style of Santurce, particularly focused in the style and tradition passed down for 7 generations and counting, by La Familia Cepeda of Santurce, Puerto Rico.

Percussion and Song Class

Taught by Denise Solis this class will focus on the Bomba rhythms of Sica, Yuba and Cuembe in the regional style of Santurce. Denise Solis has been studying Bomba for 14 years and has performed with several groups in the Bay Area, Puerto Rico and the Diaspora, she is cofournder and teacher of Taller Bombalele with Julia Cepeda and founder/director

Dance Class

Taught by Julia C. Cepeda, one of the heirs of the Familia Cepeda’s Bomba y Plena cultural and folkloric heritage—the most visible and powerful expression of African heritage of Puerto Rico. Julia Cepeda has learned everything related to the Bomba cultural legacy—rhythms, songs and dances, her focus is as a dancer, she has been dancing for 35 years and teaching for 25 years in Puerto Rico and the diaspora, she relocated to the Bay Area from P.R. in 2013 and started Taller Bombalele with Denise Solis in 2014. The Dance class will start with the basic protocols, basic step and paseo of Sica and Cuembe, this class will also cover an introduction to the conversation that occurs between the dancer and the drummer in Bomba. In this conversation the dancer engages in an improvised exchange where they ask for certain sounds of the lead drummer through his or her movements called piquetes.

Vicki Noble

Friday Night Transformational Healing Ritual

A special Community Healing Ritual with feminist healer, Vicki Noble, co-creator of the round Motherpeace cards and author of numerous books, including Shakti Woman (a handbook for women healers), and also featuring Amikaeyla and Regina Wells.

Vicki has been a shamanic healer since the 1970s practicing hands-on healing (before Reiki, before Yoga certifications); she experienced a spontaneous psychic opening and kundalini awakening that led eventually to her deepening knowledge of yoga, shamanism, and Tibetan Buddhism.

Besides individual bodywork and hands-on healing, she has developed a ritual group form of vibrational healing that integrates drumming, chanting, and hands-on work in a participatory format, in which those in the community who are struggling with life-threatening physical ailments can lie down in the center and receive healing from everyone present. And all those who participate as “healers” are themselves healed by the high-vibrational energies flowing through the circle.

Using a combination of voice, movement, drumming, and percussion, we will discover and move energy, individually and together, directing it as a force for healing toward the physical body, as well as the emotions, mind, and spirit. Within this framework of practical skills, we will practice the ancient shamanistic art of group ritual healing, wherein the laying-on of hands is performed on individuals by the collective of women.

This kind of intuitive and magical healing requires no initiation, no esoteric or elaborated forms, but asks only of each person that she learns to make herself available for the larger forces of healing to come through her. Individually or in partners, this sacred intention (the wish to alleviate suffering) is harnessed and directed for well-being. And collectively, when a group of women joins together in this desire to help, especially with the vibrational support of drumming and singing, the power is profound and oxytocin (the female “affiliative” hormone) is generated, lending itself to spontaneous healing of ailments and remission of dis-ease. This same power (what Vicki Noble has called “snake power”) can be directed toward the healing of families or community, and can even be utilized for helping transform and heal what’s happening on the planet.

Sacred Play with the Motherpeace Cards: How to Navigate Life in Joy and Trust

Note from Vicki Noble:
In this workshop, we will play with the round feminist Motherpeace cards, created by me and Karen Vogel in the late 1970s, self-published in Berkeley in 1981. Motherpeace has gone around the world, engaging women everywhere in a common visual language of female-centered, communal reality. The 78 Motherpeace images were intended to revise world history, putting women back into it, and revision and reinvigorate the otherwise male-dominated system of Tarot. Besides the obvious focus on women, more than half the images in the Motherpeace cards feature people of color (mainly women), celebrating their ancient, tribal, or indigenous contexts.

When we created the Motherpeace cards, we broke form by making them round and feminist. However, we did not break the structure, so you can bring whatever knowledge you have from other Tarot decks to this one. Because the images are so dreamlike and visually complex, it is also equally possible to read them without knowing anything at all about Tarot. In the workshop, we will use the cards as an oracle in simple, direct ways, so that it doesn’t matter whether you have experience or not. It will be more about sharing and caring, what I’ve always called Sacred Play.

If you own a deck of Motherpeace cards, please bring them. Otherwise, I will have cards there for sale.