Dance and drum classes start up next week

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BRATTLEBORO — African Dance Vermont will start up dance and drum classes again in the new year with guest teachers on Wednesdays, Feb. 13 and March 6, at 118 Elliot St. The first class next Wednesday will be taught by Tara Murphy, the founder and director of Cape Cod African Drum and Dance who has been teaching African dance for 15 years. Matt Dean will teach a drum class and Ashley Jones will teach a dance class on March 6. Both teach regularly in Stonington, Conn.

There will be live drumming for both dance classes. The drum class, just on March 6, is from 6 to 7 p.m. and the cost is $10. The dance classes on Feb. 13 and March 6 are from 7 to 8:30 p.m. and the cost is $15. All levels including beginners are welcome. Wear clothes that you can move in and bring a water bottle.

The African dance class with Murphy will get your blood pumping and your heart soaring. Feel the rhythms and shake what you got! Participants will learn the basic style of African dance as well as traditional dances from Mali, Guinea and Senegal, West Africa. The class emphasizes community, self-expression and the joy of movement.

Dean has made four trips to Guinea, West Africa where he studied under Master Drummers and dancers of the renowned Les Ballet Africans, Ballet Djolibe and many more. He spent nine years with an African drum & dance company in NYC where he worked with various colleges, dance classes, bands and DJ's.

Jones trained under principal dancer of Les Ballet Africains, Abdoulaye Sylla. In 2000, she joined Abdoulaye's company Fotoba, touring and teaching throughout New England alongside Alisco Diabate, Yamousa Camara and Laurent Camara. With 23 years experience Jones inspires students through traditional dance from Guinea, West Africa. She shares the names, regions, tribes and meaning of the dances she teaches.

There will be more classes scheduled soon for the spring. To stay informed about classes check out www.africandancevt.com/ and African Dance Vermont on Facebook.

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