We had a great first day of workshops!
First, we went to the Lookout/Brades primary schools in Lookout and had a huge number of students! It turned out that the boys wanted to drum first and the girls wanted to dance first, so the groups were split by boys and girls.
We were able to gather a good number of conga drums from across the island for the workshops. They’re not djembes, but the drums are similar enough, and we hope to have some djembes here soon so that students can learn the technique on the correct drum.
The kids were energetic and caught on really quickly to both the drumming and the dancing! It’s exciting to see so much innate rhythm in the students.
In the evening, we taught our first adult workshops at the Old Primary School in Salem. Again, we were thrilled to see such a great turnout. There were over 20 students in each workshop! The drumming class was first, and Dominique taught some basic rhythms like “lamba” and other patterns.
Kate taught the Irish dance class after a short break, and she showed students the basic “threes” and “sevens” of Irish step dance, as well as some basic patterns from “old style” sean nós Irish dance.
At the end, Kate and Dominique gave an impromptu “blended rhythms” demonstration: Irish dancing to African drumming!
We received great feedback from the participants and are excited to develop and improve the workshops further as we progress towards St. Patrick’s Day here in Montserrat.
Here is a video of the first adult workshops: