Wontanara Drum & Dance

West African Drum and Dance in Victoria BC

Class Description

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Wontanara Drum & Dance offers a wide variety of classes suitable for all ages and ability levels.

Here is a list of all weekly classes currently being offered:

Beginner Guinean Dance

Immerse yourself in the culture of Guinea in West Africa while learning new dances and rhythms. Let loose while the drums take you on an uplifting and invigorating journey through Africa. This course is open to all levels and no dance experience is necessary, just let the spirit guide you.

Intermediate/Advanced Guinean Dance

Ready to step it up a bit? Come ready to sweat, be challenged and let go of all your weekly stresses!
Live drumming, awesome and challenging choreographies plus a friendly atmosphere makes this class a must on your weekly to-do list!

Kids Creative Drum & Dance

Children will enjoy discovering and exploring the world of African percussion and dance in this fun and unique class. Children learn to sing, move, dance, and learn rhythms while supporting self-confidence, multiculturalism, cooperation, improvisation, creativity and musicality.

Register now!

Dundun Dance

Love making music AND moving to it? This unique class combines African dance, drumming and singing. Students learn how to coordinate mind and body as they switch from all 3 components of this dundun (Bass drum played with sticks) dance class. This is a fun and challenging workout for everyone and especially great for couples who wish to incorporate rhythm and dance into their exercise routine! (i.e. Ladies, its a great way to get your man dancing!)

And here's a list of classes not currently being offered on a weekly basis, although they may be offered through our dance school again in the future.

These classes are however available in a private class format or in a workshop format. They are also available as a series or weekly format for your school, community centre, corporate event, etc.

Soukous Fusion

Come join Mohamed in this fun, liberating, dance party of a class! For the very first time Mohamed will be sharing all of his dancefloor secrets in this class which combines elements of various dance forms including soukous dance, zouglou, coupe-decale ,dancehall and Guinean dance.

Come prepared to shake your hips, and let go of all your inhibitions as Mohamed guides you through a fun and high energy warm up and then breaks down moves to create a playful choreography that you can show off on any dancefloor!

This class is great for all dancers who want to add "umph" to their regular dance routines, who want to learn and practice hip and pelvis movements that will help in their own dance practices whether it be african dance, hip hop, or bellydance.

Afro-Fitness

Afro-Fitness is a fun workout that combines traditional African dance technique with aerobics to improve: body tone, flexibility, fitness, rhythm and cardio vascular health. The exercises are easy to follow, high energy and lots of fun. It is ideal for anyone interested in African culture, getting fit, or for anyone who wants to try something new.
The choreography of this fun dance workout has been carefully designed to improve fitness levels, increase flexibility and weight lost. 

Bass Drumming

Experience the power of the dundun, sangban, and kenkeni with Guinean teacher Mohamed Andre Duranteau.  These two-headed drums are played with a stick and the parts are often accompanied with a bell pattern. They are the heartbeat of Guinean rhythms and are a great way for dancers and African music enthusiasts to improve on timing, and improve their overall understanding of traditional Guinean rhythms. Students will also learn the traditional significance of each rhythm, its name, and place of origin.  

Djembe Drumming

Even if you’ve never touched an instrument before… even if you think you’ve got no rhythm, YOU CAN learn to drum! A drumming class is a great way to reduce stress, have fun, relax and re-energize all at the same time! Mohamed teaches technique, musical phrasing and breathing, and encourages you to express yourself.  Students learn basic hand-drumming techniques, including the proper way to hold the drum, the correct hand and arm positions, and the right technique for playing three different sounds on the drum: bass, tone, and slap. You will also learn the traditional significance of each rhythm, its name, and place of origin. 

Songs & Stories

Mohamed, who is from the Kankan region of Northeastern Guinea belongs to the Malinke ethnic group. He was born in a small village outside of Kankan called Mandiana and was raised by his elders and like in most African cultures, by his neighbors and the entire community, which included many griots (keepers of the oral tradition). With this ancient and rich cultural heritage and with all of his griots friends and family, Mohamed has become knowledgeable in traditional malinke and griot songs and stories. In his singing classes, Mohamed will teach traditional songs and provide hand-outs which help Western students understand and pronounce each word as well as the meaning behind each song.

Singing is for everybody! If you can speak, you can sing! No previous vocal experience necessary, just eagerness to learn, to share, to laugh and to listen is necessary.

West African Languages

Traveling to West Africa? Wanting to arrive with a basic traveler friendly vocabulary? Or maybe you've recently been to West Africa and want to brush up on what you've learned? Mohamed offers a comprehensive, easy to follow language class in Malinke, Susu and even French. Hand outs are given so that you may bring it on your travels. These language classes are offered in a one-of or a series and are a fun, unique and no-pressure way of learning a new and exciting language