We have had the pleasure of having the special guest Yamoussa Camara, come visit our 2nd-5th graders at our after school program at Grandview Elementary. Yamoussa learned the art of drumming at an early age in his home of West Africa, and he currently teaches drum and dance workshops for children and adults. It was such an amazing experience for students to get the chance to participate in such a lively workshop with Mr. Y.
Both the 2nd-3rd and 4th-5th grade classes had the chance to delve into the culture of West Africa as they learned the choreography to a dance, various drum beats, and had the chance to performed their final routine. Mr. Y had such great enthusiasm which enticed students from the beginning of his lessons.
It was so wonderful to see all of the students work together in order to become successful at the dance routine they were taught. Often, Mr. Y would split the boys from the girls in order the master the moves they were taught. During our sessions with Yamoussa, he taught students a fun game which is similar to Duck, Duck, Goose--with an African twist! Kids chased one another around the circle and they even got pretty competitive trying to catch the other. It was a lot of fun; even for the teachers too!
With the amazing teachings by Yamoussa, students came together in the end and nailed their last session of African Drum and Dance. Students had a better understanding of drum beats and keeping beat with the rest of their classmates and it sounded great too. The experiences we received from Yamoussa were really unforgettable and I am so thankful we got the ability to delve into the culture of West Africa.