I’m back on the djembe!

I had planned to rejoin my original Tuesday class after we closed 9 – 5 The Musical (last Saturday). The session I had to miss wraps up in a couple weeks, and I would jump back in with my crew at the end of November.

Quinn talked me into joining his Monday class, with a new session beginning yesterday. I declined at first because I’d enjoyed my classmates, and I need some time to recoup a little cash. But he worked on me a bit, and I’m so grateful he convinced me!

I really just thought he was trying to fill the empty seat. That’s money now. But there’s a part of me that thinks he knew I could handle the challenge of a more advanced group. There was a girl in my first class who struggled. For the most part, I didn’t mind the [constant] review. I’m a beginner, too. But often, I felt like we could have got a lot more done – learned another rhythm altogether, maybe more! – if not for her.

Well, I’m definitely the weak link in my new class, and I’m excited to step up my game! He moves FAST with these people. He had to know I could keep up, and that makes me feel great. I’m the slowest student now, but I get there, by damn. This group is going to improve my skills! I’m not there simply to learn rhythms anymore. I’m expected to demonstrate technique… and I don’t yet!

But I will…!


Soboninkun is a mask of a small animal head. The dancer would make his rounds after harvest, and dance very acrobatically on a big grain sieve. This dance is now extinct (a seemingly simple concept that I can’t wrap my head around. If we still have the rhythm, why is the dance gone? “Because no one does it anymore” doesn’t satisfy me. If we know what it was for and what it was like, doesn’t someone know what it … is?).

Location: Guinea
Ethnic Group: Malinke


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