Drum, Dance & Song

Programs for all ages & populations.
Drum & Dance combo/single workshops, short/long term residencies
assembly presentations and custom programs available. Small group
and private students welcome.

Using metaphor, breathing, movement and song, Lara and Yael's holistic approach to rhythm and dance is fun, encouraging and accessible - and can enhance any curriculum.

Our focus is on joyful exploration, empowerment, communication, and cooperation (community). Our programs are physically and intellectually stimulating, and are based on over 10 years of experience with children of all ages in a variety of environments - from therapeutic & healing to educational and empowering.

Connecting mind, body and spirit, students learn to express themselves through a powerful and lyrical vocabulary of rhythm & dance. Different movement and rhythm landscapes and textures are explored, as well as traditional and purposeful dances, songs and rhythms that are hundreds and thousands of years old. We interactively explore in a facilitated and supportive environment, using West Africa as a backdrop.

- Please note, the workshops listed below include a combination of rhythm, movement and song, with a variation of focus on each.

- We address core curriculum standards in all our programs!

Earth Meets Our Feet,
Hands Meet the Drum
West African Drum & Dance

In this Drum and Dance Combo Workshop, students will learn the exciting connection between drummer and dancer as they are invited to experience both sides of this contagious art form!

Hands Meet the DrumTM
West African Drum
This Hand Drum & Percussion Workshop is a great place for beginners to start, or for intermediate and advanced players to gain a different perspective. Djembe drum technique included.

Earth Meets Our FeetTM
West African Dance
Here the focus is beautiful, archetype dance movements from West Africa as taught be Lara. Connecting mind, body and spirit, students learn to express themselve through a powerful and lyrical vocabulary of steps for traditional dances that are hundreds and thousands of years old. Via this energetic form of exercise students will also learn the shared language of West African drum and dance from our accompanist, Yael.

Roots of Rhythm, Your Heart in
the Pulse
In these "rhythm exploration" workshops the focus is not on technique or product, but instead exploration, improvisation, communication and cooperation. Different rhythm landscapes and textures are explored in a facilitated environment through the use of breathing, metaphor, movement and song.

Artist Mini Bios

Lara Gonzalez
, a NJ Native, has been a life-long dancer. For 10 years she has studied West African drum & dance in particular, her love. She has traveled to Guinea several times to absorb the culture and study with master artists from Les Ballets Africaines, the National drum and dance company. More . . .

Yael Shacham
, born in Israel and raised in NJ, has studied hand drums and percussion for 10 years. She recently studied djembe drum & dance in Guinea, West Africa with master drum and dance teachers from Les Ballets Africaines, the National drum and dance company. More . . .

More About the Duo

"The spirits of our teachers lives on in us.
Yours are smiling."
- J. Crane, presenter and participant

Lara & Yael with workshop participants at the Morristown
Unitarian Fellowship, NJ, 8/03. Photo by Doe Phillips

" . . . the drumming work that you are
doing is some of the most important work that
there is in the world. It changes the soul,
it grows the soul."
- D. Phillips, presenter and participant

"You are one of the best anti-depressants
I've ever encountered."
- V. Parnell, presenter and participant

Lara throwing down at Long Island
Drum & Dance, 03. photo Michelle Angel

"You have a wonderful approach to
teaching people. And you have made
music, drumming, even more exciting and
interesting for me. I am sure you have that
effect on many people, and it's wonderful to
see that you have that ability. I think people
feel a very honest feeling after your class."

- K. Patel, participant

"We really loved it and I feel like I learned
a lot from you . . . Playing in a group like
that just lifted me off the ground."
- N. Duggan, participant

Contact Roots Heart Pulse Office
877 . 904 . 2362 or email

Current Workshop and Performance Schedule Click Here

Yael & Lara are also frequent accompanists for two fabulous movement
artists whose workshops and classes you might be interested in.
Contact them directly for details . . .

West African Dance with
Mimi Stella

Explore traditional dance with Mimi Stella who has studied and performed West African Dance in the metropolitan area for more than 10+ years. She studies, teaches and performs in the Tri-State area.

Mimi teaching at Ruff Ryders Summer Camp, 8/01

Mimi's teachers include M'bemba Bangora,
Youssouf Koumbassa, Mouminatu Camara,
Yewande Johnson and Karen Love

Mimi teaches workshops and classes for both adults and children.

Contact Mimi mstella140@att.net.

TM with Nadine Fiume

Nadine has been studying with Gabrielle Roth for the past 10 years, and is a fully certified teacher of the 5RhythmsTM. Drawing from diverse studies in Wu Ming Qigong , Core Energetics, film, frame drum and shekere - Nadine creates an environment that merges her musical sensibilities with an acute visual sense to bring out the mover, shaker, and dancer in all of us.

photo by Malorie Winerman

This movement workshop is designed to free the intuitive dancer in each of us and it will allow your body to speak it's own language through dance movement. Using Gabrielle Roth's unique practice and teachings, Nadine will guide us through Waves exploring the 5RhythmsTM - Flowing, Staccato, Chaos, Lyrical and Stillness. This cathartic form of ecstatic dance is a workout for the body and soul - a moving meditation into the land of rhythm, creativity and freedom. This practice is for elders and young people, passionate dancers and reserved toe-tappers, people who like to show off and people who can barely show up. The only goals are moving until we are moved. No experience necessary just a willingness to explore and have fun. Come together to dance and sweat!

Contact Nadine nadine613earthlink.net

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