Susan's Super Citizen Showcase

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Never say you can’t dance, Fana tells the children

Master drummer and balafon player Fana Soro had enough authentic African drums for everyone who wanted to play one.

Fana's only rule was that no one was allowed to look sad while they were drumming because if they did, he would have to take their drum away. He said if you are feeling sad, you can be happy again if you let yourself feel the energy of the drumming.

It was quite literally a “hands-on” demonstration! Indeed many, many hands were on the drums at the ArtStarts Gallery today at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. in downtown Vancouver, B.C. Canada. A few dozen kids and parents sat in a circle and learned some basic rhythms and songs that Fana brings from his original home in Ivory Coast.

Fana told us Africa has only two seasons: rainy and dry. When the rainy season starts, it’s time to plant food.

“If you just sit at home, there will be no food for you next year,” he said. “There is no Safeway and no Costco.”

Fana shared a traditional song in his language, with these words: “There is rain today. Let’s celebrate! Tomorrow we’re going to work hard.”

As everyone sang along, Fana invited a tiny girl to dance with him in the centre of the circle. As a shy dancer, I really admired her courage as she jumped up and waggled her thin little arms and legs and sang and danced with Fana. Then Fana turned to a “tween”-aged boy who joined him with a smile. A few people were too shy to join him and he said: “Never say you can’t dance or your body will believe you.”

Fana said we should dance whenever there is music playing – and try to spend our time with happy people.

Many thanks to Fana for sharing so much cheer!

Two more sessions remain in the Saturday ArtStarts program:

Bhangra Music and Dance
Saturday, March 28 at 11 am & 1 pm
Learn the dance form that has energized audiences across the world with its hard-hitting beats with South Asian Arts. This dynamic duo will get young people and their parents dancing in a fun and interactive atmosphere.

Stringing Them Along!
Saturday, April 25 at 11 am & 1 pm
Have you ever seen a string dog and turtle climb a string Eiffel Tower and fly away on a string bird? Storyteller Anne Glover gives you a fistful of string tricks and a new respect for your shoelaces. No dexterity required! "All-thumbs" welcome!


At Sat Feb 28, 08:56:00 PM PST , Anonymous naomi said...

cute story! we had a drumming thing at a staff conference once. I tried to be cynical, but there's no resisting the fun of the drums!


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