I’ve been looking forward to taking classes at the Rhody Center for a while. I finally signed up for what will hopefully be the first of many classes. Yesterday I was excited to take my first belly dance class. Kristen was very friendly and helpful. She took the movements slowly, broke them down and explained the mechanics. In addition, Kristen sought our input and geared the class toward our needs, making it indivialized. The added benefit was the small class size of wonderful, like minded people. I love the music, the dance space (colorful), the instructor, and the variation in styles (Arabic vs. Egyptian, etc.). Thank you for an amazing first experience and thank you Julie for hooking me up with a coin hip scarf. Can’t wait to spend next week learning more with everyone!
Seydou Coulibaly is one of Mali’s leading dancers, teachers, and
choreographers. He was named Mali’s #1 dancer in the
final Biennale arts competition before the coup d’état in
1990. He then founded and was artistic director of Mali’s
nationally respected and award-winning
troupe Komée Josée, which toured throughout Mali.
Coulibaly was educated according to ancient tradition: rather than
attend a school modeled on Western educational practices or based
upon Qur'anic teachings, Coulibaly received his education from
village elders, traditional rituals, initiations into secret
societies, and master dance teachers in the Segu region of Mali. As
a result of his studies, all of Coulibaly's work is thoroughly
researched and heavily steeped in folkloric tradition.
Seydou now also works extensively in the US, where he teaches
Mande dance, music and culture at Wheaton College, Brown
University, and at his long-running class at the Dance Complex in
Cambridge, MA. Seydou also runs Yeredon, a cross-cultural school in
Bamako, which aims to bring a greater knowledge of Malian culture
to foreigners while preserving the work of Mali’s most talented
artists. His film credits include Steven Spielberg's "Amistad,”
“Mali Djembekan,” “Street Party in Lafiabougou,” and numerous
educational films on Malian music, dance, and culture.