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Here is the music, dance, and art study abroad trip you've been waiting for! 
Camp Africa, led by Nani Agbeli, organizes a study-abroad program in Ghana. June 22nd - July 13th, 2024.

 

Below are some activities included in the cost of your trip:

2 hours or more of drumming instruction per day 
2 hours or more of dance instruction per day
(those who don't want to study drumming and dancing may learn basket weaving, batik, singing, and kente weaving). 
One performance at the Dagbe Center 
One-day trip to see dance/drum performances 
One dance performance at the Art Center in Accra 

 

Included Accommodations and Amenities: 
A 2-week all-inclusive stay at the Dagbe Cultural Center in dorm-style housing accommodations (2 twin beds per room) 
Three meals per day 
Hotel accommodations for the last week of travel 
All transportation for three weeks of travel: to/from the airport, beach, and market 
Driver accessible for student use (on call 24/7)

 

Contact Nani for any questions.

 

Students will be responsible for airfare, the third week of food, passport/visa fees, vaccination costs, entrance fee to any tourist attractions, and historical site entrance fees. If you want to join us this summer, please email us at agbeli.nani@gmail.com.

The Dagbe Cultural Institute and Art Center is an exceptional traditional institution in Ghana that provides students with comprehensive training in Ghanaian music, dance, singing, arts, and culture. The institute has a reputation for excellence in the region and welcomes students from all over the world. 

 

At Dagbe Center, the instructors understand that drumming, dancing, singing, and arts are distinct disciplines that require unique teaching methods. Therefore, considering their goals and interests, they tailor their teaching methods to meet each student's needs. 

 

The instructors at Dagbe Center are experts in their field, having undergone rigorous professional training and gained years of experience helping students achieve their goals. They are passionate about their work and are committed to providing students with a comprehensive understanding of their craft. 

 

The institute's curriculum is designed to give students a deep understanding of Ghanaian culture and help them develop a love for their craft. The courses are structured to ensure students receive a balanced education, combining theoretical knowledge and practical training. 

 

Dagbe Center's commitment to helping students achieve their goals is evident in the quality of its facilities. The institute has state-of-the-art equipment and facilities designed to enhance the learning experience.

 

The Dagbe Cultural Institute and Art Center is an excellent choice for anyone seeking to deepen their knowledge and understanding of Ghanaian culture. The expertise of the instructors, combined with the institute's commitment to providing a comprehensive education, makes it an ideal place to pursue your passion.

Classes: Classes at the institute run from 9-11 AM and 4-6 PM. They are held in the performance hall or under an open-air shelter. Traditional drums and western drum sets are available for students and our teaching staff. There are many opportunities for teachers and students who wish to take additional classes.

Drumming: Drummers have the best teaching instructors in Ghanaian music at the Dagbe Center. With 15 well-trained instructors, students have more than enough expertise at their disposal. The instructors establish personal connections with students to evaluate how each student understands individually and within a group. Instructors understand that learning in a different country/environment can affect one’s learning ability, so instructors take time to repeatedly explain lessons at every meeting to ensure that students are relaxed, comfortable, and confident in their learning.

 

Basic rhythms are refined and polished, and drumming techniques are a strong focus. Out of the many, these techniques include posture on an instrument, the use of energy, striking an instrument, the connection between the drummer and instrument, and being able to make your note and rhythm recognizable by ear from a distance. Additionally, more beginner lessons on how to hold a stick, a proper way of playing an instrument, how to connect with your instruments, and more are taught.

Dancing: Ghanaian dancing is a storytelling experience. Bodywork, facial/body expressions, acting, and energy utilization to connect with your audience and group members are crucial in Ghanaian music and dance. With the training and experience of the instructors at Dagbe Center, you will entrust your learning experience to the best hands. The instructors take their time to understand how your body works, which areas need focus, how your brain connects with your body, how you think about rhythm, and your motivations. Overall, instructors help you spiritually and physically connect with your audience and group members to bring out your personal connection to the story of the dance.

 

In Ghanaian dance, each part of the body and muscle performs differently. At Dagbe Center, instructors know and understand the importance of this. They will work with you on understanding your body and teach you how to use it to bring out your movements' authentic, stylish, and energetic execution.

Singing: About singing, there are different ways of producing a sound and developing those sounds into a song. One thing often misunderstood is that singing a western song is very different from the technique used to sing a traditional Ghanaian song. Lack of training and awareness of this fact may result in a strained or damaged voice.

 

Singing is a fantastic skill, but only if you get it right. The Dagbe Center instructors ensure you work on your vocals, pronunciation, and pitch. Instructors also focus on how to push sounds from your throat using energy from your stomach and how to accumulate power behind your sounds, as microphones are not used in Ghanaian traditional music.

Batik: In addition to the music, dance, and cultural experience, Dagbe Center also offers a variety of art and crafts. The batik technique uses hot wax with a wood-designed block to make the fabric on a white cotton calico with dyes. You will learn how to work with colors and understand the combination of dyes, and the meaning of Ghanaian adinkra symbols and other designs to bring them to life.

 

Kente weaving: Kente weaving is a traditional Ghanaian hand-woven technique in which fabric is made on a loom. Students will learn to put yarn together and prepare it in the loom for both primary and complex weaves. The best traditional Kente weavers teach patterns in Ghana, and at the end of the course, students can take home what they have woven.

 

Dagbe Center also offers basket weaving, carving, Ewe language, and Ghanaian cooking classes.

Culture: Ghanaian music and dance come primarily out of the culture, and since Dagbe Center is located in the center of a village, everything students do, see, hear, feel, and smell is assured to be culturally connected. Multiple villages surround Dagbe Center, and from sunrise to sundown, students are surrounded by people of all ages in the villageOther activities in the village, such as how the villagers get their water, clean dishes and their compounds, cook, climb a coconut tree, and feed goats and chickens, help build a strong cultural connection between students and the village.

 

By learning about all elements of the daily Ghanaian culture, students can relax better, focus on their mission, and feel like the village is a second home. As a student, you will learn how to eat with your hands, why you should always give and take with your right hand, the importance of greeting people whether you know them, how to carry things on your head while walking, and more.

Meals: Ghanaian cuisine is one of the best in the world. No kidding! Every region has its own recipes, with delicious meals and snacks like Red Red, Jollof rice, Kontombre stew, Groundnut soup, Fufu, Akple, Banku, Dorkunu, and Light soup, Okra soup, Kelewele, Boflot, Toogbeah, Atsormor and many more. The chefs at Dagbe Center are the best at what they do. With extensive cooking experience and a variety of recipes to choose from, you will never lose your appetite.

 

Students at the Center are served a different meal every day and have the option of requesting a meal. Meals will be prepared with the best spices, ingredients, and culinary skills. As musicians, dancers, and singers enjoy their work, so do the chefs at Dagbe Center. They cherish what they do and put much time into making the food the best.

 

For the first two weeks in Ghana at the Center, food and an unlimited supply of bottled Voltic water will be provided for each person.

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Fufu & light soup

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Red red

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Wakye

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Banku & tilapia

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