Here is the music, dance, and art study abroad trip you've been waiting for!
Camp Africa, led by Nani Agbeli, is organizing a study-abroad program in Ghana from
July 08 - July 29, 2023
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Unlike other Ghanaian traditional institutions, Dagbe Cultural Institute and Art Center give students the best Ghanaian traditional music, dance, singing, arts, and culture. No matter your field, you will find your place here at the Dagbe Center and leave with deeper knowledge, connection, understanding, and love for what you do.
Though drumming, dancing, singing, and arts are performed together, instructors at Dagbe Center believe these are different in their ways. Therefore instructors focus, teach, and connect with students in different ways depending on students’ goals and interests.
As the sky is the limit, instructors at the Dagbe Center believe in every student and their ability to achieve their goals. Therefore, instructors push students to a new place where they can realize their abilities and potential.
It is always nice to know that your instructor is the best and will guide you through the new or continuing era, allowing you to attain your personal and professional goals. As the instructors at Dagbe Center have undergone extensive and rigorous professional training, this process is well known to them, and instructors have years of experience helping students reach their goals.
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 village. Other 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.