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2024 TRIP TO GUINEA

Begin the New Year in Guinea, West Africa -- the experience of a lifetime!

 

For the past 30 years, master dancer Youssouf Koumbassa has led Conakry's foremost dance-intensive cultural immersion workshop and has inspired countless devoted students with the vital rhythms and dances of Guinea's rich performing arts legacies. You will learn traditional dances and rhythms, and in addition you will be immersed in Guinea's rich culture and environment. You will meet people from around the world who share a love of the dances and rhythms of Guinea, and you will make friendships that last a lifetime. Youssouf welcomes you to his homeland and is committed to creating a safe, inclusive, and non-competitive environment for all of his students.

We expect that much of the workshop will take place at Youssouf's lush, breezy patch of land on the outskirts of Conakry in Bentouryah, a peaceful village off the beaten path, featuring gorgeous mountain views and delicious palm wine.

Workshop Features:

I

  • Intensive training with Youssouf in his world-renowned style

  • Daily master classes with local teachers and members of Guinea's major dance companies

  • Drum and song classes

  • Doundounba and other performance and cultural events

  • Performance opportunity with Ballet Bagatai

  • Introductory language and history lessons

  • Excursions to local attractions such as Madina market, beaches and nightclubs

  • Overnight trips to some of Guinea's natural wonders, which may include mountain waterfalls or the tropical paradise of Roume Island

 

General Information

 

Classes begin Wednesday January 10th and run through Wednesday February 10th, with a possible extension to Wednesday, March 10th. 

Sample Daily Schedule, Monday to Saturday:*
8:00-9:00 Breakfast
9:30-11:30 Dance Class with Youssouf**
12:00-2:00 Lunch/Free Time
2:00-3:00 Drum Class
3:00-4:00 Break
4:00-6:00 Master Dance Class
* Excluding travel days. 
Sunday is a free day, with the option to pay for the community class offered to the public.

**If your primary interest is drumming, Youssouf will bring in master drummers to teach classes. If you are an advanced student who would like to play for classes, contact us to apply. Youssouf must approve your application, and a discounted rate may be available.
 

 

Pricing

 

Packages include twice daily dance classes, one drum class (unless your primary interest is drumming -- see note above), room and board, three meals every day, airport ground transportation, and accommodations and travel costs for all scheduled trips. Pricing does NOT include airfare or visa fees.


5 weeks - $2,500
4 weeks - $2,000
3 weeks - $1,800
2 weeks - $1,500

1 week - $800

**Please note: while you may attend the workshop for 1 to 6 weeks, it is recommended that you come as early as possible to get the most out of your dance study. Most new dance choreography will be taught within the first 2 weeks of the workshop; subsequent weeks will build upon the choreography already taught, with new choreography added in occasionally.  

 

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Guinea Excursions
 The workshop will include one to three trips to some of Guinea's most beautiful destinations.
 
Trip options may include:
2-3 days in the beautiful village of Boké, Youssouf's ancestral home.
2-3 days in the small mountain city of Kindia with its cool nights, beautiful jungle waterfalls and stunning views. We'll explore Kindia's famous fabric market and have dance class in a giant bamboo grove. 
2-3 days on Roume Island, a tropical paradise off the coast of Conakry where we can splash in the perfect ocean waves after dance class on the beach.
 
All scheduled trips are subject to change

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$500 non-refundable deposit is due as soon as possible. (PayPal to @youkoumbassa)

 

One half of total fees due by November 15th, 2023.
Balance due by December 15th, 2023.

10% OFF for deposits made by October 15, 2023
20% OFF for returning workshop participants
10% OFF for Camp Fareta participants

(Discounts are not to be combined.)

Accepted payments include PayPal, check, or money order. (Contact us if you'd like to pay using a different method.)

 

REFUND POLICY

 

$200 deposit is non-refundable.
All other cancellations made by December 1, 2023 incur a 50% cancellation fee. 

After December 1, no refunds are available.

If the trip is canceled, such as due to COVID-19, all payments will be refunded. 

REGARDING VISAS AND COVID-19

As of October 20, 2020, Guinea requires a negative COVID test within 72 hours of arrival. Please be sure to check the current requirements as you get closer to your travel time. Getting a test in Paris (or any other stopover city) on the way there might be an option.

For peace of mind, please be sure to get informed about all visa requirements, and leave ample time to get your visa (as well as any necessary vaccinations). Assume everything will take longer because of the pandemic. In the past it was possible, under the best of circumstances and with the payment of extra fees, to get a visa within 72 hours, but we don't know if that is still possible. Be proactive about getting your visa, to make sure you will be able to embark successfully on this wonderful adventure. 

This website might be helpful, but it is not always functional:  https://www.paf.gov.gn/visa/

Check with the airline you will be flying on for information on the requirements for flying into Guinea, including visa and COVID-19 requirements.

If you are having difficulty, you can try calling the Guinean Embassy in Washington, DC, but in this time of pandemic, they might not be answering phones regularly:  202-986-4300

We recommend signing up with the Smart Travel Enrollment Program (STEP): https://step.state.gov/step/

Someone from STEP said another way to contact the Guinean Embassy is by email, but with a Yahoo email address, we're not sure how reliable that will be:  ambassadeguineewashington@yahoo.com

 

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

 

CLICK HERE TO MAKE YOUR DEPOSIT

 

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