Guinea, West Africa
Dec. 29th-Jan. 30th, 2022
BRING IN THE NEW YEAR WITH YOUSSOUF KOUMBASSA
Experience the beauty and magic of Guinea,West Africa,
with Youssouf Koumbassa!
DO NOT MISS THIS YEAR'S TRIP!
There is nothing like a New Year's Eve Celebration in West Africa, Guinea
with Youssouf Koumbassa and Friends!
Youssouf is excited to have you join him at any time during the month of January but those who want a extra special experience, this is for you!
Special Workshop with Youssouf in the daytime/ afternoon
A Drum Workshop
Special Workshop w/ Dancer from one of the Top Guinea Ballet Companies in the evening!
Dundunba Celebration and Club Style Party to bring in the New Year and New Beginnings in an unforgettable way!
ALSO NOTE THE PRICE HAS DROPPED SO CATCH IT WHILE YOU CAN AND SECURE YOUR SPOT ON THIS AMAZING TRIP!
(Prices listed below in the Trip Faq Section)
Regardless of when you join the trip during the month, Youssouf's trip is unforgettable! Many travelers have returned with him time and time again. All of them have said that the trip inspires them to challenge themselves and be open to new experiences, but most of all exposed them to the unbelievable beauty of the landscapes in Guinea. You never know what exciting discoveries await, across a lake, down the road, right in the compound!
His students are at the heart of what he does. Each year they forge lasting bonds with one another.
Join him for him upcoming travel season —
it’s time to embark on that journey you’ve been waiting for!
Wongai! Let's Go!
Explore The Beauty
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.
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
The trip begins Dec. 29th, 2021 and run through Jan. 30th, 2022.
Sample Daily Schedule, Monday to Saturday:* (All classes are for ALL LEVELS)
9:30-11:30 Dance Class with Youssouf**
12:00-2:00 Lunch/Free Time
2:00-3:00 Drum Class
4:00-6:00 Dance Class w/ Master Guest Teacher
* 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.
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.
***NOTE PRICE CHANGE!
4 weeks - $1,800
3 weeks - $1,600
2 weeks - $1,500
1 week - $800
**Please note: while you may attend the workshop for 1 week to 2 months, 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.
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
$200 non-refundable deposit is due as soon as possible.
One half of total fees due by December 1st, 2021
Balance due by January 1st, 2021
(later balance due date possible depending on when you plan to travel, please contact us if you need a later date.)
20% OFF for returning Guinea Trip participants
10% OFF for Camp Fareta participants
(Discounts are not to be combined.)
Accepted payments via Paypal - MUST BE SENT AS "FRIEND" TO QUALIFY AS A PAYMENT TOWARDS THIS TRIP.
$200 deposit is non-refundable.
All other cancellations made by Nov. 1st, 2021 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Where do Youssouf's guests sleep?
There are four huts/cabins that hold 10 people each and two smaller ones for a couple or semi-private room. (In Guinea that kind of house is called "case ronde" in French.) The cabins have real beds with nice mattresses. You can hang a mosquito net over your bed from the wood in the ceiling.
Guests will be divided up between the rooms depending on how many people there are. For example if there are 8 women and 3 men, they might put 4 women in one cabin, 4 women in another, and the 3 men in another cabin. Couples (or two friends) can pay extra to stay in a smaller, private cabin.
2. Where do classes happen, and who teaches?
Classes happen in the pavilion that you see in one of the photos. It's a hard dirt floor, so some people choose to dance in sneakers. Youssouf teaches one class a day, and then he brings in other artists who teach the other dance class every day.
3. What if I'm a drummer and not a dancer?
Youssouf will hire master drummers to teach drum classes. If you are an advanced student and just want to play for classes, you can talk to him about a reduced rate.
4. What will we be eating?
Breakfast is usually bread, jam, eggs, cheese, potatoes, grits, etc. Lunch is usually rice, sauce, some kind of meat, and salad. Dinner could be some kind of African meal or fried chicken or a roast chicken, French fries, and salad. There is usually a lot of fish on the menu. In any case you can be sure it's going to be delicious. :-)
5. What is the situation with drinking water?
You can't drink the water from the sink in Guinea because you will probably get sick. Even Youssouf does not drink it unless he is staying several months. Everyone drinks bottled water, which is available for sale and is inexpensive.
6. What are the bathrooms like?
There are two "American-style" flush toilets in the big house with the red roof that you can see in the background of one of the photos. There are also three outhouses outside, which he said are very nice, no smell, and there are three showers.
7. Are there a lot of mosquitoes?
There are not a lot of mosquitoes in Bentouryah because it is cooler in the evening and the morning.
8. What is the weather like?
You will probably need a sweater for the evenings/mornings. It's warm during the day but not too hot. The weather is very nice. The air is fresh and clean.
9. Who do I contact with questions about the trip?
Amina Heckstall should be conatcted with any questions in regards to traveling to Guinea with Youssouf for 2021 to 2022. She will be the go between for reaching Youssouf or any of the other administrators for this trip. She can be reached through Facebook at www.facebook.com/groups/guineawithyoussouf
Instagram at www.instagram.com/ancestordancer
Email at Admin@steamholisticarts.com
And Instant Messenger on FB