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Drums Alive stokes power of rhythm in active class

By Nancy Arcayna

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 02:24 p.m. HST, Aug 05, 2011


The Drums Alive class at the Still and Moving Center was all fun and games.

DRUMS ALIVE

» Where: Still and Moving Center, 1024 Queen St.
» When: 9 to 10 a.m. Sundays
» What to bring: Water, towel
» Cost: $18 ($17 for kamaaina); first class free
» Info: 397-7678 or email info@stillandmovingcenter.com

I started out a bit intimidated with the rhythm exercises, but once instructor Karen Watanabe-Sakamoto told us to sword-fight with cut-up foam noodles and swish at everyone's feet, my childlike instincts kicked in and all inhibitions disappeared.

We were instructed not to "jab" or "poke" our opponents, but on a couple of occasions as we lunged and parried around the room, I just couldn't help myself.

The class started out with participants bouncing various oversize exercise balls around the room. After the quick warm-up, we engaged in balance exercises on the ball as Watanabe-Sakamoto called out "groups of three," "groups of five" and even "groups of 14." Each time a number was called, we found partners and all joined hands, balancing our butts on the ball while lifting our feet off the ground. Only one person rolled off the ball, but came out of it laughing.

Other exercises included using drumsticks with scarves tied to the ends to follow a specific movement. After a while, it didn't matter if you were following along or just doing your own thing, as long as you moved with the group and enjoyed yourself. The class ended with some gentle stretching.

"We want people to experience the power of rhythm and the beat of the drum, together with the joy of movement and creative expression. In other words, we'd like to have the kid in each of us experience movement, rhythm and music in a way that usually only musicians or dancers have the privilege of enjoying," said Watanabe-Sakamoto.

Participants ranged from small children to adults.

If you don't have rhythm, don't fret. I have no musical talent whatsoever and managed to enjoy the class from beginning to end.






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