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Free music and dance classes

By Carla Roberts
Special to The PREVIEW

Photo courtesy Connie Hallinan Learn the ancient art of hand drumming on Wednesdays at the community center. Pictured are, back row, left to right: Carla Roberts and Nancy Shibly, front row: Alex and Mario Kholostov.

Photo courtesy Connie Hallinan
Learn the ancient art of hand drumming on Wednesdays at the community center. Pictured are, back row, left to right: Carla Roberts and Nancy Shibly, front row: Alex and Mario Kholostov.

Four ongoing classes are offered every Wednesday at the Ross Aragon Community Center. All classes are taught by local musician/dancer Carla Roberts and are open to all on a drop-in basis.

Hand drumming

The Ancient Art of Hand Drumming, 1-2 p.m. Local percussionist Carla Roberts will offer a study of the goblet-shaped hand drum called the doumbek, popular in the dance world. This style of drum has a continuous playing tradition going back to biblical times, and is wonderfully suited for group jamming. Roberts has played the doumbek professionally for the last 25 years, and incorporates a variety of techniques and learning styles to make this free class accessible to beginners as well as experienced drummers. If you have been curious about drumming and all its benefits, please come and experience the joy and challenge of playing percussion in a group.

No previous experience is required and drums are available if you do not have one. Bring a drum if you do have one.

Dulcimer

Beginning Dulcimer, 2-3:30 p.m. The lap dulcimer is a simple stringed folk instrument deeply associated with the early American music of the Appalachian Mountains. This beautiful music is the underpinning of folk and country music today. The dulcimer is an entry folk instrument, not as difficult as the guitar to learn. Students will receive instruction in tuning the instrument, and a number-based system of learning that incorporates simple melodies. Bring a dulcimer if you have one, or play an instrument provided in class.

Belly dancing

Belly Dance for Fun and Fitness, 3:30-4:30 p.m. Celebrate life through dance. Improve mood and physical fitness while having fun. Each class begins with a thorough stretching and toning, building the strength and balance needed to be a strong dancer. Introduction to veil work, shimmies, fast and slow hips and much more is covered in a gentle, supportive manner. Wear comfortable clothes, bring a coin hip scarf if you have one, or use scarves and skirts available during the class. No previous experience necessary.

Square Dance

New — Learn to Square Dance from 5-7 p.m. Roberts will teach easy square dance calls at the basic level with an emphasis on having fun. The drop-in class is free to the public and open to all experience levels.

Multi-instrumentalist, singer and performing arts specialist Roberts has taught and performed concerts in schools and fine arts venues in the western states for the last 35 years. Her Four Corners-based “Wild West Squares” program is designed to bring the joy of modern western square dance to people of all ages. For more information, please call Roberts at 903-6478.

The Ross Aragon Community Center is located at 451 Hot Springs Blvd., in Pagosa Springs.

This story was posted on May 8, 2014.