Oumar Sylla


Henné Camara


Oumar Sylla was born into an artistic family of griots in Guinea Conakry. First formed by his parents, M'Mahawa Diawara and the late Mohamed Sylla, he was then trained by Karim Keita and danced and drummed with the Ballet Farita. In 2000, he toured Senegal, Mali and Gambia. He has since danced and directed Bougourabou in Sali, Les Ballets Africaines de Casamance, and Wassolo  but also as a percussionist with Tossogue and Dounya Percussions.  More recently he danced with Les Merveilles de Guinea on a recent trip back to Guinea.  Equally competent in dance and percussions, Oumar is also an excellent pedagogue, patient and knowledgeable. 

Djibri Camara


Allah Leake Company

Dance and Drum 

Djibri Camara was born in Gambia of Guinean parents. He was formed by his father, the late Thomas Camara.  When he reached adolescence, he began returning to Guinea Conakry each summer to train and practice the djembe and other Guinean percussions with teachers like Badjibi and the Ballets .....His father created the company Allah Leake and Djibri, as his oldest son, is continuing the tradition, employing Guinean artists from Conakry but also local artists he has trained in the Guinean style.  His calm and kind manner are a bright contrast to the speed and precision of his djembe playing. 

‘Henné’ Camara comes from Guinea Conakry. She trained and danced with Oumar Sylla in the Ballets Farita and Ballets des Merveilles de Guinée, Soleil d’Afrique, Kunkoré Bamba. She also danced in Kotoba in Ivory Coast as well as Tamala in Gambia. Today she performs with the company Allah Leake. Her first trainer was Karim Keita followed by Sanou ( Merveilles de Guinée), Ba Djibi ( Soleil d’Afrique) and with Oumar Sylla in Tamala. Henne has a bright personality and a gorgeous personal dance style.  She has taught students from France, England, USA, Sweden, Australia, Spain, Italy, Germany and more in workshops organized throughout West Africa.

Windship Boyd is organizing the workshop and will be in charge of logistics and translations between English and French and basic Wolof. She is collaborating with Oumar Sylla in West Africa  and Clifford Kaufman in the Nashville area.  

Windship is a native of Nashville although born in France.  Initially a professional ballet dancer,  she moved to Europe in 1993 and began training in different styles, eventually moving to African dance after creating her company Itchy Feet and working with many African dancers. Since 2003, she has returned to West Africa every year for 1-2 months to collaborate with dancers, musicians and actors on this incredibly talented continent. Today she hopes to share their artistic force through the organization of workshops in West Africa and  by continuing to invite African artists to Nashville.  For more information on her artistic work and collaborations, go to windshipdance.com

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