Camp Samatou

Samatou 2024: 2nd-5th November (4 days)

Check out the photos from last year’s camp



Anglesea Valley Lodge
1.5h drive from Melbourne, the site is set amid natural bushland. Swimming pool, kangaroos, comfortable dormitory accommodation.

635 Wensleydale Station Rd, Wensleydale

  • Talent night
  • Wassawumba drum & dance show with special guests
  • meet the teachers storytelling & song

Bedding (sleeping bag and pillow)
Lunch for Saturday
Drinks for evening party
Djembe / dundun
Dance pants, water bottle


Range of dormitory configurations including 6 x 4-bed cabins, several 10-bed rooms and some much larger dorms. Mattresses provided. You will need to bring all other bedding.

You are also welcome to pitch a tent on a grassy area under the trees!


This camp is fully catered, except for Saturday lunch (BYO). Nutritious and wholesome breakfast, lunch and dinner plus morning and afternoon tea.

Please specify upon booking whether you have specific dietary requirements. Our chef is very accommodating.


Each day will packed full of workshops – you’re welcome to attend whichever you like

  • African dance All dance classes will be accompanied by a full drumming ensemble in the hall. All of our artists are highly experienced teachers who are patient and friendly. They are there for you!
  • Djembe classes Please bring your own djembe along to the class. If you are hiring one, this will be allocated when you arrive (see Mitzi or Simon). There is also some opportunity to play dundun in these classes but the focus will be on learning djembe accompaniments, technique and solo phrases.
  • Dundun classes will teach sangban, kenkeni and dundunba parts for traditional West African rhythms.
  • Dundun dance This is combining simple dance moves with playing dunduns (stick drums)
  • Brazil meets West Africa Explore how Samba can be reinterpreted with West African instruments, Djembe and Duns, to create an exciting new sound

For all drum classes you’ll need to bring your own djembe or hire one for $10 per day. For dundun and dundun dance classes, drums are provided on a first-in, first-served basis. If you have your own set of duns, please bring them!

Drummers are welcome to drum for dance classes.


Seny Bangoura
Dancer, Guinea

Seny was inspired as a child by watching the National Ballet of Guinea – the costumes, loud drums and incredible energy of the dancers captivated him. By the age of 6 he was learning to dance and at age 10 or 11 he had joined a local dance ensemble.

In the early 90s Seny was invited to join Les Ballets Africains and he performed with them for 10 years. In 2001 the ballet toured Guinea extensively, then from 2002 they toured all the north African Maghreb region – Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya. He credits Sorel Conté as his first teacher, followed by the Director of the Ballets Africains, Hamidou Bangoura.

Seny now lives in the north of Italy where he regularly teaches classes, workshops, ateliers and laboratoires de danse – each with their own emphasis and purpose, and travels to teach abroad. He wants to take students back to the folkloric origins of the dance – much of which he believes has been lost as each generation copies and interprets it, passing their version on to the next generation.


Mohamed Bangoura (“Bangouraké”)
Djembe Fola, Guinea

Mohamed Bangoura is described in Guinea as the man with “Hands of Fire” or “the Lion of Matam”

African man hugging his drumHe is regarded by many connoisseurs as one of the best amongst the Master Drummers of this world. His life totally dedicated to the music and his traditions, mesmerizing audiences with his out of this world skills, talent, power and virtuosity.

Bangouraké is a true master through initiation and ability.
Mohamed was born in Guinea, West Africa in a village called Bourramya-Koubya. Mohamed started to play at the age of 5 years old and has been surrounded by music throughout his life.

Jean-Marc Agbogba
Dancer, Ivory Coast

Jean-Marc Agbogba is a highly accomplished dancer, musician and choreographer from Ivory Coast, West Africa. He has toured the world as part of the MOTHER AFRICA CIRCUS and came to Australia in 2010. Jean-Marc now resides in Adelaide where he has set up a new dance company by the name of “Sun of Africa Dance Group.”

Marc is renowned for his masked dancing, a very colourful and exciting, high-energy dance, using beautiful, authentic, Ivory Coast masks. These pieces are typically accompanied by a drum ensemble and sometimes African flute.

Sibo Bangoura
Drummer, Guinea

Guinean percussionist Sibo Bangoura grew up in Matam – the heart of Conakry’s arts precinct – surrounded by a family of griots. His mother was a singer and his father a balafon player. Sibo absorbed the rhythm from his infancy and began to study percussion formally at the age of 12. At 14, he joined Boka Junior ensemble and then played with Ballet Matam for many years, until he moved to Australia.

Sibo currently resides in Sydney and travels to China, Japan, Singapore and Thailand to teach and perform. He plays with his brothers Mohamed and Epizo Bangoura and has a successful 8-piece band Keyim Ba.

Lam Lakiz
Dancer, Congo Brazzaville

Lam is a highly sought after teacher of many of the traditional styles of Congolese Dance. He has more than 25 years of cumulative experience in Soukous, Rumba, Ndombolo, Congolese Tribal Dance, Zouk, Kizomba, and Semba, amongstothers. He was previously engaged as lead choreographer and dancer for the African bands Vox Congo & Afro Bongo Dance.

Originally from the Congo – Brazzaville, Lam has been passionate about dance and music from the time he learned to walk. The diversity of his styling was influenced by growing up in two countries, initially Congo (the home he returns to), with a subsequent move to Mozambique. The breadth of traditional and contemporary dance styles emerging from these two countries has contributed in a significant sense to his versatility and expertise as a teacher and performer.

Michael Boase
Drummer, Perth
Michael left high school in his teens to join an Afro-Brazilian percussion band, marking the beginning of a non conventional career in music, inspired primarily by African based music genres. Despite coming from the isolated city of Perth, West Australia, Michael has consistently been determined to continue learning, teaching and performing on a full time basis with a strong belief that an artistic culture is something we must work at consistently (at home) to make it creative, vibrant and living. Michael has travelled to many countries seeking out the best teachers and touring in bands, during which he had the opportunity to study in Brazil, taking part in the famous Rio Carnaval in the massive samba drum schools.
Miriam Lieberman
Song & kora, Sydney

Miriam’s songs are soulful collections of stories beautifully told through kora (West African harp) guitar & herbeautiful woman playign kora and singing into microphone with eyes closedunmistakable voice. Amongst the themes  are a love for the natural world, stories of transformation, motherhood, love, loss and the power of  imagination. The music is coloured by Miriam’s transformational time studying in Latin America & West Africa that have left an imprint on her musical style. Miriam is joined by stellar collaborators Lara Goodridge ( Fourplay/Baby et Lulu) and Susie Bishop ( Chaika ) who with their celestial violin arrangements and dreamy three part harmonies lift this unapologetically feminine sound further still. 

Simon is highly regarded as a teacher of world percussion. He has lived and studied traditional djembe, dundun, balafon and kora in Guinea West Africa with Master drummers Lamine Soumah, Aliou Sylla and the world famous Les Percussions De Guinea. He is well known for his insightful and innovative teaching style which is both fun and challenging. With a background in classical and jazz his versatility and broad knowledge of music gives  students a unique entry into the world of African drumming.

Mitzi has studied West African dance for over 15 years and has travelled to Africa (Ghana, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Senegal, Gambia and Mali) and also to the United States to further her knowledge by learning from the masters. She is a natural teacher and over the 10 years of teaching African dance she has developed a unique style which provides a relaxed and open environment which is cherished by her students.

Chiara explores what it means to be healthy and well, empowering students to move, enjoy and feel more confident in their bodies through both traditional Yoga and creative play, group collaboration, and focused attention to breath and sensation, boosted by awareness techniques.
Chiara draws on various disciplines such as Yoga, Creative Movement and Dance to create a fun, steady and generative practice for students to feed their uniqueness and creative expression.

Helen teaches a slow flow vinyasa, holding poses to build heat in the body. She completed her online teacher training in 2021. Since then, she has been teaching community classes and workshops through her local council, schools and fitness centres in Hobart. Classes are accessible for beginners.