Eastern Courier : January 5th 2011
6 EASTERN COURIER, JANUARY 5, 2011 NEWS International Qualifcations available www.collegeofcamille.co.nz Enrol now for January 220 Universal Dr, Henderson Ph: 836 0029 ALL HOURS 79 Line Road, Glen Innes Ph: 521 3100 Family owned and operated MORRISON FUNERAL DIRECTORS OFFICE, CHAPEL & RECEPTION LOUNGES 2757835AA Drumming up a passion for music By KRISTINA RAPLEY Music and movement: Jimi Dale teaches African drumming and dance as well as pilates and yoga. Photos: FIONA GOODALL Strong pose: Yoga and pilates instructor Jimi Dale with one of his students, Kirsty Craig from Remuera. Drums galore: Jimi Dale with student Brian Lee, 12. ' I love the interactive aspect of it. Everybody is able to join in no matter what their musical capability is. ' Jimi Dale Dancing to the beat of his own drum is a way of life for Jimi Dale. The self-employed African drumming and dance and pilates/yoga instructor has lived life to the full. He has been teaching tra- ditional African drumming and dance for nearly 20 years. Giving others the thrill of creating music for the first time is what keeps him teach- ing. People are often really blown away by taking part in a workshop or watching a performance because they have never seen or done any- thing like it before. Creating music with a group of people has quite a powerful effect, it's really something special.'' Raised in Kawerau in the Bay of Plenty, Jimi had a great rural upbringing but longed to see the rest of the world and do his own thing. At 18 he left New Zealand and didn't return for nearly 10 years. He remembers both good times and bad during that period. He suffered from severe dysentery while hitchhiking through Africa and got giardia from drinking water in India. He spent years living in ashrams in India learning the art of meditation and yoga and stayed in a kibbutz in Israel for many years as well. Israel was a country Jimi kept returning to. I really connected with the spiritual side of myself there, it was a beautiful place.'' He says the years he spent travelling and living in communal communities were some of the best of his life. It reminds me of that song freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose' because it was a time where I felt totally free and happy. Even though I had nothing, I had everything.'' When he returned to New Zealand in his late 20s he based himself at another communal settlement in the Coromandel where he worked and lived off the land. It was during these years he became fascinated with African drums because a guy used to come and teach workshops there. You couldn't buy drums in New Zealand at the time so Jimi started making his own. When he had a large enough collection he started taking his own workshops and they grew in popularity. Now into his 50s he travels the country holding work- shops, doing performances, events and festivals, and teaches yoga and pilates regularly. He also works with groups of intellectually disabled chil- dren -- they respond really well to drumming. I love the interactive aspect of it. Everybody is able to join in no matter what their musical capability is. It's a real feel-good thing. By the end of a class they know a song and a rhythm, maybe have a little bit of a dance. It's a lot of fun.'' To find out what Jimi's up to and workshops and events in your area visit www.drum talk.co.nz. Visit the website www.easterncourier.co.nz to watch a video of Jimi's drumming group Tamani.
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