In most genres of music in which drums interplay with dance the drummers set the rhythm and the dancers dance along. In PUERTO RICAN BOMBA dancers have the power; dancers determine the pace and spirit of the performance as the musicians drum along.
If you want to teach kids about Bomba, start by playing with the idea that the dancers are in charge of the beat:
1) Separate kids into DANCERS and DRUMMERS. Dancers will take turns, one at a time, while others clap and support.
2) Start bomba music. (You’ll find great stuff online.)
3) Dancer gets up and moves. Drummers follow the dancer. The how-to video demonstrates two options for dance-drum interaction: the dancer jumping up and down while the drummer goes “boom,” and the dance going side to side while the drummer drums any way. You can asbolutely improvise other moves. If you want to be fancy you can mimic steps from the linked videos, but don’t worry about mastery — empower dancers to dance, drummers to follow and everyone to have fun.
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