Liska’s career story

I am joint director of Honeydrum World Music and Dance Ltd, sharing the role with my partner Phen. We are based in Leeds and run weekly sessions from our Studio in Leeds City Centre.
I am truly lucky and blessed to be able to share my passion with the world, side by side with Phen. He has supported me through my artistic and musical journey, first as a student with Honeydrum, then as a partner, and now as a father to our children.
Since a small child I have been immersed in diverse musical and performance environments. Finding Honeydrum in 2006 crystallised my understanding of the power of music, song and dance as a way of connecting, both on an individual and collective level.

Sessions

The main activities I run from the Studio are listed below – for all classes and more info go to my website or visit my facebook page.

  • Sling’n’ Sing: Mums and Babies come and learn songs from Brazil, Cuba, Africa and Spain, from simple call and response to more complex arrangements. We look at folkloric and modern songs across a variety of styles including Samba, Pagode, Rumba, Flamenco and more. The classes lead to performance opportunities and socials with the participants of all other classes running at the Honeydrum Studios.
  • Dance-Sling: Ragga Dance Vibez for Mums who Want to Move. Learn choreographies, have a gentle work-out, freestyle and get to know other Mums and Babies in a relaxed and social environment. This is all about letting your hair down and letting that waist wind to some good tunes, at a Mum and Baby-friendly time and space.
    My passion for these classes relates to connection and community; between sessions there is food to share and time to chat and socialise. My aim is to create a relaxed and nourishing environment for mums and children where they can do something they can enjoy.

Flamenco rhythm, songs and dances

These classes give you the chance to understand flamenco in its roots form, as something accessible and communal – it’s not about perfection, it’s about energy and participation. We look at the rhythmical structure of various flamenco palos (songs/rhythms/dances) through hand clapping (palmas), gypsy flamenco songs (flamenco gitano), and a variety of dance steps which can be put together into both choreographies and freestyles.

Home Education

Home education is an interesting, challenging and ongoing life activity, and “work” and “family” interweave, as is often the case with self-employed home educators. Whether in the womb, in a sling, or somewhere nearby, each of our kids have performed and taught with us over the past 6 years. Islay-Bianca (now 10 months) has seen approximately 10 gigs since being born, her earliest being Vamos! Festival Leeds at 5 weeks old.
We are currently in the process of setting up courses and weekly sessions for home educating families at the studio, all of which will cover a range of activities related to world music, song and dance.

West African Dance Masterclass at Honeydrum Studios

Performance

I perform regularly with the various Honeydrum groups. I love to perform, it is an affirmation of self, and of what we exist to do: to bring light and energy into people’s lives through music, song and dance. It’s a vehicle for the mind, body and spirit, a place to take off, to connect with something greater than and part of ourselves, connecting us all on a basic, human level.

Liska Baila

Liska Baila is a Performance artist, teacher and facilitator specialising in Flamenco, Afro-Cuban and Afro-Brazilian rhythm, song and dance.  She is also a mother of three beautiful children aged 5 years, 3 years, and 10 months.

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