Home of 
RhythmDance Orchestra

People of all ages and abilities 
step into their rhythmc Power

 House of Rhythm 
& Dance

About RhythmDance Classes

RhythmDance is a powerful and uplifting dance workout that blends percussion, drumming and dance choreography. Learn to dance while drumming, playing shakers, twirling canes and so much more. Great way to get fit and have fun. 

Accompanied by LIVE instrumentation.

 Come join the fun... No Experience Necessary! Open to Everyone! 


About Marilyn Hatfield, Your Instructor

Awarded the honour of 2020 Cultural Ambassador for the city of Nelson, Marilyn Hatfield is a multidisciplinary performing artist, musician, percussionist, vocalist, dancer, drum and dance instructor, choreographer and event presenter. 

Since 1994, Marilyn has dedicated herself to studying, performing and teaching global drumming and dance arts in a way that honours traditional teachings. With a passion to share the magic and joy of rhythm and dance with all, she has been guiding people of all ages in the US and Canada to step into their rhythmic power since 1999. In 2012, Marilyn opened her own dance and drumming school, Marilyn’s House of Rhythm and Dance, in Nelson, BC, and offers individual and group classes in dundun, djembe, global dance fusion and her original dance fusion, RhythmDance.  

She is the founder, director, choreographer and principal dancer of RhythmDance Orchestra, a dynamic collective of drumming dancers that weaves ancient sounds with modern movements. Additionally, Marilyn currently serves as director and co-band leader of the Moving Mosaic Samba Band, Nelson’s community samba band. 

Marilyn has been the drummer, lead vocalist and percussionist for psychedelic rock powerhouse band, Soundserious, since the group’s inception in 2005.

Since 2018, Marilyn has spearheaded, organized and facilitated a music and art festival in the Slocan Valley called Summer Breeze Music and Art Party. This is a free community event linking diverse visual and performing artists with the public for the purpose of engaging the public with arts and culture in the community.

Named to DumAsylum’s top 100 Female Drummers of All time in 2009, Marilyn has served as artistic director, choreographer, lead dancer and lead female drummer of several drum and dance ensembles, including:  RhythmDance Drum Orchestra (Nelson, BC); Afro Stylie Percussive Dance Experience (Winlaw), the Afreaks (Nelson, BC), YOMA's (Nelson, BC); Nyokabok (Santa Cruz, CA), and Wara Foli (Nevada City, CA) among others. Her ensembles have perfomed widely in California, the western US, AB and BC at festivals like: Whole Earth Festival (Davis, CA); Sierra Nevada World Music Festival (CALIF); War Child (Nelson, BC); Canmore Children's Festival (Canmore, AB);  Market Fest (Nelson, BC); Star Belly Jam (Crawford Bay, BC; )Shambhala Music Festival (Salmo, BC); and Kelowna Life and Arts Festival among many more. As well, she has performed (drums and vocals) live on radio stations: KVMR FM (Nevada City, CA ) Radio Tamba (Tambacounda, Senega, west Africa) and CJLY (Nelson, BC). 

With many skills to share, Marilyn is an excellent teacher who engages all students and strives to help each one tap into and channel their inner rhythm. 


The dancer is the one to express the music...to dance, one must become the music.
Rhythm and dance are my passion, and I love sharing this with others.
All my life I've been deeply in love with the art of dance...Growing up, I spent hours in my room with the record player blasting, dancing in front of the mirror and studying my reflection, experimenting and creating choreography. MJ, Janet Jackson and Paula Abdul were big inspirations for me back in the day.
I began playing the rhythms because I believe that rhythm and movement are the most basic components of each and every aspect of our lives. 
Music is valuable in all aspects of African culture: those working in the fields, sowing and reaping, often are accompanied by drummers, and everyone comes out to dance when the drums are calling. Our every movement has rhythm ~ rising from bed; brushing our teeth; walking the dog ~ everything! No life without rhythm. No rhythm without time...
- Marilyn

My deepest gratitude to all my teachers with special thanks to:
Abdoulaye Diakite, Koumbana Konde, 
Mandjou Kone, Karamba Diambate,
Alhassane Kane
and so many more.