Theatrical Bellydance Conference | New York City

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We wish to bring people together, to allow diverse artists to find common ground and interests. This is an environment where dancers of all bellydance styles can work together in classes, learn together and learn from each other. The instructors, who come from a variety of bellydance genres and backgrounds of experience, will be offering workshops that will have something for everyone; not just focused on genre-specific bellydance technique, but more on universals that everyone can feel a part of, and that you can apply to your own work.

Our 2010 Instructors

  • Anasma (Director)

    Anasma is Performance Arts Dancer, Teacher and Choreographer. To her, dance is an expression of the self and of the soul that enables each dancer, whether they are new to it or professional, to share their deepest emotions and to be in the Now. Anasma has been featured on various DVDs, including World Dance New York’s “Bellydance Experience” DVD and “Fantasy Bellydance” DVD. In 2007, she sang alongside Pete List in the album “Songs for Kassar”. In 2009, she recorded her first instructional DVD “Bellydance Hip Hop Liquid Fusion“. A new instructional DVD with Anasma, “Wave Explosion! Bellydance Hip Hop Liquid Fusion” was just released in February 2010. Anasma performs and teaches in Europe, North America and Asia. She is the co-founder and co-director of the New York Theatrical Bellydance Conference. You can visit her website at www.AnasmaDance.comRead Full Bio
  • Ranya Renée (Director)

    Ranya Renée began her performing career more than 30 years ago as a theater actress and comedienne, and moved to NYC in 1992 to continue her work as a theater director. She was gradually sidetracked by bellydance until it became her life! One of New York City’s leading Egyptian-style dancer-instructors, Ranya specializes in teaching holistic technique and theatrical performance skills & coaching. She produces live events in New York and tours internationally. Ranya’s signature “Breathwork for Performance” method has enabled thousands of artists worldwide to more effectively connect with their own art, and with their audiences. She strives to create a supportive atmosphere in her workshops for both technical precision and artistic growth. Ranya’s instructional DVDs Bellydance “Egyptian Style: The Baladi” and “Modern Oriental” have earned rave reviews from dancers worldwide. This year she launched her own company, Ginger City Productions, to produce more teaching and performance videos. For more info visit her website at Full Bio
  • Aszmara

    Aszmara “Dance is emotion in motion” describes accurately the quality of Aszmara’s dance. She impresses through her expressive stage presence and interprets the music with her own blend of modern and ethnic Arab and Turkish dance which The New York Times describes as “intense”. Throughout her over three decade career, performances range from cabaret entertainment to full concert stage creating themed concert events, folkloric and innovative dances. Workshop sponsors in the USA and Europe repeatedly bring her back for her vast knowledge and informed teaching conveying technical and performance skills. As one of the leading figures in the field of the Oriental Dance, she was one of the founders/principal dancers of the AMMED Award Winning Middle Eastern Dance Company Oriental Images as well as co-founder/co-director of SaZ Dance Theatre, a multi-cultural woman’s dance company. Aszmara’s instructional DVD, “Belly Dance… The Secret Desire” won high praise from Habibi magazine. “Dance is Emotion in Motion” visit Full Bio
  • Lotus Niraja

    Lotus Niraja is a professional Middle Eastern dance artist specializing in Urban, Contemporary and Modern Egyptian and Lebanese belly dance styles. As one of the top performers and instructors on the East Coast, Lotus is widely recognized for her dance style, dramatic energy, and vibrant interpretation and technique. Known for her drum solos and shimmy technique, her dance style is dynamic, infused with glamour and style! Lotus teaches Belly Dance classes and offers private lessons as well as national and international workshops. In her classes and workshops, Lotus combines elegance, grace and crisp movement technique with stage dynamics and audience participation in order to help the student give a polished theatrical performance. She offers an extensive library of workshop topics including Raks Modern, the Art of Belly-o-graphy, Raks Sabor, the Icing on the Drum Solo, Egyptian Style Dance Boot camp and Shimmilicious Shimmies.Read Full Bio
  • Hanan

    Hanan (Tiffany Madera, M.A.), has been a leader in her field for over a decade. Specializing in contemporary folkloric styles of Egypt, Yousry Sharif wrote “Hanan can easily pass as a native dancer of Cairo… this is no easy task”. The Miami Herald describes hanan as “boundary crossing”, “bold” and “a dominant force in contemporary dance”. She is the Founder of Cuba’s first Bellydance Troupe and band; Aisha’ Al-Hanan and has created and developed two documentary films on the subject. She is currently in post production of her film “Havana Habibi” in collaboration with Beeloved Creations. Hanan is a prolific and avante-garde dance theater artist and is a critically acclaimed director and producer of the Habibi Trilogy (Hip Hop Bellydance hybrid theatre) and Hanan with Other Friendly Gods and Goddesses, which made the Miami Herald Top 10 Performances of the Year. Hanan is a world renowned protégé of Tamalyn Dallal and Yousry Sharif. Read Full Bio
  • Fahtiem

    Fahtiem is a multi-award winning choreographer, master instructor, international superstar performer, highly renowned in the world of Middle Eastern Dance. Featured in Time Magazine, numerous TV, Commercials, Movies and in many performance and instructional DVD’s. She is listed in several editions of International Who’s Who of Professional & Business Women. Her awards include: International Cultural Diploma of Honor, Woman of the Year, International Academy of Middle Eastern Dance, Dancer of the Year, Entertainer of the Year, Choreographer of the Year, Teacher of the Year. American Academy of Middle Eastern Dance (New York), Hall of Fame-Lifetime Achievement, and MECDA Hall of Fame. Fahtiem has taught and performed globally, including in Egypt at the Ahlan Wa Sahlan Festivals in 2007 and 2009, while maintaining a full teaching schedule in Los Angeles Ca. including college level dance courses. […] You can learn more at Fahtiem’s site Full Bio
  • Angelika Nemeth

    Angelika Nemeth, an internationally renowned artist who has received numerous awards for her teaching and performing, is on the dance faculty of three California colleges where she teaches accredited classes in Middle Eastern dance. She has produced and directed numerous critically acclaimed world dance concerts and co-sponsored the historic 1st and 2nd International Conference on Middle Eastern Dance. She was influential in the creation and development of Orange Coast College’s World Dance Certificate Program, which she now supervises. Her artistic legacy has significantly influenced her dance genre, especially in her home base of Southern California. Angelika trains and mentors many of today’s new dance stars, lectures at colleges and libraries and adjudicates belly dance competitions world-wide. She also organizes and leads dance study tours to the Middle East and is featured on numerous dance videos and in print media. Visit her website Full Bio
  • Sarah Johansson Locke

    Sarah Johansson Locke is a performer, choreographer, and teacher whose work draws on a deep knowledge of the body as well several forms of traditional and contemporary dance, theater, yoga, and somatic modalities. As the Artistic Director of Alchemy Performance, she directs and performs with two companies; teaches dance, yoga, and anatomy; and curates and produces events. Her dance explores sacred space, that within us and that around us. Sarah has extensive training in a wide range of contemporary and folk dance styles including Ballet, Modern, Tribal and Tribal Fusion Bellydance, North Indian Khatak, Butoh, West African, North African, and many styles of Rom (Gypsy) dance including Rajasthani, Turkish, Russian, Bulgarian, Croatian, and Spanish (Flamenco). Read Full Bio
  • Kaeshi Chaie

    Kaeshi Chai is an internationally recognized performer and instructor. She is the director of the professional company, Bellyqueen Dance Theater, the healing community PURE (Public Urban Ritual Experiment) as well as the Rising Sirens. In 2003-2004, she was part of the Bellydance Superstars, and held the position of dance captain for the 2004 US & Canadian Spring Tour. She has performed at Central Park’s Summerstage, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, Folie’s Begere in Paris, Bloomsbury Theater in London, Teatro Smeraldo in Milan and has made television appearances on Conan O’Brien as well as BBC’s Blue Peter. Recently, she was invited to team up with the one and only Jillina for her Bellydance Revolution project. Read Full Bio
  • Samara

    Samara’s hallmark style, a blend of serene elegance, spiritual grace, earthy passion, and technical prowess is the result of a life long commitment to Oriental Dance. Samara began dancing professionally in her teens, having already studied other dance forms extensively. In addition to her work with the Near East Dance Group, Samara has shared the stage with some of the most famous singing stars of the Middle East including, (to name a few), Walid Tofic, Ragheb Alame, Sabah, and George Wassouf. Samara was a part of Warda’s dazzling show at Madison Square Garden, The Brooklyn Funk Essential at Irving Plaza and danced with famed pop-fusion star Alabina at the Beacon Theater. She co-produced and appeared as an original member of the World Beat Extravaganza Ballet Exotiqa and danced with Christina Aguillera at Radio City Music Hall for the MTV Music Awards. Samara was a 1998 inductee into the American Academy of Middle Eastern Dance Hall of Fame. Read Full Bio
  • Roula Said

    Roula Said is a dancer, musician and actor based in Toronto known for her authentic, innovative and compelling style and stage presence. Of Palestinian roots, Roula co-leads Gypsy/Middle Eastern Funk Band, Nomadica with her husband David Buchbinder, produces the hippest global grooves dance party in Toronto, FunkaBelly, and teaches a unique holistic system of wave-infused movement, rhythm and vocalization at her school, Om Laila Bellydance. Roula has appeared in numerous theatre and film productions over the years, including celebrated indie film director Ruba Nadda‘s “Sabah“. More about Roula’s world: & www.FunkaBelly.comRead Full Bio
  • JeniViva

    JeniViva performs and teaches both Classical Turkish Cabaret and Gothic Fusion Bellydance in New York City. She has also developed her own Gothic Bellydance technique entitled “The Serpentine Method©“. Jeniviva describes it as a technique that “fuses movements of Vict-Oriental, Gothic, Steampunk, Cabaret, Tribal Fusion, and Ritual Bellydance. The ultimate fusion of alternative Bellydance genres with a modern theatrical twist!” JeniViva has appeared on The Conan O’Brien Show, the WB 11, at the House of Blues, the Rainbow Room, and numerous prestigious nightclubs in NYC. JeniViva has performed for such clients as Jay-Z, Marc Jacobs, and Esquire Magazine and she recently had the pleasure of being cast as a featured dancer in the film Sex in the City part 2.Read Full Bio
  • Aepril Schaile

    Aepril Schaile is “An American priestess of the Dark Goddess” working through the ancient and ever-evolving arts of Bellydance, Music, Ritual Theater, and Divination. Aepril has taught and performed at curated events in Paris, NYC, L.A., Hollywood, and San Francisco. Aepril directs Exquisite Corpse Productions and is Artistic Director of Exquisite Corpse Dance Theatre. Aepril teaches ongoing classes in Boston and Salem, MA, and teaches traditional, theatrical, and shamanistic Bellydance workshops nationwide and internationally. In performance, Aepril becomes Trickster, Warrior, Ghost, Storm, Grieving Mother, Killer, Snow Queen, Seductress… Aepril’s performances invoke the archetypal Feminine as a force of nature and magick. Aepril is an astrologer, musician and composer, dancer and dance teacher, writer and storyteller, mythologist, animal rights advocate, and witch. Aepril is an AAFA certified Group Fitness Instructor, and she holds an MFA in Interdisciplinary Art.Read Full Bio
  • Blanca

    Blanca Born in Mexico and based in New York City, Blanca is a dancer, choreographer, teacher, and workshop leader. Trained in diverse disciplines, her main love has always been bellydance and its many facets: a performing art, a social dance, a fitness practice, a storytelling device and one of the most powerful healing tools she has encountered. Credits include a dance scene for the upcoming film Sex and the City 2, 11 bellydance DVDs, and a series of dance concerts at Merce Cunningham Studio with her previous dance collectives Venus Uprising and CollexArts. She is a faculty member at the 92Y, teaches weekly classes at Serena Studios and leads workshops throughout the US and abroad. Full Bio
  • Elisheva

    Elisheva is an internationally acclaimed Tribal Fusion dancer from NYC, sought after for her signature fusion of aesthetics- Bellydance fused with trained classical dance, jazz forms, and hip hop’s popping & locking. She currently performs as a company member and the Dance Captain of “Bellyqueen”, and is part of the creative NYC collective production team “Venus Uprising”. She will be this years featured Artist and Instructor at Hiptastic! 2010, and teaches classes weekly in NYC and Long Island. Elisheva is currently featured on available performance DVDS and has 2 DVD instructionals available; “Tribal Fusion, Pop & Lock” and “Hard Candy”.Read Full Bio


Here is our line up of workshops. You will be receiving a complete 4-course program each day, tailored by the teaching team, who are working together to provide material that adds up to, in the words of one of last year’s workshop attendees, “more than just the sum of its parts.”

Class sizes will be small, about 20-25 people per class, with the same group of participants together for 4 workshops per day, taught by a team of rotating teachers, dedicated to creating an environment where you can really get to know your fellow dancers.

We aim to provide a safe space for workshop participants to learn and explore different theatrical approaches – working from the inside-out and from the outside-in—that can bring greater emotional depth to your work and greater comfort onstage

You are welcome to choose your room each day. However we highly recommend you stay in the same room over the three days to get the maximum variety of teachers and topics. Some topics are repeated over the weekend.

Download Full Conference Schedule

Free panel discussions on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 1:30pm to 2:15pm.
Open to the public. More info…

  • Jeniviva

    Silent Film Starlet

    How to Give Great Face While Bellydancing

    In this workshop you will learn how to use facial gestures to enhance your dance-storytelling and how to deepen your connection with performance music (and/or song lyrics). We’ll use female archetypes like the “femme fatale” and other characters that can be expressed on the stage. Taking a look at some of the great silent film actresses, we will also touch on the importance of stage makeup and using the light to emphasize your message. We’ll work with dance combinations that help express the character work we are doing, and discuss how this work can be applied to various genres of bellydance.

  • Hanan

    Empowered Bellydance + Intercultural Performance

    Uncovering the source of personal power, signature voice and expression through an array of grounded beledi vocabulary and technique which can be applied to all dance styles across genre and culture”. This workshop will incorporate creative unblocking processes and theatrical techniques to bring participants closer to their individual voice, higher and grounded self, offer new vocabulary and tools for more empowered and stylized performance.

    The Art of Exchange

    A workshop which examines the power and processes of interior and exterior spaces in dance and performance. This workshop will offer techniques and experiences geared at bringing dancers to a more holistic approach to performance; looking at the mechanism of “give and take”, “call and response” and grounded, nurtured and empowered communication with self and audience. Exercises and techniques will be explored to get participants beyond ego and create from a multitude of frequencies and spaces shaped to incite the highest level of response and engagement.

  • Kaeshi

    Body Love

    Learn to love your body and make friends with your reflection in the mirror. Through this workshop, you will arm yourself with tools to expand your concept of beauty beyond the narrow definitions created by the media. Work with other dancers in a supportive group setting to explore how you see yourself and to open yourself up for transformation. Initiate a friendly conversation with your own inner demons and learn how to harness their power, through physicalization exercises (such as working with shifting weight, muscle contractions and releases, and facial expressions) to create a more dynamic performance on stage.

  • Anasma

    Gestural Movement and Storytelling

    This class allows dancers of all levels and movers of any background to share any message beyond strict dance vocabulary and to have fun! While using their current dance technique, dancers will be invited to reflect upon the meaning of their dance and the choice and symbolism of their movement. Dancers will learn miming techniques, how to transform everyday life gestures into dance movements, develop specific characters and tell stories through their face and body, as a soloist and as a group.

    Presence, Intention and Emotions From Inside Out

    By accessing the self and the power of now, performers can truly touch their audience. The purpose of this class is for Anasma to share tools to grow as a striking performer, from inside out. Dancers will be invited to reflect upon the intention of their dance. Starting from meditative work and internal movements, dancers will learn how to connect their inner world to the outer world by working with strong visualizations, connecting to their emotions, clarifying intentions, playing with the gaze and facial expression, creating awareness of the breath, exploring the paradigm of giving and taking.

    Character embodiment and Character Development

    Who are you when you perform? Are you staying yourself or are you a totally different person?

    Experiment with creating connections or gaps between you and the character. On one hand, use your emotions and personal experiences to feed the character’s emotional arcs and shifts. On the other hand, use the character embodiment as a catharsis : discover emotions and experience situations that you would have not experienced otherwise. We will work with neutral masks.

  • Sarah Locke

    Embodied Dance

    Anatomy for Dancers

    Learn how to dance with more strength, flexibility, isolation, and integration. Develop a fuller and stronger presence on stage. Discover new ideas for moves and combinations by using the form and function of the body itself as inspiration. Knowledge of anatomy can give you access to better technique, as well as the freedom to explore new movement vocabularies with ease. Whether you’re a student, a teacher, or both – it can help you to dance more fully and expressively, and also with more awareness of how to balance strength and flexibility, alignment and flow.

    In this workshop we’ll study aspects of the muscular-skeletal system that are key for bellydancers, as well as other body systems (breathing, organs, fluids) that support core integration and deepen full body awareness. Using exercises that incorporate principles from yoga, Body-Mind Centering, and the Alexander Technique, we’ll explore the form and function of the body through movement. A combination of clear and precise information (diagrams and notes) with somatic exercises (feeling the body through movement) will give you a great range of tools to be a better student, teacher, and performer.

    Moving from Center

    Developing Presence and Body Awareness

    For dancers interested in exploring movement from the inside out, as a way to fully inhabit and enjoy your dance. Combining Sarah’s experience in bellydance, yoga, Body-Mind Centering, and physical theater, this workshop focuses on developing presence, body awareness, emotional expression, and other elements of deep listening. We’ll explore movement exercises that will cultivate a greater range of choices in your dance — in terms of both expression and technique, both intention and action. This new awareness will empower you to access your fullest dance: a true expression from the inside out.

  • Ranya Renée

    Embrace your Mistakes!

    Your performance can be compelling even when it isn’t “perfect”….and finding ways of accepting yourself while transforming your mistakes into opportunities can create an even more interesting and personal performance. Ranya will lead participants in exercises from her signature “Breathwork for Performance” method, including focused breathing techniques to shape the energy of the dance and of the performance space, relax yourself onstage, and build a rapport with the audience and with fellow dancers. Then we’ll apply the particular challenge of keeping the breathwork going even through difficult moments, like tripping on a pile of dollar bills in a nightclub or forgetting your choreography in a group show. You’ll come away with more tips and tricks on how to use breathing as a powerful tool for communication and connection, have more fun when dancing, and develop self-confidence and a sense of personal strength when you are doing your thing out there, even in the tough times.

    Character in Performance

    Acting for Dancers

    Explore the different moods and emotional colors that bring interest and fun to the bellydance show. This work allows dancers to bring out different aspects of their personality in practice and in performance–even parts of your character you might not consider fit for the stage!!–and opens up a deliciously liberating vehicle for personal expression, as well as enhancing the audience’s interest in watching you perform. We’ll employ different kinds of physicality, such as receptiveness or resistance in the body, and passive vs. active approaches to stage presence and movement, and how those can help focus our intentions. Ranya’s “Breathwork for Performance” techniques will be applied in solo, partner and group work to bring your character inspirations to life.

    Introduction to Breathwork for Performance

    Ranya will take participants through a movement “breathwork series” progression and fundamental exploration in her signature performance technique method, which she began developing in 1996. Breathwork for Performance is designed to help artists bridge the perceived gap between themselves and their audiences. It encompasses solo, duo and group work to better connect to oneself as a dancer, to the music, and to an audience, through attention to the breath and the focused use of one’s breathing. The breath is used as a tool for “painting” the performance space with vibrant energy and gaining comfort with eye contact and visual focus. This technique allows dancers to work from a place of possibility, creativity and generosity, while building self-confidence and concentration as a performer.

  • Lotus Niraja

    Bellydancer’s Body and Style

    Lotus Niraja has designed a training class that addresses the physical component of creating a memorable impression on stage. Technique work to help you to smooth and refine your dance, with emphasis on: differences between the effect of muscular movements vs. skeletal dance moves, how they are perceived by an audience; deconstructing movements and their mechanics, building core strength, stamina, and improved posture. Class curriculum includes patterns, directional changes, weight balance and level changes. Take basic, isolations and movements and learn to turn up the volume and intensity for sharp, high power dancing or to turn it down for slow, ooey-gooey movement. The class will work on technical precision, deconstructed movement phrases, creative movement, and layering technique. Bonus: Explore gestures, drama, contrast, and musicality.

    Own the Stage

    The Power of Gestures to Capture Your Audience

    The stage is your playground and your domain! Once you enter the stage, you connect with your audience. It is up to you to keep their interest. Setting the theme and tone for the audience is a great way to capture their attention, and working with the power of gestures and natural human expression is an effective way to connect and interact with them. Let your personality and technique speak for you through practical technique and analyzing the aesthetics of bellydance movements. We’ll work with isolations, gestures, comedy, communication, and ‘percussive expressions’ to explore ways to capture and keep your audience’s attention. Create the WOW factor through exercises in framing, accents, creative movement, and building energy.

  • Samara

    Theatrical Energy Through Space Design, Focus and Projection

    Performing on the big stage can be an overwhelming experience without the knowledge and tools needed to present a theatrical experience to your audience. The theater performer faces greater intensity of lights, a larger space, and an audience who is much more demanding than the one found in the more casual venues. A dancer can get lost on the stage if he or she does not know how to fill the theater with the energy and focus demanded by this type of venue. In this workshop Samara will work on specific techniques with workshop participants that will further their understanding and knowledge about how to execute movement, emotions and ideas on the big stage. Some of the work Samara will cover in this workshop: Combinations which includes different spatial patterns working from the center of the stage. Utilizing the stage with focus and directional changes. Angles, circular patterns. downstage, upstage, right and left stage will be explored. Working on energy through body lines and upper body projection. Using these combinations in partner work across the expanse of the stage to enhance focus and spatial awareness.

  • Aszmara

    Emotion in Motion

    Connecting your Emotion to the Music and the Audience

    To really dance well, one has to fully understand, intellectually or intuitively, the rhythms of our chosen genre. The soul then takes these in, blends them with its own voices and impulses, to let the movement out in a way that makes it our own, as we become an instrument in the “event”. In this workshop, we will improve our listening skills, play with different ways to interpret the rhythms in our bodies, and let the music move us. In finding the passion, we must first find our inspirations, what we want to express, and then how best to express our soul, through our stance, our movements, our face. In this segment we will look at choreographic patterns, the power of music along with acting and character stances, holding on and letting go.

    Dynamic Staging to Enhance Stage Presence

    Expanding Your Range of Expression with Dynamic Staging

    Whether in a nightclub or on a raised stage, quite often in performance the tendency is to use the same space as we are used to in rehearsing. Through Dynamic Staging you can expand your use of space to make your shows more compelling, whatever the venue. With knowledge of stage positioning, level changes, and character stances, we fill the stage with our presence. In finding the passion and letting go, you can feel the music as it happens, not just the choreography in your head! Aszmara will help guide you in her practices to bring out this expressive passion and thereby build greater confidence in your dance.

  • Fathiem (Sunday)

    Using Imagery in the Dance

    You can’t do an empty move. In order for it to be full, you have to fill it with a conscious intention.” Fahtiem will cover many aspects on how to use imagery in the dance: both in rehearsal and in performance, to adjust your speed of presentation, to change your personal vibration in order to relax more onstage, to go beyond the technical execution of the dance moves. We’ll address the concept of imagery in preparation for performance and during performance–how to use imagery so that you’ll stay focused on stage and be able to tell your story, to have a performance that is satisfying to you as a performer, and also satisfying to an audience who is coming to be entertained or moved. Through use of these techniques, it will no longer be unpredictable whether you have a good show or not—you can develop consistency in your artistry to get your desired result every time you perform. As part of the workshop, we’ll apply tools to evaluate where you are in this moment in your dance career, and create a chart to help track your progress, to see if you are applying what you’ve learned, as time goes on. Learn to apply imagery in non-performance areas as well: in goal-setting, psychological goals, longer-term career objectives. Fahtiem applies some of her life-coaching experience to this work.

  • Angelika Nemeth (Sunday)

    The Dynamics of Directing and Staging Group Choreography

    Guidelines will be given on how to direct as well as how to take direction in staging a group dance. A short combination will be presented. Participants will be split into groups to develop an effective stage presentation based on the combination. Guided by an assigned group director, each group will expand the basic combination into the space, paying attention to entrances and exits, patterns on stage, directional changes, musical interpretation, expressiveness, group interaction and entertainment value. Participants will receive guidance on intra-group communication, to better handle the negotiation process involved when artists create work together. Toward the end of the class the groups will have an opportunity to perform their work and receive feedback from the instructor as well as each other.

  • Roula Said

    Going to the Well

    Seeking the Source of Inspiration from Within

    Working with dreams, creative writing techniques and guided meditations to generate stories, motifs and choreographic materials that are ripe for the picking. Participants will be asked to bring in a dream or personal vision that inspires them to want to create a piece. We will work with various physical techniques such as Sufi Whirling and Roula’s Seven Waves Movement System to bring our bodies, minds and spirits into a state of communion. Through sensory heightening exercises, dancers will be guided to find any combination of gestures, themes, dialogue, emotional truths, rhythms, melodies, sounds, colours, tastes and scents that connect them to the dream and serve as materials with which to build a choreography with deep resonance.

    Hot and Heavy Humor

    Bellydancer Meets Shamanic Clown

    Starting from a platform of deep cultural respect and technical grounding in bellydance, then drawing from the teachings of legendary Canadian clowning master, Richard Pachenko to explore the profoundly funny side of bellydance. We will dive into states of “innocence and experience” and push our emotional palettes to electrifying (and likely hilarious) extremes… release our voices, our imaginations and our bodies to explore some very rich, dark and fertile territory. Time permitting, we will co-create a foolish and kick-ass choreography (or segment thereof) based on a structure that Roula will present. We will fire our therapists!

  • Blanca

    The Sensual Bellydancer

    Sensuality has always been one of the most highly prized qualities in bellydance. But it’s not a special talent or skill—it is actually present in all of us. In this workshop you will learn how to tap into the sensuality inside of you and translate it from an internal state into an expressive, easy-to-understand language of dance movement. Come learn the moves and methods that have helped women around the world shine sensually both onstage and in everyday life.

    This workshop will begin with a group discussion on sensuality and the differences between sensuality, sexuality and sexiness. Next, learn ways to connect with your own authentic sensuality, as well as tips and techniques to make your dance more connected and expressive. Use body language to express sensuality and make any bellydance step more sensual. You will also learn a series of poses and gestures that express the femininity of bellydance. Blanca will give guidance on what to practice on your own, to be as sensual outside as you already are inside, both in performance and in life.

  • Aepril Schaile

    Embodying Mythical Archetypes

    A Ritual-Theatre Approach to Bellydance

    To the ancients, dance, ritual and theatre were one. Stories were cyclically and seasonally told and retold for the community, and those who performed the stories were said to embody the spirit of the gods, elements, and ancestors. Returning to the magical roots of theatre, we will work with story, inspiration and movement to bring archetypal forces to life through bellydance.

    The Energy Body in Dramatic Motion

    A Metaphysical Approach to Theatricality in Bellydance

    We will expand our execution of dance performance well beyond the limits of physical movements, props and costuming, creating an energetic connection to an audience. We’ll work with “dual attention”: simultaneous inner focus and outer energy direction. Learn how to infuse technical skill with conscious energetic and emotional content, to “animate” physical gesture with soul and meaning; to develop awareness and utilization of the etheric double, or energy body, in performance.

  • Elisheva

    Choreography Tool Box

    Want to take your Choreography to the next level? There are tools to help you! This workshop is geared towards any and every style of dance to help you create dynamic, varied and original choreographies. The course will cover composition techniques including “Theme and Variation” as well as “Time studies” to help kick start ideas for movement and to help explore parts of your dance expression not yet found. Please bring a notepad and pen.

    Structured Improvisation

    Improvisation is a wonderful way of expressing yourself in the moment. Many dancers use this mode of performing when on stage, but aren’t always able to focus on using all of their stage and performance abilities. This workshop covers the basics of improvisation techniques for any style of dance. Focus includes storyline, shape, and quidelines to increase your improvisation dance vocabulary. Never again will you feel like your improv performances are just repetitive moves!

Monday Workshops

Monday Workshops will take place at 440 Studios.

Aepril: Eerie Serpents and Ethereal Grace (1:00 – 2:30)
Hanan: Baladi Ghawazee Technique (1:00 – 2:30)
Sarah Locke: Alchemy tribal fusion technique and vocabulary (2:30 – 4:00)
Lotus: Lebanese & Egyptian Techniques and Combinations (2:30 – 4:00)
Elisheva: Shaking Down Your Shimmy (4:00 – 5:30)
Ranya: Juicy Egyptian Technique: making friends with your abs, butt, and all that other stuff (4:00 – 5:30)
Anasma: Hip Hop Bellydance Snakelike Anasma (5:30 – 7:00)
Aszmara: Turkish flavorings (5:30 – 7:00)
Jeniviva: Special topics in Vintage Bellydance (7:00 – 8:30)
Fathiem: Magic in Every step-Full Creative Combos (includes technique – and finishing touches). Fits several types of music. (7:00 – 8:30)
Angelika: “Dramatic Entrances: Technique, Combinations and Turns”. Bring veils. (8:30 – 9:00)

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