In the Advanced class, the students have some time each week to practice whatever Prop they feel like working on. I am currently searching for a good theme song for the year since it helps to dance to something that is familiar. Last year we practiced to the song Eshta Ya Amar and presented a fun group performance at the Student in June. Here are some of the songs, including Eshta Ya Amar, that we have explored in October.
In the Intermediate classes we often have fun playing 'Follow Barbs Butt' to a wide variety of music. When we are dancing together this way in class, I am often talking about bellydance, telling you stories, sharing history and explaining cultural context. I will also explain and correct the movement we are dancing and encourage students to be present to it in order to consciously embody it. When we are in the flow together, these times in class are often entertaining and there is a lot of laughter and exchange between everyone. Throughout it all, I am constantly assessing your technique as we move together, and I am honored and humbled by your progress each week.
In October, a few dancers from the Studio made it to Saint John for the Princess Farhana Weekend workshop & show. It was a great experience and we often spoke about it in various classes during the following weeks. One of my inspirations from this weekend was to raise awareness about the 'Golden Age' of bellydance and the songs that inspires bellydancers.
The Sword Intensive ended in October. Everyone in that class did really well, learning some of the basics for this strong and inspiring prop. The announcement in early 2013 of the Princess Farhana workshop was the catalyst to re-offer this popular Intensive in late Spring and again this September. Plans to offer a Sword choreography during one of the Intensives this season are being set as well as plans to offer a Floorwork Intensive followed by an Intermediate Level Sword Intensive (that would include floorwork) are also being set for sometime within the next 2 years. Now that this last Sword Intensive is done, we have started the Circlular Veil Intensive. Check out some of the music we have used in this class so far.
The are some the other new sessions that started in October, including a Saturday afternoon beginner level session that began on the 19th. The Regular Intermediate & Advanced Sessions also started a new session this month. In both these classes we are advancing our work with finger cymbals, also known as Sagats or Zills . We continued to work on the 'Ya Salaam Al Beladie' choreography that I learned in 2004 at a Weekend Workshop that I sponsored here in Moncton with dancers Morocco & Tarik Sultan from New York. The current Choreography Intensive that started in September and will end in November.
Some other fun stuff this month included celebrating Halloween. In some classes I spoke about how this is the mid-point between Fall & Winter and a good time to check-in and see where we are at, dance-wise, in our preparation for the up-coming season. There were classes on Holloween night this year and I got a bit dressed up to some of the students glee because I then had to figure out how to teach in my costume. I also shared some fun videos on Facebook to get us inspired by the season.