Monday, December 30, 2013

Videos and New classes!!

One week before you have 2 FREE belly dance class opportunities!!  Next Monday (Jan 6), Mahsati is teaching a free beginner class at the Healing Arts Centre (on Prince Avenue) at 7:15.  On Tuesday I'll be at UGA's Ramsey Center for free week - teaching Basics at 5:30 and Beyond Basics at 7:00 - one change these will be in the martial arts studio (yay for squishy floors!)  Share with friends!!

Here is the link for last semesters video  It is unlisted, but feel free to share with anyone you would like.  If you did a solo and want that uploaded, let me know!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Hello my lovely dancers!  It will be at least another week before I get to editing video, but as soon as I get it posted, I will let you know.  Also, look at the pictures posted on the Facebook event page (or friend me and see them on my page) that Barbara Smith (an Atlanta dancer) took.  If more pics surface, I will let you know.

On a related note, I am still, almost a week later, thrilled with last week's show.  It is always fun but this show was different.  I can honestly say that these were some of the best student performances we have ever had.  Add that to all of our special guests - it was an amazing show.

Thank you so much for all your hard work and dedication this semester.  Like I said in our final class, I couldn't be happier with your dancing and they way you all came together to help each other.  You are a wonderful group of people and I am so blessed you allowed me to be your teacher.

Hopefully I will see you next semester (same bat time, same bat channel).  Have a wonderful holiday break!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Last minute thoughts!

Dress rehearsal Tuesday!  Plan to be at the 40 Watt no later than 6:30!

As you're planning your costuming, don't forget jewelry and makeup.  Bigger is always better ;)

Some of my favorite places to go for makeup inspiration

Lauren Luke - has her own makeup line but does awesome celebrity inspired makeup

Arabic Eyes Tutorial is here, here, and here - all different variations of the smokey look

And for the ultra dramatic looks - check out Doe Deere's blog

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Hafla Information for Saturday

When: Saturday, 11/16
Time: 7:30-9:30
Where:  Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Athens
Cost: $5

Looks like a great lineup!  I will be doing a ballet inspired veil and fusion number to open the show and cane to open the second half.  Hope you can make it!

  • 780 Timothy Road, Athens, GA, 30606

    Monday, November 4, 2013

    Mental rehearsing

    Dancers have long "marked" a number or ran through it at less that full power while practicing to save energy.  Research shows that this and mental rehearsing can be very favorable in helping to remember choreography and improve transitions.

    Sunday, November 3, 2013

    Walkthrough and Slowed down video

    I will be at class early Tuesday if you want extra practice!

    Slow version

    Walk through with no music

    Tuesday, October 29, 2013

    Facebook event for the show - feel free to invite anyone you would like!

    Tonight's video (This is the entire thing, we still haven't learned the very last part)

    I'll be at class sometimes between 6:00 and 6:10 next week if anyone wants a little extra practice or help.

    Tuesday, October 22, 2013

    Here is this week's video - complete with the awesome kickline section.

    Also, the link I was talking about in class for online coupon codes is   I always check there before I order anything online to see if I can save $.

    Need help on anything we have done in class?  I'll be there at 6 next week - even if we have to dance in the hall!

    Monday, October 21, 2013

    Practice Music hints - From Mahin's Daily Bellydance Quickies

    Advice from a blog I read (

    Music For A
    Perfect Practice

    A very clever student of mine shared a recent app find. She discovered an iPod/iPhone app that allows you to not only play music at different speeds, but to repeat segments of music that you select.  So if you need to practice that tricky combo 5 times slowly - your music is right there with you! As an instructor, I find "slowed-down" teaching tracks to invaluable for new choreos!

    The  Slow Down Music Trainerwas designed for dancers' and musicians' practice. The free version will do 3 songs. If you find it useful, the full version is $3.99
    Android owners, there's one for us too!

    When I went to the iTunes store, I found an app called "Anytune" that does the same thing for free.  Any of these might be good for practicing or choreographing.  I found that even slowing things down to 90% of full speed was useful.

    Friday, October 18, 2013

    Beyond Wonder Woman adding to my rant and some all around good ideas for dancing

    Zi'ah of Atlanta's Awalim wrote a blog post expanding on the idea of strong body posture

    She also wrote about what American Tribal Style means to her.  Although this is specifically about improve, she touches on some important dance concepts, such as letting the music dictate the movements and simple is sometimes best.  (Which were also in my last post from the Bellydance Palladin)

    I love how she refers to Awalim's vocabulary as a dialect of ATS, complete with it's own slang.  (Black widow and Brown Recluse anyone?)

    Finally, a followup on my rant about videotaping performance from a few weeks ago.  If you videotape, you lose the essence of the dancing and the magic that exists between the dancer and the audience.  Think about that before you lift up your smartphone

    Thursday, October 17, 2013

    Some thoughts on choreography

    Two blog posts about how to go about creating choreography (especially if you are considering trying it for the first time - hint, hint!). 

    The first deals with things to consider and steps to follow, really helpful if you are new to it.

    The second talks about how we get stuck in choreography "formulas" of what a dance piece "should" look like

    I'm already reserving dance slots for the December show, so if you want one, let me know!

    Wednesday, October 16, 2013

    More videos!

    Combo video

    Entrance of the Stars

    Tuesday, October 8, 2013

    I have 2 Videos for you.  The first is the dance thus far, the second is some combos from the dance that are giving people trouble.

    Best advice, download the music and listen to it regularly so you can start to hear all the nuances of the song.

    Also, a link to tickets for the Unmata show if you are interested in some funky fusion

    Wednesday, October 2, 2013

    Practice Video, Round 2!

    Practice video from Tuesday night (pay attention to the arms on the entrance)

    Inspiration video from the Bellydance Superstars (and the way I learned the dance from Jillina)

    Music is Entrance of the Stars from Bellydance Superstars Vol 2

    Monday, September 30, 2013

    Deep Thoughts :)

    I've been doing a lot of thinking about my dancing lately, mostly spurred by my Essence of Bellydance workshops with Jill and Mira as well as private lessons with Gina and Aziza Nawal.  A couple of things I came across in my reading

    1.  15 Amazing dancers share their secrets to developing a personal style.

    2. The TED talk that addresses the "Wonder Woman" stance.  A little long, but thoroughly fascinating.

    Wednesday, September 25, 2013

    Practice video!

    Don't forget about Saturday's show!

    Video from last night

    The video from the first time I taught this (although I have made a few changes)

    Friend me on Facebook if you want!  I'm Samira Bellydance!

    Tuesday, September 17, 2013

    Hafla this weekend!

    Mahsati is hosting a hafla at the Healing Arts Centre this Sunday from about 6:30-9:00.  There will be a handful of performances (including me!) and lots of free dancing to both live drumming and recorded music!  There will also be a henna artist there working her magic!  Come have fun and shimmy with us!

    Dress is whatever you want to wear, you can be as sparkly as you like or don't like.

    How to get to the Healing Arts Centre:

    834 Prince Avenue, Athens, GA 30606 (click on the link for a map!)
    From Milledge
    Go north on Milledge until it dead ends into Prince Avenue (at the Dunkin Doughnuts).  Turn left and take the first right onto Lyndon and park behind the building (which will be on your left.)
    From Prince
    Head out of town on Prince Avenue.  Stay in the right hand lane.  When you reach the light at the Dunkin Doughnuts, go through the light and take the first right onto Lyndon and park behind the building (which will be on your left.)
    From Loop 10
    Exit at the Prince Avenue exit.  Go down past the Health Sciences campus and Athens Regional Medical Center.  Get into the left hand lane at the light at the Citgo station/Chase street (which will be on your left).  You will pass the Healing Arts Centre and then turn left onto Lyndon.  Park behind the building (which will be on your left.)

    Tuesday, September 10, 2013

    Inspiration videos and a bit of a rant :)

    I'm going to post a few videos from some of the teachers I took workshops from this weekend.  Three very different styles, but all wonderful.  Before I get to the video goodness, I wanted to talk about some things I have seen in the last few workshops and classes I have seen.  I hope that in the future some of you will keep dancing and may become workshop attendees and I don't want you to make these same mistakes.
    • Don't carry on a long conversation while the instructor is talking/teaching.  Brief whispered comments are fine, but an in depth discussion of where you are eating dinner is not.
    • Don't wear coin hip scarves, they make it hard for everyone (including you) to hear the instructor.  If you feel the need to bring one, always have a "quiet" backup if you realize you are the only one wearing one.
    • Only video the instructor or other attendees when the instructor gives you permission.  This is their intellectual property and their source of income, they should have control over what is done with it.  
    • If you are asked not video at show, don't.  Many workshop instructors have clauses in the contracts concerning when they can be filmed and what can be done with that footage and sometimes filming comes with an additional charge.  That clause usually also specifies that is audience members are filming, it is the sponsors responsibility to put a stop to it.
    • If you are allowed to film the instructor/other students only share it with other attendees, you paid for this, not all your classmates.
    • If you perform, have a coverup on when you are not on stage - it's just polite.
    Ok, enough rant - on to the yummy.  You will notice that all of these are legitimately posted on youtube, none are shady illegal videos.

    Mira Betz - this is inspired by her journey through dance.  

    Jill Parker (shes the cute one in the middle in the first part)  Notice the amazing fluidity, especially in the 2nd song.

    Sadie - she is know for her intricately layered drum solos and precision movements

    Friday, August 30, 2013

    Upcoming shows and workshops!

    Saturday, Sept 7 - Essence of Bellydance Workshops and Show in Atlanta sponsored by Atlanta Fusion Bellydance  There may still be workshop space available and show is going to be amazing!!!

    Sunday, Sept 22 - Athens Rak's own Mahsati is sponsoring the Mabon Hafla beginning at 6:30 pm.  Donation based (suggested $5-$8) this will be a mix of performances, live drumming, and free dancing.  Any proceeds will go to Project Safe.

    Just announced, there will be a drumming workshop before the hafla!!!  Check out the facebook page for details!

    Saturday, Sept 28 - Sulukule ishosting a dance workshop by Aziza Nawal (may already be sold out), drumming workshops with Denys and a show that night at Hendershots!

    Saturday, Oct 5 - World Bellydance Alliance Preview Show at Pera Dance Studio.  No times posted but this is going to be a free preview of the full show they are debuting in February.

    Saturday, October 12 - Jaki Hawthorne (LOVE HER!!) is teach Bollywood in Augusta

    November 9-10 - Amy Sigil of Unmata sponsored by Atlanta Fusion Bellydance 

    November 16 - Vany of Augusta teaching Tango and Samira (ME!) teaching cane in Athens, with hafla that night!

    2 Events next year
    Jan 16-19 - Suhaila in Atlanta  She will kick your butt and you will like it!  Also, she is bringing her entire band to do a full length live show!

    February 21-23 TribalCon - the Mamas and Papas - Awesome line up of teachers.  Both shows will be amazing

    Technique Videos
    For Ramsey Intermediates - Review of Arabic 1-6

    Monday, August 12, 2013


    Below is all the information you will need to know for my class this semester.  However, if you have any other questions, please contact me. 

    I'm excited to get this semester off the ground!

    Belly Dance with Samira

    Tuesday, April 23, 2013

    Last minute performance reminders!

    Check this out!

    Final practice Sunday.  Beginners be at Ramsey at 6, Intermediate be there no later than 6:30!

    Wednesday, April 17, 2013

    Makeup Inspiration

    As you're planning your costuming, don't forget jewelry and makeup.  Bigger is always better ;)

    Some of my favorite places to go for makeup inspiration

    Lauren Luke - has her own makeup line but does awesome celebrity inspired makeup

    Arabic Eyes Tutorial is here, here, and here - all different variations of the smokey look

    And for the ultra dramatic looks - check out Doe Deere's blog

    Tuesday, April 9, 2013

    Tuesday, April 2, 2013

    Videos round 6

    Ramsey Beginner video from tonight.  This is the entire dance (don't panic if you missed class), we did not finish it all, but I went ahead and filmed it.  We got through the second time we do the hip circle/arabesque combo. 

    Ramsey Intermediate Video from tonight.  The end will make more sense next week when everyone is back. 

    Wednesday, March 27, 2013

    Show Information, Flyer and Videos

    The show information handout (with costuming hints) can be found at

    The Flyer in jpg format for posting on Facebook and emailing is below

    Video for Ramsey Intermediates (Ramsey beginners, use last weeks video - 2 posts down)

    Sunday, March 24, 2013

    Blinged out eyes

    In case you ever need over the top sparkly eyes......

    Tuesday, March 19, 2013

    videos round 5

    Lawn Ouynack 3/19

    Raks Bedeya (ignore the ending)

    Saturday, March 16, 2013

    New Music Link!!

    I re-edited the music for Ramsey Intermediates to shorten it ans smooth out the edits.  The new link is here

    Thursday, March 7, 2013

    Walk through videos

    In case you need to see the dance a little slower for the parts you are confused on, here they are.  If you want to practice with music, see the post from earlier this week  Please excuse my exhausted face!

    Lawn Ouynack

    Arabesque turn we have been working on

    Raks Bedeya

    Tuesday, March 5, 2013

    Videos Round 4!

    I may post walkthrough videos without music this weekend, so check back!

    Lawn Ouynack

    Raks Bedeya

    Thursday, February 28, 2013

    Video round 3

    Posting this via mobile device so it looks a little weird

    Lawn Ouynack

    Raks Bedeya

    Tuesday, February 19, 2013

    Practice Videos, round 1

    For Ramsey Beginners

    For Ramsey intermediates

    Link to edited music

    And the Bellydance Superstars interpretation of the dance

    Interested in doing Shimmymob?  go to

    Thursday, February 7, 2013

    Upcoming Workshops

    Calendar listing from Yalla Ya'll website with notes about some of the workshops.


    Tuesday, February 5, 2013

    A few practice videos for beginners



    And for intermediates, the combo we used to emphasize the importance of looking somewhere other than straight ahead.

    Sunday, February 3, 2013

    Videos Galore

    For of those who didn't see it on Facebook, here is one of Tito Seif's latest performances

    For beginners, Lawn Ouynack with English Subtitles

    Here is the official music video (with a slightly longer version of the song)

    And here is an older version of the dance you will be learning

    And finally, if the 3/4 shimmies are difficult for you, check these two videos out

    Saturday, January 26, 2013

    For my beginners - a good sources for hip scarves is

    A few fun videos

    Beautiful troupe work