Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Better late than never :)

Look back a few weeks for links to music.

Beginners - the final product!!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2T32UykPKoM

Video of a previous performance https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKcax-7ktPU

Intermediates - final versions of both dances

Enta Omri - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6ZZPtRCl48

Magic carpet -https://youtu.be/dWDDq2WT-S4

And Enta Omir from when my troupe performed it https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOP0-inQK3s

Friday, October 9, 2015

Beginners - see last week's post below for practice video.

Here is a past performance of your dance https://youtu.be/RKcax-7ktPU

Intermediates - Practice videos!!

Enta Omri - https://youtu.be/m6ZZPtRCl48

Magic Carpet - https://youtu.be/cB3Vn8D8Q2g

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Videos, music and a thank you

Before I get to the videos, I wanted to thank all of you for being such wonderful students.  This last chemo has hit me pretty hard and there were times I wondered why I was still trying to teach.  Class last week reminded me why.  Thank you for working hard and making me smile.  Being in class is one of the few times I can forget that I have cancer and just focus on something I love. 

Beginners - remember to watch or practice this at least 3 times before Thursday

Link to music Batwannes Beek https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwbElWTUF2rxSE1HYXNqVzZHeVE/view?usp=sharing

Link to video on youtube
https://youtu.be/khELDoPZyLY

Intermediates- remember to practice this at least 3 times before class next week

Link to music - Enta Omri by Khalas and Magic Carpet Ride by Steppenwolf
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwbElWTUF2rxaXZVc2V0VkRWTjg/view?usp=sharing

Link to video
https://youtu.be/F4W9TzmUGRY

Information about the workshop coming up on the 27th.  Tempest is an innovator in fusion dance and if you are looking to inject more emotion in your dance, this would be a good place to start

Dancing Darkly: THE Introduction to the Art of Gothic Bellydance

Gothic Belly Dance is the union of Middle Eastern Dance with the aesthetic, sound, and emotion of the Gothic subculture. More than just a look or a sojourn into alternative music, discover the theatrical elegance and drama that truly gives "Raks Gothique" its soul essence, from Tempest - creator of the Gothic Belly Dance Resource (www.gothicbellydance.com). We'll discuss and illustrate the concepts that create the necessary foundation for this dance, and focus on key technical elements for performance, including movement, attitude, aesthetic, and presentation. All levels welcome.

$40 pre-paid before October 20, 2015; $50 at the door.

Contact Rajni for payment options- we can accept cash, check, or Credit card. Inbox Rajni for information regarding check and credit card payments for the early bird rate!

Please note that this payment link will say "Send money to Victor." That's Mark, my husband.
https://www.paypal.me/RajniQamar

***Please note: we need a minimum of 10 paid registrants to hold this workshop.***

Thursday, September 10, 2015

1st Practice videos

This lovely lady is one of the reasons I am canceling class next week!  The mama of tribal fusion - Jill Parker https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubY7LOa5qIE

And some cool bellydance hip hop fusion from Korea! (with an amazing drum solo) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOgRUVwxSv4&list=PLE01J3cYot2HeBD74KFin7ayn_1hWCssz

Ramsey Beginners -here is a video of the choreography, featuring me with hair!  You do not know all of this - just the first half

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJxSaS-sxDE

A review of the hip bump combo and the hip drop combo - slowly and without music

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRQJz7tEYHc

And finally a review of regular and 3/4 shimmies

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXhpU2Tho08

Ramsey Intermediates -  don't forget there is a review of the arabics at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxlhnfbXtK8&feature=youtu.be

Practice video for sidewinders https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubY7LOa5qIE

Video for Enta Omri. (Music is by Khalas) http://youtu.be/sX3ffPLXxFk

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Welcome back and what I have been up to!

For all of you returning dancers who don't keep up with me on Facebook, I have had a very busy (but unfortunately not exciting) summer.  I was diagnosed with breast cancer the first week in June so my summer was a whirlwind of doctor's appointments, tests, and treatments.  Because of the type of cancer I have, I am having chemo first then surgery.  I just finished my 3rd of 6 chemo treatments about a week ago and should have my last one the first week of October.  It has been going pretty well and the side effects have been manageable.  I am currently bald, and wigs are hot, so I will be in scarves and headcovers in class. Then, depending on the type of surgery I decide to have, I will have surgery and then maybe radiation (which I may get to skip since my lymph nodes don't seems to be involved).  My current goal is to try to put off major surgery if I decide to have it until after the fall show, which gives me over a month to recover before spring semester starts.

What does this mean for classes at Ramsey?  First of all, they will be happening!  There will be a couple of weeks where I may be moving slowly, but I can still teach.  For the Beyond Basics class this may mean you drill while I watch instead of me dancing the entire time with you some nights.  Right now I am planning to teach one of my old dances my former troupe member and I created (to a remix of Steppenwolf's "Magic Carpet Ride) along with possibly a short dance by Mardi Love to Dandaro.  Or we may learn one of my dances to part of the heavy metal version of Enta Omri  Either of those progresses from smooth and gooey to high energy and fun.

Working on trying to figure out the best time for the show in the next few weeks and getting ready to see all of you back on the 20th!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Show Videos

Feel free to share these links with anyone you would like, however, they will only be able to access them with the link, the videos are not public

Lawn Ouynack
https://youtu.be/aYFLCdLoFOU

Warda
https://youtu.be/uxoHkMZ5NG0

Playlist of the entire show

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLi4p5Uf6hg1TRTfJwKWVIKF1DkTBk-Apv

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Before we get to the videos, a little one sided discussion.  This was sparked by both some conversations with some young dancers at the Fatheim workshop in North Carolina and some things we were talking about in my intermediate class on Monday.  By "young" or "baby" dancer, I mean dancers who have been dancing for less than a couple of years. 

Any type of performance art is scary, to both newbies and old pros.  This is especially true of dance - I teach and choreograph dance so that your shoulders are back, arms are out, head is up and chest is open.   But from a purely animal standpoint, that very stance is vulnerable, you're exposing all your delicate soft spots and even your heart to people.  When we do this, we are opening ourselves up and we all are afraid of what feedback we may be getting.  I actually find feedback from other people the easiest to deal with, either it is valid and from someone I respect as knowing their stuff or if is from someone clueless and I can blow it off.  The clueless are easy to deal with, since I know their comments come with no knowledge of what is right or how challenging even simple dance is.

What is harder to deal with is making yourself vulnerable to your own feedback.  I find that this is what stops most of us in our tracks.  We put so much pressure on ourselves to be "perfect" (whatever that means) that we forget what is important.  What is important is the doing, the fact that we are dancing at all.  We tend to compare ourselves to others and sometimes in our dance classes, we end up comparing ourselves to people with more talent or a stronger dance background.  A 3 or 6 month dancer, no matter how much western dance training they have, will never have the dance ability of someone with years of experience.  Your body is still internalizing the moves and the ability to do them effortlessly.  Add to that the fact that many of us are still figuring out who we are as a dancer or as a person and we can easily tell ourselves we aren't "good enough."  Unless you are getting paid to dance or performing on a juried workshop stage, there is no "good enough" standard you have to reach, it is in your head.  And your head makes things so much bigger than they really are.

One of my favorite former students struggled with learning technique and choreography.  Her first few solos, it was obvious she was terrified and she struggled.  But every show she got a little better, she kept working, practicing and pushing herself.  We all loved watching her grow as a dancer through those performances.   We sometimes are afraid that we will disappoint our class or troupemates, but that is the beauty of dancing in groups, there is always someone there to support you.  Every dancer will have a bad performance at some point and your classmates will step in and support you, just like you support them.  My troupe is an example of this and it especially hits home when the person have a bad night is me.  Yep, I am my worst enemy and luckily my dance partner in crime (Mahsati) and my husband will snap me out of it.  What I am trying to say is that we are all in this together and if you are dancing, you can't let down your classmates.  Why?  Because you are doing the work, doing the dancing, doing what you can, and you are doing what I expect.  Notice, I didn't say doing your best because some days that just isn't going to happen, but what will happen will be enough.  Brene Brown in "Gifts of Imperfection" points out that we need to remind ourselves that "I am enough."   Enough for what you ask?  Enough for everything you need right now, if we constantly wait to be perfect, we will never get anywhere.

That turned into a mini rant.   Now go digest it.  While you do that I'm going to sit here and try to take my own advice - I'm totally guilty of letting my fear of not being good enough stop me from doing lots of things....... Thoughts on all this?  Message me :)

Beginners video is on last week's post.  Your goal, practice the dance 5 times before I see you again.

Intermediates - video is below, both the 95% version and the 100% version.  Try to practice with either 3-5 times before next Monday.  We will spend about 45 minutes of class each of the next 4 classes working on the dance.  In other words - you will be doing it in your sleep when I get done with you.  Feel free to ask for me to breakdown sections before or during class.

Rebecca found this breakdown of how to bellyroll she wanted to share
 http://www.wikihow.com/Belly-Roll

95%  http://youtu.be/op6MSeTi7iM

100%  http://youtu.be/O9c7PpaTdlw

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Videos and advice

A little workshop (and sometimes class) advice

http://www.deeprootsdance.com/2015/03/dance-workshop-etiquette-101.html

Beginners - final product

https://youtu.be/c-znG5f_VdQ

Intermediates - what we have so far.  We will finish it next week

http://youtu.be/y1SM1efGOfQ

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Before we get to practice videos, here's a little fun fusion gem for you.  I had never seen Bagoas dance before, but he is quite the performer.  If you have never seen fusion, it is when you mix and meld traditional middle eastern dance with non middle eastern dance and/or music which makes it an extremely broad category.  Keep in mind that he is also insanely flexible and strong, which is how he is able to do some of this stuff safely.  For my intermediates, I want you to be on the lookout for a couple of things we have been working on.
1.  Fluidity and interconnectedness - notice how moves just melt into each other.  There are times that moves never have a clear beginning or end but flow seamlessly.
2.  The music - he clearly knows every beat of this music and uses his dance to play off of musical accents
3.  Layers, layers and more layers - he uses 1, 2, or 3 layers at the same time, often adding them at different times to build suspense in his dance.  Yes, layers are a kick butt brain teaser, but when you begin to master them it opens up a whole new world of possibilities.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/OolRgah9ojo

Ramsey Beginners - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8WuZfw3iMAs This includes the shimmy section that we will learn after spring break.  All we have done so far is through the grapevines.

Ramsey Intermediates - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwyrEG_9PQg

Have a wonderful spring break!!!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Practice videos

Ramsey beginners - this video has the tricky arabesque combo on the end so you can see what it looks like.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/MVgnyNoq698


Ramsey Intermediates - Warda

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agrYSIFOI1g

Friday, February 13, 2015

A few blogs for you to read


Neat interview about "old school" dance.  I love the ways she addresses the issue of how Arabic audiences view the dancer as well as the views most traditional middle easterners have about dancers.  If you look at the last picture, it is a picture of Maya Medwar, the dancer Jamila Salimpour named the "maya" after.

http://shes-got-hips.com/blog/

Another blog post from one of my favorite dancers, Aziza Nawal.  She is a fabulous performer and I am so happy she and other Atlanta dancers are working so hard to keep the dance community alive and growing in Atlanta.  That benefits us Athens dancers when we have those resources so close by.  http://azizaraks.net/?p=774

And a bellydance costuming blog! http://www.sparklybelly.com/how-to-make-a-belly-dance-bra-2-measure-cut-make-straps/

Happy shimmies!!  Stay warm!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Videos and Show Date!!

We have a show date!!  Wednesday, April 29 at 7:30 at the 40 Watt!

For Beginners

Song is Lawn Oyounack by Nancy Arjam from "Super Hits of Nancy Arjam"

Here is an old practice video (I'm still a blonde!) with what we learned this week plus what we will do next week

https://www.youtube.com/embed/nU1j7qF9I4Y

For Intermediates

Song is "Warda" by Warda from "Bellydance Superstars" (Volume 1)

Video of what we have so far

https://www.youtube.com/embed/IltiINNxL7Y

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Welcome and some fun resources

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

For my intermediates, here is a video on sidewinders


For everyone a little practice video.  For beginners, if we haven't learned it yet, this will give you a little preview of the next few weeks


Friday, January 2, 2015

Videos from December!!

FREE WEEK at Ramsey this week!!  Beginners at 5:30 on Monday in Studio A and Intermediates at 7:00 in Studio B!!  See you there!!

Batwannis Beek



Habibi Ya Eini



Drum Solo



The Playlist for the entire show can be found at  http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLi4p5Uf6hg1RiTdM_jEUZW_81WNttcXSV