Saturday, March 21, 2015

6 Week Belly Dance Intensive (Zills Optional)

REGISTER BY MARCH 28th  |  Email

For this session, there is an *INTRO TO ZILLS* option.

Bring your zills to the first class. We will go over instructions to prepare your zills for practice.
What to look for when purchasing zills (finger cymbals)?
1) Always buy zills in sets of four, you will use two in each hand
2) They should be bronze or brass, look for "A Grade Zills"
3) They come in difference sizes, a good size for beginners is 2" in diameter
4) I recommend the ones with 2 slots side by side (instead of one single hole) This is for the elastic that will go around your finger.
5) Some come with elastic, some don't it's okay, You can purchase a small piece of elastic from your local crafts store.
Where to Buy Zills?
You can find them online or many local middle eastern shops.
Sound varies according to size, shape, and quality of the cymbals. If you want higher quality, my favorites (and my most recent purchase) Suhaila's:
Another high quality option that I would also recommend
Amazon also offers finger cymbals, these are less expensive and are a great option for students being introduced to zills:…/ob…/ASIN/B00E4XRPGQ/artofmiddleeaste

Friday, February 27, 2015

CLASS SCHEDULE: Belly Dance New Orleans

Belly Dancing classes will be held at
NOLA Spaces (uptown)
1719 Toledano St. New Orleans, LA 70115


Join us for Class:
Thursday, March 19 (7:30pm-8:30pm) LEVEL I TECHNIQUE
Saturday, March 21 (10:30am-11:30am) OPEN LEVEL
Thursday, March 26 (7:30pm-8:30pm) LEVEL I TECHNIQUE
Saturday, March 28 (10:30am-11:30am) OPEN LEVEL


Also in March:
Tuesdays: March 24 and March 31 (6:15pm-7:00pm)

We will meet across from NOMA  (if you are facing the museum on the grassy area to the left)
> Family friendly class (lots of room for partners and kiddos to hang out while we hold class in our relaxed, yet structured goddess circle :)



Sign up for this 6 week Belly Dance Intensive (4 week option available)
via EventBrite | PayPal using the "Send Money" option
or email for Cash/Check registration process.


Awaken the Goddess Belly Dance Retreat and Finger Cymbals basics coming this June at
Details to come... You won't want to miss this!!!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Our New 6-week Session Starts this Saturday!

Our New Session Starts this Saturday!

This will be a 6-week Open Level Class (held on the last two Saturdays of Jan, Feb, and Mar from 10:30am-11:30am at NOLA Spaces- Uptown)

1/24, 1/31
2/21, 2/28
3/21, 3/28

During this session we will:

> Tone & Strengthen our Legs, Glutes, Core, Arms.

> Focus on Drills: Repetitive Practice of Belly Dancing movements

> Learn 14 Belly Dancing movements at the Level 1/2

> Learn 2 step sequences/combos

This is an OPEN Level class. This means "Drop ins" are welcome to any and all classes in this session. New students join class each week. The movements and combos will be broken down to allow for new students to join in and learn the moves. Each week we will go over these 14 belly dancing moves through drills in order to build muscle memory and truly understand the steps.

> For current students, this will be an exciting session for you too, with new material and all new moves and combos!

Expect a full body workout and lots of sweating. (Bring water. YOU WILL NEED A YOGA MAT (or bath towel) for the WARM UP & the COOL DOWN)

What to expect after 6 weeks? 
If you attend all classes, you will have mastered the footwork and arm work in the combos, will have learned all 14 movements,  and will be ready to start working on the improving technique and layering.

If you are not able to make it to every class, or are a Drop in, you will be able to familiarize yourself with the footwork and movements, enough to follow along and get a basic understanding of belly dance. The drills allow for this :)

* For those ladies also taking the Thursday 4-week Technique class (2/19, 2/26, 3/19, 3/26), the 2 combos learned in the Saturday class + the 3 combos we will learn in the Thursday class make up a 3:00 minute choreography! It's super fun!!!!! You will have a great time learning the movements and combos... Can't wait!!

***You can also expect a shrinking waistline and major toning of your abs, legs, glutes, and arms!!! The goal is to drill the moves using the same muscle groups each week so we can build muscle memory, tone, and strengthen those bods***

Friday, January 9, 2015

It takes a Village: for a mama to get to Belly Dancing!

Thanks to my loving husband and sweet boys who have supported my passion for belly dance. 

With a family of five there are always a myriad of plans. Some are fun activities and events, but truth be told...  most are not optional, very demanding, and important household to dos. It's easy as a mother, wife, and professional to lose oneself in the daily to dos and obligations. This leaves us with very little energy to even think of what we might spend our "free time" on. Not to mention, there is really no such thing. 

When I am home, with "nothing to do", I am already on a "to do", running a load of laundry, washing the dishes, checking homework, picking up dirty clothes and shoes from the living room, doing bills, cooking, changing diapers, finding a lost cleat or soccer ball, caring for an injury, making a grocery list, or directing traffic and mobilizing the individuals I call my children so they can be productive. This requires energy and stamina, as well. They WILL NOT listen to me the first time when asked to clean, so it requires a few loops around to get the visual and the audio that comes with the command. Then... I have raised boys that will not get pushed around, that have a sense of pride in themselves, and that enjoy team work. This means, if I am going to require that they work and be happy doing it. I have to model the behavior... so there is no "mami lying on the couch watching TV" while they bust butt... oh no, at my house, it is through action (mine, of course) that I inspire any sort of productivity :) which I am happy to do because with 3 boys, we need to get that thick air moving and cleared out, if you know what I mean!?

So, why I am getting all long and winded about this. Because I want to make it abundantly clear that it is not easy to make time for "myself". The fact that I do, and I have been for 9 years makes it appear as if it is. It is not! And when you have a family... it is not only a commitment on your own, but it must also be a family commitment. It is difficult to force myself to be active. It is almost, near impossible to find the time and/or energy to even "think" about myself, let alone my body, and forget about my mind or emotional state. If I don't make this commitment for myself, it is even more difficult for my family, my husband, my children, and much less my friends and employer to know that this is important. Carving out time for "me" so I can dance with a group of women/friends on a weekly basis (sometimes twice a week) is like a DREAM for a mother of three, professional, and entrepreneur, and very very hard to reach. But I am 100% committed to making it happen and so are my boys (to helping me make it happen)! It starts with me. It is important. It is difficult. But it IS possible. 

So... everyday, when I show up, at my belly dancing class, I congratulate myself for doing it, for taking the time, and appreciate myself for paying attention to my heart and my body. Then I thank and appreciate the beautiful students that show up each class that have no idea what they have done for me all these years.

It starts with one commitment.... then, it turns into one week at a time, to 1 month at a time, to 1 year at a time, to now 9 years of regular, weekly belly dance practice, and 6 years of those as weekly belly dance instruction, 4 years of weekly yoga practice, 3 years of Kundalini yoga studies, 2 years of weekly energy work and meditation practice, 1 year of Reiki studies and practice, 6 months of reflexology studies, and the moments and spaces keep opening up. They are an incredible gift to my heart and spirit directly from God. I can't believe I ever said no to all of it.

So, each class, I go home and I hug my hubby and my babies and thank them for "holding down the fort" for those couple of hours per week, for entertaining my energetic discussions about how amazing and beautiful my belly dancing lovelies are, and for listening to my conversations about the glute pulses or hip shimmies that we converted into Egyptian shimmies, the energy that was balanced at my clearing, the strong connection I felt to the guardians and angels at a session, their chant preference for a particular cool down, etc. They know this time is sacred for me and they know it rejuvenates my soul and my spirit and they know it provides me with the SISTERHOOD I need to make it through this crazy daily routine.

They don't giggle at my belly dancing skills, they don't roll their eyes when I say I have a performance or do a fire clearing, they don't try to convince me that this is not a "real" job. They don't judge, they just support and love me.

Many days and weekends we have spent, driving around town, meeting with studio owners, negotiating prices, signing rental agreements, and finding the perfect location for my classes. They humor me asking them for Marketing ideas when I am organizing sessions and posting my craiglist, blog, or facebook listings. They do a line up to smell essential oil combinations and help me pick the perfect one. They know how seriously I take it and they support me as a family.

If I'm too tired to drive, they drive me to class, if we have a must-do activity that might challenge the family schedule, they wait for me at the sport store or park, or restaurant and engage in their own fun while I'm in class, if there is homework and housework.... well, they usually wait for me for that one! But at least they are ready with a big glass of ice and water when I walk in and say "Hey ma! How was your class? Did you have a good time? We were waiting for you cause we wanted to eat dinner with you."

Long story, short, I feel supported in my quest to UNDERSTAND MY BODY, TO LOVE MY BODY, TO CONNECT WITH MY SPIRIT, AND TO HEAL MY SOUL SO THAT IT SHINES BRIGHT :) Belly Dance, yoga, Reiki, and all the things it comes with...brings me closer and closer each day.

All this to say that it has been a dream for so many years to train with the best and get deeper and better at my practice. I have had many opportunities with Yoga and Reiki, but not Belly Dancing, not like this. Finally, the shimmy doors open up and it is my time! I have actively looked for opportunities to train with Suhailia Salimpour the last 2 years. My students and I have belly danced to every Drum Solo by Issam Houshan and now I get to dance to him LIVE. With thousands of Suhaila's Intensive programs and workshops all around the world... Taipei, Belgium, UK, Canada, Mexico, it's been difficult to find one that I can attend. But it is finally happening, right in my backyard.

ATLANTA, here we come! And in September it's off to Austin! Finally, next weekend, I take the first step towards my Belly Dance Certification. 

I cannot tell you how my spirit feels at this very moment. Neglect, fear, sadness and sorrow brought me to belly dancing in 2005. A single mom, with a defeated and lost heart. Today, I am a new person. This time, I arrive at Belly dancing with a beautiful, loving husband, and my happy, healthy, gorgeous boys. We all hop in a car smiling, and with a grateful heart that is filled with love and joy! On our way to mami's Belly Dancing training :)

I'm a little excited, as you can tell! :) Definitely looking forward to this wonderful experience.

Namaste y'all and hope I see you at Belly Dancing this year!
I'm gonna be burning with passion for the dance and ready with new skills and techniques to share!
It's gonna be a great year!