CONFERENCE TOPICS

Workshop and lecture topic details are listed below.  Topics include technique, combinations, folklore, tribal style, fusion, and much much more.  There is a little something for everyone. Click here to see the full schedule

All workshops, lectures and panel discussions will be held at the Monroe Convention Center.  The keynote address will be held at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater.


PRINTABLE TOPIC LIST

(includes registration tips)


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KEYNOTE ADDRESS

The Times They Are a-Changin' 
The keynote will reflect the changes Ruby Jazayre has seen in the Middle Eastern Dance World since she began her dance career in 1978.  

PANEL DISCUSSIONS

Belly Dance History and Culture
Panelists: Donna Carlton, Katya Faris, Raksanna and Shira
Panel Moderator: Ruby Jazayre

Ethics in Belly Dance
Panelists: Ava Fleming, Cassandra Shore, Deb Rubin and Ruby Jazayre
Panel Moderator: Leila Gamal


LECTURE TOPICS
 

CASSANDRA SHORE
A Working Dancer’s Life
Making a living as a professional performer of Raqs Sharqi 1975-2010. Sharing experiences, trends, fads, fun and folly.

DONNA CARLTON
Little Egypt: Updates and Anecdotes
The author of Looking for Little Egypt shares further tidbits and anecdotes about the notorious entertainer known as Little Egypt.

JEANA JORGENSEN
Communicating through Cholis: Group Identity and Aesthetics in Tribal Belly Dance Costumes
Lecture description: Belly dance costumes, especially in tribal style belly dance, exhibit folkloric characteristics in terms of their creation, assemblage, and communication. This lecture will use an academic folklore studies framework to help interpret the many meanings of belly dance costumes in various contexts.

KATYA FARIS
Raqsat Katya - "The Dances of Katya":  Music-Making in the Bellydance World in Detroit, Michigan
Since 2012 Katya has been performing as a raqs sharqi bellydancer in the largest Arab American community in North America, Detroit, Michigan.  This CD is a labor of love and it showcases the musicians that Katya has come to know and the music that we love.  In this lecture Katya will give you a window into the dance music that makes that community thrive, and the musicians behind it.  

RAKSANNA
Egyptian Belly Dance: From Ancient Pharaohs to President Sisi
Belly dance is the oldest recorded dance in human history. Its roots trace back more than 6,000 years to hieroglyphs carved into the walls of ancient Egyptian temples. Today, Egypt is still considered the homeland of belly dance with modern artists gracing the stage. Get a historic perspective of the dance and the dancers, discover the legends and meet some of today’s hottest Egyptian stars in this interactive educational workshop.

SHIRA
Before Tahia
Glimpse through a window into the past, and discover the fascinating stories of the great dancers who achieved stardom in the century before Badia Masabni and her dancers ushered in the modern era of Egyptian dance.

The Queen of Theaters
Shira’s lecture will take you back through time for a look at the theatrical techniques employed by memorable artists of the past 150 years and the experience they created for their audiences. Explore how Egyptian stars brought theatrical spark to their dance while preserving its Oriental essence.

Egyptian & Tribal: Sibling Rivalry, Sisterly Love
Join Shira in examining the family relationship between Egyptian and tribal style dance – what they have in common, and how they conflict.


WORKSHOP TOPICS


RUBY JAZYRE
"An Evening of Love" - Variations on a Theme
Choreographic concepts that utilize several steps, creating dynamic patterns with variations throughout a popular Egyptian Song, Leilet Hob.

AVA FLEMING
Present your Best
Ava is going to redesign you from the inside out.  Every step and breath you take will never be the same.

Drum Solo with a Twist
Take your shimmy to the next step.  Redo and relearn how to engage and entrance your audience in an unexpected manner full of surprise.

The Soul of Roxanne
Emotion, Strength, Vulnerability, Stage Dynamics and more the Soul of Roxanne examines why this piece brings people to tears every time they see it, because they feel it.

Conduct your Orchestra
You are the visual representation of the music, now learn how to conduct it so you entrance your audience 

Technically Savvy
Refine your technique and keep your body safe.  Having a strong background in Anatomy and Physiology Ava will teach you how to keep your body safe.  Perfect for all dancers and incredible for teachers.

Combonique
Made for you and only you, these combinations will only never be taught again. Enjoy and give your dance a spice never before seen or used.

Classic Ava
What makes Ava, Ava?  A lot.  Ingredients, Tools, Heat, Spice.

Embrace Your Grace
Be the personification of grace and take your ability to the next level.  Based on your personal ability and in your own "box," "circle," "hexagon," or what ever shape you want to be.  Come and take your personal ability up a notch or fifty.

CASSANDRA SHORE
Baladi
A class focused on how to listen to and interpret the delicious accordion phrases and call and response of the classic Egyptian urban baladi style.

Egyptian Ghawazee Style
The Ghawazee are the professional public or street dancers of Egypt. There are Ghawazee in almost all inhabited corners of Egypt, with each group performing in a unique regional or family style. The name Ghawazee (invaders of the heart) is commonly translated as “gypsy”, because some of the families trace their roots back to the Rom. They are known for their earthy steps, shimmies and cymbal playing. The class will learn steps and styling of the famous Sa’idi Ghawazee family the Benat Maazin, combine them with cymbals, and experience a costume demonstration. Bring cymbals

Egyptian Sa’idi Style
This class covers steps in the Southern Egyptian (Sa’idi) women’s dance style as well as cane techniques that are unique to women’s style or borrowed from the men’s ritual combat dance (Tahtib).

Arabic Dance Rhythms and How to Use Them
An explanation and demonstration of common Arabic dance rhythms, and how to tailor your dance steps to “get in the groove” with each different rhythm.   

Group Choreography Concepts
Tired of same old dance line? Come and practice some new ideas for choreography! We’ll introduce concepts and try them out in class, so you can see how they work on a practical level. Bring questions!

Oriental Dance Combinations and Phrases
Combinations and phrases of movements and steps are taught, and repeated - not a choreography. We will focus on using Oriental dance techniques to create dynamic combinations that work with much dance music, using different rhythms for variety and to practice the “feel” of each rhythm. This is an energetic class!  Mixed level classes will be provided with challenges for the more advanced dancer while encouraging the beginner to master the basics.

Technique and Combinations with Finger Cymbals
This challenging class similar to the above, but using cymbals continuously throughout the class. Basic, intermediate, or advanced cymbal patterns taught during class so you can work at your level. Bring Cymbals! 

Drum Solos
Class focused on learning how to put together your own drum solos-working with common drum riffs and ways of using them to create a dynamic performance! We’ll talk about how to hear the patterns and dance with creative movement ideas.

Taqasim
The class focus is on the sensual, emotional presentation of the solo instrumentalist improvisation known as taqsim, and how to present and interpret it though our movements. We’ll listen to instruments and work with different movement ideas to open our creativity and feeling.

DEB RUBIN

Arms
Intense focus on arms, shapes, and articulating from the head to the fingertips, helping to embody the slinkiest, most expressive, intentional dancing and posturing possible, and accent your body movements - dancing at any tempo.

Drills & Skills
In this workshop, we will focus on drills and skills to build sharp, smooth isolations; fluid popping and locking technique; and knock-out layering and torso work--enhancing the muscle memory of movement sequences so that it is deeply rooted in your body, and easily accessible for future dancing. 

Shimmie Heaven
Shimmies! All shapes and sizes. Get ready to sweat!  In this workshop, we will focus on proper technique, mechanics, and variations on the tribal shimmy, including tempo changes, layering, and moving across the floor.

Fancy Footwork & Flow
This workshop will focus on traveling steps in tribal fusion, moving across the floor, turns, footwork, layering hip, torso, and arm work over footwork, and developing smooth, sassy transitions between movements to create cohesive combos. 

The Softer Side of Dark
"Dark" does not have to mean "one-dimensional".  In this slow/slinky workshop we will learn how to add shade and dimension to your dark dancing, to draw outdeeper range of emotion--be it meloncholic despair, fire-y anger, or dark longing. 

Locks & Layering
The title says it all. In this workshop we will focus on pops, locks, and de-constructing layering to make it accessible for all levels. 

Engaging the core: Slow & Slinky
In this workshop, we will deepen our slow, ooey-gooey moves to achieve that slinky, sultry, intoxication look and feel of Tribal Bellydance.

Get your Glitch On!
This workshop focuses on pops, locks, ticks, tocks, and glitch. Pulling both from belly dance and hip hop, we will break down isolations and build them back up, exploring the balance between sharp hits and controlled fluidity in your dancing.