Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Over the summer I will be hosting Adriana Lira of Brazil, for a weekend of workshops in New York (more about that in the weeks to come!). All this thinking of workshops has got me reflecting on my own workshop experiences and what I liked and disliked about them.

Most recently, I attended a workshop by Fahtiem, and one by Suhaila. Although the workshops were held on the same day, that was about the only thing that was similar about them!

The Suhaila workshop was intense. Suhaila is amazing, and I do love her dance style. However, I think her style is one that is better learned over time, and not in a three hour workshop. The class I took was on drum solos, and Suhaila uses a lot of layering in her drum solo work. I consider myself good at layering, but I felt like an uncoordinated goofball during this class. The movements that Suhaila incorporated into this dance were outrageous - I felt that only the most seasoned Suhaila student would walk away from that class feeling like they knew what they were doing.

The Fahtiem workshop was definitely more my speed. Fahtiem is a like a butterfly - her moves are effortless and she floats, rather than dances. I also found her to use a lot of jazz and lyrical type moves (not a shimmy in sight, actually), which were very easy for me to pick up, considering my dance background.

I left Fahtiem's workshop feeling like I had accomplished something. I had a choreography I could remember, and use, and I was enjoying myself during the class. I think all of these things are key to making a workshop successful for the individual dancer. It was definitely worth it for me.

So, what workshops have you taken? Who was your favorite? Why? Are there some things that make or break a workshop for you?


cinderelly said...

i have taken a costumes workshop, and a veils workshop. i LOVED the veils! as for the costumes one, i took it and ran with it, having started making harem pants and cholis like mad! my next (bellydance) project is a circle skirt, i think.

Amy said...

Being a tribal girl that is where my workshop experience is at.

Tribal:PURA: there is nothing like studying with the woman who created your dance style.

Zaira (at Triboriginal Dance Camp): I felt like i was getting a look at their entire style while getting good detail information. Great teachers, lots of fun!

Domba!: African influenced moves at 10am? Sure! High energy, very cool ladies.

kara :) said...

I have taken three very different workshops… My first workshop was a cane workshop sponsored through Daniela. It was very knowledgeable with the exception that the instructor seemed to not to remember the chorography she was attempting to teach. I did take away a new appreciation for props that day.

The second, a Zill workshop given by Daniela was extremely helpful and we learned different rhythms and how to break them down. The workshop helped me a great deal with the zills.

The last workshop was my official introduction to Tribal. A friend and I took a tribal workshop with Susan Frankovich from Bellyqueen (hence Daniela’s Blog on Pledging Your Alliance…I am one of her guilty students). This was intriguing because tribal was brand new to me. I love cabaret belllydancing but wanted to try something new. The workshop was a great experience and made me want to further an interest in the tribal form.

I am looking forward to the workshops with Adriana Lira. Daniela, you can count me there.