BELLY DANCE CLASSES
(Bellydance, Oriental Dance, Mid-Eastern Dance)
Where are you coming from, and where are you going?
Just as important, in tapping into our inner wisdom -- what is the season?
Belly Dance - An Ancient Women's Art Form
Belly dance is a ancient, sensual, and beautiful dance art, typically done by women and for women*.
You can learn to use and build on the most ancient form of women's dance to express the fullness of who you are - your joy and your sadness, your serenity and your tempestousness, your sensuality and yes -- your spiritual essence. Experience of one does not preclude the other, in fact, they are all intertwined. unique among dance arts in that it respects and makes full use of a women's body as particularly being a women's body -- and not an idealization or projection of what men desire.
This means that it -- .
For more: History and Role of Belly Dance
Energy Awareness Through Belly Dance
We understand why many people call this "belly dance." After all, when we are watching a dancer -- her belly is what we often see! And we see her doing wonderful things with it -- movements that absorb our attention.
But our bellies -- wonderful though they are, and critical (with all four muscle layers) to our dance moves - are not the "essence" of our dance.
The "essence" of our movements comes from our sacrum. It comes from integrating whole-body awareness, all the way up and down our spine. (Those of you who have tried cranio-sacral therapy will know that this connection really does exist!)
And did you know that the words "sacred" and "sacrum" have the same root? They literally mean "set apart."
Our "sacred dance time" is something that we "set apart" from the rest of our lives. It is a time that is "sacred," it is just for ourselves.
For more: Esoteric Belly Dance
PS -- If you like this, then also read:
Health and Fitness Benefits
Belly dance gives you a comprehensive, non-impact, total-body workout. We develop our core muscles. (We have a love-hate relationship with an absolute killer 2 1/2-minute oblique-abs workout that we do as part of our warm-ups.)
We warm-up and stretch, we do some dances that get aerobic, and our basic techniques (e.g., hip drops, shimmies, etc.) are the best thing in the world for gluts, hips, and thighs.
What is perhaps most important is that you will learn a new way of "being" in your body -- new Principles for body alignment. You'll learn to pay attention to your body in a different way.
That's what makes belly dance a body art, like tai chi or yoga, rather than simply a good workout.
On a practical note, if you simply learn the Seven Basic Principles in your seven-week Beginner's class, you will probably look as though you've lost weight, feel stronger (and convert some fat to muscle), and probably just feel a lot livelier and sexier than you have in years!
A LITTLE ABOUT THESE "LEVELS" ...
Levels give us clarity about our use of dance as a personal path, as part of our inner evolution. The understanding of these Levels draws from our esoteric Western tradition. Because this approach is a combined body/energy/psyche pathway, the practices supporting our evolution from one Level to another draw from Chinese Taoist energy practices and yoga, as well as traditional women's multicultural dance.
At each Level, we deal with a different aspect of energy work, forming the foundation for our "esoteric dance practice."
On the Road for Business or Pleasure?
All classes are currently held at Alay'nya's private studio in McLean, VA. For DIRECTIONS, please direct emails alaynya AT ("@") alaynya DOT (".") com.
NEW STUDENT STARTER PACKAGE!
Do you want to get started in dance - or help someone special get started?
Enter the world of belly dance, drawing on dance movements from the hills of Spain (Moorish "Zambra") to Upper Egypt's Beledi, from Turkish Rom ("Gypsy") dancing to ancient, archetypal dance patterns.
New Students: Review the Beginner's Course Overview to see lesson plans and study guides.
Beginners: New sessions start each quarter. Classes: Sundays, 11:45 AM - 1:15 PM. See our Calendarfor Open House and course start dates. Free Quarterly Open Houses (September, January, March, and June) providesintroductory mini-lesson plus discount pricing for coming sessions. Seven-week introduction to fundamentals. Introduces seven Static Principles for beautiful dance presentation, along with basic technique, vocabulary, drills, and a simple choreography. Introduces Mid-Eastern dance rhythms and variations in dance style. Introduce use of zills (metal finger cymbals) and veil. (At Instructor's discretion, class may transition to Advanced Beginner level in following season.)
Beginner's Core Curriculum: Principles, techniqiue, choreography. Also Lesson Plan overviews, and "helpful hints." Be sure to check out the Resources (coming) at end of this page!
Advanced Beginner's Classes
Advanced Beginners: Select Beginner's Classes transition to Advanced Beginner's. Students gain complete Mid-Eastern dance overview, ranging from Dynamic Principles to technique, vocabulary, dancing with veil and zills, diversified choreographies, and performance preparation. Students typically perform their first solo sometime within this year. Correlates roughly with Level 1.
Intermediates: On-going studies; Tuesdays, 7-8:45PM. Learn increased dance vocabulary, develop technique refinement, precision, and complexity, and shift focus to "choreographic units." Gain understanding of dance structure and composition, and learn how to develop your own choreograpies. New students may join after private review lesson with Alay'nya to determine technical level, review choreographic elements, and determine overall suitability. Correlates roughly with Level 2. Depending on student aptitudes and interests, may begin Level 3 "esoteric" studies. Intermediate students are eligible to join Troupe Seraband.
Advanced Studies / Private Lessons
Advanced Studies / Private Lessons: Private arrangement. Contact Alay’nya for advanced studies and/or private lessons. Please direct emails alaynya AT ("@") alaynya DOT (".") com.
Special Topics / Workshops
We have different kinds of workshops, ranging from "Principles" to special techniques - such as candle dancing.
Drum Solo Workshop
COSTS AND PRICING
QUICK LINKS TO FAVORITE PAGES!
EXPRESSING YOUR TRUE SELF IN DANCE
It took Joan Rivers over seven years to find her "authentic self" as a comedian. It was very scary for her to let her real self emerge. In Enter Talking, she says:
HEALTH AND FITNESS BENEFITS
Do you want to learn how women's multicultural dance can help you with your health and fitness? CLICK HERE to read how you can get firm and toned using the graceful, sensual, and ancient art of women's dance.
Sister and Affiliate Classes - Contact Teachers Listed Below
McLean classes taught by Alay'nya; If you want other North VA classes, please contact teachers listed below.
What are the Best Age Ranges for Starting Women's Multicultural Dance?
Between 18 and 81 is pretty good. Not kidding! These dance forms are intense, with very deep conditioning and toning. They also give you a no-impact exercise form. This kind of dance helps us develop our abdominal muscles as well as improving posture and releasing stress on our spines. Starting early is best, but any age is good. As always, if you have any health or medical concerns, consult with your doctor before starting this or any other exercise program.
For more "FAQS" about getting started in women's multicultural dance - CLICK HERE to go to Your First Three Weeks in Belly Dance!