CT Bellydance Classes & Workshop Topics

Tava’s approach to teaching combines a thorough awareness of anatomy/injury prevention with a lighthearted sense of play.  She is both nurturing and challenging for students at every level.  Introductory classes, in addition to learning, are for laughing and being around a supportive group of women.  Students learn the foundations of bellydance including rhythms, cultural significance, and an array of props including veil, finger cymbals, fan, and more.  Tava’s goal is to foster a an ever-growing appreciation for this dance with just the right amount of challenge. While it is, to some extent, exercise, it is also confidence-building, soulful and rich in tradition.  Buckle up and get comfortable because it’s easy to get addicted!

Some of Tava's students at her Annual Evening of Bellydance.

Some of Tava’s students at her Annual Evening of Bellydance.

Tava’s current class schedule for Fairfield County, (CT)

Tuesday

8:15-9:15PM Bellydance Open Level at Work-it Dance and Fitness, South Norwalk CT. This drop-in friendly class focuses on theory, styling, rhythms and an introduction (or ongoing practice) for finger cymbals. In addition, students will begin to layer movements, learn more travel steps and occasionally dance with veil (ongoing). Difficulty level is adapted to suit a wide range of levels.  Note: Advanced registration is required. click here to sign up: https://clients.mindbodyonline.com/ASP/home.asp?studioid=11404

Wednesday

8:30-9:30 Advanced Beginner/Intermediate Bellydance at Dance Dimensions in Norwalk, CT.  This 12-week series will focus on taking bellydance to the next level.  Props will be introduced such as veil and finger cymbals.  We will also gain more rhythm awareness and explore layering techniques.  This series runs twice a year in the Fall and Spring, with a shorter (6-week) course in the summer.

9:30-10PM Advanced Bellydance/Performance Prep Rehearsal and Choreography Review (by invitation only).  For students with min. 6 years experience.   *This performance-based class is currently closed to new members

Saturday

 Bellydance Level 1 at Work-it Dance and Fitness, South Norwalk CT. This drop-in friendly class focuses on the foundations of bellydance. Introductory movements will be taught including snake arms, hip accents, shimmys and isolations.  Note: Advanced registration is required. click here to sign up: https://clients.mindbodyonline.com/ASP/home.asp?studioid=11404

Tava’s Current Workshop Offerings:

Veil: Inside the Lines and Outside the Box

The veil is an unpredictable dance partner but it brings breath, richness and emotion to our dance.  Being “in control” of the veil is not necessarily the best way to approach with flowy fabric.  Allowing the space for unplanned movements can yield exciting results.   This workshop will focus on dramatic lines, holds, wraps, exciting releases and slides.  Students will learn to be in the moment and embrace the unpredictable aspects of working with light fabric and to infuse their movements with meaning.

A Taste of Turkish: Asymmetrical Rhythms, Fiery Footwork, and Flair

Fiery, passionate and unapologetic in its delivery, Turkish Oryantal pulls flavors from it’s folkloric dances as well as Arabic Dance & more.  Known for its asymmetrical rhythms, finger cymbal playing, floorwork and super sass, this style is a crowd-pleaser.  In addition to learning rhythms and combinations, students in this workshop will also view footage of notable Turkish dancers such as Nesrin Topkapi and Tulay as well Romani style dancing to identify the similarities and distinctions.

Goodness Gracious Great Zills of Fire! ( Levels I and II)

(Tava’s favorite workshop to teach).  Are you stuck in triplets and gallops? Developing musicality is essential and there is no greater way to connect with your music than to think like a musician while you dance.  Students in this workshop will learn patterns that push and pull on the rhythms, purr softly and excite with unpredictability.  In addition to learning how to play in a way that never overshadows the music song but adds dimension, Tava will also share finger strengthening exercises and post-zilling stretches.  Pin and move myofacial release techniques will help to prevent overuse injuries.

Floorwork: Expression, Intention & Injury Prevention

This workshop focuses on the Vintage Oriental style of floorwork covering various descents, body movements, and traveling.  Participants will also engage in a discussion about the history, costume considerations, and the fine line between too much and just enough.  With the right intention and skill, floorwork is a dramatic and beautiful part of a set.  And lastly, Tava will discuss anatomy and share strength-building drills to prepare the body for floorwork.  Note: this is best offered in a facility with wifi for showing video clips.  Suggested items: foam rollers, Yoga mat and knee pads.

Finding Balance: Adding Dynamics to Balance Props

Whether you perform with sword, candle tray or a pineapple on your head, this workshop will teach you how to keep the emphasis on your dancing rather than doing a laundry list of tricks.  Participants will learn how to integrate some wow-movements with fluidity and conviction to maintain artistry.  Safety precautions, space considerations and additional details will be discussed.   Tava has been dancing with balance props for many years and she is eager to share some of the mistakes she has made ( so you can avoid them), tricks and tips she has learned, and suggested modifications for various performance situations.

Sassy Drum Solos

Many dancers feel they have to choose between accessing their best technique or feeling a sense of ease and playfulness.  This topic will address strategies for incorporating both.  By focusing on breathing, pacing, humor and …of course….sass, student’s drum solos will be transformed into the perfect balance of wow-factor and joyful experience.  Tava will breakdown her tips for accessing clean and strong isolations, quick transitions, travel steps, holds, shimmys and gooey movements and pair them with the right tools for staying in the pocket of the rhythms and in sync with the accents.  There is always room for fun and personality!

Tava teaching Veil workshop , sponsored by NEBDA

Tava teaching Veil workshop , sponsored by NEBDA

“When I started bellydancing with Tava in 2009, I didn’t know how much my experiences with her would shape and improve my life for the better. More than just learning about both the physical and cultural anatomy of bellydance, Tava introduced me to an amazing and supportive community, nurtured my individual strengths, and compassionately guided me through personal transformations that have benefited my life beyond just my dance career. Years later and a continent apart, her words still give me inspiration, insight, and strength that make my experiences with Improvisational and Tribal Fusion style bellydance richer, and my relationships to my dance community more fulfilling.” ~Eliot

Please visit www.BellydancebyTava.com/classes for current workshops and special topics classes.

Workshops:  Tava is available to teach bellydance classes and workshops in Fairfield County, Westchester County (New Rochelle, Larchmont, White Plains, Mamaroneck, Rye), and New York  City (including Brooklyn, Queens and Harlem). She occasionally travels for workshops in other states. Please contact dancingtava@yahoo.com for rates.

Tava and students

www.BellydancebyTava.com

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