All classes are continuous registration, which means you start when you register.
These are classes planned for 2022 and which ran in 2019-2020. Please see other options under “Classes & Workshops”. Many are scheduled on demand. If you and a group of friends would like something different, you can book your own class. Please contact Nicola for fees and more info.
Performance Techniques & Choreography
This is the Amar Egyptian Dance troupe working class. Current members learn and practice together for upcoming show opportunities.
1 hour technique + 1 hour choreography
Technique hour is open to anyone who is an experienced intermediate or above. Choreography hour may be taken for learning purposes only or to work towards performing with AED as a member.
Dancers may sign up for Technique hour only, but Choreography may only be taken together with Technique.
Additional rehearsal time is scheduled as needed/as requested, and is subject to extra fees (studio time only).
TECHNIQUE HOUR: review & refinement of Golden Age classical, modern raqs sharqi, baladi, drum solo techniques, finger cymbals techniques, veil entrance, and saiidi assaya
CHOREO HOUR: minimum 3 dances learned at once, in raqs sharqi, baladi, saïdi assaya, and other folkloric dances of Egypt. On occasion, we will learn a fusion or theatrical piece. This hour of class closes to new students after March 1 of any given season. Technique hour is always open to sessional or drop-in students.
Registration is direct through Nicola.
A downloadable form will be posted when a schedule is confirmed. Payments are by Paypal or etransfer. Cash accepted for drop-in only.
A fun and frolicsome immersion in the sumptuous, playful women’s dance of Egypt known in Canada as “bellydance” but really called raqs sharqi.
The essential (e.g. the most common & important) movements, some common variations, and basic embellishments. Introduction to veil prop work, basic finger cymbals technique, and basic intro to Arabic music. Recommended that this class be repeated 3-4 times before enrolling in “Variations”.
Accessible for all body types, genders, sizes, ages. No prior dance experience needed. Most supplies included–see “SUPPLIES” in expanded Classes & Workshops listings. (It’s your choice to invest in a veil and dance hipscarf–it’s encouraged but not mandatory. Above is an example of decorated hipscarves commonly available through sites like Miss Bellydance and other online vendors.)
Continuing Egyptian — Variations
“Essentials” techniques should be mastered before enrolling in Continuing level. Requested that you have *minimum* 4-5 continuous or recent sessions of an Essentials or other “beginner” raqs sharqi class before registering. Online classes are fine so long as the instructor has provided you with corrections on your form and technique. Please note, “tribal” and “tribal fusion” are not foundational or contextual for Egyptian raqs sharqi, and American bellydance while related tends to also impede progress with body memory and manifesting culturally-specific techniques.
Comprehensive and thorough grounding in raqs sharqi and folkloric techniques for intermediate-level dancers. Prepares you for attending more advanced workshops and choreography, as well as performing.
- “Essentials” movements in combinations and sequences, with the common drum rhythms and musical structures/patterns for proper context
- common finger cymbal (zills or sagat) patterns/rhythms
- veil technique for entrances (mise-en-scène or magansee) with malfuf rhythm
- introduction to folkloric dances (saiidi assaya — cane), shaabi (pop), and beginning baladi
- posture, travel steps, turns, transitions
- texturing, embellishments, ornamentations, & other variations through understanding/exploring melody, lyrics, rhythm, and phrasing with Nicola’s common-sense approach to the patterns and motifs of Egyptian dance
- beginning improvisation (baladi and taksim)
- sequences & choreography for shaabi, saïdi, & sharqi
- drills, exercises, in-class challenges, partner work, combinations, & general frolicsome mischief
Choreography will be prepared for the season-end, usually 2 dances but sometimes 3. We typically learn a longer piece that has rhythm and stylistic variations, plus one folkloric dance. Recitals are usually in May and June. (TBA)
Students must bring their own Arabic or Turkish finger cymbals, dance veil (silk recommended), and gold or silver plastic crooked dance cane–can be ordered online from a dance vendor or purchased through Nicola, and it is suggested that you get 2 (one for class, one for performing).
Please see SUPPLIES in Classes & Workshops .