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    Hi Everyone! The next several months are filling up fast with all sorts of dance happenings....

    I'm now offering a second night of group classes in Seattle at Dance Underground on Capitol Hill, in addition to my Tuesday night classes at BBC Studio in Belltown. Whether you're new to Bellydance, want a good workout, or are looking for a brush-up on your isolations, I offer two technique-oriented levels to choose from. My Beginning classes are great for those new to bellydance or for more experienced dancers who want to perfect the basics, by building a strong foundation through neutral postural alignment, core-originated isolation technique, mapping out the bellydance body, dance theory, and rhythmic awareness. My Intermediate classes will challenge and inspire you to think outside of the box in terms of isolation/combo/layering possibilities, as well as delving into stylistic combinations.
    Many of you have expressed that you miss my World Fusion and Tribal Improv focused classes, but I can't stress enough how important technique is. Bellydance has never been a formalized art form like Ballet or Jazz and I don't necessarily think that an  ultra-defined structure for Bellydance would be a good thing. However, Bellydance is a difficult skill which can take years of practice to master. As an instructor, I frequently have new students who come to my class for the first time with "years of bellydance experience" that struggle with shimmy variations, articulation of percussive isolations, fluidity of smooth isolations, basic turns, arm carriage, foot patterns, rhythms, or even maintaining a neutral dance posture. While it is important to develop artistry and an indescribable style that is all your own, there are many quantifiable aspects of Bellydance that we can use to define strong technique that are applicable to almost every style of bellydance out there. One of my students recently compared my approach to teaching bellydance to the strong roots and trunk of a tree, offering a strong base with depth, which seamlessly supports all the branches above it. Be patient with yourselves, take the time to know your technique inside and out, and practice often!
    On the last weekend in April, I'll be down at Saqra's Showcase in the Portland area on 4/26 teaching a Bellydance-Flamenco workshop and debuting a new solo set. It's a huge dance festival that will be going on all weekend with lots of performances. On Sunday, I'll be at the Seattle World Rhythm Fest again this year teaching an Intro to Flamenco workshop and performing with Zamani Flamenco.  See the schedule below for my events beyond April and my recommendations for other dance events not to me missed! 
    I'd also to share a recent interview that I conducted with Myra Krien of Sante Fe, NM for The Hip Circle online Bellydance Magazine. I hope you find her story as inspiring as I did: http://www.thehipcircle.com/article/display.asp?ArticleID=312

Hope to see you all at a class or dance event soon, ~Zanbaka

 


Volume I: Foundations of Bellydance for the Versatile Dancer

A must have for understanding/developing skills.
This book is the most comprehensive dance guide for Middle Eastern/Bellydancers I have ever seen. By using photos, geometric diagrams,and visual comparisons of posture, the author, a well known dancer herself, has organized all the essential movement techniques in a format that is especially beneficial for the visual learner. Also included are easy to understand chapters on middle eastern rhythms and playing zills. I have never read a how to-bellydance book this valuable before-I only wish it had been available to me 30 years ago when I started dancing. I look forward to upcoming volumes.

Can you say BELLY DANCE TEXTBOOK?
What a brave, intelligent, and genius undertaking! I’ve read it 3 times already and it’s completely changed how I dance and teach my classes. IMO, this is the closest thing the belly dance community has to a “textbook”. It’s modern, unbiased to style, and includes fitness common sense which lots of classes and workshops that I’ve taken lack. A leg driven, glute driven, and oblique driven shimmy all in the same place? And that’s only 3 of the shimmies covered. Zanbaka, I think your book is going to put so much of the quarreling over styles and how to do bellydance moves to rest. I’m crossing my fingers that you get sought out by a publisher and look forward to the next installment!

What a treasure!!!!
This book is the most complete, comprehensive collection about the elements of belly dance - applicable to any style. It's detailed about body positioning, showing the proper alignment of the body in different movements as well as what to avoid to prevent injury. I agree that it certainly does not take the place of consistently working with a qualified instructor, but as a meaty practice companion - its top rate! I too wish I had this when starting out (I've been searching for a book like this since I started dancing, nearly 3 years ago) - but I'm so glad I now have it now!! Its worth every penny - thank you, Zanbaka for providing a terrific resource!

Volume I : Foundations-- Very thorough!
I was very excite
d to see a new book come out on the market that discusses belly dance, especially in the manner in which Zanbaka does here. Here we find an intelligent and technically rich volume with great definitions and resources for your own personal practice, as well as a great handbook to refer to when making lesson plans as an instructor. CERTAINLY this book does not replace instruction, as Zanbaka states clearly, however if you are looking for a book with many movement concepts to wrap your head around, inside and out, for both your practice and your students', here it is! Well done! Can't wait for the next Volume(s)!!! :)

Preview pages and ordering info at: http://www.zanbaka.com/versatiledancerseries.htm

Amazon Link: http://www.amazon.com/Foundations-Bellydance-Versatile-Dancer-I/dp/B0010BF9LS/ref=sr_11_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1196446579&sr=11-1

 

Group Technique Classes with Zanbaka: Tuesdays *and* Sundays

A Sunday night studio spot just opened up at Dance Underground (Capitol Hill), so starting April 6th, I'll be offering a 2nd night of classes in addition to my current Tuesday night technique classes in Belltown. Beginning Level class will be from 7:30-8:30 and Intermediate Level class from 8:30-9:30p. Since I cycle through my Beginning Level material about 10 weeks, the class focus between Sundays and Tuesdays will be at different points in the cycle each week. Intermediate Class material will differ from Sunday to Tuesday mixed in with our favorite regular technique drills.


Technique, Conditioning, & Drills for Bellydance
-Sharpen staccato isolations and shimmies for drum solo technique
-Purify smooth and fluid isolations
-Refine arm/hand movements and precision of turns
-Improve your body's synchronization with rhythm and tempo
-Clarify movement definition to expand your bellydance vocabulary


Tuesdays - Currently Ongoing
Beginning Technique: Tuesdays, 7:30-8:30pm
Intermediate Technique & Combos: Tuesdays, 8:30-9:30pm
Belltown Ballet and Conditioning Studio is located at 2306 4th Avenue between Bell and Battery, on the East side of the street. Free Street Parking Available in the Vicinity. Intermediate students, please bring a veil and finger cymbals.

Sundays - Starting April 6th
Beginning Technique: Sundays, 7:30-8:30pm
Intermediate Technique & Combos: Sundays, 8:30-9:30pm
Dance Underground is located at 340 15th Avevue E. Free Street Parking Available in the Vicinity. Intermediate students, please bring a veil and finger cymbals.

Single Class (Tuesdays or Thursdays) 4-Week Session, $50 (Cash, Check or Paypal).
If your schedule cannot accommodate all 4 classes in session, Drop-In fee is $15/class.
Both Classes 4-Week Session, $90 (Cash, Check or Paypal). No make-ups or refunds on full session payment, please.
To register for the full session or to rsvp as a drop-in, contact me at: zanbaka@hotmail.com

With an emphasis on moving from the core muscles, Zanbaka's approach to belly dance offers students the vocabulary, skills, and freedom to pursue whatever style they prefer. The Beginning Class is appropriate for those who have never taken a dance class in their life and for more experienced dancers who want to perfect the basics. This class includes:
1) A multitasking warm-up utilizing common foot-patterns and arm movements while raising heart-rate, lubricating joints, increasing blood flow/oxygen to all parts of the body, and sharpening our alertness.
2) Slow finger cymbal rhythms combined with simple foot patterns/arm movements
3) Conditioning to strengthen muscle groups used in bellydance and to improve alignment and control
4) "Light" stretches to open up areas of the body that may have become stagnant or tight during the course of the day
5) Technique exercises for postural alignment, beginning turns, and arm positions
6) Various isolation drills for the head, shoulders, arms, wrists, hands, ribcage, abdominals, and hips. In addition to developing muscle memory, our goal with the weekly drills is to build speed, clarity, and precision, since they are the basis for so many advanced movements in bellydance.
7) Combinations to strengthen transitions between movements.
8) A cool-down with deeper stretches and relaxation

In addition to more advanced versions of the Beginning Class content, the Intermediate Class includes work with layering, traveling steps and combos/topics from a revolving array of bellydance styles: Folkloric, Orientale, Tribal Improv, Funky Modern, and World Fusion.
 


 

April 26, 2008 - Workshop and Performance with Zanbaka at Saqra's Showcase

Flamenco Fusion Bellydance Workshop and Performance with Zanbaka at Saqra's Showcase in Portland, OR. Workshop is from 1-2:30pm. My performance is scheduled at 3:45, roughly. Saqra presents... Saqra's 19th Annual SHOWCASE 2008!!! April 25-27, 2008 at the Washington County Fair Complex in Hillsboro, OR (873 NE 34th Ave, Hillsboro -- west of Portland), featuring 13 workshops, 30+ vendors, 300+ performers and 2 live bands. More info at http://www.saqra.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

April 27, 2008 - Zamani Flamenco performance and Intro to Flamenco Workshop with Zanbaka at the Seattle World Rhythm Fest  Introduction to Flamenco with Zanbaka at the Seattle World Rhythm Festival, 11am @ the Black Box Studio H, Center House, 4th Floor, Seattle Center. Zamani Flamenco will perform at the Center House Main Stage at 1:45pm. The World Rhythm Festival one of the largest events of its type in the world, distinct for its participatory nature and diversity of musical offerings. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own instruments to experience a rare opportunity to learn from and play with musical masters. Admission is free to all Festival events. For a complete schedule, visit www.swps.org

 

 

May 25, 2008 - Zanbaka performs with Guests La Pena with Carmona Flamenco @ the NW Folklife Festival
Sunday, May 25th, 2007 - Zanbaka will be appearing with guest group, La Peña Flamenca de Seattle (comprised of the advanced students of Rubina and Marcos Carmona) with Carmona Flamenco at the 2008 Northwest Folklife Festival. Performance will begin at 7:30pm,  International Stage, Seattle Center. Festival events all weekend long, Memorial Day Weekend, Admission by Donation. nwfolklife.org

 

 

 

 

First 3 weekends in June: Zamani Flamenco performs in Walrus/EPIC Productions Performance Series

Walrus Performance Productions Presents the 1st Annual Spring E.P.I.C Festival, June 6-8, 13-15, 20-22, 27-29. Zamani Flamenco will be performing the first three weekends in June along with a line-up of many talented performers. Stay tuned for more details! 

 

 

Saturday and Sunday, June 28 & 29, 2008 - La Peña Flamenca de Seattle in "Fiesta del Verano"
A Two Night Engagement at the Ethnic Cultural Theatre, Saturday and Sunday, June 28-29, 2008. Under the direction of Rubina Carmona, La Peña (comprised of the advanced students of Rubina and Marcos Carmona) will be presenting traditional and modern flamenco music and dance, several new works of choreography. Program highlights include Garrotin, Bamberas, Cantiñas and Tarantos. UW Ethnic Cultural Theatre, 3940 Brooklyn Ave NE (corner of 40th St), Seattle, Washington. 8:00 pm. Free parking is available to the public at the lot next to the theatre. $16.00 Advance, $20 At Door ($12.00 for students & seniors). For tickets or more information: (206) 932-4067 or rubina@fanw.org Flamenco Arts Northwest http://www.fanw.org/

 

July 25-27 - Workshops and Performances with Zanbaka in Columbus, OH - Habeeba's 3rd Annual Midwest All Star Bellydance Weekend
A full weekend of workshops performances at Habeeba's 3rd Annual Midwest All Star Bellydance Weekend with guest instructors Sahra Saeeda and Zanbaka. Both instructors will teach 3 hour workshops on both Saturday and Sunday... topics TBA. Stay tuned for more details.

 

 

 

 

 

 


May I Recommend....

 

Dances of the Iranian World with Heather Rastovac - Ongoing Classes
These classes will introduce the dancer to the graceful movements of Iranian/Persian dance - 'classical' Persian dance, regional dances of Iran, Persian social dance, and elements of Tajik dance.
Mondays 6:30 - 7:25 PM, $10 per class, Open Flight Studio, 4205 University Way NE, Seattle, WA. Heather Rastovac has been studying, performing and teaching Near Eastern and Central Asian dances in the Pacific Northwest since 1997. She currently performs as a soloist and as a member of the music and dance ensembles Delshodeh, Banat Sahar and Sevdah. Delshodeh, of which Heather is co-founder, performs the dances of Central Asia, particularly the dances of Iran and Tajikistan. Banat Sahar performs the music and dance of the Middle East, North Africa, and Iran. Sevdah performs the dances of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Heather participates in Delshodeh and Banat Sahar as an artistic director, dancer, choreographer, researcher and lecturer. From 2001 to 2004, she was a member of Shourangeez Persian music and dance ensemble and participated in the Northwest Folklife Association's Folklife-in-the-Schools program. Heather spent two months in Tajikistan during summer 2007 studying and researching dance and is currently pursuing a Bachelors degree at the University of Washington in Persian language, Anthropology and Dance.

 

 

Saturday, April 26th, 2008: Carmona Flamenco with Ana Montes at Solstice Cafe
Award-winning Carmona Flamenco (Marcos, Rubina and David) and guest artist Ana Montes present an evening of contemporary, traditional flamenco music, song and dance. Come for drinks and dessert and experience the power of flamenco. These shows always sell out so come early. Solstice Café offers excellent coffees, beer, wine and desserts, in an intimate setting. Please note that there is no dinner menu. Solstice Café, 4116 University Way N.E., Seattle, Washington. 8:00 & 9:30 pm (Doors open at 7:30 pm) $ 15.00 cover (two sets), NO RESERVATIONS. For more info contact Carmona Flamenco: (206) 932-4067 or marcos@fanw.org www.fanw.org

 

 

 

 

Sunday, April 27th, 2008: Intro to Cajon Workshop with David Carmona @ the Seattle World Rhythm Fest
Join percussionist extraordinaire, David Carmona of Seattle's Carmona Flamenco for an educational and inspiring cajon workshop. Studying the cajon is valuable experience for dancers, guitarists, and singers to help internalize Flamenco rhythms. Workshop will include work with posture, technique, embellishment concepts, and various palos. All levels of experience are welcome! BYOC (bring your own Cajon or other percussion intrument). The World Rhythm Festival one of the largest events of its type in the world, distinct for its participatory nature and diversity of musical offerings. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own instruments to experience a rare opportunity to learn from and play with musical masters. Admission is free to all Festival events. For a complete schedule, visit www.swps.org

 

 

 

 

Timo Lozano Returns to Seattle! May 23-24

The award-winning Carmonas (Marcos, Rubina and David) will be joined by guest artist Ana Montes and special guest artist Timo Lozano for two nights of performance at Solstice Café, May 23rd and 24th. Sr. Lozano has taught and performed in Madrid for many years and specializes in the traditional gypsy baile puro as well as being a wonderful cajon player. Not only will he be dancing but he and David Carmona are going to have a "cajon off". It should be wild. These shows are always packed so come early. Solstice Café offers excellent coffees, beer, wine and desserts, in an intimate setting. Please note that there is no dinner menu. Solstice Café, 4116 University Way N.E., Seattle, Washington. 8:00 & 9:30 pm (Doors open at 7:30 pm), NO RESERVATIONS. Cover charge: $20 for this special installment at Solstice Café. For more info contact Carmona Flamenco: (206) 932-4067 or marcos@fanw.org


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