Thank you to Jill Parker & Stephanie for hosting such exciting workshops for Jill & I in San Francisco in March! We had a great turn-out of fabulous dancers from up and down the West Coast.
We had 3 workshops: Jill’s Drills, then my two most popular workshops: Supah’ Saucy and Cabaret Macabre.
Jill opened the day with her famous hip-work drills workshop. I love the sense of selflessness that comes from training with this woman. My favorite thing to do in Jill’s workshops is:
- Forget everything I know and leave my ego at the door.
- Stand behind Jill and try to match my body to her movement size, quality and timing.
- Then close my eyes and try to embody the way in which she interprets and responds to music.
I gain new respect for Ms. Jill Parker every time I dance with her. Her aesthetics and teaching style has guided me since I was a baby dancer, and I am honored to work with her as a peer.
After her workshop, we dove right in to Supah’ Saucy which focuses on incorporating integrated body movement with Belly Dance isolation and gestures. We incorporate, spins, kicks and locks with lyrical, fluid expression. It was sheer joy to work with the bevy of accomplished and well-trained dancers from the Bay area and West Coast that attended the workshops including: Zoe Jakes, Rose Harden, Sherri Wheattley, Tamara Juel, Kamille Hitz, Denise Blaze, Wendy Marlatt, Jodi Waseca, Jo Dankosky-Braden, Giselle Syble and Jessie Gauld just to name a few. The women in the workshop brought a rich dance and aesthetic background to the table and it was an honor to share my movement and aesthetic ideas with them.
Finally, we had my Cabaret Macabre workshop that pulls from Flamenco, Tango, Russian Gypsy, Dunham and straight-up Belly Dance. Our goal in this workshop was to bring these elements together seamlessly with a special focus on Expression. There were moments in the workshop when I teared up, because I was so moved by the authenticity and ownership these dancers took from the movement sequences. To me, that is the most important thing I can offer as an artist and teacher: an opportunity to explore movement vocabulary w/ a sense of inquiry and play that each student can take home and build from.
I always give lots of material in my workshops, but I make my students work for it. We approach the dance first from a technical and alignment perspective. Then we move on to embodying and interacting with the music (and each other) while teasing out emotions and concepts. The San Francisco workshops were particularly thrilling for me because so many of the dancers came with mad-skill, open minds, open hearts, and trust.
Thank you for trusting me ladies, and for bringing so much talent and energy to the workshops.
I hope we can do this again!
I will be teaching 2 more workshops in San Francisco on May 12, as part of an intensive w/ myself and Jill Parker. This event is scheduled for the weekend before Tribal Fest because we know that the Bay Area is flush with amazing dancers from all over the globe at this time. We hope you will join us for this Pre-Tribalfest event that will include workshops and a show.
We are still working out the final details regarding the time and location, but we should have that information for you soon! Please Keep a lookout here or on facebook for details as they are confirmed.
I hope to see you in May!
I will be traveling up and down the West Coast after Tribal Fest for workshops in LA (May 27) and Porland, OR (June 2/3). Info here.