Emotion in Dance – the Eyes

As dancers, we spend so much of our time focusing on the technique of the dance that we often miss out on one of the most powerful tool in our dance belts – EMOTION.

 

Maybe you’ve witnessed this before. You see a performance and the dancer has technique coming out of their pores, but there is something missing from their dance and it fails to connect with you on a deeper level.

 

Or how about this? You watch a dancer who keeps the movement simple but is just so full of joy or passion that you could watch them forever!

 

Sound familiar?

 

Emotion is a universal way to connect within the dance, be it to the music or to our audience and there are so many ways we can infuse our dancing with emotion and theatricality.

 

In this video we will explore one of my favorite ways to fill your dance with deeper emotional content using a part of the body too often ignored in our dance practice – THE EYES. They say the eyes are the windows to our soul. So let’s open those windows and dance through them!

 

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Like it, love it, want more of it? This video is part of a larger package of videos available to Rhinestone subscribers in on my online studio at http://SahiraBellyDances.Teachable.com Join me there and bring your dance to a new emotive level!

 

Acapella Zill Riff | Building Clacks

There is nothing quite like the freedom of dancing to the beat of your very own drum, especially when you provide the beat!

In this video I’m going to share with you a fabulous combination from my signature acapella zill style.

We will use several zill sounds – the Basic, the Ring and Clack to build a cool acapella zill riff.

Once you get this down you are ready to move on the the advanced lesson and DANCE with the combination!

You can get the entire combination and a more detailed breakdown of it all in my exclusive online course “Even More Zillicious Zills” on Teachable. http://SahiraBellyDances.Teachable.com/p/more-zillicious-zills

 

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Get started today and get your FREE ZillStar course – all the basics you need to get started on the path to become the zill rock star you are meant to be! http://SahiraBellyDances.com/ZillStar

 

5-Zill Acapella Finger Cymbal Performance

I love love love the zills!

I have big zills and small zills, high-pitched zills and low-pitched zills, and silver, brass and bronze zills.

I like to play them in my house. I’d like to play them with a mouse.

I’ll play my zills both here and there. I’ll play these beauties everywhere!

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While I may be on the more extreme end of dancers with zill collections (at last count I was somewhere around 16 pairs) I am definitely of the opinion that more zills is better. ​

So what’s a dancer to do if you don’t have the budget to expand your collection? ​

Why, enter to win a bunch of course!

http://SahiraBellyDances.com/ZillGiveaway

The Belly Dance Bundle is giving away SIX SETS OF ZILLS to celebrate the launch of The Bellydance Bundle on October 21st! 🤩 ​ ​

Enter the contest and you could be the lucky winner who takes home 3 sets of Turquoise Internationals most popular zills and a second copy to give a friend. And did I mention that both the lucky winner and their friend will also get access to an entire package of online zill classes with yours truly as well? So excited! ​

This year’s giveaway package is valued at over $300 USD and it will ship it anywhere in the world.

http://SahiraBellyDances.com/ZillGiveaway

(Giveaway opens on September 24th and ends on October 2nd)

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So while I am definitely no poet, I do love me some zills and am excited to share with you the Zoom recording of this performance that I did for the “Save Our Studio” fundraiser for Austin Belly Dance back in April 2020.

Enjoy!

Welcome to Episode 2 in my Zill Heroes Series!

Please meet Z-Helene of Austin, Texas.

I’ve been a huge fan of Z-Helene for over a decade and have had the pleasure of studying with her on several occasions. She’s been an inspiration and a mentor and has helped me take my zill playing to a new level every time.

In this conversation you’ll learn about how she got started with belly dance and zills back in the first heyday of the dance here in the States, how she was forced to play using her non-dominant hand (and survived!) and how she developed the style that is truly and uniquely hers.

We also explore how zilling can lead to freedom of expression and become a meditation for us in trying times.

And if you just want to get to the action, about 37 minutes into the video you can see what this woman is truly capable of. (It’s seriously one of my most favorite zill performances of all time!)

To learn more about Z-Helene and study with her please visit:

Facebook: @Z-Helene and/or @HeleneChristopher

Instagram: @zhelenechristopher

YouTube Channel: @ZHeleneChristopher

Website: www.zhelene.com (purchase dvds and music)

Email: zhelene@grandecom.net (personal contact)

Zill Hero Interview – Z-Helene

Welcome to Episode 2 in my Zill Heroes Series!

 

Please meet Z-Helene of Austin, Texas. I’ve been a huge fan of Z-Helene for over a decade and have had the pleasure of studying with her on several occasions. She’s been an inspiration and a mentor and has helped me take my zill playing to a new level every time.

 

In this conversation you’ll learn about how she got started with belly dance and zills back in the first heyday of the dance here in the States, how she was forced to play using her non-dominant hand (and survived!) and how she developed the style that is truly and uniquely hers. We also explore how zilling can lead to freedom of expression and become a meditation for us in trying times.

 

And if you just want to get to the action, about 37 minutes into the video you can see what this woman is truly capable of. (It’s seriously one of my most favorite zill performances of all time!)

 

To learn more about Z-Helene and study with her please visit:

Facebook: @Z-Helene and/or @HeleneChristopher

Instagram: @zhelenechristopher

YouTube Channel: @ZHeleneChristopher

Website: www.zhelene.com (purchase dvds and music)

Email: zhelene@grandecom.net (personal contact)

 

Sahira Belly Dance Class & Combination #1 | Hip Slides, Twists, 8s and Jewels

Since back to school is in the air, I thought I would deliver a little school to your inbox today (of the belly dance variety, of course!)

As we celebrate the season of learning, I’d love to share with you a 30-minute mini-class to get you dancing! Perfect for beginner dancers or anyone wanting to drill the basics, this class will take you from warm up, to technique, to drills and will even build a fun little combination to dance to at the end!

Check it out, dancing along, and mark “belly dance practice” off your to-do list for today!

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Technique used in this class:

Hip Slide : https://youtu.be/M58DdsEkZB8

Hip Twist : https://youtu.be/lAMqXdPgsIY

Figure 8: https://youtu.be/vkY5TIIJ1pE

Jewel: https://youtu.be/P_S9uvEJs4g

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Like it, love it, want more of it?

Join me online at http://SahiraBellyDances.Teachable.com and find hundreds of hours of belly dance classes just waiting for you!

Join my mailing list and get access to 10 free classes to get you started!

http://SahiraBellyDances.com/JoinMe

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Special thanks to the following artists for allowing me to use their incredible music!

Moodafaruka: http://Moodafaruka.com

David Macjeka: https://davidmacejka.bandcamp.com

Lauren Checchio: https://laurenchecchio.bandcamp.com

Sahira Belly Dances – Toul Omri Performance

By request – a performance video for you!

I have always LOVED this song and was thrilled for the opportunity to record an improvisational performance to it for the incredible Crimson Vagabond Road show in August of 2020.

A huge thank you to the event for providing a beautiful opportunity for dancers to connect, hang out and share their talents with each other and the world. We need this connection more now than ever.

May we keep dancing together through the storm.

 

Zill Hero Interview | Lauren Checchio

I adore everything about the finger cymbals. The myriad sounds they make, the infinite variety of styles, the shine of a brand new pair, learning a new riff on them, playing around with them, collecting them… I honestly could go on forever.

 

This obsession was not born overnight. I’ve been working with the finger cymbals for two decades and there are definitely a few incredible dancers and musicians that have inspired me to continually pick up these babies and keep working with them.

 

Lauren Checchio is one of those inspirations.

 

Today I would like for you to meet her! Lauren and I sat down together last week to chat about her background in music, rhythm and dance and then we geeked out a bit about zills. I learned why at a young age she was totally traumatized by and completely hated the zills and how she was able to turn this around and become the rock star ziller she is today. I also learned all about the method she’s developed to teach zills and drums using the same language – effectively allowing you to pick up just about any hand percussion instrument and understand how to belly dance rhythms on them. (Seriously!)

 

I think you are really going to enjoy this interview… be warned – it gets fairly ridiculous. I’ve known Lauren a long time now and we laugh a lot when we are together.

 

If you are interested in the online class she is giving next month, you can register here. https://py.pl/1VYYsS Please tell her I sent you! I would love to see you there!

 

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Learn more about Lauren at https://www.facebook.com/lauren.checchio

https://laurenchecchio.bandcamp.com/releases

 

Join me and learn more than a dozen sensational shimmies!

SHIMMIES SHIMMIES SHIMMIES!

This shimmy is a quintessential movement in belly dance and there are many shimmies every serious belly dancer should know.

http://SahiraBellyDances.com/Shimmy

While the shimmy is incredibly important to the dance, it is not necessarily an easy movement to accomplish. In fact, many dancers (including myself!) struggle to make the basic shimmy technique work.

I want you to know that you are not alone!

In this course I will take you through several shimmy tips and tricks that will help even the most timid shimmier gain confidence and strength in their technique. Oftentimes what is missing is just a few insightful ideas about how the muscles and joints work together to create the shimmy, tips on how to relax into the movement and someone to cheer you on as you practice!

This course will also dive deep into Shimmies of all kinds including:

Knee Shimmy

Hip Shimmy

Triplet Shimmy ( 8 different kinds!)

Three-quarter shimmy

Moroccan Shimmy

African Shimmy

Twisting Shimmy

Choo Choo Shimmy

Hagallah Shimmy, and more!

So dancers…start your engines, tie on your hip scarves, and join me for a shimmy marathon!

http://SahiraBellyDances.com/Shimmy Registration opens August 18th and closes on August 24 – so don’t delay! Don’t pay full price for this course! Join my mailing list for a special members-only discount. http://SahiraBellyDances.com/Discount