Friday, September 30, 2016

Teacher Feature: Kelly Holder

Waking Persephone is excited to have Kelly Holder as a guest instructor. Kelly will be teaching the following workshop:

Healing in Dance
Saturday, October 15th 5-6:30PM

Ever notice that dance can make your feel better and not just physically. Well, there is a reason for that! In this workshop we will cover the How, What and Why? of movement and dance. You will learn how dance can be helpful physically and psychologically. We will talk about everything from characteristics of movement to dance therapy techniques to brain stuff...yes, brain stuff to enhance your practice and performance.

More about Kelly

Kelly is a Tribal Fusion Belly Dancer based in Milwaukee, WI. She began her belly dance career with the Improvisational Tribal Belly Dance Troupe, Barika Belly Dance in 2003. In 2007, she became a soloist and studied various forms of Belly Dance as well as Eastern European Romany (Gypsy) Folk Dance from her teacher Elaina Qureshi. The fusion of these elements allowed for Kelly to create her own unique style which is a combination of belly dance, folk dance and skirt work. In 2011, Kelly began learning traditional Russian Gypsy Dance from Viktoria Mitlyng and this further expanded Kelly’s dance repertoire and style. Kelly completed Tribal Style Belly Dance training, Collective Soul Level One, with Paulette Rees-Denis in 2007 and completed a 14 hour Belly Dance Intensive with Zafira Dance Company in 2008.

Kelly continues to learn and teach. Kelly has taught and performed at events throughout the Midwest and has taught at events such as Tribal Revolution and Ooky Spooky. She is known for her spirited performances and use of a big skirt. In her other life, she is a counselor and has taken additional coursework in Movement and Dance Therapy. Kelly incorporates therapeutics aspects of movement and dance into her performance, practice and teaching modalities. Kelly has also been featured in Fuse magazine and the book “I Bellydance Because”.

Teacher Feature: Katrina

We are happy to welcome Katrina Ji as a guest instructor at Waking Persephone this year. She will be teaching the following workshop:

Spice Box: Intro to Indian Dance
Sunday, October 16th 3:30-5:00PM

India is the spice capital of the world enriched with awe inspiring dances. Spice up your dance repertoire with Katrina Ji as she intertwines a variety of Indian dance steps from classical to folk laced with mudras and coy facial expressions. A series of steps will be taught utilizing a variety of steps with cultural references along with mudras (hand poses) and special facial expressions in the form of a mini choreography. Katrina Ji has been dabbling in Indian Dance since 2001 when she first fell in love with Rajasthani Folk Dance. Since then, she has spiced up her dance with steps from the classical dances of southern India: Kuchipidi, Bharatnatyum, Odissi and Kathak and the folk dances of Northern India: Lavani, Garba, Kalbelia Gypsy, Bhangra and more!

More About Katrina Ji
Katrina Ji, Artistic Director of Culture Shakti Dance Company & Rajasthani Gypsy Caravan

She has appeared on several TV programs in India & the USA in addition to podcasts and magazines. She has performed with some of the worlds most famous dancers!

Katrina Ji tours internationally with Rajasthani Gypsy Caravan and teaches Bollywood Dance at her studio, Culture Shakti in Seattle in addition to a variety of public and private schools.

She specializes in Bollywood, Rajasthani Folk Dance & ATS® Belly Dance.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Teacher Feature: Kamrah

Waking Persephone is excited to welcome back Kamrah as a guest instructor. They will be teaching the following workshop:

Beyond Basic Sword
Friday, October 14th 2:45-4:15 PM

This workshop is not for the faint of heart! Take your sword work to the next level by learning how to dance with your sword…and with an attitude! Balancing is NOT the focus of this workshop. We will be working on other techniques to make your sword performances interesting, dynamic, and bold! A short combo is offered to integrate concepts and for further practice of these amazing techniques.

More About Kamrah 
Kamrah is a Chicago belly dancer that has performed tribal fusion, American cabaret, Lebanese, and Egyptian belly dance since 2001. Noted for their creativity and theatricality, they currently perform throughout the country as a soloist and is a member of Raks Geek, a geek belly dance and fire company based in Chicago. They are a trained massage therapist, and their knowledge of anatomy enables them to teach students how to dance both powerfully and safely.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Teacher Feature: Jaidra DuRant

We are pleased to welcome Jaidra DuRant as a guest instructor this year! She will be teaching the following workshop:

Basic of Poi
Sunday, October 16th 9:00-10:30AM

The word Poi comes from the Maori, and means ""ball on a cord."" Much like dance or music, the art of spinning poi has evolved over time to have many different forms. Today, we spin fabric poi, glow poi, fire poi, and more in intricate patterns mixed with movement to create a dance style that can be meditative or mesmerizing for the dancer and/or the audience. In this workshop, Jaidra will introduce you to the art of spinning poi. We will begin with simple concepts, moves, and circles and build to turns and patterns layered over simple dance isolations. No experience is necessary.

More About Jaidra

Jaidra is a fusion dance performance artist, instructor, and visual artist located in Greenville, SC. She is Co-Director of the captivating theatrical fusion performance group, Discordia Arts. Jaidra has been involved in theatre her entire life and began belly dancing in 2002. Her foray into the fire and flow arts began in 2006 when she picked up fire palms and fans for the first time and fell in love. As a lifelong pyromaniac, the ability to set things on fire and dance around with them is both spiritual and extremely joyful for Jaidra. Her fascination with large dangerous objects and off beat music combine with her background in theatre to create her unique style of dance that often features swords, fire, and intensely engaging imagery.

Finding belly dance was a life altering and healing experience for Jaidra. As a dancer, she loves to work with props as an extension of the body. As an instructor, Jaidra aims to equip her students with the tools to find their personal joy in movement.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Teacher Feature: Troupe ‘Hip’notic

We are excited to welcome Troupe ‘Hip’notic to the guest instructor roster! They will be teaching the following workshop:

Birds of a Feather: Collaboration and Group Dynamics
Sunday, October 16th 10:45AM-12:15PM

There are many reasons to collaborate with other dancers, either in a troupe or as short-term partnerships. However, working together can be difficult, requiring vulnerability and compromise. Troupe ‘Hip’notic has learned and adapted techniques to incorporate members’ thoughts, ideas, and talents throughout the entire process of creating and performing thought-provoking and emotional dances. This collaborative development results in strong pieces which are truly owned by each dancer.

Taking cues from nature, this workshop will explore effective collaboration and group dynamics using simple rules exhibited by flocking birds. Troupe ‘Hip’notic will provide tips and tools for effective communication, criticism, and creation. Movement will focus on dynamic staging, group movement, and creative use of space; all essential parts of conveying emotions and stories through choreography. The troupe will also teach formations and movements that are effective to convey a mood or an idea, as well as some sample combos from troupe choreography that demonstrate various storytelling techniques.

More About Troupe "Hip"notic
Known for their charismatic, creative, and emotive performances, Troupe ‘Hip’notic has been performing their eclectic belly dance fusion throughout Maryland and the mid-Atlantic since their formation in 2004. Troupe ‘Hip’notic is a collective of women who respectfully borrow from traditional music and belly dance, while incorporating contemporary music and dance styles into their performances. As a purely democratic entity, everyone’s thoughts, ideas, and talents go into the entire creative process – from conception to costuming, from storyboarding to stage. For them, the entire artistic process is just as important as the final developed choreography. Over the years, their style has evolved to be increasingly more theatrical. They love to tell a story through characters, emotivity, and movement, and especially, to evoke specific, strong emotions from their audiences. They aim to envelope you in the world of their piece, and to lead you on a journey through their stories.

The troupe members have studied a variety of Middle Eastern dance styles (ATS, ITS, Egyptian, orientale, folkloric, etc.) that all tend to be incorporated into our choreographies, and all end up influencing their dancing. They continually pursue instruction with nationally and internationally renowned teachers to grow as artists and dancers. Their regular instructors include Belladonna (Washington, DC; tribal fusion) and Latifa (Annapolis, MD; Egyptian orientale and folkloric). Troupe members have taken workshops and short intensives with Zoe Jakes, Mira Betz, Mardi Love, Sera Solstice, Kim Leary, Donna Mejia, Shems, and Asharah, among many others. The troupe has performed at shows including Art of the Belly, Raven’s Night, DCTribal Cafe, Moonlight Tribal Lounge, 3rd Coast Tribal, Waking Persephone, TribalCon, and the Maryland Faerie Festival, among many others.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Teacher Feature: Hilary Pierce

Waking Persephone is very excited to welcome back the 2015 Jeniviva Mia Memorial Scholarship winner Hillary Pierce as a guest instructor. She will be offering the following workshop:

Neutral Mask: Fundamental Technique for the Dramatic Performer
Sunday October 16th 1:30-3:00 PM

This workshop will look at the self as an external attribute that can be studied and manipulated to produce precise, compelling, universally communicative movement. All character is a deviation from neutrality. How do you find and remove the infinite subjectivities of yourself in order to become something else— or— how do you detach from you in order to learn, understand, and perform yourself with deeper understanding and effectiveness? Neutral Mask is a traditional set of exercises designed to awaken our awareness of the body as a platform for silent communication. It explores a state of pure presence, a blank slate, upon which performers of all genres can discover the building blocks of expression and character. This workshop will use a series of traditional exercises to introduce new questions to thoughtful choreographers. It is a tool kit for dancers who feel compelled to embody something or someone when they dance, whether it be a goddess, a force of nature, a character, or an animal. No experience is necessary. Yes, there will be an actual mask. I know this is a stretch for Waking Persephone but— please wear black or dark clothes

More About Hilary: 
Hilary Pierce is an artist currently based in Virginia. She graduated magna cum laude from Bryn Mawr College with a BFA in sculpture and a minor in dance in 2014. After completing her undergraduate work she attended Headlong Performance Institute in Philadelphia, a graduate intensive where she studied experimental and avant-garde performance, along with Commedia dell’Arte, Character Mask, Neutral Mask, Red-nose Clown, Butoh, and Dramaturgy.
A performing artist since 2010, she is deeply inspired by Tribal Fusion Belly dance as well as African art and dance, Kabuki theatre, Butoh, theoretical physics, Jane Austen, space, mythology, and art nouveau. She believes in using her talents to bring as much beauty and goodness into the world as she can.

Hark! She has a website!

Friday, September 16, 2016

Teacher Feature : Henna Crone

Waking Persephone is thrilled to have Henna Crone as one of our core instructors. She will be offering the following workshop.

Henna Adornment for Dancers 101
Friday, October 14th 1-2:30 PM

The basics of henna application with a focus on adornment for dancers and performers. We will cover all of the basics of mixing and applying - and talk about effective designs and placements which can enhance costuming and performing and be visible from the stage.

More about Henna Crone

I discovered the ancient art of henna back in 1999 and I've been passionately pursuing it ever since. I'm primarily a festival henna artist, vending at hundreds of festivals over the years, including the Upland Lemon Fest, Cairo Caravan, Cairo ShimmyQuake, Bhakti Fest, the Vista Viking Fest, the Fallbrook Avocado Fest, the Big Bear Renaissance Fest and many, many more! I've also had the privilege of teaching and vending at Tribal Fest, 3rd Coast Tribal, and teaching at several conferences such as the Henna Intensive & Retreat, Henna Chai, and Henna Con, as well as several libraries. Henna is a huge blessing in my life!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Teacher Feature: Heather Powers

We are excited to announce Heather Powers as one of our guest instructors! Heather will be offering the following workshop.

CORE Values: Pilates for Belly Dancers
Friday October 14th 10:30 AM -12:00 PM

Boost your belly dance technique and posture by cross training in Pilates. Develop a core connection that can help improve balance, articulation and range of motion influencing moves like belly rolls, undulations and posture. As belly dancers, it is so important to strengthen the front body to protect and support the back body after many repetitions of moves such as hip movements (shimmies, figure 8's) or back extensions (body wave,back bends). Pilates is a great tool to be integrated into any dancers' personal conditioning practice.Please bring a mat, water and have a notebook handy.

More about Heather

Heather Powers is a devoted belly dance performer and instructor based in Portland, Maine. Her style is heavily influenced by her experience as a visual artist. Heather's desire is to create a transformative experience by filling space with strong, clean graceful movements captivating audiences.

She diligently trains worldwide with renowned belly dancers. Heather contributes to the New England belly dance community as a host of workshop weekends and as a producer of local shows. Her most recent achievements include: completing Rachel Brice's 8 Elements™ Phase I & II, cross-training as a personal trainer,  Pilates mat and yoga instructor and joining the management team at Bright Star World Dance, Maine's sole dance studio focusing in belly dance.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Teacher Feature Delilah

We are thrilled to have Delilah returning as a guest instructor and offering the following workshop:
The Meaning of Body Movement
Friday, October 14th 1-2:30PM 

In this workshop we will explore the work of master Francois Delsarte as applied to dance. His system of body language was aimed at oratory during the 1800’s and later put to work in modern and ethnic dance by Ted Shawn, Ruth Saint Denis, Le Meri (and others) in the early 1900’s. “Arabesque Magazine” introduced it to the evolving American belly dance community in the 1970’s through a series of articles. In this work shop we will explore Delsarte’s universal communication principals. Hint; It is the secret of all powerful dances compositions. Open to all levels of dance who are not familiar with this work, and to teachers and even photographers and artists will find this class inspiring

More about Delilah
Delilah here: "I started in the 70’s at age 18 and have dedicated my life to belly dance. Wearer of many hats! World Traveled, Award winning, visionary performer, known as being a pioneer of contemporary stylization of American belly dance. Featured performer of over 80 professionally produced and marketed videos on many labels; concerts, documentaries, instructional programs, fusion art works . Well established performer in American cabaret as well as leader and innovator in many style variations; Belly Dancing with Nature, Belly Dance Underwater, Parade Style, Ritual Dances. . .Director of the Neighborhood Temple Priestesses dance group. Tour and retreat leader, author, music promotor & producer, director, product producer."

Friday, September 9, 2016

Teacher Feature: Celeste

We are excited to have one Celeste as one of our core instructors!  She will be offering the following workshop:
Help! I'm stuck! - Getting out of a rut in your performance prep
Sunday October 16th, 10:45 AM - 12:15PM

We've all been frustrated by the first minute of a choreography coming out easily but the rest is a struggle. Or, when preparing for a more improvisational piece, feeling like we do the same moves over and over. This dance preparation rut is very common. This workshop aims to help you move past those moments more easily by providing some exercises that will prompt your creative brain to kick back into gear and get you past that road block. This workshop is also good for anyone who wants new ideas for choreographing/prepping for pieces. All skill levels welcome.

More about Celeste
Celeste is a dark belly dance performer and instructor. She has been performing all over the Midwest since 2006 and has recently relocated in Seattle in the fall of 2015.
Celeste has always loved dancing. She took 2 years of modern dance classes and taught Medieval and Renaissance dancing through the SCA (Society for a Creative Anachronism) for about 10 years. However, it wasn't until she discovered belly dance that she found a dance form that was truly satisfying for her. She started taking classes in her hometown of Quebec City, Canada in 1995, with Francine Morneau. She learned a blend of Egyptian and Turkish belly dance for the next 5 years. Celeste took a 4-year break from belly dance, during which she moved to Indianapolis IN. In the Fall of 2004, the belly dance bug bit her again and she started taking formal classes with Jaleela Saleem.
The ITS and tribal fusion aesthetics attracted Celeste and she was delighted when Jaleela did a session on tribal style and created a troupe, which later became Black Rose Caravan. After Jaleela retired from Black Rose Caravan due to health reasons in 2005, Celeste became director of Black Rose Caravan and started teaching the troupe members. In the Spring of 2006, Celeste expanded her teaching and started offering classes and has been teaching ever since.
Celeste considers herself a constant student of this dance form and, as such, has taken countless workshops over the years and is currently being mentored by Tempest. She loves to share elements from the workshops with her students and incorporate some elements into her own dance. Celeste loves to have at her disposal any item from her personal toolbox within her reach, which means learning many different ways of executing movements and being able to pick whichever one is more appropriate for the performance. Having a strong technical background, Celeste adds artistry to the physical execution of belly dance in her performances.
In the classroom, Celeste combines her dark sense of humor with structured technique to foster a positive learning experience that helps students remember material quickly and naturally. She currently teaches tribal fusion from her knowledge of fusion technique as well as her personal repertoire of dark belly dance.
Celeste has taught workshops at Tribal Revolution, Midwest Mayhem, Angels and Absinthe 2, and has been a featured instructor at Waking Persephone since its inception.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Teacher Feature: Carrie Meyer

We are delighted to announce that Carrie Meyer of The Dancer's Eye will be offering a wonderful workshop plus photo sessions at Waking Persephone!

Basic Digital Photography with The Dancers Eye
Saturday October 15th 9:00-10:30am 
Register here:

The Basic Digital Photography is an instructional course designed to help you learn about YOUR camera. Carrie will break it down so that you feel more at ease with your camera and ability to use it! We all need the ability to take sharp and clear photos for classes, events and products. During the course students will learn how to locate and use the manual settings on their cameras to get better photos.

This course has been designed to fit within a 2-hour time frame and covers three basic areas:

1) The Photographer's Toolkit
2) Basic Understanding of Exposure
3) Choosing Camera Settings

More about Carrie:

Carrie Meyer, Photographer/The Dancers Eye, has had an interest in cameras and photography from a very young age, when her parents first allowed her to experiment with several of their cameras. She fondly remembers her first Polaroid Instamatic, and the variety of fun shots she was able to capture with it.

Carrie began bellydancing in 2001, after losing 100 pounds. She sought to find a workout that would inspire her to keep the weight off, while not being tied to the gym. Little did she know at the time that this was just the beginning of a love affair with dance that has now spanned a decade for her. In this period of time, she has learned traditional Egyptian, ATS and Fusion, and has danced in groups that have featured all these styles. Carrie is currently doing further studies in ATS and has actively danced in several St. Louis based performing groups for over 10 years.

Regardless of the photographic subject matter, Carrie’s work shares certain commonalities. The clarity of the images represented, thoughtful composition, and the meaning of the moments in time that she captures characterize her work. The foundation of her work builds out from the strength and power of the basic images, and the personality, of her subjects. Having married her love of bellydance with her love of photography, Carrie offers her dancer subjects a unique opportunity to work with an artist who truly understands the dance, and how dancers want themselves to be portrayed.

Carrie's work has been featured on the covers of Fuse, Jareeda and Zagareet and in the pages of Yallah, among other publications. Carrie is also a Staff Photographer for Fuse Bellydance Magazine.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Teacher Feature: Bevin Victoria

We are pleased to announce Bevin Victoria as one of our guest instructors! Bevin will be offering:

Music Maps: An Atlas for Performance
Saturday October 16th 10:45-12:15 PM

A great piece of music can be explosive and dynamic, gentle and soothing, whimsical, magical, dark, soaring or the unwonted combination of all of the above. Sometimes the more inspired you are by the piece the more daunting the task of dancing to it can be. Knowing the piece like the back of your hand can help but it takes something extra to create your masterpiece.

In this workshop we will work with different pieces of music and create a “music map” that can apply to improvisations or choreography and that will translate to any piece of music. Please bring something to write with and on. A portion of the class will be lecture but we will be doing lots of improvisation work and working with choreography.

More about Bevin:

Bevin Victoria began her studies in Tribal belly dance at Gypsy Caravan Studio in 2006. She soon after began performing with Gemini Project Dance Co. and from there was introduced to the wonderful world of fusion bellydance. Drawing inspiration from dance greats like Gene Kelly, Cyd Charisse, the pioneers of Tribal Fusion, her extensive study in classical ballet, hip hop, samba, flamenco, and from her years as a competitive gymnast and martial artist, Bevin Victoria aspired to bring an athletic and dynamic approach to her dance. Since then she has had the chance to study with some of the greatest artists in the field, co-founded and directed Urban Nomad Dance Company, and has been fortunate enough to tour the US and Europe multiple times. She is currently a member of Portland’s premier busking group- Baksana, Portland's Vaudville Experience-Sepiatonic and frequently performs as a soloist, teaches workshops and is a certified Personal Trainer, Corrective Exercise Specialist and Low Back Injury Prevention Specialist, offering private training and corrective exercise to dancers throughout the country.

For more info please visit: