Thursday, October 13, 2016

Motif, Chillspace, Community & Shopping!

In a few short hours, Waking Persephone Year 5 officially kicks off with Motif!  Motif has been an integral part of the events Tempest has produced for nearly a decade.  It's designed to bring everyone together - teachers, students, volunteers, vendors - all forming new friends and family - and welcoming the familiar faces along the new!  Motif will take place at El Norte Lounge in Lake City Seattle, just north of the LCCC.  Gathering starts at 6pm, things kick off a little later, so come on down, order some tacos and a fabulous drink, and mingle with like-minded folks in a relaxed and fun format!

THEN - have we mentioned the shopping???  We have THREE days of shopping at Waking Persephone for all of your dance needs and desires!  Vending during the festival is open to the public! AND we are welcoming our second year of the Chillspace - a wonderful area where you can relax, have some tea and snacks, color, interact, or be quiet!

And also in its 5th year, on Sunday during our lunch break, we'll be holding our community roundtable.  It's open to all, free, and everyone is welcome!

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Teacher Feature: Tempest!

Last - but not least-  is Waking Persephone producer Tempest!  Tempest will be giving one workshop on Friday, and tag-teaming with Artemis on Sunday for another workshop, as well as leading the Community Cleanse Workshop (also on Sunday).

Tempest is the most recognized name associated with Gothic & Steampunk Fusion Bellydance in North America and across the world. She is often referred to as the "Goth Mutha" for her groundbreaking work in dark fusion. Tempest pulls from her visual arts background, literary tendencies, and global inspirations to create dance that crosses the boundaries of time and culture. Her compellingly artful performances exemplify her distinctively theatrical, unique, and expressive style that are rooted in oriental dance technique with a transcendent approach. Tempest's fascination with sacred and ritual dance lead her to bellydance over 15 years ago, and the exploration of Myth is an important and recurring theme in her work.

Tempest strives to create and teach dance that maintains the essence of bellydance; balancing tradition, inspiration, and innovation. She brings her dynamic interpretation of the dance to her workshops with a sense of fun, a strong foundation in technique, and a deep-hearted goal to aid students in developing their own sense of self within the dance.

She is the producer of Waking Persephone - an annual dark dance event, and Tapestry Dance Retreat, which focuses more on the sacred and folkloric aspects of the dance. Tempest is the founder and primary author of The Gothic Bellydance Resource, which tracks the progress of the movement as it develops worldwide, and was co-producer of the largest festival devoted to Gothic Bellydance in North America - Gothla US from 2008-2010.

In addition to dance, Tempest is a professionally trained visual artist, receiving her BFA in Printmaking from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), and having trained at Fleisher Art Memorial in Philadelphia and the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts. Her artwork has received awards and honors worldwide, and has been published in numerous books and magazines. Her costume designs have revolutionized the look of modern bellydance, and continue to inspire new and old generations of dancers alike.

She lives in Seattle, WA with her husband, musician Nathaniel Johnstone, and works full-time as an artist, designer, and dancer.

Friday: 2:45-4:15pm: A Teacher's Workshop - How To Give More To & Get More Out of Your Students
Not only is bellydance itself an art that takes years to develop and refine, but teaching it is also an art that takes skill to really reach your students. Are you giving your students the most out of your own experience, fostering positive habits and really connecting with them? In this workshop, we will cover key concepts and exercises that will help you teach core movements and accents, stage presence, fluidity and grace with more effectiveness to a variety of students. There will also be question/answer discussion time, focusing on professionalism and working with the community. Whether you're thinking of teaching, or have been teaching for a while, you'll gain a lot of new perspective!

Sunday: 1:30pm-3:00pm (with Artemis) Tagteam Timeline: History of Belly Dance
Join Artemis and Tempest as they cover the History of Belly Dance! As with all things in life, you have to know where you came from so that you will understand where you are now and where to go from here. This ancient art form has been much misunderstood. Its origins came from prehistoric worship, then to the Temples of Hathor and it has flourished for thousands of years in its various permutations, finally makings its way into cabarets worldwide. We will explore the many roots of the dance - sacred and secular. Dance was used to invite, entice and communicate with divinities and mortals alike. Dance was carried along the Romany (Gypsy) trail from India to the world. The Almees, also known as "the wise women...the learned females" entertained and educated the people of North Africa. Public performers made their ways to the cabarets of the Middle East and eventually to Europe. America and beyond. Egyptian, Turkish, Lebanese and American styles of Oriental belly dance have flourished. A new art form was born - American Tribal style and in its turn, that gave birth to many other wonderful newer art forms. Regardless of your style or level of dance, you are bound to enjoy many "Ah Ha! Moments" as this workshop connects the dots and fills in the gaps.

Sunday: 3:30-5pm: Community Cleanse: Rinse, Ground, Grow, Repeat

This workshop wraps up our weekend with a ritual that will help you learn how to shed the layers and issues that you don't need, illuminate your own dance path and place within/without the larger community, retain the best parts of your experience, use them to grow the chart your journey further, while assisting you in finding ways to keep the high going all year long. Processes will include energy work, trance, and zar techniques. Wear comfortable clothing!

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Featured Teachers & Musicians: The Ghosts Project

The Ghosts Project are a band that are near and dear to our hearts.  They were part of the very first (and second) Waking Persephone (back in Providence, RI), and we're thrilled to have them return for Year 5.

Formed in 2006, The Ghosts Project is comprised of Paul Mercer on violin and Davis Petterson on percussion. The band, which is located in Atlanta, features an ever changing lineup of special guest musicians from all over the country.

Paul Mercer began studying violin at age 8, and has performed professionally for over twenty years, His current and past projects include The Changlings, Jill Tracy's Malcontent Orchestra, Faith and the Muse, DP3, Brass Knuckle Surfer and The Sweet Meat Love and Holy Cult. Davis Petterson has been a percussionist for twenty years and has performed with bands such as The Changlings, The Hellblinki Sextet, Strezo, Abney Park, The Nathaniel Johnstone Band and Soriah. They will be joined in Seattle by multi-instrumentalist Nathaniel Johnstone.

The band frequently works with a variety of dancers, pulling not only from their own songs, but creating live improvised music on the spot. This is their third year performing at Waking Persephone, and each year as part of the Gala Shows, the performing dancer gives the band 3 words or phrases, which inspires the music they create right then and there.

Their workshop takes place on Friday 4:30-6pm Dancing To & With a Live Band
Learn the art of improvisation and how to perform with a live band from The Ghosts Project. The percussion, violin & guitar trio will teach you how to adapt your belly dance moves to the spontaneity of live musician with an emphasis on communication between dancer and musician.

And don't miss them making musical magic live at BOTH Gala Shows and dance with them yourself at the Underworld Ball!

Teacher Feature: Somni!

We are pleased to welcome back Somni - this year as Core Instructors offering TWO workshops - one on Friday and one on Sunday!

Somni is Letty Limbach and Sarah Kate Moore. They strive to create dynamic, mischievous tribal fusion that draws from many forms of world dance. Having completed Rachel Brice's 8 Elements Phases I and II, both members of Somni have also trained extensively with their dance mentor Lacey Sanchez of Florida Tribal Dance. Well known in Seattle for their dynamic, surprising performances, they are inspired by diverse forms of dance including Raks Sharki, ATS and ITS, tribal fusion, hip hop, modern/contemporary, tango, and Middle Eastern and North African folkloric forms.

Friday: 10:30-12pm Contemporary Stylizations
Many of us love the rich aesthetics of belly dance that draw from the past - the Victorian, the Art Nouveau, the tarnished but still sparkly shinies - but what if you want to look towards the present or even the future for inspiration? In this workshop, we'll explore contemporary stylizations in both movement and costume. Drawing inspiration from hip hop and modern dance forms, we'll first look at how we can adapt shape, structure, posture, and attitude to create a contemporary aesthetic using the vocabulary of belly dance. You'll then either create your own combination using these concepts or we'll teach a combination that illustrates these concepts. We'll then move to the costuming realm to discuss how you can adapt these same ideas to creating a unique costume that complements/accentuates the contemporary aesthetics of the movement, while still honoring the costuming lineage of our dance form. This will be a combination movement and discussion class and will include take-home handouts and direction toward relevant resources.

Sunday: 1:30pm-3:00pm Intentional JuxtapositionThis thoughtful article by fusion dancer Hilde Cannoodt has been making the rounds: We love what Hilde has to say about the importance of avoiding unintentional juxtaposition. It also made us wonder--what does intentional juxtaposition look like?--and how can we use it to create motivated, inspirational, badass fusion dance? Get ready to explore any and all movement and dance forms you have experience with to create your own "intentionally juxtaposed" combination. This will be a combo discussion/movement class with a focus on personal exploration, including take-home handouts and direction toward relevant resourc

Friday, October 7, 2016

Teacher Feature: Sara Beaman!

Another familiar face to WP is the multi-talented Sara Beaman! Based in Raleigh, North Carolina, Sara Beaman has a passion for contemporary bellydance in all its forms. She performs as a soloist and as a member of the League of Extraordinary Bellydancers, a geek-themed bellydance troupe, and stars in two instructional DVDs, "Fluid Transitions" and "Swordplay for Bellydance". Her style is always emotional, often dark, and usually improvised.

This year Sara is presenting the challenging art of floorwork on Friday from 4:30-6pm: Get On The Floor - Floorwork and Levels. This workshop demystifies the art of bellydance floorwork. Through a series of flowing combinations, we’ll explore basic and advanced floorwork techniques as well as the transitional elements between them. We’ll discuss conditioning, safety considerations, how to integrate props into floorwork, how to ascend and descend gracefully, and how to do floorwork in different kinds of costuming. You’ll come away from the workshop with skills you can put into practice right away. Please bring kneepads, or expect to have very sore knees by the end of the workshop.

She is also vending her gorgeous jewelry as Hazel Planchette in our wonderful marketplace!

Teacher Feature: Samara!

We are pleased to having Samara joining us again from the East Coast!

Samara is a Salem MA-based performance artist who has performed and taught bellydance at events across the US. She earned her Bachelor's in Theatre Arts from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and her Master's in Theatre Education from Emerson College, and has been studying Middle Eastern dance and performing as a living statue since 2006. Samara is the producer of several Boston-area events, including the Geeky Bellydance Show at the Arisia convention each January, and is the resident bellydancer for the burlesque collective Geek Girl Boston. She is the dance child of Neylan in Providence and Tempest wherever she roams and has combined her dance, theatre and performance art training into her own unique style of snaky, statuesque, pop-and-lock bellydance.

Samara will be presenting her workshop "All the World's a Stage: Theatre and Theatricality for Bellydancers" on Saturday at 5pm. While actors and dancers often share the same spaces, shared knowledge between art forms is a precious commodity. This workshop has a twofold focus: theatre terminology, history and concepts useful for dancers; and theatrical techniques to enhance a dancer's stage presence and engage their audience. Prepare for dramatic flair!

Check out her dramatic performance from Arisia!

Teacher Feature: Poppy Maya!

Teaching for her first time at WP is third-generation belly dancer and co-author of "Becoming a Belly Dancer" is the wonderful Poppy Maya! She is bringing to our extensive workshop schedule "Your Perfect Belly Dance Wardrobe" which focuses on the crucial topic of putting together the right look and costuming for your dance, regardless of level or style!

Poppy Maya is an international belly dancer and costume designer. As a third-generation belly dancer, she grew up surrounded by Middle Eastern music and dance. Dancers choose to have their custom costumes designed and made by Poppy because she brings her knowledge of performance to the design and construction of her costumes. Her pieces stand up to the strongest shimmy. UK born, Poppy’s belly dance career has taken her to three continents. Poppy performed professionally throughout India for eight months. She was the featured entertainer at Bollywood weddings, beach hotels and cruise ships. She currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area CA, performing at private events and restaurants. She is known for her exquisite shimmies, dynamic staging, bright smile and sparking eyes. Her family legacy of dance shines through her interpretations of the music.

Saturday 10/15: 5-6:30pm Poppy Maya: Your Perfect Belly Dance Wardrobe
Do you have lots of costumes pieces but nothing to wear? Are you just starting to perform and need to expand or upgrade your wardrobe, but don’t know where to start? In this workshop, Poppy will teach you how to get what you want from your costumes based on your budget, performance style and opportunities. We will review your existing costume collection and evaluate how it aligns with your goals.Poppy will share techniques for getting the most out of your wardrobe and how to complete your performance look. This is a lecture type workshop. Details of preparation work will be sent ahead of the class.

Check out her website at

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Teacher Feature: Nawal Doucette

Waking Persephone is pleased to welcome back Nawal as a guest instructor. She will be teaching the following workshop:

Rock N Roll Finger Symbols
Sunday, October 16th 9:00-10:30PM

In this workshop We will talk about and hear some of the different styles of music other than Traditional “bellydance music “ where we can play finger cymbals as percussionists and Dancers. These types of music include Folk, Celtic, Blue Grass, Rockabilly and event straight up ROCK! We will play Cymbals and learn a few combos that go well when improvising dance with cymbals to non-traditional music. We will explore Nawal’s approach to playing finger cymbals- Nawal originally learned to play finger cymbals as accompanying percussion as she became too busy with her bellydance business to keep up with her cello parts in Wet Grow Light- and started playing her cello parts with Cymbals. Rather than playing learned patterns over the music she creates patterns live on the spot- “jamming” or “riffing” with the music and complementing the drummer- locking in not only with the rhythm section but also the melodies and playing off the other band members. The Cymbals are written in to the music then the dance is worked in around the primary responsibility of accessory percussion.We will learn: using traditional cymbal patterns vs ‘composed’ patterns | When to back out and let the music breathe How to communicate with your band mates when dancing/ playing | Great warm ups and exercises to prepare for intense cymbal playing. This workshop is suitable for people new to finger cymbals or even experienced cymbal players.

More about Nawal

Nawal teaches finger cymbals, muscular technique , American Tribal Style®, and Salimpour format bellydance. She is Level 1 and Level 2 certified in both the Jamila and Suhaila Salimpour formats, and is currently working towards her teaching certification in both formats. She is also a FatChanceBellyDance® ATS® teacher and Certified Sister Studio; the first person to bring authentic American Tribal Style to New Brunswick, Canada.

Nawal has had her work as a pioneer of west coast bellydance styles in eastern Canada recognized with much praise and support. She has received multiple provincial arts’ grants in order to pursue her studies at the Suhaila Salimpour School of Bellydance in Berkeley, California.

Nawal is also an Experienced Yoga Teacher (E-RYT200) Registered through YOGA Alliance, blending her own practice into classes. She is a also a member of the Psycadelic Rock Group WET GROW LIGHT, playing percussion, keys , or belly dance."

Monday, October 3, 2016

Teacher Feature: Mahin

Waking Persephone is pleased to welcome Mahin as a guest instructor. She will be teaching the following workshop

Belly Dance Anatomy & Injury Prevention
Saturday, October 15th 3:00-4:30 PM

Learn to dance safer and stronger! We’ll cover muscles important to belly dance with regard to great arm flow, posture, juicy core movement and safe hips, knees and ankles. Material covers anatomy, strengthening, stretching and the application of biomechanical principles to belly dance movement. Mahin holds a B.S. in Exercise & Wellness and is an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer.

More about Mahin

Mahin is a performer and instructor based in Phoenix, AZ and author of the internationally-acclaimed "Bellydance Quickies" email and videos. As a performer she is known for her classic style and expertise with zills. As an teacher, Mahin combines the art of Middle Eastern dance with her academic background in Exercise Science to provide thorough and detailed instruction for her students.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Teacher Feature: Leigh Anne Shaw

Waking Persephone is thrilled to welcome Leigh Anne Shaw as a guest instructor this year! She will be teaching the following workshop:

The Shape of the Sun: ATS® Basket Dialect by Al-hambra Tribal Dance
Saturday, October 15th 1:15-2:45PM

Learn an exciting new movement dialect for American Tribal Style® Belly Dance that seamlessly integrates baskets into slow and fast ATS® vocabulary. The shape of the basket fused into the ATS® vocabulary recalls iconic postures and ancient symbols while remaining totally improvisational and ready to enhance any ATS® set. Created and taught by an FCBD Sister Studio, this movement dialect requires familiarity with the FatChanceBellyDance® instructional series through Volume 9. Please bring a round basket or object suitable for balancing and manipulating, appropriate headwrap, and knee protection. A limited number of baskets will be available for use and sale.

More about Leigh Anne:
Leigh Anne Shaw is grateful to have discovered American Tribal Style belly dance in 2004. After performing with student troupe Nefer Tem and FCBD® sister troupe Saiidi, Leigh Anne received her FCBD® General Skills and FCBD® Teacher Training certification in 2010 and became an official FCBD® Sister Studio, teaching ATS® on the San Francisco peninsula. Her troupe, Al-hambra Tribal Dance, performs in the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition to the years of instruction at the ATS® Mothership, Leigh Anne credits the development of her personal style to her studies with Ariellah, Nanna Candelaria, Malia DeFelice, Asia Arabesque, Andrea Sendek, and Wendy Marlatt. Leigh Anne performs world fusion belly dance on occasion with Wendy Marlatt in a sassy duet known as Rashani.

Teacher Feature: Kryss

Waking Persephone is excited to include Kryss as one of our guest instructors! She will be offering the following workshop:

Raqs Duende (Flamenco Fusion)
Saturday, October 15th 10:45AM-12:15PM

Flamenco is intense passion and deep immersion into the soul. To fuse Flamenco and Belly Dance is to cross a small strip of water that divides two amazingly beautiful cultures. By taking the upper body stylings of Flamenco, the signature turn, “vuelta que brada”, paseos and marking steps and layering with the hip, chest and torso isolations of Belly Dance there is a fusion that comes from the depths of the body and soul. Workshop focus is on arms, posture & attitude..

More about Kryss
We all come to dance from different places on the planet, in our hearts and in our minds. We come here because something stirs in our Souls when we hear the music all around us. I started in the rigidity and conformity of Ballet, was pulled back to dance in college to add Modern and Jazz to my body's vocabulary, and once the pre-requisites of early adulthood were fulfilled, I found my way to Middle Eastern Dance. My cells hold information about Flamenco and the Indian Classical style, Mohini Attam. When I dove into Dance meditation as a dance and personal practice, I figured out that Dance was basically painting with breath and that so much could be learned about Self and Community through Dance and I feel great Joy in seeing these connections created in others.

My stats... Dance Minor from Newcomb College, trained at Boston School of Ballet and Walnut Hill School of Performing Arts. Soloist with Betty Karam & the Desert Dancers, and !Ole Flamenco Ole! in New Orleans. I'm the director of NOLAmazigh and owner of Crescent Lotus Dance Studio. I hold a Teacher Certification in Dancemeditation from the Dervish Society of America. I've studied dance on 2 continents with some truly amazing people.