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The Austin Belly Dance Convention 2017

Amara Dances, PhD

Friday, June 23, 2017 at 1:00 PM - Sunday, June 25, 2017 at 4:30 PM (CDT)

The Austin Belly Dance Convention 2017

Ticket Information

Ticket Type Remaining Sales End Price Fee Quantity
Friday Gala Show: Keep Austin Shimmying
After taking the ABDC workshops Friday afternoon or coming from a long week of work, start your weekend with a bang by watching our amazing workshop teachers and guest performers do what they do best! Entertain and inspire you!
150 Tickets Jun 22, 2017 $20.00 $1.49
Saturday Gala Show: Austin Raqs
The Austin Belly Dance Convention is proud to present a variety of Middle Eastern dance styles. Performers include ABDC instructors and hand-picked guest dancers in this high caliber and dynamic show.
150 Tickets Jun 23, 2017 $20.00 $1.49
The ABDC Package - 7 Workshops and 2 Gala Shows.   more info 20 Tickets Jun 9, 2017 $300.00 $8.49
Installment Plan Processing Fee   more info 25 Tickets May 1, 2017 $15.00 $1.37
Fri 1:00-4:00pm: DONNA MEJIA: An Introduction to Transnational Fusion Dance
Arab-American “Tribal” Fusion is a transnational dance genre rooted in nomadic and secular dance traditions of the Arabian Diaspora. Although it contains strong roots in women’s styles of Arabic folk dance, various artists have expanded the vocabulary to include influences of Rom (‘Gypsy’) dance styles from India to Europe, Spanish Flamenco, North African dances, and more recently American hip hop, electronic, punk, and gothic subcultures. As it was popularized, the form grew in response to experimentation of DJs sampling and digitally manipulating traditional instruments in hip hop, electronic, and world music. You will hear the best hardcore global electronica in the universe, learn foundational hip work, and poly-rhythmic orientation. Dancers of all ages, gender expression, ability levels, and life experiences are absolutely welcomed in the class. Skill level: Beginner - Intermediate levels.
60 Tickets Jun 9, 2017 $80.00 $2.99
Fri 1:30-3:30pm: NADIRA JAMAL: Lace: How to Make Your Zils Interesting, Not Overwhelming
Are you feeling uninspired with your zils? Claude Debussy said that “music is the space between the notes.” You will learn simple ways to make your zils more musical by incorporating silence. It is like a piece of lace; it is the holes that make it beautiful! Finger cymbal mastery is NOT required - even if you can only play one simple pattern, you can start creating interesting lace effects. Please bring a zils. Skill level: All levels.
30 Tickets Jun 9, 2017 $40.00 $1.99
Fri 1:30-3:30pm: AMARA: Choreographic Processes - Two Fold
Come have fun exploring the inner workings of creating choreography through a two prong approach. First, we will investigate the processes that go into creating “traditional” Middle Eastern chorography, including analyzing music, organizing your arsenal of moves, and using improvisation to create choreography. Then we will shift into experimental processes, such as fusing street dance and Middle Eastern dance and employing the rhizome as a metaphor and source of inspiration. Skill level: All levels.
25 Tickets Jun 9, 2017 $40.00 $1.99
Fri 4:00-6:00pm: RUBY BEH: Layering Technique
Increase your musicality by learning to balance both rhythm and melody in your body. Ruby will review some foundational techniques and then lead you through a series of challenging layers. Skill level: All levels.
30 Tickets Jun 9, 2017 $60.00 $2.49
Fri 4:00-6:00pm: KATAYOUN: Folkloric Flair
Explore the movements, steps, and aesthetics of various cultural flavors and the dynamics that create the distinct folkloric flair. Relish intricate hip work of Egyptian folklore. Escape with fancy footwork of Iranian folklore and more. Then add spicy folkloric flavor to modern belly dance moves you already know to create energetic and exciting combinations. Be prepared to have a blast and dance your booty off to a variety of music! Skill Level: All levels. Suitable for dancers proficient in basic belly dance movements and steps. Modifications will be offered to challenge more advanced dancers.
30 Tickets Jun 9, 2017 $40.00 $1.99
Fri 4:00-6:00pm: NAJLA: Tips and Techniques to Become a Focused and Grounded Dancer (and Overcome Performance Anxiety Along the Way)
Performance anxiety gets the best of all of us. Shaky legs, nerves, and butterflies in your stomach can unnerve even the most seasoned dancer. If you’d like to overcome those fears and feel more confident during your performances, this lecture-based class will teach techniques to help you calm your mind, and learn how to integrate breath, and form a stronger awareness of your body so you can relax and enjoy the dance! Skill level: All levels.
30 Tickets Jun 9, 2017 $40.00 $1.99
Sat 9:00am-12:00pm: OZZY & AMARA: Drum Solo
Understand both sides of the drum solo equation from world renowned Darbuka player Ozzy and dancer Amara. Through combos, drills, and improvisational tools, you will study the most important aspects of performing with a live drummer. Learn drum sounds and rhythms and moves that work with them. Dissect important transitions in order to get the most out of nuances and enhance your show. Explore the structure of an Arab drum solo including how they are composed and improvised. Understand the relationship between drummer and dancer and how to maximize your time on stage together. Skill level: All levels.
60 Tickets Jun 9, 2017 $80.00 $2.99
Sat 9:00-11:00pm: CYNDI CYREIGNA ELLIOTT: Work that Skirt! ~ ATS® Embellishments/Props
Use your skirt as an extension of your body to not only enhance your movement but to maximize your space to the fullest. Employ it as a natural enhancement to Traditional American Tribal Style® vocabulary as well as some fun Irie ATS® Movement Dialect. We will cover making skirt movement fluid, cueing movements with skirts, and creating a skirt routine that will leave your audience mesmerized.  Skill level: ATS® or Group improvisational background.
30 Tickets Jun 9, 2017 $40.00 $1.99
Sat 9:00-11:00am: MAGDELENA FUSARO: Using Your Head – Building and Balancing Candle Trays & Fire Trays
Learn how to make your own gorgeous candle and fire trays and to balance and perform successfully with these beautiful creations. First, we will explore different types of trays, light, and fire effects and what it takes to make an impactful performance tool. Once we have your tray designed, we will cover the ABCs of performing while balancing something burning on top of your head (this is where all that upper and lower body separation comes in handy). We will practice combinations while balancing that include level changes and floor work. Please bring a tray. There will be a limit number of loaners available. Skill level: All skill levels.
25 Tickets Jun 9, 2017 $40.00 $1.99
Sat 9:30-11:30am: DALIDA: Mejance - Eye Catching Entrance Choreography
Impress your audience from the first second with an expressive veil entrance. Work on veil technique, turns, travelling steps, rhythm changes, and styling to enhance and exhilarate your dance. Dalida will also teach a choreography with modern twist and her signature style. Please bring veil. Skill level: Intermediate - Advanced levels.
25 Tickets Jun 9, 2017 $40.00 $1.99
Sat 9:30am-11:30: WINTER STAR: Welcome to the Art of Henna
What is Henna? Where does it come from? How do you make it? How do you apply it? How do you care for it? All these questions and more along with the history of the henna art form will be covered. There will be ample time for hands on application of your own design! We will also add in some fun glitter and bling twists! Each student will receive one henna cone and henna information packet. Skill level: All skill levels.
25 Tickets Jun 9, 2017 $40.00 $1.99
Sat 11:30-1:30pm: DONNA MEJIA: Impulse, Momentum, and Fluidity
Explore continuums of movements; uninterrupted flow of movement in both the standing body (transferred as waves) and traveling body (progressions across the floor). We will investigate the idea of obstructions or default movement habits. Our class objective is NOT to create a specific style or aesthetic of dance. Rather, we will workshop our way through common patterns of resistance. Expect a substantial and vigorous warmup, followed by short phrases of choreography danced across the room. We will give special focus to traveling patterns in the feet and integration of hip/torso work in conjunction with traveling. Building confidence with improvisation and perpetuity is what we are aiming for. As always, I promise the best music in the universe (!), respect for your dignity as a participant, honesty, and much laughter during our “laboratory” time together. Please bring a yoga mat. Skill level: Intermediate level.
30 Tickets Jun 9, 2017 $60.00 $2.49
Sat 12:00-2:00pm: KARMA KARMELITA: Unleash the Beast
Summon your inner Amazon through intense and dynamic combinations and technique stylization to punch your audience in the face! (Metaphorically, of course). Foot stomps, tight spins, hair-o-graphy, and powerful movements come together to form unique sequences that students can use in their shows. Not for the faint of heart, this workshop will challenge students both physically and creatively! RAWR! Skill level: Intermediate – Advanced.
30 Tickets Jun 9, 2017 $40.00 $1.99
Sat:1:00-3:00pm: LILY TSAI: Choreography to Cleopatra in New York
A dreamy and sultry song, this choreography is appropriate for all levels and is beginner friendly. The dance employs fundamental bellydance moves to show how a beautiful dance can be made with just basic movements. There is also the opportunity to perform the piece during the ABDC Showcase! Skill level: All levels.
25 Tickets Jun 9, 2017 $40.00 $1.99
Sat 3:30pm-5:30pm: RUBY BEH: Feedback Forum: Lecture and Discussion
In this lecture and discussion, Ruby will share her secrets on how to offer thoughtful and thorough feedback. She will reveal her method of how to see the great things in each performance as well as articulate what could be improved. Ruby will bring her own videos to use as examples. You are welcomed to bring yours too! Skill level: All levels.
30 Tickets Jun 9, 2017 $60.00 $2.49
Sat 3:30-5:30pm: Stacey Lizzette: Undulation Nation
Stuck in an undulation rut? Having trouble getting your undulation engine started? Explore various types of undulations, and get tips for how to practice your undulations to make them stronger and more fluid. Learn a dynamic combination using different kinds of undulations that you can modify and use as part of any improvisation or choreography. Skill level: All skill levels.
25 Tickets Jun 9, 2017 $40.00 $1.99
Sat 4:00-6:00pm: KATAYOUN: Bandari - Iranian Folkloric Dance
This spirited dance originates from the Persian Gulf region of Iran and reflects the cultural influences of Persian, Arab, and African trance traditions. Learn a modern bandari choreography with many dynamic body movements and moods depicting its celebratory and ritualistic origins. This is a high-energy class that is both core-intensive and aerobic! Bring a chiffon veil, wrap, or a piece of light sheer fabric and knee pads to try the optional floor work. Skill Level: All levels.
30 Tickets Jun 9, 2017 $40.00 $1.99
Sat 4:00-6:00pm: MICHELLE SORENSEN: Press Pause: The Art of Silence
Emily Dickinson said, "Saying nothing... sometimes says the most." How often do we take opportunities for stillness in our dance? We will focus on the breath between the "words" of our movement. We will learn a few unique combinations and then challenge our brains (and bodies) by adding silence and pause in different places throughout the combo, creating a sort of "musical chairs" game with dance!  Skill level: All skill levels.
30 Tickets Jun 9, 2017 $40.00 $1.99
Sun 9:30-12:30pm RUBY BEH: Modern Turkish Oriental Choreography
Ruby will review conceptions about what makes Turkish style unique. Then she will share a choreography where fast footwork and finesse come together in her version of modern Turkish Oriental style. Skill level: Intermediate to Advanced
60 Tickets Jun 9, 2017 $80.00 $2.99
Sun 9:00-11:00am: ANNA: The Soul of Egypt: Baladi and the Baladi Progression
Discover the spirit of Egyptian dance through one of its quintessential musical forms - The Baladi Progression. Through lecture, technique, and choreography, explore what "baladi" is, the defining characteristics of the style, as well as recreating the "baladi" character in your own performances. Learn the structure and types of baladi progressions typically heard in the belly dance world, including ideas for creating beautifully improvised taqsims. Skill level: Intermediate - Advanced levels.
30 Tickets Jun 9, 2017 $40.00 $1.99
Sun 9:30-11:30am: BAHAIA: Krazy about Khaleegy
Come explore the ultra-feminine world of Saudi women’s dance with a rolling rhythm, flowing robes, and hair-tossing good times. This regional dance – though not a form of bellydance – is a folk style than has woven its way into contemporary bellydance. Learn basic footwork, gestures, and safe hair-tossing of this mesmerizing style as well as when and why to incorporate it into your repertoire. Please bring a thobe (traditional Saudi outfit), or if you do not own one, a regular dance veil. Some thobes will be available to borrow in class. Skill level: All levels.
25 Tickets Jun 9, 2017 $40.00 $1.99
Sun 10:00-12:00pm: TOTEM: All About ATS
Whether you have years of experience or none at all, this class has something to offer all fans of Tribal Belly Dance! Covering curriculum from Classic and Modern American Tribal Style®, the multiple teachers in Totem provide ample one-on-one attention to all students. All participants will have the option of performing ATS® with Totem in the Showcase Sunday afternoon. Bring your zils and get ready to get sweaty! Skill level: All skill levels.
25 Tickets Jun 9, 2017 $40.00 $1.99
Sun 11:00-1:00pm: OZZY: Evolution of the Drum Solo
World renowned Darbuka player Ozzy teaches one of his most popular drum solos, “Evolution of the Drum Solo.” Learn tricks and breakdowns of all the combinations and how to put them together to create a high power and mesmerizing drum solo. Every drummer, beginner to professional, will be challenged and come away with new technique. You will also have the opportunity to perform on Sunday afternoon’s ABDC Showcase with Ozzy. Skill level: All levels.
25 Tickets Jun 9, 2017 $60.00 $2.49
Sun 10:00-12:00pm: JAMIE LYNN: Creative Costume Construction
Learn tips and tricks to create your own costumes that fit great, are comfortable, and creatively one-of-a kind! Discover what style of costume looks best on different body types and get personalized help to design and construct your own costume. We will cover the history of Bellydance costumes, aspects of basic design, and how to create a basic bedlah (bra and belt set) to decorate. Bring pen and paper to take notes, or if you are inclined, bring your own materials and construct along with Jamie Lynn. You will need a bra in your size (no soft cups, only medium/hard cups), a roll of grosgrain ribbon 1” wide, 1 to 2 yards of heavy fabric (blue jean material, embroidery cloth, canvas, or heavy pellon),1 to 2 yards of fashion fabric (stretchy or not. I do not recommend chiffon for first timers), and a sewing kit (scissors, needles, thread to match your fabric, and safety pins). Skill level: All levels.
30 Tickets Jun 9, 2017 $40.00 $1.99
Sun 12:00-2:00pm: NADIRA JAMAL: Full Routine Basics
Are you ready to move beyond 5-minute hafla sets? Learn the classic 6-part routine used in American Cabaret and Turkish styles. Explore what the audience expects and how to give it to them. We will also discuss the routine’s structure and adapt it to parties, shorter shows, and other belly dance styles. Please bring a veil. Skill level: All levels.
25 Tickets Jun 9, 2017 $40.00 $1.99
Sun 12:30-2:30pm: DONNA MEJIA: Pedagogical Considerations in Teaching and Learning Dance
Donna Mejia serves as the pedagogical professor for CU Boulder’s Theatre and Dance courses at both undergraduate and graduate levels. Examine the legal, practical, pedagogical, and philosophical issues under review in current dance education (learning differences, developmental sequencing, anatomical distinctions, risks and liabilities, ethical practices, cultural inclusivity, copyright issues, etc.) The goals and content of professional and recreational dance training will be considered and strategies for effective teaching practices will be discussed. Most importantly, we will collectively discuss practical applications of theoretical material. All genres of dance are topically relevant and may be utilized in this workshop.  Skill level: All levels.
30 Tickets Jun 9, 2017 $60.00 $2.49
Sun 12:30-2:30pm: KARMA KARMELITA: Floorwork 101
Experience the unique and passionate art of belly dance floorwork! Students of all levels will delve into basic technique, how to descend (and ascend) gracefully, smooth transitions, strength conditioning exercises, and stretches to get the most out of your balanced floorwork extensions. Learn a short choreography complete with a descension and ascension so you can successfully include it into any performance. Skill levels: All levels.
25 Tickets Jun 9, 2017 $40.00 $1.99
Sun 1:00-3:00pm: MICHELLE SORENSEN: Semi-Automatic Shimmies
Shimmies are one of the most difficult techniques to master. Therefore, we will cover a few of my favorite shimmies! We’ll add foot patterns, simple layers, and timing changes to really drill them into our vocabularies and make them sustainable with minimal effort! Come prepared to sweat, as I like to run this workshop boot camp style. Skill level: Advanced Beginner – Professional.
30 Tickets Jun 9, 2017 $40.00 $1.99

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Event Details

The Austin Belly Dance Convention (ABDC):

Central Texas’ Premier Belly Dance Event

A weekend of inspiring performances, instruction, and remarkable products from the international and domestic belly dance community. Increase your professional and personal development by networking, educating, or learning more about the belly dancing world. It’s your world. Now thrive!

The ABDC 2017 includes:

Featured Artists: Donna Mejia, Ruby Beh, and Ozzy!

Guests Artists: AmaraAnnaBahaiaCyndi Cyreigna ElliottDalidaJamie LynnKarma Karmelita, Katayoun, Magdelena FusaroLilyMichelle SorensenNadira Jamal, Najla,  Stacey Lizette,Totem, and Winter Star.

Guest Bands: Badrawn and Atlas Maior.

Add more!

  • Over 50 hours of Belly Dance, Music Classes and Presentations with a variety of offerings to please all levels and styles! 
  • Spectacular Evening Performance Programs: Friday evening's "Keep Austin Shimmying" Gala and Saturday evening's "Austin Raqs" Gala.
  • The ABDC Showcase on Saturday and Sunday afternoon.
  • Live music daily
  • FREE admission for the public to the ballroom during the ABDC Showcase.
  • Shopping with a hand-picked collection of high quality vendors.
Have questions about The Austin Belly Dance Convention 2017? Contact Amara Dances, PhD

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When & Where

Holiday Inn - Midtown
6000 Middle Fiskville Rd
Austin, TX 78752

Friday, June 23, 2017 at 1:00 PM - Sunday, June 25, 2017 at 4:30 PM (CDT)

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Amara Dances, PhD

Amara is one of the most versatile dancers in the United States and Australia as her repertory includes traditional and experimental improvisations and choreographies.


She has trained in numerous dance and movement forms, including belly dance, various Middle Eastern folk dances, Modern improvisation, Post-modern dance, Pilates, Yoga, Tango, Bharata Natyam, and Ballet.


Amara has been the head dancer at many nightclubs and restaurants in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Austin and has been featured in over 15 commercial Middle Eastern dance videos.


She has taught accredited courses at UCLA, UCR, and Cal Poly Pomona and currently teaches on-going Beginning through Professional level Middle Eastern dance classes and workshops. She is the Director of Training 4 Dance Teachers.


In addition to teaching and performing, Amara is the Executive Producer of the Austin Belly Dance Convention, Producer of EEMED shows, the Director of Ya Helewa! Dance Company, and Co-Producer of X-MED workshops.


Amara has a PhD in Dance History and Theory (UCR), a BA in Ethnomusicology (FSU), and worked towards an MA and MFA in Dance (UCLA).



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The Austin Belly Dance Convention 2017
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