Gypsy Hips on Fire!
Whew! What a way to start my weekend. I just attended a great workshop taught by the fabulous Amaya. Catherine Vigil and Duke Standberry of the Duke & Cat Show hosted the workshop at BreakOut Studios, Tucson, AZ.
I didn't start off too well being that I was late. Oops, sorry. Not making excuses, but you never know when your 1 year old is going to do 1 year old type things, thus costing you that extra time you thought you had in the morning to get ready. So I learned my lesson...again.
Anyway I arrived as the class was already warming up. After that Amaya discussed and taught a bit of a spanish "gitana" (gypsy) style routine. This is definitely the Amaya signature style and of course she does it beautifully. It's such a treat to be taught by such experienced dancer with such a passion and such a distinct style.
Amaya then moved onto the actual workshop theme "Gypsy Hips on Fire", which was a great little drum solo. It's always nice to be reminded how great choreography doesn't have to be complex choreography. You can keep it simple yet come across very polished, professional and pretty.
We actually got through the whole piece, almost 4 minutes of choreo, and I'm happy to say, we did pretty good for just having learned it! Thanks Amaya!
She then took the last few minutes to talk about the importance of stage presence and gave a few tips on how to achieve it. She has an entire DVD devoted to this topic called "Star Power! Stage Presence and Pizzaz".
She also is the producer of an amazing DVD that every dancer should watch. It's titled "American Bellydance Legends". I've actually posted it here previously but here is a little snippet of it again.
I didn't even know about this Amaya workshop until a few days ago and I'm so glad I attended. What a wonderful dancer, teacher and powerful woman. One can always rent or buy instructional DVD's or watch it on Youtube but it never beats meeting the instructor in person. You miss out on all the little pearls of wisdom they gift you throughout the workshop. You miss out on getting to know their offstage personality which of course feeds their onstage persona. I highly recommend getting yourself to a dance workshop as soon as the opportunity presents itself. Can't think of a better way to spend a couple of hours than dancing, sweating and learning more about our beloved bellydance.