Finger Cymbals Basics Workshop

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Finger Cymbal Basics for Belly Dancers: Saturday October 13th, 2-4pm at Yogalution Movement 3141 e. Broadway Long Beach CA.  This workshop is an introduction to playing Finger cymbals (also called zills or sagat). You will learn basic finger cymbal patterns, play them at various speeds, pair them with arabic rhythms and finally dance with them! A foundation of basic belly dance technique is suggested for this workshop. Bring a pair of finger cymbals, if you don’t have any there will be plenty available to loan.
Investment: $25
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Belly Dance Classes

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Amber Ray’s classes are all levels and focus on fundamentals, technique, posture, stage presence, and more. Classes include introduction to fundamental belly dance movement, drilling the movements, drilling them in combos, learning short and original choreographies, an intentional approach to dance and yoga for conditioning. Belly dance brings joy, vitality, and wellness into our lives. These classes are a lot of fun and provide a wonderful cardio workout.

For the studio’s website, visit: yogalutionmovement.com. 

Private & Semi-Private Belly Dance Lessons

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Want a more in depth, one on one (private) or one on two (semi private, yourself and a friend) session of belly dance lessons with a highly experienced belly dancer? Are you looking to take your skills to the next level and grow as a dancer? Have you never danced before or are brand new, but want one on one lessons before entering a class environment? I offer privates and semi privates… I offer package deals on lessons, book 4 lessons, the 4th is 40% off for privates or semi privates..

Private:$60 for an hour

Semi-Private: $42.50 each ($85 for both)
Email me: amberraybellydance@gmail.com to book now!

The Roller Coaster of Maya

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The creation of my latest choreography entitled, “the roller coaster  maya,” was a spiritual process. “Everything, including the world and the Self are in essence one with God, but that the world of appearances casts a veil of illusion, or Maya, over the ever-present, all-pervading Divine. So unlike the radical dualism that says God and The World are two completely different things – this position says it’s all God, but until we pierce the veil of illusion we cannot see this,” taken from elephantjournal.com on Patanjali’s writings of dualism. It is believed that the material world is but an illusion (maya), and when not connected to the divine we are just on its roller coaster, the roller coaster of our karma, the roller coaster of maya. This choreography travels through the various emotions: ecstasy, sadness, love, sorrow, loss, beauty, strength, and the many other elements of the human experience. I hope you enjoy my artwork.  CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE PERFORMANCE VIDEO

 

 

The Red Skirt: Choreographing

Pawing through old prom and wedding party dresses at a local thrift store, I happened upon a mere piece of red satin fabric, a dress with a lovely ruche job on the backside. What a beautiful costume this could be turned into.  I brought it home and cut it up, gave it new life as a glamorous performance skirt. It sat in my closet for months as it didn’t quite have a place in any upcoming shows. As time passed I had a new show to choreograph for. As usual, I had dancer’s block to begin. Where do I start? I had no music that inspired me at the moment. Then I had a flash in my mind of the red skirt sitting in the closet. The show had a dark carnival theme, I imagined red, satin, glimmering lips on stage to compliment the satin shine of the skirt. Clown makeup, a glamorous clown. An entire choreography was conceived from that piece of fabric once worn by a girl going to prom, or a lady in a good friend’s wedding, whatever the history may be.

I write about this because I want to highlight that inspiration can be in the smallest most uncomplicated places. In this case an old dress. A piece of music is another marvelous foundation for creating choreography, something that simply moves you, that allows the water you are biologically made up of to vibrate and circulate. Empty the mind with a meditative yoga practice, press record on your video camera and let loose, see what flows out innately, what the music brings out in you. Go back and watch, see the beauty that comes when you let go, unattached, out of your mind (literally). Pick and choose what looked best and construct a choreography from there. When you revisit the song and the dance, there will be a moment of motivation to finish the piece. Get to know the piece of music like a best friend.

These are only a couple of sources that are inspiring to create a piece of art for the stage. There are many more extraordinary places to find inspiration, its just about perspective and being open to them all.

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Dancing with my Partner Inside

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Click here to watch Amber Ray performing 8 months pregnant.

I was just recently approached by the woman who was a major contributor to my having an all natural child birth (Bradley© instructor)  to teach a prenatal belly dance workshop.  I jumped at the idea, and so I am planning one for next month. Sculpting the class is transporting me to the time I carried my sweet dance partner under my heart. When my daughter sat curled inside my womb and swayed with me through every motion . When my body for the first and only time had 2 souls residing in it. I taught my belly dance class up to 37 weeks ( turns in relevet and fast paced shimmies included) and performed throughout my whole pregnancy. My duets included me and my baby girl, making her presence be known through my beautiful bulging belly. The opitomy of strength and femininity. Evidence of just how powerful and truly amazing the woman’s body is. My body was experiencing what so many women’s bodies have been granted to do since time immemorial. What an honor. With every undulation my sweet pea was massaged by my abdominal muscles, each sway of the hips helped contribute to an even deeper sense of rhythm in both of us. We connected on a level that no other human and myself will ever connect on. For she grew inside me. My labor was intense but meditative and I have yoga and belly dance to acknowledge for that. My body was fortunate enough to house her body, and this dance form celebrated that immensely.