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ISSN 1177-2808

MEDANZ News Middle Eastern Dance Association of New Zealand February / March 2011 Alan Burden has been playing drums for longer than he cares to remember. His original playing roots are very much jazzbased, including a two-year stint as the drummer for the Rodger Fox Big Band. He developed an early interest in Latin jazz and learned to play congas, bongos, timbales and other Latin flavoured percussion instruments. Then in the 90s he discovered flamenco and teamed up with the now well-known Wellington-based flamenco dance group Desde Sevilla. He has been their principal percussion player ever since, specialising in the Cajon box drum, and performs regularly in concerts. Discovering flamenco was part of an interest in gypsy music in general, which led on to the Middle Eastern connection. Alan plays Middle Eastern frame drums, doumbek and riq, and has received instruction from Hossam Ramzy, the internationally known Glen Velez, and Matt Stonehouse. He also attends and plays at music festivals whenever possible, which has included a summer music school in New York state, and also Bamedam, (the Balkan and Middle Eastern Dance and Music Festival in Queensland), where he was informally voted by the dancers as the drummer they preferred performing with. Other musical involvements have included Tangerine (a Wellington-based Middle Eastern trio featuring oud, violin and percussion); the Paradise Dance Band (a re-creation of a 1920s style Palm Court dance quintet); the Rodrigo Brothers (an eclectic Wellington Rock Band) and Many Hands (an Auckland-based world music ensemble). Alan's draws on his varied percussion background when he plays and teaches. These including Jazz drum set, many rock drum styles, Latin rhythms and flamenco flavours. As a teacher he is fun, patient and inspiring. As a performer he is incurably modest and brings a sensitivity to the art of belly dance drumming which is hard to beat. Alan will be working hard for our 2011 Medanz festival. He is performing on stage and drumming with his students at the hafla, (students will get the chance to perform what they have learnt, as well as drum in a more relaxed informal setting). Alan is also presenting three workshops…… Workshop 1 Mokhtar Said drum solo Part A:

Sun 17 Apr - 8:30

A study of a well-known Mokhtar Said drum solo piece

Alan will explain the structure of this drum solo. He will then take course participants through the Mokhtar Said piece phrase by phrase to show them the

President’s Report


Problems contacting the committee?


Librarian's Corner


Email - Tina Hobin


What's On




Getting to Know your Tutor Adilah














Web Site

Committee Details User Name: medanz

President - Amanda Bound Hm: (06) 758 1097 Cell: (027) 478 9029

Password: bellyroll

Vice President - Bronwyn Mohring Hm: (03) 471 0247 Cell (027) 234 1024 Secretary - Karen Walworth Hm: (07) 823 7232 Cell: (027) 448 9001

How to contact us MEDANZ Suite 3051 P O Box 13-240 Johnsonville Wellington 6440

Treasurer & Membership - Lynley Murphy Hm: (07) 886 7742 Cell: (027) 454 0478 Linley Duncan Hm:: (07) 552 4352 Cell: (027) 286 3452

Committee : Librarian:

Maarie Hutana Hm: (03) 383 4942 Cell: (021) 261 4539

Membership :

Sharnie Riley Hm: (07) 549 1017

Newsletter :

Dianne Thompson Hm:: (07) 378 1127 Cell: (027) 874 1087

Treasurer :

Bank Account Details: 12-3011-0758507-


Include your name and reason (ie: sub / festival /DVD etc)

Contributions, including original articles, photos, reviews and letters are VERY welcome Email to: All contributions will be deemed to be authorised to be reprinted on the website. Material does not necessarily represent the views of MEDANZ members, not those of the MEDANZ committee. The cut off date for the February/March newsletter is: 20 January 2011

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February / March 2011

This is my last report for the newsletter as your President. The last two years have gone exceptionally fast. I have been very fortunate to have a team of dedicated ladies as the MEDANZ committee which has significantly lessened the load for one person and made my job so much easier. Some of our community will already know that Suezy Robertson had a Subarachnoid Haemorrhage in early January which necessitated in life saving surgery. Suezy has been released from hospital, but has to take things really slowly for the next while. Our thoughts are with Suezy and her family through her recovery process. Registrations for Festival have been steadily coming through. Please don’t leave registering until the last minute as some workshops will fill quickly and there will not be an opportunity to offer repeats through the weekend. A friendly reminder – if you have moved please keep our membership officer informed of your new address. A lot of workshop booklets have been returned as people have moved on and not kept us up to date with their address. We are also due to be sending out the AGM booklet in the next few weeks, so it is important that we have your correct address. Following the most recent earthquake our thoughts and prayers are with all of our dance community based in Christchurch. This is an extremely traumatic time for everyone and we can't imagine how it must feel for those who are there. We are also aware that family members of our extended community outside of Christchurch are there now assisting, and we hope that they are able to stay safe too I look forward to seeing lots of you in Tauranga in April. Regards Aaminah

essentials of how to play it, and then drill it until they are comfortable. This will ground the drummers in the essentials. Alan will bring a slowed down version of the recording on a CD that he will use during the workshop. He will also provide detailed notation. Workshop 2. Part B:

Mokhtar Said drum solo

Sun 17 Apr - 1pm

Working with a dancer

This workshop will focus on how to make the drum solo a musical interaction with a dancer. The workshop will build on the first and it will be greatly advantageous for participants to have done that workshop, but not compulsory. There is far more to working with a belly dancer then drumming your best and expecting the dancer to cope. It is not a time for drifting off in your own little world and zoning out blissfully. Instead it demands confidence enough in your own abilities to be able to play as well as really watch the performer in front of you and respond to the dancer. Working with dancers is where Alan Burden really shines. This second workshop carries over what we learnt in the first and takes it a stage further. Moonjelly and Alan have worked together extensively and Moonjelly is joining Alan in this workshop as he shares his many tips on how to create a successful dynamic performance.

Workshop 3.

Grooving with Malfouf

Mon 18 Apr - 1pm

This third workshop will focus on and explore the Malfouf rhythm, showing different variations on how to play it, how it relates to Latin American rhythms like the Rumba, how to use it on a variety of percussion instruments, and how to use it as a linking rhythm. Alan will bring a CD to illustrate a variety of Malfouf styles and will also provide some notation. (he will also demonstrate some lesser known but interesting rhythms - time permitting)

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Some of our newer membershave never heard of the tutors we have on offer at this year’s festival and probably would like to know a bit more about what their experience is etc. So we asked Shelley Dawson to send a questionnaire to our local tutors asking the hard questions and here are some of the replies:

Adilah (aka Karen Walworth)  

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Do you just have to dance? Yes, yes and well ......YES How did you come to be a Middle Eastern Style Dancer? I used to be a ballroom dancer as a teen and in my early 20’s figured there must be something better as I was sick of having partners who didn't dance or having to dance with the old guys. I started Bellydance/Middle Eastern style dance after hiring Fatina and one of her Ladies to perform at a function and went WOW I want to learn to do that. Who have been/are your major influences in style and technique? Fatina of course would be my biggest influence but also international artists and tutors - Shamira from Australia and Jillina from Bellydance Superstars How did teaching evolve - why are you teaching? We moved to Cambridge in 2002 and apart from a couple of classes in Hamilton or travelling to Auckland which I did for almost a year every Monday night, there was nothing local at the time so I decided to give teaching a go with Fatina’s guidance. What are you wanting your students to get/take away from a Class/Workshop? For my Absolute Arms workshop I am wanting students to gain a good understanding about the importance of presentation in a show situation - for the Times are a changing choreography - perhaps a couple of cute combinations - a different view on how to use M E dance with Western music - in this case a piece adapted by a Medieval Rock Band - or even a choreography the dancer can take away and use. Are you available to encourage me outside class? Very much so !!!!! I am available via email - occasionally via MEDANZ forum or in person at Festival - just catch up with me where you can. Also thru FB or contactable thru my website : How do you manage with the different levels in the same Class/Workshop? Usually start at the lower level and work up adding on for higher levels of students so we start with foundations and then build on them What do you do for your own learning and do you think this is important? I like to attend international artists workshops as well as local workshops - after all you never know where you will get a useful bit of info or a nice new combo. I use video/DVD learning and yes this is important as it keeps our knowledge fresh as well as our enthusiasm - something that is important to all dancers, not just teachers. In this technological age, are there any moving pictures of you I could see before signing up? There are some clips on You Tube - I also performed in Dance Habibi Dance - the 2009 MEDANZ show - a solo piece to Rhum Tum Bi Salatma by George Abdo and at last year’s MEDANZ Hafla some of my students/troupe and I performed a piece to Solace’s Nataraja. Both of these can be seen on DVD’s available thru the MEDANZ library. Something about you not related to dance? I enjoy medieval re-enactment, love to read and made a 3D Shaggy Dog birthday cake for a friend recently.

Don’t Forget Early Bird Festival Discounts close 12 March 2011 Page 4


February / March 2011

PROBLEMS WITH CONTACTING THE COMMITTEE There seems to be a major problem in the system with regards to emails getting through to the committee. Investigations have discovered that the problem seems to be with the new security measures put in place by our Internet Service Provider. As a result, more often than not, any emails from the more popular addresses - ie hotmail etc are being bounced as potential harbingers of viruses etc. This is by no means restricted to hotmail addresses and can affect any address from any provider.

To alleviate the problem in the short term, we suggest that - in addition to the official address, you also send your email to either the secretary ( or the treasurer ( depending on who you want to talk to. We would rather get duplicate emails than not at all.

AlanP (aka Alan Powell)  

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Just a quick reminder - when you send any letters to us PLEASE REMEMBER to put Suite 3051 in the address. This is very important otherwise there is a considerable delay before the mail is forwarded to us.

February / March 2011


Do you just have to drum? I do not understand this question How did you come to be a Middle Eastern Style Drummer? Gabriella (Saffron) stopped drumming to concentrate on dancing so we had this drum and I thought it couldn’t be that hard & there’s always room for more music unlike painting or other hobbies Who have been/are your major influences in style and technique? Fern (Bronwyn Mohring) How did teaching evolve - why are you teaching? .No-one else wanted to & I wanted to return something to the whole What are you wanting your students to get/ take away from a Class/Workshop? Enthusiasm and a direction to move forward Are you available to encourage me outside class? Oh yes - most definitely How do you manage with the different levels in the same Class/Workshop? Hasn’t been a problem for me yet What do you do for your own learning and do you think this is important? Watch You Tube and practice - yes it is very important In this technological age, are there any moving pictures of you I could see before signing up? No - I am not that photogenic

P age 5

It is now possible to pay for loans from the MEDANZ library on line. The bank account number is: 06 0942 027084800 Featured DVD from “World Dance New York”

Egyptian Style: The Baladi with Ranya Renee


WARNING: This DVD set is extensive and intensive. If you borrow these DVDs make sure you set aside enough time to really make the most if them! Created by Ranya Renee, New York City-based star performer and instructor of Arabic-style bellydance, "Bellydance Egyptian Style: The Baladi" is a comprehensive program that will immerse you in the beautiful world of traditional Egyptian dance music, soulful and spirited baladi improvisation, and delicious, dynamic moves! This 5-hour-long 2-DVD set covers the structure, rhythms and musical flavors of typical baladi progressions, teaches the essential technique and dance vocabulary of baladi, and provides drills for developing your own improvisational practice. "Bellydance Egyptian Style: The Baladi" combines instruction in core Egyptian dance technique with a wealth of detailed cultural information and tools for learning to interpret the music and for daily dance practice. The program is a valuable resource for bellydancers of all levels of experience as well as for dance instructors. Baladi is the social dance style of the Egyptian people, often featured in a special section of the traditional bellydance show. This video focuses on the taqsim baladi — a style of improvisation that starts slow and gentle, building to a climax of exciting rhythms, faster steps and shimmies. During a live music demonstration of baladi progressions, Ranya analyzes the structure, common features and stylistic differences between men's style (tet) and women's style (awadi) baladi dancing, and offers a step-by-step explanation of what is happening at each transition in the music. Master accordionist Nabawy provides an introduction to baladi music and explains the different melodic styles, and the drummers demonstrate some of key rhythms used in the baladi. You will also receive an introduction to the concept of maqamat, or Arabic musical modes, that are the source material for taqsim, the art of melodic improvisation. The technique section is organized by style and type, so you can match the appropriate movements and traveling steps to each part of the baladi progression: From the slow, fluid taqsim, through the sekkat accent breaks, and on to the maqsoum-based rhythm sections and the fast ingerara section that transitions into the drum solo. This framework enables you to develop the instinct you need to select authentic movements that correctly match the music, recognizing the essential features of melody and rhythms. The program also includes extensive sections on posture and muscle work for Egyptian dance, framing and transitions, arms and hands practice flow, and cool down stretches.

Also did you know we have 4 DVDs by

Cheeky Girls Productions Featuring Michelle Joyce: a professional belly dancer who has performed for audiences around the globe. She has won several awards including 2004 People's Choice Belly Dancer and 2006 East Coast Classic Belly Dance Competition Champion. Belly Dance Basics: A Lesson & Choreography for Beginners This is designed for newcomers to this dance as well as those with some practice and experience. The DVD breaks down a series of moves and combinations precisely and thoroughly, leaving you with a solid understanding of the mechanics of the movement. The moves are built into combinations for the absolute beginner, then the combinations are built into a choreography for those who would like a further challenge. There are also 2 live belly dance performances by professional dancers at the end of the DVD. Body by Bellydance:

A Beginner to Intermediate Belly dance Workout

This DVD is a low-impact fitness routine that is designed to help you target your female fat zones (thighs, tummy and buns). The belly dance workout strengthens and tones while giving you a stronger sense of balance, femininity and beauty. Page 6


February / March 2011

Pop, Lock and Shimmy!

Drum Solo Technique & Choreography

This is a guide to crisp isolations and layered shimmies. It is designed for intermediate and advanced belly dancers and emphasizes drum solo technique. This 80 minute DVD consists of 11 drills and combinations that are designed to increase your stamina and to get the movements into your muscle memory. After being carefully explained, each combination is first practiced to medium paced music. Once you have mastered the combination at a medium speed, we pick up the pace. At the end of the DVD you will learn how the drills and combinations can be strung together into a dynamic drum solo choreography. You will also see it performed by Michelle in a live stage show. Drills! Drills! Drills!

A complete drill workout for advanced dancers

This DVD is designed to help you learn to make the most of your practice time. This is not simply a workout DVD, but also a lesson in how to practice. There are several drills at varying levels of difficulty that are designed to increase your physical strength, muscle memory, and coordination. The beginner dancer can benefit from the breakdown of the moves and the slow isolation drills, while the more advanced dancer can go straight to the very challenging chapters that incorporate finger cymbals and layering techniques. The workout includes: Strengthening Drills Isolation DrillsFinger Cymbal Drills…………This DVD is 2 hours in length!

Shimmy Drills-Layering Drills

**************** And for you dark dancing divas we have….. Dark Fusion Bellydance:

The Ascend Tribal format

This DVD is an introduction into Sashi’s signature Bellydance technique. It begins with Dynamic stretching and Yoga. Next is instruction in the common language of tribal fusion bellydance, an introduction to the Ascend tribal format with an explanation and drill of signature combinations. This DVD also includes an interview with Sashi and ends with a performance. But wait there is more….

Tribal Fusion Choreography

with Lily

Lily teaches a tribal fusion belly dance choreography to the music "Heretic" by Solace. Each movement is explained and practiced. Then small groups of movements are reviewed together to build the choreography. With musical structure as a guide, Lily constructs the dance using a combination of basic belly dance, American Tribal Style, and general dance movement. Finally, make this dance your own by using the concepts in the Personalization section. This DVD includes a gentle yoga warm-up and a special performance by Lily from the Austin Belly Dance Convention. Also new to DVD (use to be VHS) Jamila Salimpours’ Archive Series A 4 Volume set taught by her daughter Suhaila Vol 1 Basic Steps

Vol 2 Hip Work

Vol 3 Taqseem

Vol 4 Folkloric Steps

*********** Library DVDs we have ordered and are arriving soon! Habibi, You are my what?........ Leyla Lanty has studied speaking and singing in Arabic with native Arabic speakers. She is known for her Egyptian style cane dancing, zill playing, and music interpretation. On frequent study trips to Egypt, she interacts with dancers, musicians, and "just plain folks", observing how they embellish their words with gestures and body language whether singing, performing or just having a conversation. Do you wonder what Arabic singers are singing about? Do you wonder how to interpret Arabic songs to your audience? Do you want to put real meaning into your dancing? Leyla presents a toolkit of over fifty of the most commonly heard words and phrases found in Arabic (Continued on page 8)

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songs along with gestures and body language that go with them. She includes cultural notes throughout to explain the context and underlying meaning of those words and phrases. She will have you "singing along" with a well known popular song and will give you insights into two other favourites. Learn to dance Khaleegy Amera's instructional DVD Learn to Dance Khaleegy covers traditional to modern technique and choreography. Amera is an Australian dancer who has spent years in the Middle East as a professional dancer. She's also the founder of Amera's Palace Belly Dance Boutique and School, established since 1987. This DVD is beautifully produced with lovely lighting, graphics and an excellent overview of the place of Khaleegy dance with some wonderful video footage of dancing and costumes in the home from her time in the Middle East. This DVD includes an introduction to basic Khaleegy steps and technique. Amera then teaches a modern choreography to original music from Amera's CD "Asal". Her teaching technique is supported by demonstrations by other dancers and with live drumming. There are three bonus tracks: an interview with the dancers, drumming for Khaleegy, and a Khaleegy performance by Amera when she visited New Zealand.

DURRIYA BELLYDANCE COSTUMES  Range of Bellydance costumes and other goodies available  Outfits for practice and performance 


I also order on request, so if you have something in mind, just let me know.

Contact louise on 021 256 4843 Or email

Some of you may remember Tina Hobin from Festival 2007 in Timaru - she sent this email to Angela Mott who passed it on to us

From: Date: 24 February 2011 10:23:59 PM Subject: Earth quake Hi Angela Just hoping you are all safe, couldn't remember all of the women I met from Christchurch. Its horrific watching the pictures and I am thinking about you all , It was such a beautiful place and I have so many happy memories of my visit to Christchurch. Other friends of mine were badly shaken up, but their children and grandchildren escaped unhurt. My sister was supposed to be visiting Christchurch for two days and I was panicking as I could not contact her. Fortunately she went last week, thank God. People here in England have so many relatives and friends out in New Zealand, there is a lot concern. My prayers are with you all. Love Tina

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Hey There Little Devil’s! Want To Be An Angel? Well here’s how you can get a halo for a couple of hours. We still need volunteers for the 2011 MEDANZ Tauranga Festival. Helpers are required for the Raqs Aotearoa show, the information booth and heaps of other bits and pieces that will help make the weekend run smoothly. Some of the teachers will require help with their workshops too. This entails amongst other things checking off the participants, making sure they have a name sticker and maybe helping with the sound system. As a reward for your input you will be allowed to sit in on the lesson as an observer. So if you are interested or want to know more please contact the Chief Angel Dianne Thompson I will acknowledge you within a week. However as there have been some gremlins in cyber space of late if you haven’t heard from me in that time frame please try Let me know what you would like to help with and when you could donate some spare time during the festival and I will get back to you

Ziva (aka Sylvia Edge Perkins)  

Do you just have to dance? It seems so - occasionally I try to take time off, but it's very difficult and often leads to lots of dance dreams! How did you come to be a Middle Eastern Style Dancer? I took a short course in classical Indian dance and enjoyed it but found my lack of co-ordination really frustrating. There was a bellydancer on the course who said that bellydance was good for co-ordination. I looked around until I found a teacher and have never looked back! Who have been/are your major influences in style and technique? Firstly the teachers with whom I've taken ongoing classes: Huda, Leilah, Moonjelly, and Pip E-Lysaah. Then the tribal dancers who supported my learning when I was first getting into tribal style: Fern and Stefanie from the Lost Tribe and Angie from Tribal Instinct. I'm an ATS fanatic so Carolena Nericcio and FatChanceBellyDance are strong influences on me How did teaching evolve - why are you teaching? .I started teaching because there was no-one teaching tribal style in Wellington, and that was what I really wanted to do. I continue to teach because I love sharing and dancing ATS, and I love watching my students grow in strength and confidence. What are you wanting your students to get/take away from a Class/Workshop? I love it when I come out of a workshop feeling validated or confident that I can do what was covered, or excited about working on something I hadn't thought of before, so I'd be delighted if students got one or both of those things from my classes or workshops.

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Are you available to encourage me outside class? Yep, I'm best contacted via email ( and I like going for coffee dates! How do you manage with the different levels in the same Class/Workshop? I collect alternatives and variations so I can give beginners a basic move or concept and add layers of difficulty for more experienced dancers. Sometimes I'll give more experienced students an impromptu performance challenge in which they demonstrate things for the newer students. That being said, I'm a big believer in keeping the basics fresh. Every time I take a "beginner" level class or workshop, I get something out of it. What do you do for your own learning and do you think this is important? I try to take class with at least one other teacher every week. I cross-train in other forms of dance and movement, learn from DVDs, books, and the internet, and drop in on classes when I'm travelling out of town. I can't always afford to attend all the workshops I'd like to, but I've done pretty well out of the wonderful NZ dancers who've hosted great overseas and local instructors, and I have a modest saving plan earmarked for my future study In this technological age, are there any moving pictures of you I could see before signing up? There is YouTube footage of me and my friend Rachel demonstrating the beauty and power of ATS format improvisation: we met in Katoomba in 2009 when we both did ATS teacher training with Carolena Nericcio, caught up at last year's MEDANZ Festival, rehearsed together once, then performed at the hafla for Devi and April's workshops in Akaroa. Part 1: Part 2:

NOMINATIONS FOR COMMITTEE ARE NOW OPEN CLOSES 12 MARCH 2011 Oriental, Fusion and Cabaret Belly Dance Classes Did you know that A’mal is currently teaching Oriental and Cabaret belly dance classes in Christchurch? Thursdays, School of Contemporary Belly Dance (SCBD) L3 Oriental 6.30-7.30pm This class focuses on developing good base technique, understanding and interpreting ME rhythms and music, veil and zill work, and developing the inner goddess: transitions, performance and working towards your own/group choreographies. Mixed Level:7.30-8.30pm This is a revolving topic course, delving into some of the many luscious types of bellydance out there. Previous topics have included: Lebanese Belly Dance/Isis Wings Technique and Choreography and The Karsilama Rhythm Current Topic: Turkish Cabaret: Old School bellydance with spins, big hip articulation and heaps of energy (and zills ) Sundays, School of Contemporary Belly Dance-Starting end of May! Advanced Belly Dance and Technique. Time TBC (90 mins): 45 mins of A’mal drills & Technique, followed by some of ChCh’s finest bellydancers who will further work their class in a particular style/technique. A’mal also runs private lessons, workshops and performances to suit nationwide, as an Oriental and Fusion teacher and performer, and as part of the quirky Red Queens

CONTACT DETAILS A’mal - (Txt: 027 301 5897)

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Tribal Style, Tribal Fusion & Base Belly Dance Classes Have you ever wanted to try Tribal Fusion or American Tribal Style, but weren’t sure what classes were out and about? Well every week Pip E-Lysaah teaches classes in both styles in Wellington AND Christchurch. Every Saturday Pip E-Lysaah teaches Tribal Style Level 2, Level 3 and Mixed Level Tribal Fusion at the School of Contemporary Belly Dance in Christchurch.

Tribal Style Level 2 covers the essential cues, formations

and movements of American Tribal Style, Tribal Style Level 3 steps up the challenge by adding shimmies, levels and layers to the technique, advanced formations and props such as sword, veil and finger cymbals. Mixed Level Tribal Fusion takes students through an exciting 35 min belly drill section, which leaves you warmed and sweaty, and then into the combo-graphy portion of the class.

Combo-graphy is choreography by combination, learn a

combination and then add then together with a modern twist on musical stylings.

Classes at the School of Contemporary Belly Dance, Christchurch Tribal Style Level 2: Saturday 1.30 – 2.30 pm Tribal Style Level 3: Saturday 2.45 – 3.45 pm Tribal Fusion (hard): Saturday 4 - 5 pm Tribal Fusion (easy): Thursdays 5.30 - 6.30 pm Monday – Thursdays you can find Pip E-Lysaah in Wellington teaching where-ever there is a desire and studio space, please contact directly for class dates and times.

Pip loves travelling for workshops, so if you would like some belly dance workshops in your town, contact her for details; everything from drills, technique and choreography composition. Pip E-Lysaah;; http:// text: 021 542 013 twitter: pipbellydance

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Moonjelly (aka Beverley Dowling) 

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Do you just have to dance/drum? am puzzled by question, is this for teaching, or dancing in general or for the workshop. Do I have to dance for a dance workshop seems to be an obvious drumming involved in my personal workshop but I do have my own drum.. How did you come to be a Middle Eastern Style Dancer? .Loved music with middle eastern sound since very young, drove my parents crazy playing the song 'Persian Market'. During my travels I enjoyed the dancing in Turkey so when I stopped being a gym bunny, due to injury, I took up dancing - it was in the blood and something I knew I would do since early 20's Who have been/are your major influences in style and technique? I am self taught bar a few lessons with Jan Grant before heading overseas. I danced in Egypt as an absolute beginner with very limited formal training. I performed on base of Sphinx. How did teaching evolve - why are you teaching? .I came back from Egypt and thought "well if they saw something in me I shall carry on" began teaching by default and tracked down dancers in Auckland to mentor me. I did videos and sent them for critique. This is in the days pre You Tube, Pre email, I feel Prehistoric! What are you wanting your students to get/take away from a Class/Workshop? Some new knowledge, a new move, a simple widening in dance repertoire. Are you available to encourage me outside class? Always happy to answer emails. How do you manage with the different levels in the same Class/Workshop? I usually provide movement challenges from simple to complicated via layers, speed, level. What do you do for your own learning and do you think this is important? These days it’s You Tube. Have hosted overseas dancers and keep in touch with them. In this technological age, are there any moving pictures of you I could see before signing up? sadly no. I do not have facility to burn from DVD to upload to You Tube

E Lysaah (aka Pip Bennington) 

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Do you just have to dance??? Do I as a person just have to dance in the sense I can’t stop myself? Yes, if I wasn’t belly dancing it would some other form of dance, I have danced in one form or another my whole life but whether it was social or public, it’s always for me How did you come to be a Middle Eastern Style dancer?I was looking for an activity to participate in that wasn’t work, fortunately a friend (Storm Geldenhuis) had offered to teach belly dance to her friends and I went along. Storm started studying with Shannon Wanty and I joined in those classes and then Tria told us about these classes at the School of Contemporary Belly Dance and suddenly there was a new passion in my life Who have been/are your major influences in style and technique? For my performance dance it has been Rachel Brice, Zoe Jakes & concepts from mime. For my creative process it has been Rachel Brice, Sharon Kihara & Mira Betz. For my technique it has been Rachel Brice & Gendi Tanner. For my teaching process it has been Rachel Brice & Amy Sigil. For my style, it’s anything and everything around me, & importantly surrendering to yourself, being true to what and who you are. As a tribal fusion dancer, my oriental dance is influenced by A’mal, my dance partner for her fluidity and control. How did teaching evolve – why are you teaching? Gendi te Keepa, principal teacher at the School of Contemporary Belly Dance, was stepping back from teaching L2 (beginners) Tribal and there was nobody else to take over, I wanted the challenge and put my name forward. We had a frank discussion where she pointed out all the things I needed to work on and be involved in and then took me on as Trainee Teacher. After 3 months I took over the L2 Tribal Class and the following year I took on the challenge of L3 Tribal. It’s been incredibly hard, both physically and emotionally, but the reward I get from watching my students evolve into dancers is priceless. The wow factor when I see them dance, and for a moment forget that they are my students and see them as dancers, heartbreakingly priceless. The pride when they perform a solo, well that one goes to my head slightly MEDANZ News

February / March 2011

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What are you wanting your students to get/take away from a Class/Workshop? Excitement and motivation to improve their own dance. I want students to see they can improve, no matter what level they are that, I want to see their creative juices invigorated and light bulbs pop on over their heads as they see new ways of doing things, I want them to leave a session & feel like a dancer, not just a belly dancer, but a dancer. Are you available to encourage me outside of Class? There is a difference between being a teacher and being a coach. I would hope that my students find their encouragement in a variety of places and not just from a single source. I will always encourage my students to extend to themselves and be the best they can. How do you manage with different levels in the same Class/Workshop? By encouraging students to work at their own personal level and offering various levels of difficulty within the technique structure. What do you do for your own learning – do you think this is important?For my performance & technique, I try to find people who are better than me and dance with them, I ask them to give me feedback and critique what I am doing. We swap combos from DVDs and learn each other others movements. I try to attend a minimum 52 hrs of dance study per year, which is equivalent of 1 class a week. I try to get to a minimum of 1 workshop weekend per year with an international level teacher. I try to attend every workshop that my students go to, sometimes it might be 1 out of 4, sometimes all 4. I buy DVDs in my style of tribal fusion and in complimentary styles of oriental and tribal, both performance and technique to stay up to speed with what is happening, for learning, and to have to show students. To keep costs down, I host workshop weekends and bring teachers to Christchurch, this up-skills me and my students. Most importantly for my ego and technique, I try to attend actual belly dance classes a few times a month where I can. This keeps you grounded with an understanding of what it is like to be a student as well as a teacher. Write lists and notes and keep notebooks of choreographies and combos, make lesson plans for students and own work, create maps of dance ideas and scrapbooks for ideas. In this technological age are there any “moving pictures” of you I could see before signing up? Isn’t everybody is on YouTube these days.

Shakeelah (aka Angela Mott) 

Do you just have to dance ??? Yes absolutely!! I try to dance every day, even if it is just while cooking dinner, doing the dishes, shimmying or doing belly rolls in the shower..... I find that if I don’t dance for several days I get quite irritable. How did you come to be a Middle Eastern Style dancer? I followed my heart! I have always danced, ballet and tap in my early years, and in my 20’s, jazz and other popular dance forms in between, music has always made me want to move. Once I discovered belly dance in my late 20’s there was no turning back! It was a very natural progression. Who have been/are your major influences in style and technique ? I am happy to credit my first teacher, Sherrill Dickie for my basic technique, almost everything I have learnt since then has complimented what she taught me. I am significantly influenced by Hossam and Serena Ramzy for teaching me how to hear the music and move appropriately, and taking my choreography and performance skills to a much higher level. My favorite dancers to watch are Serena Ramzy and Aziza of Montreal. How did teaching evolve – why are you teaching ? I had been asked for may years to start teaching. After 10 years of being a student, I figured I had accumulated enough experience to have something to offer my students, so when I was given the opportunity to teach a Community Education Class, I jumped at the chance. Little did I know then that my real dance journey was about to begin! Why teach? because I have information that I need to share, because this dance has something powerful to offer everyone.. I love its beauty, creativity, the balance that it creates in my life and my body, the community of empowered women that it fosters, and because teaching gives me a buzz like nothing else I have known ..... to see a student open up and suddenly ‘get it’ is amongst the most rewarding feelings in the world :-) What are you wanting your students to get/take away from a Class/Workshop ? In a nutshell - something useful in developing their own dance! Whether it be dance technique, a new way of thinking about the presentation of their dance, added confidence with a prop, or a skill that will serve them well when following their hobby ie The Music Lecture, MEDANZ Festival 2011 Saturday 1PM, Saiidi Workshop Monday 3.15pm and Rhythms and Creative Combos Monday 8.30am. Are you available to encourage me outside of Class ? Certainly, I am happy to assist anyone who asks!

February / March 2011


P age 13

How do you manage with different levels in the same Class/Workshop ? Belly dance, like most dance forms, is best taught in layers from the ground up. Once students and teachers understand this principle, teaching to different levels in the same class becomes a simple process. I find that if any student takes on more layers than they are capable of, they soon find that the body will stop responding on one layer, it is then my responsibility as the teacher to ensure the student becomes aware of their own capabilities, and when necessary, go back a layer to work with it a little longer. What do you do for your own learning – do you think this is important ? I take classes with other belly dance teachers, workshops at all levels, use and expand my DVD library as much as possible. Frequent listening, and dancing to a wide variety of Middle Eastern music I find really useful, and I spend a lot of time online reading magazines, forums and blogs, listening to podcasts and watching YouTube etc. all about belly dancing. Yes I think this is important as I am continually learning new things, and cementing what I already know, it provides lots of inspiration for me as a teacher, and keeps me up to date and informed so that I can pass this information on to my students. In this technological age are there any “moving pictures” of you I could see before signing up? Yes, but not online. I have danced in these MEDANZ shows available from the MEDANZ Library: Wellington 2006 (solo veil), Auckland 2008 (Group wings and Drum/Solo)

Candice (aka Candice Frankland)  

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Do you just have to dance/drum ??? Yes!!! Dancing is what I live for, breathe for, wake up for, and gave up my IT career for (that and my hubby)!! How did you come to be a Middle Eastern Style dancer/drummer ? I saw my first belly dancer as a young teenager at a restaurant and couldn't believe my eyes, this gorgeous goddess wafted through the room like smoke on water... she left a yearning on my heart that led me in search of my first belly dance teacher! Never looked back since... Who have been/are your major influences in style and technique ? Some of the biggest influences have been the women who provided me with invaluable training including the beautiful and humble Tamallyn Dalhal, Mia Shauri, Saida and of course one of my main regular teachers as I was 'growing up into a real life belly dancer', Aliyah Laylah How did teaching evolve – why are you teaching ? I began teaching because I had so many friends who wanted to learn belly dancing, and my teacher at the time offered me the opportunity, I grabbed it and fell even more in love with this dance because of the incredible feeling of inspiration and fulfillment I get from teaching classes! What are you wanting your students to get/take away from a Class/Workshop ? A bit of a sweat, lots of drills, the opportunity to try out new technique freely, and of course as much laughter as we can manage! They should definitely feel as though they have learned technique or moves they've never done before or ask and I'll do my best to show them more! Are you available to encourage me outside of Class ? Yes, of course :) How do you manage with different levels in the same Class/Workshop ? I start with the basic technique, explaining thoroughly and begin to add layers for the more advanced dancers. Encouraging questions throughout the class/workshop also allows me to gauge the different levels and adjust the speed and intensity of my teaching. What do you do for your own learning – do you think this is important ? Very important, continuous learning through either training with different teachers, researching styles, tutorial DVDs, and learning through creation of new dances are a few of the various ways I try to keep up to date. If I ever stop learning, how will I be able to keep passing new knowledge on to my students...? Being a good student will make you a great teacher! In this technological age are there any “moving pictures” of you I could see before signing up ? Yes, there are several videos and pictures on my website -

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February / March 2011

BREAKING NEWS Due to the earthquake - many of our Christchurch based tutors are re-thinking their involvement with Festival 2011 Please check out the MessageBoard on our Website for latest updates Thread: FESTIVAL 2011 Latest Updates

February / March 2011


P age 15

WHAT’S ON? INTERNATIONAL NOTE YOUR DIARIES NOW!! WINTER WARM UP 2011 TEACHER: Dr Mo Geddawi 9—12 July—Dance Workshops 13—17 July—Teaching Bellydance 9am—9pm

For more details visit

WHAT’S ON? NEW ZEALAND TAKING IT TO THE NEXT LEVEL: TRIBAL BELLY DANCE WEEKEND WITH RED QUEEN PIP E-LYSAAH 25/26TH JUNE 2011 HAMILTON ATS Tribal Day 1: 10am – 1pm Technique, Combos, Formations $50.00 ATS Tribal Day 1: 2pm – 4pm Basic Zill Technique and Layers $30.00 Tribal Style Hafla 7:30pm – 10pm $10 per person (includes light supper) Belly Dance Day2: 10am – 1pm Essential Technique & Brills for Belly Dance covering fusion, oriental and tribal $50.00 Belly Dance Day 2: 2pm – 4pm Techniques for Improv and Free Style $30.00 Individual Workshops as priced. All four Workshops $150.00 Early Bird Special (up till 30 April 2011) $120.00 Hafla $10.00 Register with Name, Contact details and Workshops attending via: Email: Post: 38 Burbush Rd, RD 8, Hamilton 3288 Phone: Shelley Dawson 027 717 2699 WHAT’S ON POLICY 1.

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Maximum entry is half a page.


Brochures, registrations forms, etc may be included in the newsletter if sufficient copies are supplied in a timely manner. Limit of one full A4 sheet per person/event in any one newsletter. Membership numbers available on request.


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We attempt to have the newsletter out in the first week of the month but this is not always possible.

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February / March 2011

2011 Feb Mar MEDANZ News  
2011 Feb Mar MEDANZ News  

Latest edition of the bi-monthly newsletter of the Middle Eastern Dance Association of New Zealand