AUDIE has been a Professional Performer and Instructor of Belly Dance since 1996 and is also a Certified Fitness Instructor and Shiatsu Practitioner. She has studied, taught and performed extensively in the New Jersey/New York area. As a knowledgeable and Instructor, she is skilled in breaking down techniques for students’ understanding. Audie’s study of RaqSharki, Persian, Baladi and various Folkloric and North African tribal dances are evident in her dazzling performances.
AUDIE has performed Belly Dance at many notable events including at Rakkasah East in NJ, East Coast Classic in Virginia, Dangerous Curves in Michigan, Steam Punk Festival in New Jersey, New York Renaissance Festival. AUDIE has also performed Belly Dance at many restaurants and cafes including, Trend Café and Mediterranea in Montclair, New Jersey; Zen Safari Cafe in Poconos Pennsylvania; Marrakesh in Parsippany New Jersey, Wicked Faire, Princeton, NJ and many more.
**Class Schedule Winter/Spring 2017:
Egyptian Belly Dance Class: Fun, Fitness and Aspiring Professional
Learn techniques of Cabaret and Folkloric Egyptian Dance, Cultural music, fun routines, costuming, cultural history and more. This beautiful sensuous dance is very effective as a low impact exercise. Students of all levels are welcome. All Levels: Mondays 730-8:30PM
Location: Verona Yoga & Wellness Center 546 Bloomfield Ave, Verona, NJ
Price: $12 for drop-ins, Class Cards 4 classes $40, 8 Classes $70. Purchase online or in person. Major credit cards accepted. Purchase classes here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/audies-egyptian-belly-dance-class-tickets-26883703882
COMING MARCH 27, 2017: Online Belly Dance Classes. Can’t make it to my scheduled classes, but still want to enjoy the fun of belly dance? Soon you’ll be able to enjoy classes anytime. anywhere. Stay tuned more info coming soon.
* Audie is available for Events, Conferences, Parties, workshops and Classes. Please feel free to contact her at BellyRhythm@hotmail.com, 973-280-6386, FaceBook: Audie OS and Instagram: AudieOS .
* Introducing Audie’s Dance Troupe: The Daughters of HetHaru *
A while ago a fellow dancer asked me if I thought that we needed other types of exercise to stay in shape besides dance. Absolutely, I said. Personally speaking, exercises that I do outside of the dance studio have really helped my technique, stamina, range and overall body strength.
My cross train of choice is Pilates and yoga. I appreciate the attention to core strength, flexibility and posture. With these types of exercise one uses the body similarly to how we would dance. So it is a perfect fit for me.
I had spent years just dancing, thinking that it was all that I needed, until I wanted to perfect my floor work. The ab work of Pilates really helped without making my body bulky and stiff. My posture also benefits, breaking bad habits I didn’t even know I had. For me it’s also a great way to stretch my mind/body. To see what it can do –and what challenges I could overcome.
There are no end of fitness techniques and programs that pair well with dance. I have a troupe mate that does Zumba. She loves the energy and the cardio benefits. It’s enabled her to perform a six minute drum solo without getting winded. There’s another dancer I know who studies gymnastics and does incredible floor work.
I wonder if cross training is necessary only for older dancers. Perhaps for younger ones just the dance and whatever youth brings is enough. That being said there are fewer older long term/professional dancers than younger ones. Many stop dancing because of other responsibilities but even more stop because of injuries. Cross training in a technique that strengthens the body structurally could probably have extended their career.
I believe we need to keep an open mind when it comes to our practice. Not only artistically but also in how to support the body so that we could have a long and productive dance life.
Although it’s not technically Belly Dance, Folkloric dances are an important part of the art of Belly Dance. They have rhythmic names like Saidii, Zar, Beladi, Khaleegy, Hagallah, Fellahi and have a soulful, earthy quality. They are the foundations of the dance unfortunately; their existence is often unknown to many of today’s dancers and audiences.
I have a fascinating video of Nagua Fuad from the 80’s. She begins her routine with a classic Raq Sharqi. Then she goes into a Saidii cane segment followed by a Hagallah and several other folkloric dances all with traditional costumes and authentic music. It was a stunning display of her technical skills. At the time it was expected that dancers would exhibit several different techniques in one set.
Leila Haddad, in her last big show in the states (2011?) had a repertoire similar to Nagua’s and included Afghani and Indian dances. This type of show today is the exception rather than the norm. A typical Belly Dancer’s routine today consists of a dramatic veil number, mid tempo instrumental, drum solo, and a finale. A sword dance is included more often than a traditional Saidii cane dance. Even though there are traditional sword dances, the style that is usually done is quite modern (and Western in technique).
Why the change? Several possibilities come to mind. There could be fewer Instructors who know these wonderful dances to teach to new students. Possibly there is little call for then by theatrical/club/restaurant producers. Time restrictions may prevent performers from doing anything other than popular routines. Or, maybe the student dancers themselves aren’t interested in learning, favoring styles with which they are more comfortable.
Whatever the reason, I personally hope the tide will change. I love the authentic earthiness of Folkloric dances and take classes in them every chance I get. These are the origins of what we do today. Yet they have been polished with sparkly costumes and tweaked with ballet techniques to appeal to general audiences. Not a bad thing, but why not remember and enjoy all aspects of this art form. Just like in the Girl Scout song about old and new friends, “…one is silver and the other’s gold”.