Workshops with Lorna

Yesterday brought two welcome visitors to Cambridge – the sun and Lorna of Cairo! She was here to teach two workshops as part of her UK tour. One of the great things about Lorna’s teaching is how she tailors her material to suit the group in front of her. Our group ranged in experience from improvers to professionals (and how I love to see other teachers participating in workshops!) which can be challenging for a teacher, but I think we all came away from the first technique workshop with new moves, new ways of thinking about familiar moves and most importantly new concepts to apply to our dancing. I’ve done my 5 minute shimmy practice today – have you?

Since it was such a glorious sunny day the people staying for the second workshop all went across the road for a picnic on Parkers Piece and watched the cyclists on their way back from the London to Cambridge ride:
A bellydance picnic
I think all workshops should include a picnic in the sunshine!

Our second workshop was “Dance with an Egyptian accent”, which I had requested specially after taking it last year. It really changed how I thought about my dancing. It’s all about how you acknowledge the accents in the music. Last year Lorna gave us seven ways of doing it – this year she had twelve! I found myself doing a 13th during the drum solo – eyebrow accents πŸ™‚ I found the workshop just as interesting second time round, it’s great for making you really listen to the music and for identifying the ways you like to move. Some of the accents felt very natural, some were difficult, some were unusual but felt good and I’ll try and incorporate those in my dancing. We came a long way in two hours and I think everyone had tired legs and a full brain by the end. Success!

There is still time to catch Lorna while she’s in the UK, check out her tour schedule to see when she’s near you. I bribed her with local cider to get her to come back to Cambridge next year πŸ™‚

Looking ahead to 2012

I always enjoy planning the new dance year. I have booked myself onto a weekend with Mohamed El Hosseny in London, 12 hours of intense training which I’m sure will leave my body aching and my brain frazzled, if his workshops at Jewel of Yorkshire are anything to go by. Love it! The dates for Shimmy in the City are already in my diary and I’m anxiously awaiting the email that says booking is open because DINA! If you’re in my classes you’re going to hear a lot about this festival…I’ll be getting more involved with JWAAD (Josephine Wise Academy of Arabic Dance) as chair of the JTA and also as a national assessor once I’ve completed the training.

Closer toΒ  home I’m delighted to be hosting a genuine Cairo star this year – Lorna Gow! I met her on one of my Egypt trips in 2011, then went to her London workshops and just had to bring her to Cambridge in July 2012. Watch this space, or better yet, sign up for my mailing list so you can be first to book.

I’ve received some lovely make up for Christmas this year and I’m feeling inspired to run my “Makeup for Performance” workshop again because I’m sure I’m not the only one with a fab new Strictly Come Dancing tie in set πŸ™‚

As far as performances are concerned I will be dancing at the new look Shisha Lounge in Peterborough in February, and then at Casino Candi in March. This is Candi’s last ever, big farewell, really mean it show and there are only 20 tickets left so book soon if you intend to go.

I daresay you’ll see me at a competition or two as well πŸ™‚

I’m sure there will beΒ  more events to go to, and more plans to be made (student trip to Cairo 2013!) but for now it’s back to planning lessons for my students this term. Beginners will be looking at classical oriental, improvers having fun with drum solos and intermediates learning the steps of the stars…but which stars will they be?