MEDANZ Festival 2017 Workshops

We are delighted to bring you a huge range of Workshop topics with teachers from around New Zealand and beyond.  Zaghareet Daniela joins us direct from Cairo, and we are thrilled to be hosting Belly Dance Superstar Kami Liddle from the US.

This is also our most musical workshop offering ever so don't miss the opportunity to get amongst it with Doug Brush (NZ/USA) and the lovely Bilge Özgün (AUS)!

Workshops  Kami          Daniela          Doug       Bilge

(A-Z by teacher first name)

Agate Ponder-Sutton: Putting a point on your sword work 

As dancers there are tips and tricks we can borrow from sword fighting to make our sword dances sharper and more fluid.

Open Level. Students will learn enough technique in this class to make sword dances feel more marshal and look more real to the audience.

Students need to bring a sword or stick that is long enough to substitute (please note you can fly with blunt swords in checked bags on domestic flights within New Zealand).


Aida Sajadi: Floral Oriental

Travelling steps, graceful turns and arm movements are layered with isolations to create this visually effective choreography. You will learn beautiful combinations that can be modified and worked into your own choreo.

Intermediate Level. Students will learn traveling steps /footwork, variations of turns, layering torso isolations, and arm positioning.

Students need to bring a hipscarf, towel, and water.


Aida Sajadi: The Quick and the Red

This is a fast paced drum solo choreography, with Super isolations!

Intermediate Level. Students will learn fast paced layering, travelling shimmies, how to incorporate turns into your drum solo, Turkish style accents and much more.

Students need to bring a hipscarf, towel, and water.


Alan Burden: How to play the Riq - Middle Eastern Tambourine

No experience required. Students will learn basic Riq technique and its application to common Middle Eastern rhythms.

Students need to bring a Riq [Middle Eastern style tambourine].


Angela Mott (Shakeelah): Ancient Wisdom

Belly dance is ancient so they say, but have you ever wondered about why the movements of belly dance developed the way they have, what drives the dancer to turn and spin, or create the same patterns on the floor as in the body?

This 1 hour lecture will explore the historical connections between sacred geometry and the basic movement patterns of belly dance, and offer ways for you to intentionally fill your dance with energising patterns and movements to enhance your wellbeing and your dance language.

Open Level. 

Students need to bring an open mind, paper and pen.


Bilge Özgün: Musicality for musicians (together with Doug Brush) 

This workshop will explore how to interpret rhythm and lyrics together to inform musicians (not just drummers!) as they grow their Middle Eastern Music repertoire and play for dancers. Content to be expanded based on workshop group needs.

Beyond Beginner Level. 

Students need to bring a drum, instrument or voice, plus pen and paper.


Bilge Özgün: Musicality for dancers

Explore some of Bilge's favourite songs, learning about the lyrics, phrasing and interpretation of Middle Eastern Music.

Open Level. 

Students need to bring a pen and paper.


Bronwyn Mohring & Jacinda Baker: 

The Intoxicating world of Creation: Working with a dance partner

Working with another dancer is exciting and provides opportunity to expand creative options. We start this workshop by learning a longer complex original combination from Tribal Echo’s repertoire, that utilizes many techniques we will explore today. Then we begin our own creative journey. We start by refreshing our understanding of dance as a series of beautiful poses, and then ask ourselves some questions. What do we choose to emphasise? Maybe creating a beautiful line or an emotional response. Next we play with partners. Continuing our emphasis on form, we begin to respond to each other in different ways, exploring: copying, mirroring, responding to, reacting against. Emphasis is on partner awareness and playing with negative space. This is a fun organic way to tap into your creative mojo.

Intermediate Level. Students will come away with a complex combination for two dancers. Also with the beginnings of original combination of their own, and the understanding of the different concepts needed to create their own original combinations in the future.

Students need to bring themselves. A dance partner will be great, but everyone will be learning both dance parts so they can take the combo away to teach another dancer


Candice Frankland: Must-Know Belly Dance Songs

In this workshop we will briefly cover some of the Must-Know Belly Dance songs, their history, musical composition, versions, and original artists,  along with their rhythms, lyric translations and why this information is so important to our dance and research. These Must-Know songs, singers (like Oum Kalthoum), and composers (like Mohammed Abdel Wahab) are an integral part of our Middle Eastern dance and cultural appreciation. Thorough notes will be provided.

No experience required. Students will learn Arab music history, rhythms, lyrics, and variations of the songs.

Students need to bring pen and paper.


Candice Frankland: Booty Swing 1920's inspired Fusion Choreography

This one is by request! This is a ridiculously fun and sassy, easy-to-learn choreography fusing Charleston moves with a good dose of belly dance to the electro swing version of the song Booty Swing. I dare you not to have fun with this one!

Beyond Beginner level. Students will learn a complete choreography.


Debbie Sumner: Morning Viniyoga Flow Warm up (daily)

A beautiful and revitalising Yoga class to start the day of dance. The Viniyoga style is about connecting the movement of the body with the breath and repeating movements in a flow like manner before we hold into the pose. Doing repetitive movements in a yoga practice helps us to dynamically warm up the body and minimize the risk of injury.

No experience required. Students will learn breathing techniques that are beneficial to our overall posture. Asanas that are beneficial to warm up the body and prepare the body for a day of dance. A beautiful Savasna at the end of the session

Students need to bring a yoga mat, blanket and bottle of water.


Doug Brush: Musicality for drummers (together with Bilge Özgün) 

This workshop will explore how to interpret rhythm and lyrics together to inform musicians (not just drummers!) as they grow their Middle Eastern Music repertoire and play for dancers. Content to be expanded based on workshop group needs.

Beyond Beginner Level. 

Students need to bring a drum, instrument or voice, plus pen and paper.


Doug Brush: Advanced drum workshop

Doug time! Pick Doug's brains as he challenges your brain and fingers in this Advanced drum workshop. Come along for a challenge or to learn a new trick or two. Content will be adjusted to the needs of the group but the aim is to provide a challenge for experienced musicians.

Advanced Level. 

Students need to bring a drum, plus pen and paper.


Kami Liddle: Finger Cymbal and Hip Drills

A class designed for those new to finger cymbals and dancers with experience who want to strengthen their finger cymbal playing foundation. We will begin with foundational zill technique and essential playing patterns while learning basic steps and combinations to accompany our playing. Several dance phrases willbe taught and drilled with beginning and intermediate options available. Please bring your own pair of finger cymbals.

Beginning to Intermediate Level.

Kami Liddle:
Razor-Sharp Slink - Technique & Combinations Class

Executing slow, controlled and sustained movement is something many of us aspire to yet can be so difficult to achieve. This workshop will begin with working on new lines and pathways moving at molasses slow speed with ultra clean technique. We will take our slink and combine it with a some pops, locks and contrasting movements that create striking combinations.

Open Level.


Kami Liddle: Fluidity in Motion

The focus in this class is deepening one's connection to the floor and ability to move outside of their personalspace. This workshop will focus on not only on foot patterns but will cover how to gain balance and gracewhile traveling across the floor. We will begin with a modern and ballet influenced warm-up to focus onproper alignment and move on to traveling foot patterns across the floor. Several complex foot patterns willbe drilled and eventually building on top of them adding isolations and arm work.

Open Level.


Kami Liddle: Short & Sweet Drum Solo Choreography

We will learn a full performance ready drum solo choreography to the song "Tabla Solo 4" by DrumSpyder (from the album Kytheria). This choreography is a little over 2 minutes and packs a punch! At least 1 year of belly dance experienced is recommended as this class will be fast paced and there willbe little technique breakdown.

Intermediate to advanced Level.


Martin Fastier & Tanara Stedman: Middle Eastern Dance Rhythms

This workshop starts with an introduction to our Doumbek and the basic sounds we can make with it. With these basic sounds we will explore as many popular 2 and 4 beat rhythms as participants are comfortable with. From Malfouf to Maqsum and their many friends and relations. Emphasis will be on control, quality and comfort within these rhythms. Then we will explore playing some of these for classic Belly dance tunes played by members of the Unfortunate Repercussions. Playing along while everyone is doing the same, is one thing, but keeping it together while a tune is played adds a whole new challenge. If workshop group ability allows, complex rhythms will also be explored.

No experience required. Students will leave with the ability to understand, recognise and play many popular dance rhythms. Extensive notes will be provided.

Students need to bring a drum. There will be a few extra drums for those who do not access to one.


Mirian Caberlon: Saidi Technique & Choreography with Assaya (Stick)

Learn authentic steps and a choreography of this fun and earthy folkloric dance from Upper Egypt. We will talk about the posture and attitude of this dance while learning some tricky and fancy movements with the Assaya. The music is modern and the choreography will have both modern and roots movements incorporated. 

Intermediate Level. Students will learn authentic Saidi steps and a choreography.

Students need to bring a stick. If you have more than one please bring it to share (please note you can fly with blunt canes/sticks in checked bags on domestic flights within New Zealand).


Pip E-Lysaah: Pip's for Advanced Players

This workshop is seeking experienced dancers who are comfortable with levelling, layering, travelling, ambiguity in design and generally just want a challenge.

Advanced Level. Students will learn how to work together and the creation of a new dance piece.

Students need to bring themselves and their own 16 count combination.


Rachael Lundy (The Ruby Lady): What do we do with a dancing Sailor?

With the recent opening of the new channel in the Suez Canal, the relatively globally unknown folklore style known as Simsamaya or Bambouti has never been more socially relevant in the recent history of Egypt. 

Beyond Beginner Level. Students will learn the social context of this cute and lively sailor character dance, the basic steps, stylisation, and combinations, as well as a bonus round of playing the spoons!

Students need to bring themselves (and spoons if they have them!).


Samantha Murphy (co-teacher Nicola Rooney): Tribal Skirt Style

Skirt swishing combos inspired by ATS®, Gypsy Caravan®, Divine Chaos, Ruby Dhatura and other Tribal styles that can be used for improvised tribal dance or for choreography.

Beyond Beginner Level.  

Students need to bring a 25 yard skirt.


Stefanie Kalmakoff and Lisa Maia Ambrose: ATS® to the 9/8 beat

We love the challenge of trying different beats and 9/8 has long been a favourite. In this workshop we will show you how to use the classical and modern ATSmovement vocabulary with a slight change in accent to adapt to the 9/8 rhythm.

Beyond Beginner Level.  Students will review the basics of each move and learn the modification in accent to fit into the 9/8 beat.

Students need to bring a a water bottle and an open mind.


Tracey Saunders (Aaralyn): Advanced Dance Drills

If you’d like to challenge your mind and body, learn training techniques to help achieve challenging moves and increase your dance fitness than this is the workshop for you… Featuring interesting isolations, fancy footwork and creative layering, this fun workshop will offer something for all belly dance styles and is suitable for intermediate to advanced dancers – although levels and layers will be offered for each drill so don’t be afraid to give it a try! We'll incorporate exercises from famous belly dance drill-masters Suhalia Salimpour, Zoe Jakes, Ashley Lopez & Rachel Brice for a dance workout sure to leave you inspired, and somewhat sweaty. No choreography - just drills and combos, yay!

Intermediate Level.  Students will learn drills & techniques to take home & work on to improve technique.

Students need to bring water.


Vanessa Castro: Silk veil

For great entrances or an enchanting dance. 

Open Level.  Students will learn how do fluid and effortless movements with the veil, combos and creative combinations.

Students need to bring a silk veil.


Zaghareet Daniela: Shaabi & Baladi Theory

Learn about the history, evolution, and main characteristics of these styles alongside music samples. Daniela will also discuss the life of a dancer in Egypt using pictures and videos to tell her story.

No Experience Required.  


Zaghareet Daniela: Shaabi Technique & Combinations

Now you know the story behind the people's dance, come and learn some moves to put to the latest street music fresh from Cairo.

Beyond Beginner Level.  

Zaghareet Daniela: Saidi Goodness

Get a feel for this folkloric dance originally coming from upper Egypt - technique, combinations and choreography

Intermediate Level.  

Zaghareet Daniela: Mejance

The entrance piece of your show should be attention grabbing - learn technique, combinations and choreography to impress your audience.

Intermediate Level.  

Zumarrad: Tackling Samai

The 10/8 Samai rhythm is back in style, both in oriental entrance numbers and in the lovely lyrical muwashahat. We'll learn how to count it and some ways to dance it!

Beyond Beginner Level. Students will learn some 10/8 combinations, and how to count 10/8 Samai music (this is intended for dancers with some dance experience but not of this rhythm).

Students need to bring themselves.