Beginner series starting soon in south Brooklyn -- sign up by October 8 to claim your spot!
Hi everyone!

You asked for it, you got it -- beginner classes are coming to Church Avenue in Brooklyn in October! Learn the basics of Egyptian-style belly dance and enjoy moving to beautiful music. These classes will emphasize core strength, posture, and breathing. You will also learn about music and culture from the Middle East.

Read on for details about beginner and intermediate series, plus some bonus facts about Arabic language, dance and music.


Sign up now for beginner classes! This six-week series begins Thursday, Oct. 15, 7:30-8:30 p.m. and continues on Oct. 22, Oct. 29, Nov. 5, Nov. 12, and Nov. 19. 

Registration for the series is $105. Sign up by Oct. 8 to hold your spot! Payments are non-refundable unless classes are cancelled.

If you have any questions, check out the FAQ page at, and feel free to get in touch with me at

And thanks to everyone who came to the show and lesson at the East Fourth Street Community Garden this Sunday. Great job, you all! I hope you had as much fun as I did. :)

Intermediate classes are ongoing 8:30-9:30 p.m. on Thursdays. We just started a six-week series; classes will meet Oct. 1, Oct. 8, Oct. 15, and Oct. 22 (this last date may change). The drop-in rate for intermediate classes is $20.

For the September/October series, we are working with combinations for samai rhythm. This is an unusual and beautiful 10/8 rhythm, most closely associated with muwashahat music but found in other pieces as well. The Mahmoud Reda-inspired combinations emphasize grace, elegance, and strong footwork skills. (We may also sneak in some 7/8s and/or other unusual rhythms as the series goes along.)

Thursday evening classes take place at Alden Moves, 1203 Church Avenue, Brooklyn. This studio is convenient to the B/Q stop at Church Avenue, and also accessible from the F/G at Fort Hamilton Parkway or Church Avenue.


I'll be performing to the music of Ishtar at Rakkasah East on Sunday, Oct. 11, at 3:48 p.m. Rakkasah East takes place at the Ukrainian Cultural Center, 135 Davidson Ave., Somerset, NJ. Festival admission on Sunday is $18. 


This newsletter brought to you
by the Arabic letter

In Arabic, letters have different shapes when they are in different places in a word. This is similar to uppercase and lowercase letters in English, where "A" and "a" are the same letter.  

This letter can be pronounced in different ways. In some varieties of Arabic, including more formal and classical forms, it's pronounced "th" as in "think" (there's a different letter for "th" as in "these"). In others, particularly in Egypt, it's pronounced "s." Here are two important dance-related examples that you may have heard. 
One is Egypt's most renowned singer, Oum Kalthoum, a.k.a. Oum Kalsoum. Here's a link to the Wikipedia page about her; the sidebar shows about a dozen different ways to write her name in English, including both "th" and "s" versions.
Another is the most famous song from the muwashahat tradition, Lama Bada Yatathanna, a.k.a. Lama Bada Yatasanna. Here's a broadcast of WNYC's Soundcheck where you can learn about the song and hear interpretations by many different artists. Listen carefully and you'll notice different singers using the different pronunciations.
Thanks for reading, and happy shimmies!
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