Good news for March and April -- the beginner series is confirmed
! Some of you have come to class once or twice and felt shy about being the only new person. This spring, we'll get the new people together in the same place at the same time. :) Returning students are also welcome to join in and focus on fundamentals -- it's a good opportunity to keep moving, polish your technique, and meet new people. Please get in touch to RSVP.
Read on for more class info, upcoming shows, and some bonus Arabic language facts.
Thursdays, 7:30-8:30 p.m.
March 10, 17, 24, April 7, 14, 21
1203 Church Avenue, Brooklyn
Belly dance classes are a great way to take some "me time," recharge your creativity, get your body moving, enjoy great music, and meet new people.
In this class, you'll learn the basics of Egyptian-style belly dance, focusing on core strength, posture, and breathing. You will also learn about music and culture from the Middle East.
Sign up by March 3! Follow the link to pay via PayPal, or contact me for non-PayPal options. We do need a minimum number of people to run this class, so sign up to reserve your spot. Payments are non-refundable unless classes are cancelled.
If you're new to belly dance or have come to class once or twice, please do sign up for the full series. If you've already taken classes with me and can't do the full series, get in touch with me about drop-in options.
If you have any questions, check out the FAQ page at http://nisreendance.com, and feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thursday evening classes take place at Studio 1203, 1203 Church Avenue, Brooklyn. The cross streets are Westminster and Argyle. 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.
On Wednesday, March 2
, I'll be dancing in the Djam NYC
show at Jebon
. The show will feature the live music of Scott Wilson and Efendi, along with performances by Kaeshi, Zenaide, Leela, and others. It will be a fun night! And you can keep an eye out for the ways that dancers and musicians communicate during a show.
The band will start playing about 8:15, and the show will run till about 10 p.m. Jebon is at 15 St. Mark's Place, and their phone number is 212-388-1313. Table reservations are a good idea. The cover is $15, and food/drink minimum is $5.
Later in the spring, I'll be traveling to Toronto April 1-3 for Yasmina Ramzy's Bellydance Blossom Festival
, where I'll be performing a new experimental choreography. Registration is still open for the festival, which will have a lot of exciting workshops, performances, and presentations.
This newsletter brought to you
by the Arabic letter
If this week's letter looks familiar, you're right -- last time, we talked about how it's added to words to indicate concepts like "my" and "to me." (You can find older newsletters under "news" at nisreendance.com
.) Today we'll look at some other things this letter can do.
Just as English letters have uppercase and lowercase letters, Arabic letters have different shapes. The shape depends on the letter's position in a word. (Arabic is read from right to left, so the beginning is on the right.)
The name of this letter is "ya," and it's the last letter in the Arabic alphabet. Sometimes it's pronounced as a vowel (as in the last newsletter). And sometimes it's pronounced as a consonant, like a "y."
Here it is in one useful word: "ya"
This word is used before a person's name, when you're addressing that person. So if you asked me about upcoming events, in Arabic, you would say, "Ya Nisreen, when is the next show?" There isn't really an English equivalent to this word. People sometimes translate it as "O," but that's something we normally hear in poetry ("O world, I cannot hold thee close enough!"), not something we use every day. In Arabic, you would use "ya" every time when you address someone.
You can also hear this word in some songs you know. One is "Ya Msafer Wahdak
" by Mohamed Abdel Wahab. (The link goes to a YouTube clip of a movie scene where you can hear the song and read Arabic and English subtitles.) The title has been translated as "You, who travel alone" and "O lone traveler."
I'm celebrating my February birthday, so here's another good-to-know song with "ya": "Sana Helwa Ya Gameel
." This is the "Happy Birthday" song with Arabic lyrics. "Sana helwa" means "sweet year," and "gameel" is "beautiful." You can read more about the song at Shira's web site
If you've been coming to class and/or reading the newsletter, you know some more songs with "ya" -- I challenge you to think of at least one! :)
Thanks for reading, and happy shimmies!