Shimmyathon NorthEast Belly Dance Festival
Join us for our 10th annual festival! We’re having live music in every class to celebrate!
Schedule of Events:
Sunday Band: George and Nick Kokoras and Mike Gregian!
For over 30 years, The Kokoras Ensemble has delighted Greek audiences throughout New England and the rest of the country performing at special events. Their extensive repertoire of songs includes all of the traditional regional folk songs of Greece, as well as the most popular hits from Greek nightclubs. The Kokoras Ensemble prides itself on using only the latest, state-of-the-art technology to enhance their finely-honed musical talents. George and Nick Kokoras are brothers with impressive musical backgrounds, both graduates of the Gavianni School of Music. The brothers played with The Athenians for several years, and by 1965, they began appearing together in nightclubs and at functions throughout the United States.
Mike Gregiani s a dancer’s drummer, clarinet player, singer, and musician of many talents. Mike has been performing up and down the East Coast for Decades, including the Fred Elias Ensemble and the Mosaic Ensemble.
10:45 AM - 12:00 PM: Etiquette for Performing with Live Band with Tava (CT)
Learn the nuances of how to properly dance *with* musicians including spatial considerations, how (and when) to play finger cymbals, allowing space for spontaneity and how to be on the same page for spontaneity and how to be on the same page for song endings.
Tava is a lifelong dancer and student who stumbled into her first belly dance class nearly 20 years ago. Her style is Vintage Oriental with Turkish flair. She maintains a busy performance schedule in New York City and the tri-state area, performing at restaurants, nightclubs, theaters and cultural events on a regular basis. Tava has also taught weekly Middle Eastern dance classes since 2004 with strong emphasis on her 3 C's: culture, context and community. She has performed with Elena Lentini's Caravanserai Dance Theater, Andrea Beeman's "Sparks in the Dark" and Dalia Carella Dance Collective. A trained counselor and former LMT, Tava seeks to offer classes that improve body image and confidence as well as anatomical training and strategies for injury prevention.
12:15 - 1:30 PM: The Gooey Chifti with Zobeida (NY)
In this workshop, we will be using elements of modern dance to expand how sensually and fluidly we move to a basic chiftitelli rhythm. We will learn to connect to the instruments and how to maximize our movements to match the notes of the music. And lastly, we will be pulling dramatic elements from working with live music like the beautiful dancers did in the heyday of American cabaret.
Zobeida Ghattas is a New York city-based belly dancer of Russian and Arabic origins. After studying with legendary teachers Anahid Sofian and Morocco from the age of seven, she started working as a professional belly dancer at the age of 15 in clubs, restaurants and special event venues. Since then, Zobeida has worked with many talented NYC artists, musicians and dancers. Currently, besides gigging she runs weekly classes, teaches workshops at festivals and belly dance events and owns the costume jewelry boutique, Esme's Closet.
2:30 - 3:45 PM: Entering and Exiting to live music with Amity Alize (NH)
Practicing entering and exiting the stage is super important for dancers as it sets the tone and leaves the final impression with the audience. We’ll work on tried and true techniques as well as practice with the band so you can hear the cues in the music for when to enter or exit the stage!
Amity Alize has studied Middle Eastern and Oriental Dances since 2001. Focusing on tying the folkloric and modern styles together through her own research, she travels internationally studying dance on an ongoing basis. Her mission is to empower others through performances, workshops, and classes to step out of their boxes, increase their self-esteem and positive self-image, live through the music, and most of all, just have fun and be authentically themselves.
As the founder and director of Raq-On Dance, Amity has taught over a thousand people to learn Belly Dance. In 2015 she was invited to teach and perform in Cairo, Egypt, as part of the Camp Negum Dance Festival. She is the Director of the annual Shimmyathon Dance Festival and has hosted over fifty events including national and international dancers. She has written three ebooks on the business, teaching, and event management side of performing arts for dancers. Amity Alize performs at weddings, celebrations, theatre shows, fundraisers, and venues with Middle Eastern Bands. Her style can be best described as Classical Golden Era Egyptian fused with Vintage American Oriental. She manages Raq-On Dance’s student Troupe, the Raq-ettes, which perform folkloric and modern Middle Eastern Dance styles throughout the Northeast.
4:00 - 5:15 PM: Meet the Band: George Kokoras, Nick Kokoras and Mike Gregian!
Amity will lead a Q&A with 10 questions from dancers about working with a band, the band will share their history, favorite stories, and what things they feel important for dancers to know. Most importantly, there will be time for everyone to free dance to the band’s favorite songs.
Cost: $300 for the entire weekend (including show ticket and daily lunch) Monthly payment plan of $30 per month is available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org when registration opens.
Shimmyathon opens Saturday and Sunday at 10:00 AM for registration, shopping, and stretching.