Elena offers the following workshops or can be contacted to create a workshop specifically for an event or interest.
Tribal Fusion Bellydance Basics
2 hr- Beginner
In this workshop you will get up and dancing by learning a series of the basic building blocks of Tribal Fusion Bellydance. We begin with a nice stretch and centering warmup to get ourselves ready to dance. We then dive right in and cover a few moves from each family. We then have a drill session to begin building muscle memory and getting these moves ingrained in our minds and bodies. We finish our work with learning a short combination integrating the moves we have learned and then end with a cool down, stretch and short relaxation session. This workshop is a great way to give bellydance a try or brush up in your basics!
Chakra Opening Bellydance– 2.5 hrs Beginner Level
Having open, active chakras can not only provide you with a higher vibrational force that can enhance your spiritual life, but they have a great effect on our physical health, too. This workshop begins with a guided relaxation segment to get us in a state of mind to begin this work. We then begin working on opening our chakras, or if they are sluggish or stuck, reactivating them and getting them bright, open and whirring away again. The main portion of this workshop has three segments. After we are relaxed and open, we begin lying down. We utilize some basic yoga moves, Bellydance isolations, and visualization to begin opening the chakras. We work from the root to the crown. Once we reach the crown while lying down, we sit up in a comfortable position and begin again at the root. We use some stretching here, visualization and more bellydance principles to work our way up to the crown again. For the final segment we stand up, start at the root and work our way up to the crown with basic bellydance isolations and moves, working through geometrical shapes and spirals with parts of our bodies and keeping our visualization up and running. By now we are fully open, chakras whirring away and activated. We will finish with a group dance party where we embrace the concepts we have learned and use them as a sort of moving meditation. The workshop ends with returning to our center, slowing down and preparing to re enter the regular world. The principles and techniques learned in this workshop can not only be taken home and used to keep your chakras open and active, but you can utilize the dance portion in any kind of dance environment you wish.
Port de Bras for Bellydance
2 hrs Beginner- Advanced
This workshop will utilize ballet port de bras fused with a flow through ATS® arm positions and then into fusion arm patterns. It’ll also include the use of epaulement or “shouldering” from classical ballet technique and how that enhances your arm lines and how you’re already using this technique and how to incorporate it into other moves adding dimension and depth to your performance and technique.
Ritualistic Solo Bellydance– 2.5 hrs
This workshop is rooted in the idea of ritualistic dance and exploring the fusion of the divine feminine, celebrating the Goddess with dance and bringing that into the practice and performance of Tribal Fusion Bellydance. We begin with a grounding, centering Puja (or prayer) sequence using simple moves to prepare ourselves mentally, emotionally and physically for dance. This sequence honors the Puja created by Carolena Nerriccio for ATS® and builds on it incorporating basic yoga asanas, Indian Dance postures and mindful stretching. The dance portion would explore a variety of bellydance moves, particularly those comprised of a geometric nature and spiral moves, commonly found in moving meditation, as well as several moves created by Elena inspired by Indian Temple dance and we will touch on the principles of Khaleegi and Zaar ritual dance. We will discuss letting go of inhibitions and thought and really letting the dance takeover our bodies and minds and celebrate what is happening with the movement. The workshop would conclude with a giant guided improvisation to give everyone the chance to use what they’ve learned and implement it into their lives and spiritual practices as well as their social selves, culminating in a sitting or standing Zaar portion where we feel the effects of how this ritual, originally used for ridding the bodies of demons can be used to center and ground yourself and rid the mind of your own personal demons. We finally end returning to our puja, returning our bodies and minds to an easy state and preparing for the next phase of our evening.
Intro to Tribal Improv Bellydance 2 hrs
This workshop begins with a series of active stretches to warm up and get you moving. We then progress to a variety of beginner level moves that will get you dancing and will be easy for anyone who has never bellydanced before. We will get in touch with various parts of our bodies and learn to utilize them to dance, while freeing up our minds. We will then end with a review of all moves and put them into use. All of the moves taught are generally used in a group improv setting and by learning these moves and concepts you can take them forward with you and at any drum circle or drum jam have the confidence to get up, feel the rhythm and dance. This is also a great workshop for anyone curious about bellydance and wanting to find a starting point for their bellydance experience. With over 7 years teaching experience in bellydance, Elena has taught numerous students from beginner to advanced and believes anyone can dance. Having used bellydance as a form of therapy after a major car wreck, she has discovered that injuries, disabilities and illness can be helped through the practice if bellydance and no matter what your age, fitness level or background, you CAN start dancing. Elena has had students from age 3-80 and men and women can both participate in this dance. This workshop focuses on community, dancing not just for yourself, but each other and expanding the experience of dance to extend to the whole tribe, not just a special, elevated group.
“Spinning the Night Away”- 2.5 hours.
In this workshop Elena covers the basics of spinning, including spotting, posture and arm position for spins as well as some of the most popular stationary spins. Feautured are the Dervish Spin, Whip Turn, Reverse Turn, Barrel Turn, Paddle Turn and Clock Spin among others. Elena also addresses the problems that hinder most people from spinning effectively and talks about how to increase stamina for spins. As an added bonus for all workshop participants interested, Elena will give a crash course on going into a turkish drop from a spin at the end of the workshop!!
“The Travelling Spinners!”- 2.5 hours Beg- Advanced
In this workshop Elena addresses travelling spins such as Chaine turns and Pique Turns adapted for bellydance from classical ballet methods, as well as classic Bellydance turns such as the 3 step turn and the Double Turn with Arms. Elena will also cover adapting stationary spins, Barrel Turn and Clock Spin into travelling turns. Elena will break down basic spinning principles such as spotting, balance, posture and arms as well as covering strength training for the feet, ankles, and legs for added stamina and grace while spinning. Correct head placement will also be discussed and practiced to get the most from your spins- from proper spotting to no spotting.
“Stick Your Spins!”- 2.5 hrs Intermediate-Advanced
Learn to finish your dramatic spinning with an even more dramatic perfect ending! In this workshop Elena covers basic spins and building series of spins then dives right into learning how to stop your spin with dramatic flair. Correct spinning technique will be covered as well as spinning stamina and speed- then we will dive straight in to stopping that spin without a hitch. A crisply cut off beautiful series of spins adds a level of preffesionalism to dazzle all audiences.