Austin Belly Dance Convention featuting Ava Fleming & produced by Stacey Lizette

The Austin Belly Dance Convention (ABDC) is an annual dance event held the first weekend in June in Austin, TX.

The mission of ABDC is to bring dancers together to inspire, be inspired and celebrate the art of belly dance.

At the ABDC, we feature the instruction and performance one special dance artist each year.

Additional “specialty” or “mini” workshops are offered throughout the weekend (especially Saturday) for attendees exposure to the variety of talented dance instructors and topics available in the belly dance world.


Featured Artist: Ava Fleming

Saturday, June 1, 9:30am-12:30pm: Turkish Delight

Using some of Ava’s favorite Turkish music, we will learn fun, upbeat, action packed combos that are full of sass and attitude. With a translation for every song used, so you know what you are dancing to, and Ava will briefly discuss the some of the major differences between current and past Egyptian and Turkish trends. The combos are perfect to add in most pop song choreographies (yes, even Egyptian/Arabic songs) for a little spice.

Sunday, June 2, 10am – 1pm: Drum Solo Choreography
Learn the drum solo from Ava’s latest IAMED DVD, with small variations from the choreography created for simplification and time limits – get the highest level of challenge when you purchase the DVD. When purchased with this workshop, the DVD is discounted to $35.00 (this discount not to be combined with other offers).

Sunday, June 2, 2pm – 4pm: Liquid Gold
Melt your audience with fusion inspired combinations full of emotion and drama. Using Ava’s signature dance style and her favorite fusion music get ready for a truly unique experience in dancing. Expect to be pushed!

Stacey Lizette

Stacey has been studying belly dance for over 15 years. Executive Producer of the ABDC since 2009, certified in the Suhaila Salimpour format (Level 4) and Jamila Salimpour format (Level 2). Stacey teaches weekly classes, directs the Tekatek Dance Ensemble, is a member of the Sabaya Belly Dance Collective and sponsors the Suhaila Certification Program in TX. In 2012 Stacey choreographed, directed and performed in her first full theatrical work “The Color Project.” She carries with her not only a love and passion for good technique, but for creativity in whatever form it may take.

Saturday, June 1, 1:30 – 3pm: Tackling the Taqsim

What is it? What instrument is that? What does it mean? What are the rules? Investigate, explore and increase your comfort level with how to approach a taqsim. Stacey shares her personal philosophy for taqsim performances and guides exercises to help hone your abiity to perform with individual authenticity.



April Rose

An educated and traveled bellydancer of 13 years, April Rose tours internationally with Bellydance Superstars and is a former member of UNMATA. With a Masters degree in Culture and Performance and a Bachelors in Dance from UCLA, April Rose’s academic work focuses on the history of bellydance in America, its political implications and cultural relevance. A dynamic and encouraging teacher, she is trained in choreographic method, various dance techniques, and critical dance theory and uses all of these skills in her thoughtful, rigorous, and playful approach to teaching bellydance.

Friday, May 31, 4pm-6:30pm: Making Choreography

Beginning, middle, and end. Dynamics. Repetition, stacking, deconstructing. Mapping movement across the floor. Charting energetic flow. When to incorporate music into the process. How to tell an audience *this is important*! In this class we will learn and practice these aspects of dance making by learning combinations, arranging them, and placing them in space. Whether you simply want to keep an audience engaged, provoke a feeling in them, or shift their perceptions, these are necessities for your choreography toolbox. This workshop brings you into a detailed, step-by-step, example of one way to make dances from the inception of your idea to completion. Beginning students and teachers alike will come away with chunks of choreography, and inspiration to take home. Come ready to dance.


Amara, PhD, is well known for her entertaining and dynamic American belly dance style and as a leading innovator in theatrical and experimental Middle Eastern dance. In addition to teaching dance studio classes, Amara has taught accredited courses at several universities. She also has held long-term performing engagements at many nightclubs and restaurants and has been highlighted in over 15 commercial videos. Amara is the Director and Choreographer of Ya Helewa! Dance Company, co-Producer of “X-MED” workshops, Producer of “An Evening of Experimental Middle Eastern Dance” concerts, and Director of “Training 4 Dance Teachers.”

Saturday, June 1, 3:30 – 5pm: The Art of Beautiful Veil
The Veil is a wonderful dance partner. It expands your sense of being farther into space and adds texture, color, and breath into a dance. We will learn figure eights, envelopes, circles, and spins that will keep any audience enthralled and mesmerized. Please bring a standard 3 yard rectangular veil.


Bahaia is a performer, instructor, and promoter with over 15 years experience. She offers weekly classes and private lessons for all levels and seminars on technique and choreography throughout the USA. Bahaia hosts the annual “Camparet” Cabaret Dance Camp retreat and is the founding member and president of the Aria Dance Foundation. She has been featured on several instructional DVD’s, including recent releases from Cheeky Girls Productions.

Saturday, June 1, 3:30 – 5pm: Golden Era Styling & Technique
Add some retro to your raks! Discover the history of modern Belly Dance through the movements of Egypt’s Golden Age of Cinema. Explore the characteristics of this style while following the footsteps of Samia Gamal, Taheya Kareoka, Naima Afef and many more. Golden Era Styling has an irresistible, sophisticated element which has nothing to do with being saccharin or cloying. Bahaia has spent countless hours scrutinizing videos of the great Egyptian dancers of the Golden are in order to distill their movements and characteristics and create her own style based on the beauty of that time. This historical basis of the dance is the foundation of her teachings.

Lisa Zahiya

Lisa Zahiya is an innovative, award-winning performer, in-demand instructor and successful studio owner. Working in the genres of bellydance, Indian dance (Bollywood & Bhangra) and hip-hop dance, Lisa travels nationally and internationally teaching and performing. Lisa’s unique style and fusion dance forms has gained her recognition in the International bellydance community. Lisa is also known for her work with children and women, using dance as a impitus for change.

Saturday, June 1, 1:30 – 3pm: Understanding and Working with Music
In this workshop we will explore the basics of music theory and how use that knowledge to become a more expressive dancer. Students will learn how to add emotion and drama to their dance style by working with and understanding different types of music and Middle Eastern rhythms.

Saturday, June 1, 3:30 – 5pm: It’s Good to be Odd
Learn how to count, recognize and dance to some of the belly dance’s more interesting odd rhythms. Go beyond the Karsilama and break out of the even-meter box that often cages the spirit of Tribal bellydance. Bring zills or Turkish spoons and bring a notepad!


Sa’diyya’s charismatic, energetic and culturally authentic performances have won her more than 20 regional, national and international awards, including 2011 Belly Dancer of the Universe. She is a rising star in the international world of Belly Dance, and just recently won the prestigious “Project Bellydance” competition produced by Cheeky Girl Productions.

Saturday, June 1, 1:30 – 3pm: Frame Your Dance – Head, Arms, Hands & Posture
As a dancer, your hands, arms, head and posture are like the frame around the picture. Having the right frame makes all the difference in the way your dance appears! Come learn techniques and exercises to improve your hands, arms, head and posture. These tips will be easy to implement into your practice time and performances. You will leave with the tools that will take your dancing to the next level!




Z-Helene holds a BA in Theatre Arts from Franklin & Marshall College. She has a broad dance background that includes extensive study and performances in Middle Eastern, East Indian, African, modern, ballet and flamenco dance forms. Z-Helene has been teaching an accredited Middle Eastern dance class at Austin Community College for 19 years, and is an accomplished creative director, choreographer, performer, writer, yoga instructor, seminar instructor and cymbal player.

Sunday, June 2, 11am-1pm: Developing your Dance Persona
How do you want someone to describe you as a performer? In this introspective workshop, Z-Helene guides you through exercises to help answer this self-defining question. The result can have a powerful impact on your dance and in which directions you may want to grow as a performer. Expect improvisation, writing, discussion, dance, and inspiration. All levels welcomed.

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