Roots of Belly Dance
Comprehensive Class in Middle Eastern Dance or Raqs Sharqi
Learn the basics of Egyptian/North African/Turkish style belly dance!
This dance is a natural expression outward, and doorway inward, of our bodies’ most deeply indigenous movement. Used to celebrate, entertain, charm, court, release tensions, affirm identity, create community, express, heal, support childbirth~ belly dance is a “treasure from the East”.
Body Roots, Cultural and Historical Roots, Spiritual Roots
In this series of classes, we’ll cover basic techniques, undulations, hip isolations, accents and shimmies, body placement, beautiful expressive arms, steps, fun choreographies, party dance, and polished performance.
Warm-ups will include stretching, breath awareness, and some Chinese movement,
all designed to help you move easily into this mode of dance.
Learn how to identify and dance to different rhythm grooves~ baladi, maqsoum, ayoub, masmoudi, saidi, chifte-telli, odd time signatures~ 4s, 5s, 6s, 7s, 8s, 9s~
Taxim~ (solo improvisation) We will explore the art of improvising the dance, the technique of “letting go” into deep listening of the music.
Zils~ (zagat, finger cymbals) Learn basic techniques and rhythm patterns that allow you to improvise and accompany yourself.
Veils~ Play with color, flow, draping, dancing, partnering veils, the ‘visible perfume’ of Learn some of the history and lineage of this dance, how the many styles
have arisen in various countries and cultures. How belly dance has brushed with political history, and how it has become the dance we see and love today.
Learn about the differences in Ghawazee, Raqs Sharqi, Saidi, Romany, Ouled Nail,
Shikkat, Guedra, Zar, Hagala, Tunisian, Turkish~ the many styles of this dance.
Learn about the dance’s social, therapeutic, ceremonial, and spiritual roles in
different cultures and societies.
Travis Fontaine Jarrell's dance background includes extensive Western classical and modern training, North Indian Kathak, American clogging, and Flamenco. She began her study of Middle Eastern dance in 1971, and during her 30 + years of teaching and performing, she was privileged to study with such excellent artists as Jamila Salimpour, Serena Wilson, Morocco, Bert Balladine, Dahlena, Ibrahim Farrah, and many others. Travis was introduced to Central Asian dance in 1989 by Laurel Victoria Gray, and in 1992 was invited to Bukhara, Uzbekistan, to live and perform with Mohy-Sitora Folklore Ensemble, and to study classical Uzbek dance in Tashkent with the acclaimed Akilov family. In 1996 Travis and Laurel Gray collaborated to produce Central Asian Dance Camp, a summer dance program for the study of Uzbek and Persian dance. Travis has performed with Shashmaqam Bukharan Ensemble at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., at the 92nd St. Y Tisch Center for the Performing Arts in NYC, and in various concerts in New York, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona. She has also been active in bringing guest teachers and artists from Uzbekistan. Her solo dance concerts, presented in the US and in Europe, have included classical and folkloric Uzbek and Middle Eastern dance, as well as her own original creative works. As a teacher of Middle Eastern dance, Travis believes in the intrinsic value of its naturally undulating movement and personal expression. Her classes have attracted a wide range of students, including non-dancers, body therapists, pregnant mothers, athletes, singers, mountain climbers, and aspiring performers. Travis incorporates into her teaching Yoga, Chinese movement forms, breath awareness, visualization play, rhythmic studies, Eastern line-dancing, and creative improvisation. With her "Geography through Dance" program, Travis has worked as an Art-in- Residence in public schools in the US and abroad. From[masked], she served as student activities teacher and adjunct faculty, teaching Middle Eastern dance at the College of Santa Fe, (now Santa Fe University of Art and Design) and at Santa Fe Community College, Santa Fe, New Mexico. Travis currently lives and teaches dance in Cookeville, Tennessee.