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Belly Dance Basics


This class is taught by:

Karen Sun Ray

Karen has an extensive background in folk dances of Europe, Asia, the Americas and Polynesia and has studied and performed Middle Eastern Dance since 1976. She has eight years of experience as a performance director for folk dance groups. She has performed with Gainesville, Florida's internationally known professional ballet company, DanceAlive!, and has choreographed folk dance pieces for their production of Dracula. She is a member of the Sahnobar Dance Ensemble who has performed at Disney's EPCOT, Universal Studios, St. Petersburg's Florida International Museum openings of "Splendors of Ancient Egypt" and "Alexander the Great" to name a few. She has had the privelege of performing interpretive dance with world beat bands such as the Exotic Music Ensemble (Gainesville, Florida) and Loud Zoo (St. Petersburg, Florida). In 1998, she toured the country with a Polynesian performing group based in Orlando. Her teaching career began at an early age along side her mother and continues until today. Karen co-founded Hip Expressions in 2004, and operates as the Bookings Coordinator and Performances Director. http://www.hip-expressions.com/HipEx/Karen.html

Jill Castle

Nilla Bean has been on stage performing various styles of dance since her teenage years. First stripping out of an evening gown on stage during the musical Guys and Dolls and being your typical boisterous cheerleader; she was hooked on making the audience laugh while being the center of attention. Nilla started belly dancing in upstate New York back in 2004 and was hooked after just one class. A few years later she and a partner started the SunDancers, a women’s dance workout group that catered to women recovering from cancer surgery and their supporters. From 2006 to 2011 she worked for a pro-choice health clinic and led youth empowerment and self esteem classes through dance. Moving on to New Hampshire in 2011 she joined the belly dance troupe The Raq-ettes under the dance name Jillian and worked for Raq-On Dance Studio. This allowed her the time to hone her burlesque identity while leading ‘pin-up and cheesecake burlesque’ classes. It was a sad farewell to her performance community who awarded her the Raq-On Dance Community Award at the end of her final show with the studio. Her latest move to the Tampa Bay/St Pete area of Florida in 2013 has yielded the highest results in her dance career. Joining Hip Expressions Dance Studio and performing with some of central Florida’s best belly dancers and burlesque babes she has found her home. She is becoming known for her pirate and mermaid acts and loves learning new combinations in belly dance to use in her improvisations. She’s been designing and sewing costumes since she was a teen, baking up cupcakes for those she loves for over 15 years, and has been laughing louder than anyone within earshot for as long as she’s been shimmying this earth!
Come learn the beautiful art of belly dance!  This class will introduce you to the basic isolations you need as a solid foundation for belly dance.  Learn new and exciting things about your muscle groups, how to access your inner core to create beautiful and fluid movements.  We'll also work on arms, posture, and some footwork will be introduced to lay the groundwork to delve into this art form.  As your muscles strengthen, your control will improve and you will see yourself start to dance!  Develop self-confidence, coordination, and comfort inside your own skin that brings out your inner Goddess!
 
Spring Session: April/May

Upcoming classes:

  • Tue Jun 27 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm with Karen Sun Ray
  • Thu Jun 29 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm with Dana Leota
  • Sun Jul 02 12:20 pm - 1:20 pm with Jill Castle
  • Thu Jul 06 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm with Dana Leota
  • Sun Jul 09 12:20 pm - 1:20 pm with Jill Castle
  • Tue Jul 11 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm with Karen Sun Ray
  • Thu Jul 13 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm with Dana Leota
  • Sun Jul 16 12:20 pm - 1:20 pm with Jill Castle
  • Tue Jul 18 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm with Karen Sun Ray
  • Thu Jul 20 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm with Dana Leota
  • Sun Jul 23 12:20 pm - 1:20 pm with Jill Castle
  • Tue Jul 25 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm with Karen Sun Ray
  • Thu Jul 27 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm with Dana Leota
  • Sun Jul 30 12:20 pm - 1:20 pm with Jill Castle
  • Tue Aug 01 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm with Karen Sun Ray
  • Thu Aug 03 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm with Dana Leota
  • Sun Aug 06 12:20 pm - 1:20 pm with Jill Castle
  • Tue Aug 08 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm with Karen Sun Ray
  • Thu Aug 10 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm with Dana Leota