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Classes and Performances

Class Offerings Include:
Currently I am not offering weekly classes. I am available for workshops, seminars or as a guest teacher. Please message me for pricing and availability.

Balancing: Thinking Outside the Box

1-2 hours

Learn balancing techniques that will improve: posture, isolations, movement control and awareness of your body and surroundings. It doesn't matter if students have the desire to dance with something on their head in a performance or not. This class will give students balance training to gain improvements in their dance movements. Vertical movement (up and down) is easier than horizontal movement (side to side). Vertical movements: Undulations-Up and down both accented and smooth, Belly Rolls, Pelvic Lifts & Drops, Chest L & D, Elevation changes, Back bends, Forward Bends, Shoulder shrugs, Up and Down Hip Shimmies, etc. Horizontal movements: Chest and Hip slides, Chest and Hip circles, Side to Side Undulations, Mayas, Tunisian Hip Shimmies, Snake Arms, etc. Class includes horizontal and vertical movement drills and combinations with a few Caveats from the instructor.

Instructor provides safe equipment for balancing.

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Layla bint Ali at Siham Ali's Fall Seminar 2009 Photo Courtesy Innana Ali

Sword Techniques and Flourishes

2-3 hours

Big flashy movements, sword cuts, controlled slow and fast spins to show off the skills of the sword dancer. Students who have a good foundation in Belly Dance wishing to expand their knowledge in sword dancing will benefit from this class. I won’t say they will learn everything there is to know about swords but they will learn a lot. Class goes over different types of swords on the market and whether a sword is high or low maintenance and the benefits and drawbacks of each type like how to properly take care of a sword and handle it in public or using different swords for different venues. Class covers sword cuts, drills, combinations and a short 1 minute choreography to put movements together. Both the novice and the experienced sword dancer will learn about sword control and techniques and how to show them off. 

Practice equipment is provided by instructor that students may purchase if they wish at the end of class for $10.00.

 

Elements of Choreography

2-3 hours

This class is not about learning a complete choreography but the process a dancer goes through when creating choreography. It doesn’t matter if you have an ATS, ITS or Cabaret background to benefit from this class. Students will learn what qualities make up an interesting choreography or improvisation. Participants will learn what to listen for when choosing music, how to break music down into countable measures and to interpret music into dance. Structured drills and combinations are incorporated into a loosely designed choreography students can then participate in determining some phrases. Discussions cover solo and troop choreographies, techniques for engaging the audience’s attention, which angles show some movements off better than others and techniques for creating the unexpected. Class is broken down into 3 parts: Drilling movements that will later be used in the Choreography section of the class, a short lecture section in the middle about things to think about when creating choreography for both soloist and troops and the last section is about putting it all together in a choreography.

Arms, Posture and Transitions

1-2 hours

Unless you grew up as a Gymnast and spent most of your child hood practicing chances are you have a problem with one of these three issues. In my experience these are three of the most under taught subjects and some of the most important aspects to really polish a dancer’s presence. I think these issues  arecommonly neglected in weekly instruction. It doesn’t matter if you have been consistently dancing for 20 years, if you are sloppy with any of these three aspects of dance they will prevent you from excelling as a dancer. Class covers drills to improve posture and transitions. Arm poses are broken down to show the difference between the good the bad and the ugly. Pretty arms are combined with transitions to teach control and fluidity.  All three are put together in combinations that are well broken down.

Skirt Choreography (Covers the Language of the Skirt class below and more)

2-3 hours

This class will cover skirt drills you can take home and use in your own choreography as well as a fun skirt choreography that puts it all together. Unusual skirt techniques and patterns are incorporated from Roma and Zombra dancers. This choreography makes full use of a circle skirt with large flourishes, spins and sensual movement. Students will get the chance to interact with each other in the process of learning the choreography and experiment with transitioning around each other.

Students need to bring a full skirt to class. Instructor will have 4 or 5 loaner skirts.

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Layla's Troop Traveler's of the Silk Road with Students From 2012-2013

 

The Language of the Skirt

1-2 hours

It’s more than just swishing a skirt from side to side. Skirt can be emotional, sassy and flirty and tell a story of joy and hardship. This class is about techniques for skirt dancing. How a dancer can use a skirt as a prop and enhance a dance through interaction with her skirt. Class covers skirt techniques and drills students may take home and use again on their own.Students need to bring a full skirt to class. Instructor will have 4 or 5 loaner skirts. 

Performances

I am available for performances for both family and corporate events. My past performances have included weddings, birthdays, art openings, municipality festivals, music festivals, conventions and fundraisers. I can dance and teach many different styles from American Caberet to Ethnic Folkloric styles. I consider myself a Traditional Tribal Fusion dancer. (Taking traditional tribal movements from North Africa thru Central Asia and fusing them together in American Belly Dance. I also enjoy Traditional Folkloric regional dances. I'm probably best known for my sword dances and interesting choreographiLayla/symph1a.jpges.     

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Layla and Innana Ali Shown at 2007 Kansas City Symphony Fundraisor Courtesy Chris House    

 

 

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Layla Ali At Dead Sea Scrolls Opening Gala 2008 Photo Kansas City Star Reporter and 2013 Fundraisor in Wichita, KS Photo Glenn Gunnels

                                 

 

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