Bring a notebook and pen to these (Helena's) seminars! Helena will give you so much information,
anyone from any level of this art form will walk away refreshed and inspired!
~Attendee comment taken from survey
Absolutely Engaging: Have you ever wished you were able to better connect with the audience you
are dancing for? Are you uncertain what to do if a customer seems a little rowdy? Do you admire
playful dancers and wish that you could play too? Learn several fun and creative ways to interact with
your audience while maintaining control through the use of basic movements, playful facial
expressions, your skirt, zills, any props you generally use, and your veil. Get ready to have fun and
discover a new side of this art form. :) Helen won the "People's Choice" award in the Grand Champion
division of the North East Belly dance Competition in 2009.
Training your Zills: Helena has studied with three mentors that have truly helped her to understand the
art of playing zills. Over the past few years, Helena has developed her own method for helping
individuals to train their zills to play. Get ready to go on a journey of self awareness and discovery as
you train your zills to play in time with your footwork and in time with your music. Learn the many
ways to "hit" the zills as well as the four main concepts to zill playing. Dominant hand/non dominant
hand will be discussed. Playing on the beat, on the upbeat. Hand exercises to increase speed and agility
will be shared. This seminar will help basic players as well as those who feel disconnected from their
zills. If you only play numerical patterns, gallops, or fills, then this seminar will expand your knowledge.
Become a Killer Ziller!: Building upon information in Training your Zills, Helena will take you on a
journey through music. Learn how to identify rhythms. Learn drum speak so that you can play
authentically. Understand rhythms from what Helena describes as "dry" through filled and with
bridges/pickups notes and embellishments. New zill playing techniques will be discussed. Become lost in
the rhythm as you learn to intertwine playing zills in four different methods within the same song.
Worksheets will be handed out in class. 6-8 different rhythms that you will
hear the most, will be discussed. Training your Zills is a prerequisite.
Fall in love with the 9/8 Kasilima and Romani 9: The beautiful 9/8's rhythm. Learn how to differentiate
between a Karsilima and a Romani 9. Basic footwork, movements, and gestures will be taught. Basic
zill/sagat patterns will be taught as well. Popular 9/8 songs will be discussed. Though skirt is not
folkloric to this style, it plays beautifully with this rhythm.
Dancing like a native to 9/8 Kasilima and Romani 9: Take our knowledge of this beautiful rhythm up a
notch! Add onto your basic understanding of a Karsilima and Romani 9 music! In this seminar, a "new"
rhythm, Tulum, will be introduced. Footwork will become more intricate and gesturing will be expanded
upon. We will also go over how to dance in true Romani style. Helena as visited Turkey and had a few
attendees at the Herdillez festival mistake her for Romani because of her pelvic articulations. We will
learn several new patterns for zills/sagat during this seminar, as well. Content will last 4 hours in
length. If you choose to add a skirt component just for fun, skirt material would 1 hour in length.
Falling in love with the 9/8 Karsilima and Romani 9 is a prerequisite for this seminar.
Experience Moroccan Berber Folkloric dance: Learn a Moroccan 6/8 rhythm. This is a beautiful
folkloric style. This will involved A LOT of footwork, some basic hand "postures", a little hair work,
costuming advice, and zills/sagat as well. Helena has performed Moroccan Berber for Moroccans on
several occasions and has received rave reviews.
Mastering the Sword: Are you dancing with your sword or is your sword stealing your show!
Experience some new ideas of how to dance with your sword: framing, balancing, and much more.
Have two? Bring both! Also, tips and tricks will be shared. We won't use our hair, hair pieces, or
costume to balance. This seminar will teach true skill.
Becoming a Veiled Threat: Tired of your veil? Fall in love again! Learn three different veil dancing
methods: each taught by a different mentor in Helena's life. This is the most dynamic veil seminar you
will attend! American cabaret, Turkish wrapping/unwrapping, and using your veil as a dance partner
are just some of the ways your veil will enhance your show. A choreography involving floorwork is
available for this seminar.
Art of the Flying Skirt: This seminar will expand your perception of what skirt dancing is! Learn
techniques for how to dance with a full skirt as well as a panel skirt. Techniques from the 70's until
today! Learn how using your costuming during your performance can enhance your show no matter
which type of skirt you may be wearing.
Creating the Renaissance Faire Fantasy : So you want to dance at a Renaissance Faire? Helena was
the Co Creative Director of the award winning group Tribe Jyannissimi. Tribe Jyannissimi was voted
one of the top three Best Renn Faire Dance Groups in the Country in 2007! Her tribe had traveled all
over the East Coast with yearly contracts at the VA and PA fairs. Topics include and are not limited
to: Learning about the Renaissance Faire circuit, basic acting information/character creation,
developing a show, audience interaction, skits and plays, songs, stage dynamics, stunts and tricks,
speaking in your accent, what to expect, how to get paid, negotiations and how to protect your shows/
Dance of the Drum: Want to raq your drum solo? Helena will teach you how to recognize the drum
rhythms, typical musical make up of a drum solo, and how to create a visual interpretation of what the
audience hears. A choreography will be taught with the drum solo that Helena will be using for this
Dancing with candlelight: Helena will teach you the ins and outs of dancing with candles. Participants
will be provided with votive holders (candles will not be provided nor are they necessarily required).
Learn a choreography to an ethereal song as you learn to master dancing with the flickering flame.
You may also bring your candle tray if you choose. Helena will share tips and tricks to dancing with the
Belly dance Greek style: This is a fun choreography performed to Greek belly dance music. The moves
in this choreography come from the vintage oriental/classic style of belly dance and are influenced by
Helena's mentor Rhea of Greece. This is a very earthy and energetic dance sure to inspire as well as
make you perspire.
|~ Seminars By Helena Zahra ~