2019 Class Descriptions

We are thrilled to offer an amazing variety of classes this year from a wonderful group of top notch instructors. Please pay close attention to the location of each class so you do not sign up for overlapping sessions! We suggest that you reference the class schedule grid before purchasing your classes! Scroll down on this page to see all the class options, then click REGISTER NOW and purchase your favorites!

Download a 2-page PDF Schedule Grid for your own reference:


Download 5 page PDF of Class Descriptions for your reference:


Thursday Class Schedule

Thursday 9am-10:30am (AMC)

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Frank Farinaro: Be the Teacher You Want to Train With (1.5hrs)

Veteran and rookie dance teachers alike, regardless of style, THIS is the workshop for you! It has valuable tools for structuring your curriculum, promoting your classes, plugging into your community, and strategic business practices to help maintain and sustain your teaching.

As a student and a teacher, Frank Farinaro has run the gamut on dance and movement education. Over his eleven- year career, he has worked nationally and internationally as a teacher, instructor, lecturer, coach, mentor, choreographer, adjudicator, and writer, at dance studios, gyms, health clubs, dance festivals, colleges, universities, museums, competitions, various dance media, as well as individually with private and online students. Through these varied experiences, Frank has created a unique and holistic approach to being a well-rounded teacher and an asset to your community

Thursday 9:00am-11:00am (GCC)

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Zoe Jakes: Sinuous Flux, a Choreography (2hrs)

Long lines, full body fluidity and dynamic floorwork make this dance a meditation in movement.

Thursday 11:10am-1:10pm (AMC)

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Carolena Nericcio: Tribal Combinations (2hrs)

Drills to refine the use of basic steps and their variations in combinations and mini-choreographies. Partnering and group work with emphasis on communication between dancers. *Dancers should know the basics of Taxeem, Bodywave, Hand Floreo and Arm Undulations, Shimmy, Arabic Basic, Egyptian Basic, Pivot Bumps and Choo- choos.

Thursday 1:20-3:20pm (AMC)

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Moria Chappell: Temple Tribal Fusion Belly Dance (2hrs)

Temple Tribal Fusion Belly Dance is a confluence of multiple Sacred dances from ancient history that were performed in temples, caves, forests, and sacred spaces. Moria has traveled the globe researching ancient sacred dances that were connected via ancient trade routes…her selection of multiple styles of temple dance and ancient dance techniques combine to create an aesthetic that evokes the mythological, archetypal, and muscular strength of what have primarily been female art forms: strong, sensual, regal, fierce, and enigmatic, the feminine divine is made manifest through these ancient physical arts and Moria’s depth of study and experience in her craft. Students will train in fusion combinations stemming from Cambodian Apsara and Chinese Apsara dance, Javanese Solo dance, Odissi Indian Temple dance, Hula, and Tunisian dance.

Thursday 1:20-3:20pm (GCC)

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Frank Farinaro: Explosive Content (2hrs)

In this workshop, we will learn how to do large, explosive movements, full-body hits, dramatic spins, and other heart-pounding, jaw-dropping movements that will leave any person in your blast radius speechless. We will go through specific elements of musicality to make your body look like a canvas that the bass-heavy music has painted on… WITH NAPALM!!! WARNING: These techniques may cause spontaneous human combustion. (Advanced)

Thursday 1:20-3:20pm (AMC Theater Stage)

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Elizabeth Ashner: Project Elev8 Rehearsal (2hrs)

A Gala Show Performance Project With Elizabeth Ashner (4 month project includes costume pieces)
Want to be part of the magic?
Project Elev8 is a choreographed group dance that offers a beautiful commentary on the art of personal and community development. Learn the choreography from the comfort of your own home and show up at Elevation ready to put it on stage with dancers from around the world.

The choreographed story of personal and community development and empowerment will include “tribal fusion” based movements with ATS® roots, isolations, yoga, a touch of modern theatrical elements and Elizabeth’s blend of clean crisp isolation accents juxtaposed with smooth fluidity and placed in textured formations.
The performance will be showcased in the Elevation Gala Show on Saturday 4/27.

How does it work?
Starting in January, Elizabeth will send you written and video documentation to practice each month, with notes and inspiration along the way. At the end of each month and in mid-April, you’ll submit a video that documents your progress.
In addition to the lessons, Elizabeth will offer optional live chat sessions every other week to answer questions, hear how everyone is doing and offer suggestions for any challenges you might be having.
By the time you arrive at Elevation 2019, you’ll be expected to know and be ready to Perform the entire piece.
Dancers who register will receive an email with the project timeline and details.
Who can participate?
Everyone who can execute tribal fusion belly dance movements beyond a beginner level and have some performance experience.
What are the commitments?
* Sign an agreement to fully commit to Project Elev8, in its entirety.
* Create a personal practice routine and stick with it.
* Learn the choreography.
* Submit a progress video each month.
* Create, provide, and/or purchase some secondary costuming elements.
* Arrive at Elevation 2019 prepared to perform in the Gala Show, with costuming, make up and accessories.
* Attend the two dress rehearsals during Elevation 2019:
    * Thursday, April 25   1:20-3:20 pm
    * Friday, April 26 — 8:00-8:45 am
Tuition: $250
Tuition includes all lessons, video chats, dance video reviews, the two dress rehearsal druing Elevation 2019 and key costume pieces designed by Elizabeth.
Performers will be expected to provide/create/purchase some secondary costuming elements.
We will offer a monthly payment for this project if needed. Contact us directly to request this option!

Thursday 3:30-5:30pm AMC

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Ebony Qualls: The Unusual Drum Solo (2hr)

An unexpected spin on the traditional drum solo, learn a piece that is choreographed to glass bottles, a marching band or industrial sounds. Learn how to reflect the sounds and mood of the “drumming” with the grace and simplicity of your movements. Drill exercises for improvisational popping sections. Electrify your audience with fast and energetic combinations, and create suspense with dramatic pauses. Dance shoes recommended, but not required.

Thursday 3:30-5:30pm (GCC)

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3:30-5:30pm: Donna Mejia:Adventures in Hardcore/Parkour/Dance Floors (2hr)

This class is an experiment in ballistic movement and transnational fusion dance! Donna Mejia will provide a vigorous warm up and progress to an exploration of power moves through space. Let’s re-vision hip work, torso undulations, and micro-articulation beyond stationery practice, and play with full-blown movements such as running, jumping, rolling and sliding across the floor. This workshop is not about proficiency or mastery of movement, but it is most certainly about play! As usual, you can expect Donna to bring her dirtiest beats and juiciest playlists for this session of vigorous movement. Please bring a yoga mat for warm up activities. Optional dance shoes and knee pads may be helpful for specific activities. (intermediate and experienced movers)

Thursday 6:00-8:00pm (AMC Theater)

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All Teachers: Panel Discussion: Let's Talk About It!

For the first year ever, Elevation is giving you a chance to hear from all of our teachers in an intimate panel discussion. Submit your burning questions and favorite topics at check out, and we will be putting together a well rounded discussion followed by a meet and greet.

Thursday 8:30-10:30 (TBA)

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Gathering of the Tribes Elevation Hafla

Watch for more details regarding our Thursday evening social gathering. Not a show- but there will be a chance to dance and shake it!

Friday Class Schedule

Friday 9:00-11:00am (AMC)

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Super Beth: Courageous Concepts® for Small Groups (2hrs)

Do you have a troupe of 3 or 4 people? Learn concepts such as the Rebel Egyptian, Rogue ReShamka, ‘When Camels Attack!’, The Car Wash, and other Courageous Concepts. We will be working in groups of 3 or 4, so this is a great workshop for established troupes or for dancers who like to make new friends! Focus will be on traditional trio and quad ATS® formations.

Friday 9:00-11:00am (GCC)

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Elizabeth Ashner: Mind-Belly-Spirit (2hrs)

A mindfully refreshing mashup of two inspiring movement practices

Yoga sequences, breath and mindfulness form a bridge to the depths of our dance. Find focus, clarity and inner guidance when you approach belly dance with the same awareness that you approach yoga. Intrigued? Join this class for a mindfully juicy journey into Elizabeth’s 2019 signature series.
Yoga centers us in our personal journey, as we quiet our minds with movement and breath, postures and presence. Belly Dance provides us with a medium to explore the heights and depths of who we are and expand through movement. Be prepared to sink into your practice with yoga and dance drills that challenge, strengthen and balance your mind, belly, spirit AND your shimmies! Bring a yoga mat.

Friday 9:30-11am (AMC Theater Stage)

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Moria Chappell: Lecture: Sacred Geometry in Dance (1.5hrs)

The shapes that are imbedded within what we consider Sacred Dance and Temple Dance. Moria will bring a power point to show the shapes, a lecture to discuss what those meanings are and demonstrations to depict how those shapes are held within the body and performed within the staging and combinations.

Friday 1:15-3:15pm (AMC)

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Michelle Sorenson: Freak Like Me (2hrs)

Let’s get weird  in this experimental fusion workshop! We’ll start the workshop by learning a few unusual fusion combinations that are eclectic and beyond the basic “tribal” stylings. After we’ve played with some pre-made phrases, we’ll make some new ones to fit some extra strange songs that i’ve got up my sleeves…sometimes you need to get ugly to get awesome.

Friday 1:15-2:10pm (GCC)

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Omar Al-T'bal: Dabka 101: Palestinian/Jordanian Traditional (1hr)

We will explore the origins of the traditional Dabka folk dance of Palestine and Jordan and learn the footwork to perform this dance. Near the end of class, we’ll celebrate what we’ve learned with an open dabka dance that we can all join in and have fun with together.

Friday 2:20-3:15pm (GCC)

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Donovan Warnick: Beginning Arabic Tabla (Doumbek) (1hr)

In this class we will work on the basics of Arabic technique to develop consistent notes , speed and timing.  The class is great for anyone who has never been exposed to the teachings of the Traditional Arabic playing style, if you have been playing for a while or never played at all.

Friday 1:15-3:15pm (AMC Theater)

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Carolena Nericcio: Lecture: History of ATS® and Q&A (2hrs)

A slideshow presentation/lecture with Carolena tailored around questions from the students in attendance. Ample time for Q&A, and featuring inspirational stories about the creation and the future of ATS®.

Friday 3:30-5:30pm (AMC)

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Donna Mejia: Rhythm and Blues/Bump and Groove (2hrs)

With great affection, Donna Mejia offers this workshop as a tribute to the Rhythm and Blues music of her Creole Culture. This experience will be part dance class, and part ethnomusicology! We will explore the common denominators of blues music (the roots of contemporary R&B) as it was imported and transformed by North and West African slaves in the American South. You will be delighted to learn that some popular rhythms, instruments, and musical flavors in the U.S.A. have an unbroken lineage of influence over hundreds of years from the North African and Arabian cultures of antiquity. Fusion is as old as contact between cultures, and this workshop will address some frequent gaps of information in our own understanding of North American popular music. Our dancing will be as varied as our sonic landscape, so please come ready to explore the movement history behind our love of gritty, funky, soul-searing and syncopated music! Please bring a yoga mat and your capture materials of choice (a journal or computer for note taking). ALL EXPERIENCE LEVELS WELCOMED

Friday 3:30-5:30pm (GCC)

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Zoe Jakes: Cymbals Syncopation Party! (2hrs)

Let’s learn some of the more unusual patterns and get funky! The first half of class will cover cymbal technique, covering unusual rhythms and patterns, and the end of class will include some cymbal composition technique. Learning how to make your own musical combos is just as fun as choreography, and at the end of this workshop you will have your very own composition to take home.

Saturday Class Schedule

Saturday 8:30-10:30am (AMC)

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Frank Farinaro: Audience Psychology (2hrs)

What if I told you that you COULD control what people think?! This workshop not only teaches the dancer how to carry an audience along for their performance, but to also control the parameters under which audiences interpret a performance. Give your bellydance some extra mystery with some of Frank’s favorite optical-illusions, body-language cues, and mind-puppetry, that will leave your audience wondering who just performed for who! (Intermediate-Advanced)

Saturday 8:30-10:30am (GCC)

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Ebony Qualls: Urban Fusion Technique - Traveling Combos (2hrs)

Explore a sassy and high energy spin on tribal fusion belly dance in this workshop that focuses on traveling steps. Learn combinations which are influenced by urban styles such as house dance and waacking, retro styles reminiscent of harlem renaissance, and the timeless influence of raqs sharqi. Build coordination and stamina, work on shimmy layers, and expand your dance inventory of moves that get you across the stage. This workshop will be a cardiovascular challenge, prepare to sweat and have fun. Dance shoes recommended, but not required.

Saturday 10:45am-12:45pm (AMC)

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Moria Chappell: Shimmy Immersion (2hrs)

In one of Moria’s most popular, fun and sweaty workshops, Learn the drills and exercises essential for a dozen different shaped shimmies, various hip patterned shimmies, stationary as well as across the floor shimmies all while developing the intense muscular isolation necessary to strengthen glute, oblique, and psoas muscles for crisp Tribal Fusion Belly Dance Hip Work. 

Saturday 10:45am-12:45pm (GCC)

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Carolena Nericcio: Music for ATS® “Nubian" by Raquy and the Cavemen (2hrs)

Carolena will lead you on a dynamic exploration of the song “Nubian” by Raquy and the Cavemen. Learn how to add drama to your ATS® performance through a deeper understanding of the musical nuances. She will teach you how to use the “rule of 4”to understand musical phrasing and more accurately interpret the music for compelling dance. Please be versed in the basics: Taxeem, Bodywave, Hand Floreos and Arm Undulations, Shimmy, basic Arabic, basic Eygptian, Pivot Bump and Choo-choo. Bring: zils, a full skirt is recommended but not mandatory.

Saturday 1:00-3:00pm (AMC)

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Michelle Sorenson: Brush Strokes (2hrs)

Arms are often the most neglected part of the body in belly dance. In this workshop, arms will be the focus! Learn how to use your arms to aid in conveying a feeling or telling a story and making them the highlight of your piece. You will essentially be “painting a picture” with them.

Saturday 1:00-1:50pm (GCC)

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Donovan Warnick: Drumming with Dancers/Dancing to Drums: the Art of Performing Live (1hr)

For both drummers who want tips and tricks to delivering a solid live performance with dancers AND dancers interested in those same tips and tricks to nailing that performance to live drumming.  Looking at techniques for starting, stopping, transitioning, on stage communication, soloing for dancers, basics for improv and other topics.  Extra drums available but limited.

Saturday 2:05-3:00pm (GCC)

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Omar Al-T'bal: Musica Arabi (1hr)

In this intermediate level doumbek class, you will learn two rhythms that are widely used in today’s middle eastern music and how to bridge them into one song. Omar will also cover traditional zill parts for the rhythms, incorporate dance elements and share the history of the doumbek rhythms. To end the lesson, Omar will talk about the history of the doumbek and take any questions.

Saturday 1:00-3:00pm (AMC Theater)

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Donna Mejia: Lecture: The Backbone of Transnational Fusion Dance (2hrs)

Ethical practices, industry norms, personal conduct and the monetizing of art have all come to the fore over the course of our dance community’s popularization since 2000. Donna Mejia provides a review of key events and pivotal choices in the development of transnational fusion dance in the U.S.A. as a foundation for how we wish to direct our future participation. How will the history books favor or dismiss our contributions to this global art movement? What values and norms are reflected in our communal practices? What do we wish our legacy to be as artists? Let’s take a look at ourselves through the lens of the social sciences, and ask the same question historians apply to other art forms in their analysis of social trends. We’ll look at ourselves with an open heart and a strong dosage of radical honesty. Your comments and questions will enrich this conversation, so please know your contributions and thoughts will be warmly welcomed.

Saturday 3:15-5:15pm (AMC)

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Zoe Jakes: Zoe’s Pop Lock and Layering Drills (2hrs)

The technique behind her signature locking stylization will be broken down and taught in an easily digestible format. Students will receive many tools to help unlock the more challenging aspects of layering, as well as lots of fun drills in class to get the movements in their bodies. Be prepared to sweat!

Saturday 3:15-5:15pm (GCC)

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Super Beth: Spirit of Seville (Flutter Fan & Skirt) (2hrs)

Continue transforming your flutter fan and skirt work with new concepts and moves from the both the ATS® and TTT® (Tamarind Tribal Transformations®) format. Expand your skill with the flutter fan and skirt moves, drill them alone, and work in small groups. Focus will be primarily on expansion of move repertoire with some small group work.

Sunday Class Schedule

Sunday 9:00-11:00am (AMC)

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Super Beth: “Anatomy of a Step” Moves from FCBD® Volume 9 (2hrs)

Moves from Tamarind, featured on the latest instructional DVD from FCBD®, Volume 9: “Anatomy of a Step including the strong arms, slow diagonal fade, roundhouse, and bonus material not featured on the DVD.  *Best for dancers that have firm knowledge of FCBD® Classic ATS® movements.

Sunday 9:00-11:00am (GCC)

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Ebony Qualls: The Belly Dance Wildcard (2hrs)

Got versatility? Express your varied dance roots by exploring the delicate art of unexpected fusion in a way that is tasteful, respectful and fun. Learn how strong technique and fluidity can create a harmonious balance between genres. Drill combos that introduce samba, popping or other styles into belly dance. Practice reacting to music and embracing contrasts: graceful vs. clunky, speedy vs. slow. Dance shoes recommended, but not required.

Sunday 11:15am-1:15pm (AMC)

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Carolena Nericcio: Crafting an ATS® Performance Set (2hrs)

The fine art of crafting a performance. Students will be challenged with a set of music and performance situations based on real life (a small party, a big outdoor festival, etc.) We will form small groups, discuss and drill through the songs in the set, choose who is dancing to which song, rehearse again, critique the progress and then present our virtual show.
Dancers must know (I mean, really be able to do it!) the basics of Taxeem, Bodywave, Hand Floreo and Arm Undulations, Shimmy, Arabic Basic, Egyptian Basic, Pivot Bumps and Choo-choos. Also, be able to use ATS® formations: Duet, Trio and Quartet. Please review the FCBD® dvds Vol. 1-7 if necessary. Your success in this class relies on your ability to communicate (non-verbally!) with the other dancers.

Sunday 11:15am-1:15pm (GCC)

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Michelle Sorenson: Belly Work & Back bends (2hrs)

Wanting to increase flexibility in your spine? Having a hard time making belly work smoooooth? If so, this class is for you! The focus in this workshop will be on conditioning the core, and learning to make those muscles work together seamlessly to create fluidity and dexterity in stomach isolations. We will then stretch those muscles out with a long focus on back flexibility based on contortion style training. Come prepared to work hard and sweat!

Sunday 1:30-3:30pm (AMC)

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Zoe Jakes: Let’s Get Flexy! Functional Mobility for bellydancers (2hrs)

In this workshop we will explore integrating flexibility into our isolations and layering.

With a greater range of motion, dancing becomes easier, requires less energy, and you are not fighting with yourself but focusing on controlling your movements and expression. The focus will be on dynamic stretching: which means you’re stretching in moving motion, which is also referred to as active flexibility.

Sunday 1:30-3:30pm (GCC)

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Moria Chappell: Tunisian Fusion Choreography (2hrs)

This unique and powerful choreography is designed for the dancer who wants to differentiate her dance and explore styles of movement that utilize more complex rhythms and high-energy combinations….Tunisian Fusion technique places a strong emphasis on twisting, unique posturing, and unexpected floor patterns…Learn a complete, performable Choreography using an exciting form of ethnic dance and it’s combinations as they apply to Tribal Fusion Belly Dance…Jars and baskets balanced on the head, which were artifacts intrinsic to ancient Tunisian culture and remain hallmarks of their national folk dances, are optional and not required for either the class or the performance.View the performance piece on YouTube: Moria Chappell: Tanit (Nocturnal) 

Sunday 3:45-5:45pm (AMC)

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Donna Mejia: Low Back Love (2hrs)

Pain in the low back/lumbar region should never, ever be ignored, yet is common in dance participants. The balance and health of the spinal cord and central nervous system is crucial for absolutely everything you do in life… including comfortable and restful sleep. This class will offer an overview of the spinal cord, it’s weight-bearing curves, and how common anomalies in individual bodies require intelligent customization. Therapeutic exercises (tension relievers, strength builders, and alignment investigators) are covered thoroughly.  As an important bonus, cross-lateral neuro-muscular resetting and ambidextrality is introduced as a way to learn conscious balancing of our customary preferred dominant movement patterns (right-handedness, etc.) REQUIRED EQUIPMENT: yoga mat, tennis ball, large towel. All Levels.

Sunday 3:45-5:45pm (GCC)

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Frank Farinaro: Futuristic Folklore (2hrs)

From its ancient origins to its modern influences, bellydance has contributed to as many cultures as it borrows from. In this workshop we will explore some of the folkloric influences from old and new dances, that bellydance has encountered across the miles and millennia. This workshop will give you great tools for cultural-contexts, social-narratives, and musicality/lyrical interpretations for where ever your bellydance journey takes you!