Sequoia Sol Belly Dance

Hi, there.

If you found your way to this page, then you must be interested in or have already registered for my classes at the Hanover Park District.  I’d be happy to see you there.

Cost: $30.00 per 6 week session for Tribal Fusion Basic Belly Dance Level class.

The next class will begin on Monday,  June 30 @ 6:00pm in the Hanover Park District Building in Hanover, IL and will continue each Monday at the same time.  Each class will run 1.5 hours.

On the first day of class, please bring a check made payable to the Hanover Park District, or cash.  Also, please bring water in a glass free, re-usable container and SHOES which are securely attached to your foot bed and do not have a sole that sticks or drags on carpet.  Ballet flats with leather soles are perfect and can be found many places including in Galena downtown.

Some answers to questions you might have:

What is Tribal Fusion Belly Dance?

Here is what Wiki says: “Tribal Fusion Belly Dance is a modern form of belly dance which has evolved from American Tribal Style belly dancing, blending many styles of dance. It frequently incorporates elements from Popping, Hip Hop, Breakdance, ‘Egyptian’ or ‘Cabaret’ belly dance, as well as from traditional forms such as Flamenco, Kathak, Balinese, and other folkloric dance styles.”  It is an offshoot, as wiki says of American Tribal Style belly dance.

Will I have to show my belly?

Nope. You can show your belly or not show it – it’s YOUR dance!  There are numerous workout clothes and costume options for de-emphasizing a belly and emphasizing other beautiful areas :).

What should I wear?

Yoga pants or leggings are great for the bottom.  The built-in bra tanktops are excellent choices for tops as they can be pulled up to make a cropped shirt when you do want to see what the midriff is doing during movement.  Basically, you want to be super comfortable and definitely not in restrictive clothing.  Please also wear SHOES which are securely attached to your foot bed and do not have a sole that sticks or drags on carpet.  Ballet flats with leather soles are perfect and can be found many places including in Galena downtown.

Do I need a hip scarf or coin belt?

You will see dozens of ads for hip scarves and coin belts online, but they aren’t necessary.  They are great for showing subtle movement and for expressing your style, but most of the cheap ones online will not keep you happy beyond the first class as they are not made well and tend to look a bit obnoxious.  My first one was an impulse buy and I think it’s hideous now.  At the time, I thought it rocked and that feeling lasted about 4 weeks.  I still wear it for nostalgia’s sake, lol.  It’s perfectly fine to just use a scarf you are drawn to that you already have or you can also easily make one.  Check youtube.com for ideas.  You can make a pretty cool one out of a tee shirt 🙂  Believe me, once you are addicted to belly dance, you will have plenty of options to costume your addiction.

Will it be hard to learn?

Every dance you’ve never danced should be a little bit of a challenge.  It’s through challenges that push us that we learn and grow.  You will not leave the first class, or even the 6th, with a level of mastery, but you will be amazed at how much you do learn and how your body will grow stronger each week.  Most basic moves are fairly simple to learn and everyone will be learning together.  Sometimes, a move will come completely natural to you and other times, completely natural to someone else, but that is okay.  We all have our own style, body type, and strength and these will carry you through.  I am learning and growing every day.  I get frustrated with my body and mind as a dancer, but I also celebrate many victories and I expect the same of everyone in my classes.

Will I sweat?

Well, hopefully, but it will be doing fun stuff.  Hopefully, you won’t notice it so much.

Will this tone me up?

Like no other exercise you have ever participated in.  You will discover muscles you didn’t even know existed.  You’ll be stronger and more confident about your body, in my experience.

Will this make me a sexy dancer?

Some common perceptions of Belly Dance are mostly false.  It’s not a sexy dance made up to entice- it has a very deep, ancient history which mostly centers on women dancing for other women as rite of passage and celebration.  While I feel belly dance can be very “sensual” it can also be silly, earthy, angry, shocking, blissful- it’s about expressing what is inside of you.

How long does it take to be able to dance well enough to feel confident in my abilities?

It is up to every individual, we are all different.  Professional dancers take years of lessons and drill moves almost daily for hours sometimes.  They continue to seek education and become better and better, training their bodies through drilling moves over and over and by stretching their physical selves to grow strong and flexible.  You will become as amazing as the work you put into it.  Performances can happen at all levels.  There will be student performances you can participate in to gain experience.

Will I have to perform?

That decision is up to you.  There will be opportunities for you to perform if you want to.  As part of class, you will learn stage presence and performing is a great way to gain experience on stage so you feel more and more confident each time.  Typically, dancers take a few years of lessons before they perform professionally, but student performances are lots of fun.  Some dancers prefer to keep it personal and not perform ever.  That’s okay too.

What dance education have you, Sequoia Sol, had?

I owe much to my teachers:

Aviana of Galena, IL – my first teacher who provided me with a
foundation in American Cabaret basics.

Seana Dishun of Madison, WI- my primary teacher whom I admire and adore. She has patiently led me through Tribal Fusion from the basics to more advanced techniques, choreography, creative expression and performance skills.  http://www.euphoriamovementarts.com/

Also, much gratitude for workshops with:
Coleena Shaktihttp://www.colleenashakti.com/
Caroleena Nerecciohttp://fcbd.com/about/about-carolena-nericcio/
Maria Hamerhttp://www.mariahamer.com/
Tempesthttp://www.darklydramatic.com/
Zoe Jakeshttp://beatsantique.com/community/zoe-jakes
Sonya of Chicagohttp://www.sonyassouk.com/
Cassandra Shorehttp://www.jawaahir.org/Cassandra.htm
Aliyahhttp://www.aliyahsahar.com/
Frank Farinarohttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_ylowlqSpw

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Born with eyes wide open to human generated boundaries, Tamara has sought to stretch and break through those boundaries, challenging perceptions and raising new perspectives through life as art. She is an accomplished photographer, and her inner dancer emerges as the artist Sequoia Sol exploding in movement and costume expression. Tamara prefers the medium of chance and whim, doing what moves her soul in the moment.