Thursday, May 31, 2007

Suhaila Salimpour Workshop

This past weekend I had the pleasure of meeting the world-renowned dancer Suhaila. I had heard that her workshops are very intensive and I should be prepared to hurt at the end of the day. Although I was a little sore, I didn't feel too bad as I am a frequent flyer at my local gym and would consider myself "healthy". Suhaila's foundational technique focuses on isolation of muscles combined with initiating the contraction of the gluteus muscle for hip work. I've never had experience in her format before and found it to be fascinating. My mind is usually structured and ordered in it's approach to learning so I responded well to her method of teaching. It put the movements in an order for me and enabled me to understand them better.

The two day workshop started off on a Saturday with a basic overview of her format followed by isolations and drills. Suhaila had a few stories that she shared about her experience as a dancer, which were informative but more importantly made everyone laugh. The workshop was followed by a show Saturday night at the Greek Palace. I was excited to bring my husband along so I could show him who I was learning from. Unfortunately we did not get a good table and were pretty much craning our necks to see the whole time. I was thankful my friend and teacher Talia was there, as she offered me a ride home so he could leave. He was tired and unimpressed by the venue. Suhaila's assistant Kendra, and her daughter Isabella both danced before her and were wonderful representations of her teaching. And then Suhaila danced and the enchantment was not overrated. She was mesmerizing and reminded me of what I love most about bellydance.

Although another dancer Aziza is coming in June and I would love to see her show, I doubt I will ever go see another show at the Greek Palace. The restaurant itself was shabby, there was no service (food, drinks, or otherwise) at our table, and the sound system was horrible. Unless you were among the first people in the restaurant and were able to grab a table around the dance floor, the view was horrible.

Sunday I continued learning the Suhaila format and also a short drum solo. I had a great time and a lot of fun participating in this workshop and would definitely like to learn more from Suhaila.

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