Amara Belly Dance
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Ya Hewea!
EEMED

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Belly Dance Performances and Events

Amara belly danceAmara, PhD, is one of the most versatile and diverse Middle Eastern dancers in the United States. She is well known for her entertaining and dynamic American belly dance style that is interspersed with sword, veil, double veil, and zil work. She is equally skilled in many Middle Eastern folk dances. Amara is also a leading innovator in theatrical and experimental Middle Eastern dance.

Amara has performed as a soloist and in Middle Eastern Dance companies all over the United States. She has held long–term dance engagements at several Middle Eastern restaurants and nightclubs including, Pars (LA), Elbasha (LA), Mamounia (LV), and Alborz (Austin). She has also been highlighted in over 15 commercial videos including IAMED, BDTV, and the EEMED series.

Amara is also known for her innovative teaching methods. In her studio classes, she stresses strong foundational technique while she also helps students explore the workings of Middle Eastern dance in their own personal ways. She has taught accredited courses on dance appreciation and Middle Eastern dance at UCLA, UCR, and Cal Poly, Pomona and workshops at a number of universities and colleges. Amara also directs Training4DanceTeachers, a teaching certification program for dance teachers and producers. These courses contain tools and methods that a dancer can immediately apply to practical situations.

In addition to teaching, Amara is the Director and Choreographer of Ya Helewa!, a Middle Eastern dance company which performs a diverse repertory of traditional and experimental improvisations and choreographies. Ya Helewa! has held a long–term dance engagements at Moun of Tunis (LA) and Pars (LA) and are featured on several commercial videos. Ya Helewa!'s appearances also include numerous concerts in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Francisco, San Diego, and Austin.

Amara is the new producer of The Austin Belly Dance Convention. She also produces numerous events, including the international acclaimed theatrical concert “An Evening of Experimental Middle Eastern Dance (EEMED).” Dancers produce cutting edge works exclusively for EEMED. Their pieces, based in the Middle Eastern dance idiom, make traditional borders, edges, and standard representations visible by playing in-between and pushing past them into a new fringe space. Numerous reviews have been written commending the show’s originality, thought-provoking nature, and deep emotional impressions. EEMED has had the honor of being LA Weekly’s "Dance Pick of the Week" (2005), cover story for The Argonaut (2004), and LA Beat’s dance pick in "7 Days in LA" (2003). Amara also produces workshop series, such as “How to Teach Dance” and “X–MED,” on tools and methods for creating experimental dance; site–specific shows; and monthly showcases. Other productions include commercial dance videos and in 1998, co–founded “Dance Under Construction,” a UC system wide graduate dance conference.

Amara Belly Dance

In addition to teaching, performing, and producing, Amara is also deeply involved with studying and researching Middle Eastern dance. She holds a PhD in Dance History and Theory from the UC Riverside, a BA in Music History and Literature and a certificate in Ethnomusicology from The Florida State University, and worked towards an MA and MFA in Dance at UCLA. She has published articles in numerous Middle Eastern dance magazines and has presented papers at international dance conferences including, Congress on Research and Dance (CORD), Society for Dance History Scholars (SDHS), Oral History Association, International Belly Dance Conference of Canada, and International Conference on Middle Eastern Dance.

RESUME

Education
2011

PhD, Dance History and Theory
Dissertation: Dancing on the Fringe: Connections Forming “An Evening of Experimental Middle Eastern Dance”

University of California Riverside
1995

BA, Music History and Literature
Certificate in World Music, Cum Laude
Thesis: Nalini Vinayak: Sitarist, Teacher, and Woman Connecting Three Cultures

The Florida State University
1997–2001
Masters' Coursework, Dance Ethnology
University of California Los Angeles
1991–1992
Undergraduate Courses, Music Education
Ithaca College, pursued a B.A.
Higher Education Teaching
1999-present
• Designed and taught lecture and dance courses for undergraduates at several universities and non-credit, community education settings.
• General instructional responsibilities included lecture, assessment, grading, and maintaining office hours to discuss student progress.
• Lecture courses incorporated interdisciplinary and intercultural approaches to develop active and critical readers.
• Dance studio courses stressed strong foundational technique through combinations of choreography, improvisation, solo, and group work.
2006 – 2008

Instructor, Institute of Dance – California Polytechnic, Pomona

Belly Dance

2004 – 2005

Golden Oak Adult School – Valencia, CA

Introduction to Middle Eastern dance

2002 – 2003

Graduate Teaching Assistant, Department of Dance – University of California Riverside

Watching the Dance Go By

Beginning World Dance Forms: Middle East

1999 – 2000

Graduate Teaching Assistant, Department of World Arts and Cultures – University of California Los Angeles

Dance of a Selected Culture: Middle East

2000

Instructor, Learning Tree University – Thousand Oaks, CA

Introduction to Middle Eastern dance


Dance Studio Teaching
1997-present
• Provided dance instruction in beginning, intermediate, and master levels for adults and children in Los Angeles and Austin.
• Classes included Flexibility, Bellates (a fusion of Ballet, Yoga, Pilates, and Belly dance), Experimental dance, Composition, and Middle Eastern dance.
• Theatrical and experimental classes explored choreographic processes and tools, such as narrative and non-narrative structures; fusion techniques; and relationships among movement, music, and meaning.
• Middle Eastern dance classes stressed a strong foundational technique through combinations of choreography, improvisation, solo, and group work.
• Lead reading groups on dance and dance pedagogy.
2014 – 2015 Dance Austin Studios, Austin, TX
2012 – 2013 Round Rock Dance Repertory Center, Round Rock, TX
2012 – 2015 Balance Dance Studio, Austin, TX
2010 – 2013 Galaxy Dance Studio, Austin, TX
2010 Gemini Playhouse, Austin, TX
2010 Go Dance Studio, Austin, TX
1998 –2015 Amara's Dance Studio, Los Angeles, CA; Austin, TX
2003 Lorentz Dance Studio, Lake View Terrace, CA
1999 – 2003 Judy Gantz Siegel's Dance Studio, Los Angeles, CA
1998 Mason Artists Institute, Los Angeles, CA
1997–1998 UCLA Recreational Middle Eastern dance class
Dance Pedagogy Teaching
2011-present
• Developed a certification program, Training 4 Dance Teachers, for teaching dance and producing dance events.
• Topics included Injury Prevention, Create Your Dance Teaching Philosophy, Develop Lesson Plans, Introduction to Dance Productions, and Theatrical Productions.
• Taught complete courses and workshops at several dance conventions and studios.
Guest Lectures and Workshops

1996-present
• Master classes presented in academic and community settings.
• Lectures focused on the position of dance within its broader culture, particularly with multicultural communities.
• Introductory Studio presentations had three primary purposes: helping students to experience basic technique and styling; facilitating insight into the culture and challenging preconceived ideas of the dance form; creation of a community feeling through dancing for and watching others.
• Specific workshops covered a variety of topics including technique, choreography, Middle Eastern dance styles, dance construction, and pedagogy.
• Employed as a Dance Dramaturgist to help facilitate choreographies and shows.

2016

Summer Series Workshops, North Shore: Shimmy by Shimmy


2015

3rd Coast Tribal Festival: Movement Practicum on Designing Warm ups and Cool Downs and Making Your Classes Dynamic by Using Different Teaching Styles

Austin Belly Dance Convention: Shimmy by Shimmy and Stunning Sword

Texas Coastal Bend Bellydance Association: Developing Your Stage Character: Siren and Injury Prevention for Dancers


2014

3rd Coast Tribal Festival: Creating Your Teaching Philosophy – Fort Worth, TX

Austin Belly Dance Convention: American Belly Dance Floorwork – Austin, TX


2013

Festival on the Nile: Entrance Choreography, Stunning Sword, How slow can you go?, Developing Your Stage Character, Feature Teacher; Orlando, FL

Austin Belly Dance Convention: The Art of Veil: Advanced; Austin, TX

Austin Belly Dance Studio: Classic American Belly Dance; Austin, TX

Tarab: Transitions in Belly Dance Improvisation; Austin, TX

X-MED: How Slow Can You Go?, Shh, This is What I am Working on...; Los Angeles, CA

Creating a Teaching Dance Philosophy, Certification at Balance Dance Studios; Austin, TX


2012

Cairo Caravan: Creating Space in Middle Eastern Dance, The Art of Beautiful Veil (Advanced); Creating Fusion Dance, Guest Lecturer and Guest Teacher; Los Angeles, CA

IBCC: Dancing on the Fringe, The Development of the Experimental Middle Eastern Dance ‘Genre,’ Guest Lecturer; Toronto, Canada

Dance Xplosion: Injury Prevention, Guest Lecture; Austin, TX

Injury Prevention, Certification at Galaxy Dance Studios; Austin, TX

Injury Prevention for Dancers and Movers at Galaxy Dance Studios; Austin, TX

Injury Prevention, Certification at Amara’s Dance Studio; Austin, TX


2011

SDHS: The Introduction of Middle Eastern Dance into the United States, Guest Lecturer; Toronto, Canada

CORD, Special Topic Conference: “Dance and American Culture:” Dancing in the Fringe: The Development of the Experimental Middle Eastern Dance ‘Genre,’ Guest Lecture; Tallahassee, FL

MECDA Professional Dance Conference: Producing Dance Events, Developing Your Own Pedagogy, Injury Prevention, Master Class: Teaching Practicum, Guest Lecturer; Long Beach, CA

UT, Austin, Ballroom Club: Introduction to Belly Dance; Workshop Teacher; Austin, TX

Austin Belly Dance Convention: American Middle Eastern Dance: A Historical Look at Fusion, Workshop Teacher, Performer; Austin, TX

Halimeda’s Studio: Improvisation for Entrances and Drum Solo Choreograph; Guest Teacher; Tallahassee, FL


2010

UCLA: Introduction to Belly Dance, Guest Teacher; Los Angeles, CA

Oxnard City College: Egyptian Folk Dance; Oxnard, CA

Amara's Dance Studio: Introduction to Sword Workshop; Introduction to Zils and Arab Rhythms; Austin, TX


2009

Private Studio: Veil Choreography; Berlin, Germany

Story Telling Through Dance: Workshop Teacher; San Diego, CA

Amara's Dance Studio: Introduction to Sword Workshop;: Introduction to Veil Workshop; Floorwork Workshop; The Art of Taqsim; Introduction to Raqs al–Assaya; Ah Ya Zein Choreography; Raqs al–Assaya Choreography; Los Angeles, CA


2008 Tribal Dance/Fusion Dance: Fusion Techniques and Dynamic Combinations for Any Kind of Music, Workshop Teacher and Performer; San Diego, CA
2007

Las Vegas Belly Dance Intensive: Creating and Destroying the Rules, Workshop Teacher and Performers; Las Vegas, NV

Hips of Fury Competition: Fusion Techniques, Workshop Teacher, Performer, and Judge; Palmdale, CA

X–MED: Workshop Teacher, Performer, and Co–Producer; Los Angeles, CA

Dance in the Desert: Fusion Techniques, Workshop Teacher and Performer; Palmdale, CA


2006 Hips of Fury Belly Dance Competition, Judge; Palmdale, CA

X–MED, Workshop Teacher, Performer, and Co–Producer; Los Angeles, CA

How to Teach Middle Eastern Dance, Teacher; Los Angeles, CA

2004

UCR: Introduction to Middle Eastern Dance, Guest Teacher; Riverside, CA

Scripps College: Introduction to Middle Eastern Dance, Guest Lecturer; Pomona, CA

World Dance Festival, Workshop Teacher; San Diego, CA


2003 Antelope City College, Guest Teacher; Antelope, CA
2000 Belly Dance Buffet, Workshop Teacher; Van Nuys, CA
1999 – 2000 UCLA WAC: Dancing of Selected Cultures, Guest Teacher; Los Angeles, CA
1999 – 2000 Scripps College, Guest Teacher; Pomona, CA
1999 University of California, Long Beach, Guest Teacher; Long Beach, CA
1998 UCLA WAC: Dance Ethnography: "Trade Like Any other" and "The Positions of Middle Eastern Dance in the United States," Guest Lecturer; Los Angeles, CA
1998 Mason Artists Institute, Middle Eastern Dance, Guest Teacher; Los Angeles, CA
1996 Halimdia's Studio, Guest Teacher; Tallahassee, FL
Performance History
1992-present
• Regularly performed as a solo concert-artist and as dance company member across the United States and Canada.
• Held long-term dance engagements in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Austin.
• Performances included work with community-based cultural groups, professional groups, and solo artists, as well as benefit performances for civic groups and schools.
• Both solo and group work has been performed for commercial and instructional videos.
• Performances included choreographies, improvisations, and structured improvisations in a variety of post-modern and traditional Middle Eastern dance styles.
2016

Sydney, NSW: Kazbah, Sahara


2015

Austin, TX: Sahara Lounge with Atlas Maior; Alborz Persian Restaurant; Austin Belly Dance Convention; BellyDance Halfa; Dance Austin's

Corpus Cristi, TX: TCBBA Annual Membership Drive and Show

Fort Worth, TX: 3rd Coast Tribal Festival

Sydney, NSW: North Shore Hafla, Persian Flame


2014

Austin, TX: Z-Helene’s Ode to the Elements Revisited Show; Austin Belly Dance Convention; Dance Austn Studio’s "Aftermath" Show; BellyDance Halfa; ABA’s Jukebox Bellydance; Cafe Shimmy; C-Boy’s Heart & Soul with Atlas Maior; Alborz Persian Restaurant

San Antonio; TX: Issam Houshan and Amar Gamal Show

Fort Worth, TX: 3rd Coast Tribal Festival


2013

Austin, TX: Concert with Esteban; Belly Dance Superstars' Club Bellydance; Feed the Spirit Gala; Austin Fan Fest; Tarab Live Music Show; Cafe Shimmy; Mihrimah Ghaziya Workshops and ShowAustin Belly Dance Convention; Alborz Persian Restaurant

San Antonio; TX: Halfa with drummer Issam Houshan

Orlando, FL: Festival on the Nile solo and with the Mike Gregian Mosaic Ensemble


2012

Austin, TX: Hidden Room's Mystery Show; No Assurance; ABA's Improvisation Belly Dance; Dance Revolution; Funhaus East Tour; The Color Project; AIDS Services of Austin's Once Upon a Time; Raqs Stars; Kick Butt; Sahara Nights with Jef Stott; Alborz Persian Restaurant

Los Angeles, CA: Cairo Caravan

Toronto, Canada: International Belly Dance Conference of Canada


2011

Austin, TX: Belly Dance Superstars “Club Bellydance;” Austin Belly Dance Convention; ABA's The Many Faces of Belly Dance; X-MED; ABA's Jukebox Belly Dance; Rakasa Revue; Galaxy Summer Star Showcase; Amaya's "The Girl Effect" Belly Dance Show; Cairo Caravan; Alborz Persian Restaurant

Los Angeles, CA: MECDA's Professional Dance Conference


2010

Austin, TX: Austin Live!; Austin Belly Dance Convention; Dance Unlimited; Austin Dance Showcase; Alborz; Opa; Sahara Nights; Raks Helwa; Galaxy Showcase; Rakasa Revue A to Z Belly Dance!; Full Moon Dance Extravaganza; Desert Passion show at Lovey's Loot

Buda, TX: Desert Passion show

Los Angeles, CA: Cabaret Beledy; Darban; Moun of Tunis; Private Events


2009

Los Angeles, CA: Cabaret Beledy; Darban; Moun of Tunis

San Diego, CA: Once upon a Belly Dance


2008

Los Angeles, CA: Café Beledy; TLF Production’s Belly Dance Showcase; EEMED

San Diego, CA: Tribal Dance/Fusion Dance


2007

Los Angeles, CA: IAMED's This is Belly Dance 007; Joi de Musique; TaXim; Dance in the Desert, Café Beledy; Mythos Greek Restaurant; X–MED; Cairo Carnivale;

Las Vegas, NV: Belly Dance Intensive; Hafla

Freiburg, Germany: Wedding


2006

Los Angeles, CA: Café Beledy; Mythos Greek Restaurant; Desert Sin's Sita's Fire; Moun of Tunis Restaurant; X–MED; An Evening of Experimental Middle Eastern Dance; IAMED's Belly Dance–O–Rama (with Desert Sin); Perfumes of Araby's Middle Eastern Dance Swap Meet; Labyrinth of Jareth Masquerade

San Diego, CA: Hafla San Diego

San Francisco, CA: Rakkasah Middle Eastern Dance Festival – Performed with Mirage, Music Group

Chicago, IL: Performed Mermaids with Desert Sin


2005

Los Angeles, CA: Elbasha Greek Restaurant (Performed 2 nights a week); IAMED's Let's Dance; Shandeez Restaurant; Cafe Beledy; An Evening of Experimental Middle Eastern Dance; Mantra Girl's CD release party; Markkakesh Restaurant; Perfumes of Araby's Middle Eastern Dance Swap Meet

San Francisco, CA: Rakkasah Middle Eastern Dance Festival – Performed with Mirage, Music Group


2004

Los Angeles, CA: Elbasha Greek Restaurant (Performed 2 nights a week); Cafe Beledy, Shandeez Restaurant; Perfumes of Arab's Middle Eastern Dance Swapmeet; An Evening of Experimental Middle Eastern Dance

San Francisco, CA: Rakkasah Middle Eastern Dance Festival – Performed with Solace, Music Group


2003

Los Angeles, CA: Elbasha Greek Restaurant (Performed 2 nights a week); An Evening of Experimental Middle Eastern Dance; IAMED's This is Belly Dance; Shandeez Restaurant; Cafe Beledy; Central Coast Mediterranean Dance Festival; Moun of Tunis All Star Belly Dance Fun–Raiser; Perfumes of Araby's Middle Eastern Dance Swap Meet

San Francisco, CA: Rakkasah Middle Eastern Dance Festival – Performed with Mirage, Music Group


2002 Los Angeles, CA: Elbasha Greek Restaurant (Performed 2 nights a week); Shandeez; Sea Side Palace; Our Place Restaurant; Al Karraz Restaurant; Cafe Beledy; Cairo Carnival; Central Coast MECDA's 12th Night Belly Dance Festival; An Evening of Experimental Middle Eastern Dance; Perfumes of Araby's Middle Eastern Dance Swap Meet
2001

Los Angeles, CA: Elbasha Greek Restaurant (Performed 2 nights a week); Pars Nightclub (Performed 2 nights a week as a soloist and with Ya Helewa!) Cafe Beledy; An Evening of Experimental Middle Eastern Dance; Equinox Celebration; Perfumes of Araby's Middle Eastern Dance Swap Meet


2000

Los Angeles, CA: An Evening of Experimental Middle Eastern Dance; Sea Side Palace Restaurant; Belly Dance Buffet; Regardless, an M.A. dance concert, UCLA; Cafe Beledy; Moun of Tunis Restaurant

San Francisco, CA: Rakkasah Middle Eastern Dance Festival


1999 Los Angeles, CA: Athena's; It's Greek To Me; Cairo Carnival; Serendipity on the Sidewalk; Women's International Symposium, UCLA; Cafe Beledy; Best of Friday Nights Live, UCLA
1998 Los Angeles, CA: Cafe Beledy; Music and Dance on the Grass, UCLA; Dance Motion and Madness, UCLA
1997

Los Angeles, CA: Marrakesh Restaurant; Luna Park

Las Vegas, NV: Mamounia Moroccan Restaurant Performed 1–4 shows, 6–7 nights a week; Luxor Hotel and Casino – Portrayed an Amon Temple Dancer for the Nile Tour; Caesar Hotel and Casino; Clubs

Atlanta, GA: Private Events


1995 – 1996 Las Vegas: Mamounia Moroccan Restaurant; Tom and Jerry's; Marrakesh Moroccan Restaurant; and clubs
1994 – 1995 Tallahassee, FL: Haflas and Galas
Dance Companies
1998 – 2013 Ya Helewa!; Los Angeles, CA; Austin, TX (Director/Choreographer)
2004 – 2013 Desert Sin; Los Angeles CA
1998 – 2008 Perfumes of Araby; Los Angeles CA
2000 – 2001 Jillina and the Sahlala Dancers; Los Angeles CA
1997 – 1998 Viviane's Dance Theater; Los Angeles, CA
1995 – 1996 The Magic Carpet Dancers; Las Vegas, NV
1993 – 1995 Troupe Arabesque; Tallahassee, FL
1992 – 1993 Sally Rubenstein's Dance Company; Tallahassee, FL
1987 – 1989 Ballet Hysell, New Orleans
Commercial Videos
2015 "An Evening of Experimental Middle Eastern Dance" (EEMED)
2011 IAMED's "The Stars of Belly Dance"

2007

IAMED's' Belly Dance 007"

IAMED's "Belly Dance–O–Rama" (with Desert Sin)

2006 IAMED's "Ultimate Belly Dance Combinations" Vol. 1 and 2
2005 IAMED's "The Art of Belly Dance – Enchanted Nile"
2004

"Belly Dance Television" Vol. 1

IAMED's "Belly Dance Revolution"

2003 IAMED's "Belly Dance!" (performed at the Ford Amphitheater)
2001 –2008 "An Evening of Experimental Middle Eastern Dance" (EEMED)
Choreography
1994-present
• Choreographed wide range of ethno-cultural dance works, from traditional to post-modern, performed by professional and academic dance companies.
• Many choreographies contained avant-garde presentations of new styles or approaches to Middle Eastern Dance.
• Developed a genre of post-modern dance with a foundation in Middle Eastern dance.
• Created solos and group dances for my dance company Ya Helewa!, and collaborated with other artists.
2016

Ellie Mae's Trap developed at Critical Path’s Responsive Program: Open Studio


2015

Set Sail and Drum Solo with Resonant Rogues performed at 3rd Coast Tribal Festival; Ud Taqsim Structures Improvisation with Charlie Lockwood at the Austin Belly Dance Convention; Lone Siren at TCBBA Show


2014

Contemporary Sword performed at the Issam Houshan Amar Gamal Show at The Josephine Theater; Terpsichore ABA’s performed at Jukebox Bellydance at the Daugherty Arts Center; The Sirens and Gothic Sword performed at Aftermath Show at the North Door; Sword at Z-Helene’s Ode to the Elements Revisited Show at the Vortex Theater; Traditional and Experimental Floorwork at the Austin Belly Dance Convention at the Austin Belly Dance Convention


2013

Tribal Fusion Askew, Zefiro Torna (Zephyr (the west wind that brings Spring) Returns), and Experimental Improvisation with Djahari, Hannah, Anaheed, David Kammerer and Joe Savage performed at An Evening of Experimental Middle Eastern Dance; Untitled performed with Esteban; Veil performed at Belly Dance Superstars’ Club Bellydance; Traditional and Contemporary Floorwork performed at Austin Belly Dance Convention; Creating a Dance a Day During the Month of May performed on YouTube.com


2012

That Moment of Melancholy While Traveling performed at Cairo Carnival and IBCC; Veil performed at Cairo Carnival; Sleeping Prince performed at Once Upon a Time; 20's Song co-choreographed with Djahari performed at the Hidden Room's Mystery Show


2011 Sensing the Suspension: A Study of an Object: Fence performed at X-MED; Duet with violinist Teresa Joy performed at ABDC
2008

Minara performed at Tribal Dance/Fusion Dance and EEMED; Twilight performed at EEMED; Warm Fuzzies performed at EEMED


2007 Finding Echo performed at Dance in the Desert, X–MED, and EEMED; Structured Improvisation #2 performed at EEMED and Tribal Dance/Fusion Dance; Mishaal and Double Veil performed at IAMED's This is Belly Dance 007; Layla Hob performed at Vegas Bellydance Intensive
2006 Thirsty performed at An Evening of Experimental Middle Eastern Dance, Instant Review performed at An Evening of Experimental Middle Eastern Dance; Vampira performed at Halloween Hex; Untitled 2 performed at Moun of Tunis and Perfumes of Araby Swapmeet, On the Wrong Side of Nowhere performed at X–MED and An Evening of Experimental Middle Eastern Dance, Veil 2 and Sita performed at Desert Sin's Sita's Fire; Class work performed at Cal Poly, Pomona
2005 Plan 9 Take 2 performed at Dance Macabre, Folk Dance and Raks al–Assaya # 4 performed at IAMED's Let's Dance; Unknown, Becoming, Eden, Loie Fuller performed at An Evening of Experimental Middle Eastern Dance; Full Dance Routine performed at Café Beledy
2004 Snake, performed at Desert Sin's Musée des Femmes – Tales of the Grotesque & Arabesque; Part 1 and Sword 2, performed at IAMED's Belly Dance Rocks!; Part 1 and 2, Transference performed at An Evening of Experimental Middle Eastern Dance
2003 Raks al–Assaya, Quadruple Veils performed at IAMED's This is Belly Dance; The Story of Laurel, Plan Nine performed at An Evening of Experimental Middle Eastern Dance
2002 Even performed at An Evening of Experimental Middle Eastern Dance; Reverse, performed at Cairo Carnivale and An Evening of Experimental Middle Eastern Dance; Hole and the Willow performed at Cafe Beledy, An Evening of Experimental Middle Eastern Dance, and One Enchanted Evening; The Ecstasy of Dance performed at Cafe Beledy
2001 Ditma, The Harem, performed at An Evening of Experimental Middle Eastern Dance
2000 The Lighthouse of Alexandria; The Jelly; Volatile Bodies; Instant Review; Untitled #1, performed at An Evening of Experimental Middle Eastern Dance
1999 Instant Review performed at Cafe Beledy; Class work performed at Pau Hana, UCLA
1994 – present Choreograph or improvise all solo and troupe performances (See Middle Eastern Dance – Solo and Director)
Director of Ya Helewa! Dance Company
1997-2013
• Served as director of Ya Helewa!, a dance company that performed a diverse repertory of traditional and experimental Middle Eastern dance improvisations and choreographies.
• Served as company director for troupes performing in various professional and academic venues.
• Duties consisted of organizing and evaluating auditions, scheduling and running rehearsals, locating performing opportunities, and choreographing dances.
2012 Austin TX: Once Upon a Time
2011 Austin, TX: X-MED; ABA's Jukebox Belly Dance
2009

Los Angeles, CA: Cairo Caravan; Moun of Tunis; Perfumes of Araby Swapmeet

San Diego, CA: Once upon a Belly Dance


2008

Los Angeles, CA: MECDA Carnival; Perfumes of Araby Swapmeet

San Diego, CA: Tribal Dance/Fusion Dance


2007

Los Angeles, CA: TaXim; Café Beledy; X–MED; EEMED

San Francisco, CA: Rakkasah Las Vegas , NV: Belly Dance Intensive


2006

Los Angeles, CA: Desert Sin’s Sita’s Fire; X–MED; Moun of Tunis Restaurant; Cairo Carnivale; An Evening of Experimental Middle Eastern Dance; Private Events

San Francisco, CA: Rakkasah


2005 Los Angeles, CA: Mantra Girl’s CD release party; Desert Sin’s Musée des Femmes – Tales of the Grotesque & Arabesque; An Evening of Experimental Middle Eastern Dance; Cafe Beledy; Dance Macabre
2004

Los Angeles, CA: Desert Sin’s Musée des Femmes – Tales of the Grotesque & Arabesque; IAMED’s Belly Dance Rocks!; Cafe Beledy; An Evening of Experimental Middle Eastern Dance

San Diego, CA: An Evening of Music & Dance


2003 Los Angeles, CA: An Evening of Experimental Middle Eastern Dance; Labyrinth of Jareth Masquerade; Cafe Beledy; Cairo Carnival; Saw Dust Festival
2002

Los Angeles, CA: Cafe Beledy; Market at the Kasbah; An Evening of Experimental Middle Eastern Dance

San Diego, CA: One Enchanted Evening


2001

Los Angeles, CA: Pars Restaurant; Cafe Beledy; Tapestry of America; Central Coast Middle Eastern Dance Festival; An Evening of Experimental Middle Eastern Dance

San Diego, CA: One Enchanted Evening


2000

Los Angeles, CA: An Evening of Experimental Middle Eastern Dance; Saw Dust Festival; Knitting Factory; Cairo Carnival; Market at the Kasbah; Moun of Tunis Marrakesh Restaurant; Cafe Beledy; Belly Dance Buffet; Perfumes of Araby’s Middle Eastern Dance Swap Meet

San Diego, CA: Bedouin Bazaar


Video Productions
2001 – 2009, 2015 Evening of Experimental Middle Eastern Dance

Live Productions

1999-present
• Launched several long-running events, such as dance concerts, workshops, and conferences.
• Fostered and developed artistic endeavors and careers through multimedia and various venues.
• Built supportive dance communities and foster artists to reach intellectual and artistic goals, in a variety of avenues.
• Productions have been featured in magazines and newspapers.
• Duties included administration, marketing, publicity, budgeting, and staff and talent management.
2014 – Present The Austin Belly Dance Convention - A nationally recognised annual three-day convention centered on Middle Eastern dance, which included workshops and lectures in dance, music and costuming, performances and vending.
2012 – present Training4DanceTeachers – A seminar series designed for new and seasoned teachers; Austin, TX
2011

Improvisational Dance Series – A workshop and concert series presenting 9 different types of improvisational dance, including Belly Dance, Bharata Natyam, Bollywood, Butoh, Contemporary, 5Rhythms, Hip Hop, Tango, and West African. Creator, Co–Producer, Performer, Teacher; Austin, TX


2000 – 2008, 2013 Evening of Experimental Middle Eastern Dance – An innovative concert in which artist push the boundaries of movement, costume, make–up, music, lighting, and genre in a theatrical setting. Creator, Producer, Artistic Director, Performer; Los Angeles, CA
2006 – 2013 X–MED – An intensive three day workshop on Experimental Middle Eastern Dance. The first of its kind, this workshop is creating a pedagogy and a training ground for an emerging dance form. Co–Creator, Co–Producer, Coordinator, Teacher, Performer; Los Angeles, CA, Austin, TX
2006 How to Teach Middle Eastern Dance – A seminar series designed for new and seasoned teachers. Covering kinesiological effectiveness of warm up, cold downs, stretches, and injury prevention; leaning style theory, structuring creative movement exploration; and how to construct a class and class series. Also helped teachers define their personal philosophy of dance education and pedagogical style though reading, writing, presentations, feedback, and evaluations; Los Angeles, CA
2001 Amara's Showcase – A monthly performance at Pars Restaurant which allowed dancers of all levels to perform in a nightclub venue. Creator, Producer, Performer; Los Angeles, CA
2000 Belly Dance Buffet – This day of performances and workshops was created to give the Middle Eastern dance community alternative ways to approach the dance form. Co–creator; Co–producer, Performer, Teacher; Los Angeles, CA
Article Publications
1999-present
• Published articles in cultural dance magazines.
• Presented at international dance conferences, including CORD, SDHS, Oral History Association, and International Belly Dance Convention of Canada.
• Topics included theoretical exploration and contextualization of experimental and fusion dance practices, socio-political investigation of Middle Eastern dance in the United States, and the power of participant rhetoric in academia.
2012

Osweiler, Laura. "Learning How to Teach Dance." Opa. Nov. 2012:5.

Osweiler, Laura. “The Introduction of Middle Eastern Dance into the United States. Part 1.” The Belly Dance    Chronicles. Jan./Feb./Mar. 2012: 53-56.

Osweiler, Laura. “The Introduction of Middle Eastern Dance into the United States. Part 2.” The Belly Dance    Chronicles. Apr./May/Jun. 2012: 70-76.

Osweiler, Laura. "Contextualizing Your Position and Leaving Space for Others: Thoughts while Attending IBCC 2012." Gilded Serpent.


2007

Osweiler, Laura. “The Role of Gender in American-Middle Eastern Dance.” Zaghareet! Jan/Feb 2007: 30-31.


2006

Osweiler, Laura. “Cover: Loving Middle Eastern Dance” Jareeda Nov/Dec 2006: 7-8.

Osweiler, Laura. “Designing Experimental MED Costumes” Jareeda Jan/Feb 2006: 50-51.

Osweiler, Laura. “Naming the Dance. Part 1” Zaghareet! May/June 2006: 24-25.

Osweiler, Laura. “Naming the Dance. Part 2” Zaghareet! July/Aug 2006: 26-27.


Osweiler, Laura. "Naming the Dance. Part 3" Zaghareet! Sept/Oct 2006.


2005 Osweiler, Laura. “EEMED.” Bennu. Vol. 6 Issue 3 2005: 42.
Conference Presentations
2012

Osweiler, L. (2012). “Dancing on the Fringe, The Development of the Experimental Middle Eastern Dance ‘Genre.’” Paper presented at the International Belly Dance Conference of Canada, Toronto, Canada.

Osweiler, L. (2012). “Creating Space in Middle Eastern Dance,” MECDA's Cairo Caravan, Los Angeles, CA.


2011

Osweiler, L. (2011). “The Introduction of Middle Eastern Dance into the United States.” Paper presented at the Society of Dance History Scholars Annual Conference: “Dance Dramaturgy: Catalyst, Perspective and Memory,” Toronto, Canada.

Osweiler, L. (2011). “Dancing in the Fringe: The Development of the Experimental Middle Eastern Dance ‘Genre.’” “Paper presented at the Congress on Research in Dance’s Special Topic Conference: “Dance and American Culture,” Tallahassee, FL.

Osweiler, L. (2011). “American Middle Eastern Dance: A Historical Look at Fusion.” Paper presented at the Austin Belly Dance Convention, Austin, TX.


2008 Osweiler, L. (2008). “Experimental Middle Eastern Dance.” Paper presented at Oral History Association, Oakland, CA.
2006

Osweiler, L. (2006). “How Experimental Processes Become a Subject within Middle Eastern Dance.” Paper presented at Dance Under Construction - University of California Graduate Cultural Dance Studies Conference, Riverside, CA.


2005 Osweiler, L. (2005). “A Theoretical Introduction to Dancing on the Fringe: Connections Forming An Evening of Experimental Middle Eastern Dance.” Paper presented at Dance Under Construction - University of California Graduate Cultural Dance Studies Conference, Los Angeles, CA.
2003 Osweiler, L. (2003). “A Friendship Based on the Love of Egyptian Dance.” Paper presented at Dance Under Construction, University of California Graduate Cultural Dance Studies Conference, Riverside, CA.
2002 Osweiler, L. (2002). “The Role of Men in American-Middle Eastern Dance.” Paper presented at Dance Under Construction, University of California Graduate Cultural Dance Studies Conference, Riverside, CA.
2001 Osweiler, L. (2001). “Two Representations of American-Middle Eastern Dance.” Paper Presented at the Second International Conference on Middle Eastern Dance. Orange Coast Community College.
2000 Osweiler, L. (2000). “Women in American Middle Eastern Dance.” Paper presented at the University of California Graduate Cultural Dance Studies Conference, Riverside, CA.
1999 Osweiler, L. (1999). “Contemporary Images of the Middle Eastern Dancer in the United States.” Paper presented at Dance Under Construction - University of California Graduate Cultural Dance Studies Conference, Los Angeles, CA.

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Please note: this is a partial resume. If you would like a full resume, please contact Amara by e–mail.

Photography by Herb Kissling