NEW Saiidi Technique & Combos – Level 1 – Online Training by Joana Saahirah

Enjoy this mad, zesty, fun Saiidi performance by Joana Saahirah in Cairo, Egypt, a part of the daily show she presented in the country for almost 8 years.

Saiidi image cocktail.jpgJoana has learned Egyptian Folklore from the hands of Mahmoud Reda, the Father of Egyptian Folklore and creative genius behind the iconic Reda Troupe. She also worked with the master as his teaching assistant.

Saiidi musicians in Upper Egypt.jpgIf you wish to learn authentic Saiidi – technique, cultural context, combos, full choreography -, feel welcome to subscribe to “Saiidi Technique & Combos – Level 1” by Joana Saahirah´s Online Dance School.

Follow the link for information (sign in; search for Joana Saahirah Saiidi, subscribe to this Class Package): http://www.powhow.com/packages/joana-saahirahs-dance-studio/saiidi-technique-comb

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“I can get no satisfaction!”

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“In 1943, De Mille was hired to choreograph the musical Oklahoma!, which became an overnight sensation and ran for a record-setting 2,212 performances. Feeling that critics and the public had long ignored work into which she had poured her heart and soul, De Mille found herself dispirited by the sense that something she considered “only fairly good” was suddenly hailed as a “flamboyant success.” Shortly after the premiere, she met Graham “in a Schrafft’s restaurant over a soda” for a conversation that put into perspective her gnawing grievance and offered what De Mille considered the greatest thing ever said to her. She recounts the exchange:

I confessed that I had a burning desire to be excellent, but no faith that I could be.

Martha said to me, very quietly: “There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. As for you, Agnes, you have so far used about one-third of your talent.”

“But,” I said, “when I see my work I take for granted what other people value in it. I see only its ineptitude, inorganic flaws, and crudities. I am not pleased or satisfied.”

“No artist is pleased.”

“But then there is no satisfaction?”

“No satisfaction whatever at any time,” she cried out passionately. “There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.”

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Cohabiting with dissatisfaction is an integral part of the creative life.

No area of artistic expression escapes the grip of the Eternal Search, a state of happy unrest that keep us humble, with both feet on the ground, and eager for more. More discovery, more awakenings, more growth.

We are never done with our creative work and, as far as I can see, that is a good thing. Not quite reaching what we feel we can reach is precisely what keeps us interested, learning, thriving, walking towards our dreams.

Having ideas is easy – it´s the materialization of those ideas that separates the mosquitos from the eagles (NOT a fancy comparison, I know, but you get my point).

We can only do our best, right now, with talent and flaws, light and dark spots; keeping, as Martha Graham says, “the channel open.”

Being dissatisfied with the results of our creative work does not, should not, mean we dislike what we do. It means we´re aware there is road ahead.

I often ask my students to film themselves while dancing. It may not be a good idea to become a slave to the mirror or  the video camera but it is a good idea to combine inner exploration, with no need for external/visual proof, with an external, perhaps colder, perspective of our work. Learning how to watch yourself dancing is important – evaluating the points where you´ve grown – victories conquered – and the points you need to improve – victories in the making.

Enjoy the journey, deliver your best work possible, using the tools, experience and awareness you possess now, and let dissatisfaction pull you forward.

We do not dance, or live, to be perfect. We dance, and life, to be whole.”

Excerpt from Egyptian Dance Booklet by Joana Saahirah, soon to be published.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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NEW Tabla Solo Creative Discovery Series @ Joana Saahirah´s Online Dance School

Joana Saahirah Tabla Solo in Delaware, USA Delaware was one of the cities included in Joana Saahirah´s USA & CANADA SOULful Tour.

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Joana Saahirah performing in Japan

I´ve been dreaming about creating this Series of Online Courses since

Joana Saahirah´s Online Dance School opened its first class.

Three Tabla Solos with three different levels – level 1, the simplest, yet explosive, tabla solo; level 2, an intermediate level tabla solo and level 3, a fancier, more intricate tabla solo. In order to grow efficiently, dancers should take the courses by their right order: 1st, 2nd, 3rd.

Aside from offering kick-ass tabla solo choreographies, influenced by the live tabla solos I did, for almost 8 years, with my orchestra in Egypt, these trainings offer an insight into the CREATIVE DOORS Egyptian Dance can open, when properly taught. Students will rediscover their bodies, imagination and heart in ways they didn´t know existed.

NO PUPPET LOOKING CHOREOS INCLUDED. This is a series of courses for people who dance like people. Just sayin´… 😉

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Tabla Solo Creative Discovery – Level 1 

Online, live & recorded, Training

Suitable for every level, from beginner to advanced

WARNING #1: this is not your regular bellydance tabla solo. WARNING #2: this is more than a tabla solo choreography – this is a Creative Discovery. Are you ready to awaken your juices and take your dance, & self-expression, to a higher level?

Follow the link for more information: http://www.powhow.com/packages/joana-saahirahs-dance-studio/tabla-solo-creative-discovery-level-1

Tabla Solo Creative Discovery by Joana Saahirah Online Dance School

NOTE: all our online courses happen live, face to face with the teacher, and are recorded. Even if you miss the live classes, you have access to the recordings for unlimited time.

Joana Saahirah improvising a tabla solo with her orchestra in Cairo, Egypt.

The 4 Stages of the Egyptian Dance Path

4th stage of the Egyptian Dance Path: Spiritual

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Your dance is as spiritual as you are.

(take that in for a few seconds; read it again)

If you´re not in contact with your invisible, energetic, spiritual dimension, you´ll feel challenged at this learning stage. If you don´t believe you´re more than a physical body, I´d doubt you´ll be able to dance from your soul.

This is probably the trickiest aspect of Egyptian Dance, one that teachers are often unable to articulate.

Spirituality is easily confused with religion, New Age mambo jambo, cheesy cults. It´s considered distant, exotic, unreacheable, weird, dangerous. We tend to fear what we cannot touch.

But, as I´ve mentioned, the spirit is who you are. You may identify with the physical body but that does not define you. Your soul does.

One of the most beautiful things I´ve observed, as a teacher, is how Egyptian Dance shows students the way to their soul. It takes them by the hand, smoothly, without them realizing it. It pulls them up naturally. Inevitably.

I use specific methods – pedagogy – to open up their physical, mental and emotional bodies but, if all the other stages are properly developed, the spiritual realm takes care of itself. It flows like water running from its source towards the sea. Nobody needs to push it, or show it the way – it knows how to get to its destination. That´s exactly how I´ve witnessed the arrival to this 4th, and higher, stage of the dance path.

We start from the ground, focused on our physical body; we move upwards, and forward, integrating the mental stage which will be followed by the emotional stage.

Sooner or later, if you keep going, you´ll be lead to the spiritual stage.

I´d go as far as telling you the first 3 stages require work, focus, proper guidance, discipline – you don´t go through them without effort or a professional, awakened, teacher.

The 4th stage is effortless – it´s a flower blooming under the sun; an ascension that feels like falling; a consequence of the work you´ve done from the ground. The 4th stage is the blooming of the flower after you´ve planted its seed and watered it. If you show up to fulfill your gardening job, the flower will bloom by itself.

It´s the most beautiful show on earth. Few things give me as much pleasure as watching my students bloom into this 4th stage of development – watching them return home, finding peace and solace in their own essence.

Once they reach this stage, they can never go back to superficiality or lies about themselves and the dance. Once they´re at the top of the Pyramid, they see the Big Picture from above. Their feet may remain on the ground but their dance belongs to the Universe – they become a Bridge between Heaven and Earth.

The question is: the top of the pyramid is a lonely place. Few ever get there.

Are you willing to climb, only to discover you´re up there by yourself?”

Excerpt from “The Egyptian Dance Booklet” by Joana Saahirah

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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The fabulous art of Majance by Joana Saahirah

The fabulous art of Majance (Entrance on Stage) by Joana Saahirah
An introduction to “Joana Saahirah´s Majance Choreography” Online, live & recorded, Training.

Follow the link for more information:
http://www.powhow.com/packages/joana-saahirahs-dance-studio/joana-saahirah-majance-entrance-on-stage-choreography

Joana Saahirah Majance Choreography Online Training

Education Versus Personal Exploration

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“Education is safe – you learn what others have already created, mastered, tested and approved of. If you decide to stick with what you´ve learned, and never go beyond it, you´ll become a correct, universally applauded mediocre copy machine. There is comfort, and certainty, in this choice.

But is that what you want? Can´t you see you are, and can do, so much more than that?

Self-exploration is risky, uncertain, mysterious – you´ll embark on adventures you cannot fully control; you´ll face your demons, limits and potential; you´ll test your waters and see how far you, not your teacher or an institution, can go. You will give birth to yourself without knowing how the baby will look like. What if the child is born with deformities? Or – oh my God; I cannot believe it; oh, so damn – ugly? Or just mediocre – a plain kid with no sparkle in his eyes? A regular Joe, perhaps.

Remember births can be painful and/or orgasmic. And the product of our creativity – may that be a human child or a dance piece – can disappoint our expectations. 

If given the choice, most of us will prefer to receive The Answer, or Magic Pill, from the hands of our teacher than to find it ourselves. I´ve had a few students who got mad at me because I told them they would have to use what I was teaching them and discover who they are in the process.

– Copying me won´t do the trick. You have to go into the desert by yourselves. – I told them.

They wanted to twist my neck. Who wouldn´t? A teacher who sends you off, alone though with tools in your travel bag, is not to be trusted. Is she/he?

(…) 

Explore, go within, try new things; use knowledge to empower you, not to limit you.

A good, professional, teacher will know how to guide you towards self-exploration. But, then again, YOU have to want to go there.

Curiosity cannot be taught – you awaken it in you or you don´t.

The courage to see what´s out there, inside of you, cannot be taught.

The perseverance, the discipline, the guts to find your own voice cannot be taught.

The willingness to face your limits and, what´s even scarier, your infinite potential, cannot be taught.

You, my beloved, have to get on the camel, pack your essentials, and leave for your cross of the desert.

I´ll meet you on the other side or, who knows?, in an oasis, because I, too, have my desert(s) to cross. We all do.

You´re alone on the road and you´re definitely not alone.”

Excerpt from The Egyptian Dance Booklet by Joana Saahirah (soon to be published)

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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“Going to school gives the illusion that knowledge is what makes an artist. It´s like knowing how to write English perfectly. It has very little relation to the art of writing.”

My Life and Times by Henry Miller

Explore, go within, try new things; use knowledge to empower you, not to limit you.

Canada show Yes“Explore, go within, try new things; use knowledge to empower you, not to limit you.

Raks il Baladi is FREEDOM.

The freedom to feel – joy & sadness; despair & hope; light & darkness -; the freedom to express yourself without shame, fake morality or fears; the freedom to live fully in the present and dance who you are.”

By Joana Saahirah

Excerpt from the bonus material offered with the Online Training “How to choreograph your Awadi” available at Joana Saahirah´s Online Dance School.
Follow the link for more information: http://www.powhow.com/packages/joana-saahirahs-dance-studio/how-to-choreograph-your-baladi-awadi-baladi-progression

Joana Saahirah´s Online Dance School NEW Contest (you can WIN these GOODIES!)

NEW Joana Saahirah´s Online Dance School GIVEAWAY!

We´re offering 3 GIFT PACKAGES  with our school´s t-shirt – “Dance who you are – Celebrate your Uniqueness”,  a personalized postcard to boost your creative juices, and 1 FREE Class Package of your choice from the wide range of packages available at our school.

Another way of thanking all the students  who have already joined the school and the ones who are about to join us ❤

lotus_10205_lgHow to win one of the 3 GIFT PACKAGES we have to offer:

  1. Share Joana Saahirah´s Online Dance School Facebook Page (here´s the link: https://www.facebook.com/JoanaSaahirahOnlineDanceSchool/) on YOUR FACEBOOK WALL  along with the reason that made you fall in love with Egyptian Dance.
  2. Send an email to dancemagica@gmail.com with your name, email and the link of our facebook´s page shared on your facebook wall until the 7th February, the day where the contest comes to an end. Applications received after the mentioned date, or with one of the requirements missing, will not be considered.
  3. The best answers to the question “What made you fall in love with Egyptian Dance?”, accompanied by the link of our facebook page shared on your facebook wall, will be published at Joana Saahirah´s World Blog as well as at Joana Saahirah´s Online Dance School Facebook Page on the 8th February.

 ❤

Personalized postcards – creativity, & self-confidence, boosters – and bags included in our GIVEAWAY.

The taste of Freedom (Joana Saahirah´s Tabla Solo in Canada)

If you want to know what freedom looks, and feels, like, watch this video – the last performance of Joana Saahirah´s USA & Canada SOULful tour.

I was exhausted beyond measure, still sick and under heavy medication, praying I´d be able to pull the tour up without dropping dead. Somehow, I managed it. The support of the students, audiences and event organizers who joined me on the tour was essential.

Although I´m my worst critic, when I look at this performance, I smile. I just smile.

That says it all.

Quebec Official Poster November 2017