Sunday, September 18, 2011

Amara is a versatile Middle Eastern dancer. 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 numerous videos by IAMED, BDTV, and EEMED.

Amara teaches Beginning through Professional level classes. She is also a featured instructor at many belly dance events throughout the United States, offering workshops and classes in: American, Egyptian and Turkish cabaret, Staged-Folklore from the Middle East and North Africa, Experimental performance and concepts (X-MED), sword, veil, double veil, candles and candelabra, stick, zils (finger cymbals), floor work, and how to teach dance.

Amara is known for her innovative teaching methods. In her studio classes, she stresses strong foundational technique through combinations of choreography, improvisation, solo, and group work, while she also helps students explore the workings of Middle Eastern dance and their own individual needs. In addition, Amara presents information about the history of Middle Eastern and Belly Dance, differences between various genres, and issues facing dancers today. She has taught accredited courses on dance appreciation and Middle Eastern dance at UCLA, UCR, and California State Polytechnic UniversityPomona and workshops at a number of universities and colleges.

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). They have also been invited to perform at numerous functions for Las Vegas Belly Dance Intensive, IAMED, UCLA, The Knitting Factory, and Desert Sin.

Amara also produces numerous events. Her main focus is “An Evening of Experimental Middle Eastern Dance” concerts and videos. She co-founded “Dance Under Construction,” a UC system wide dance conference, co-produces "X-MED," a workshop series presenting tools and methods for creating experimental Middle Eastern dances, and produces "How to Teach Middle Eastern Dance," a seminar series designed for new and seasoned teachers to learn and practice new pedagogical styles.

Amara holds a PhD in Dance History and Theory (UCR), a BA in Music History and Literature with a certificate in Ethnomusicology (FSU), and worked towards an MA and MFA in Dance (UCLA).
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