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Workshops (by day) at JamBallah Northwest

Larger classes will be limited to 40 people maximum, most will be limited to 25.  No 75-person classes here!


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Check out the Instructor Bios!

10:30-12p FRI Morning Yoga with the Marissa Mission

Start your day off right with morning yoga! 


12p-3p FRI 3-hr Tribal Fusion Intensive *Sharon Kihara*

Join Sharon in a deep exploration of the darkly elegant side of Tribal Fusion, incorporating in the powerful  Iraqi Qawliya dance. This choreography class will have an emphasis on traveling moves and turning. 


1-3p FRI Slave to the Music *Violet Scrap*
Dance is a in and out communication with Music: one way of expressing through dance is being at her feet, forgetting ego and just completely abandon oneself to what music suggests. This workshop will have visual and practical exercises to grow awareness, giving up to it.


3:30-5:30 FRI The Co-creative Process: How To Achieve True Collaboration and Work Effectively as a Group. *Luciterra*

As the age old expression goes “two heads are better than one!” the more creative input channelled into a piece, the more diversity and breadth we end up with in the final product! However, working effectively as a group when creating choreography can be very challenging, and therefore, often ends up being controlled by a single director.  In this workshop Luciterra will use their experience as a completely co-run, co-managed, co-choreographed troupe to share some techniques and strategies for how to work effectively in a co-creative process. Coming from various backgrounds in grassroots community organizing and non-hierarchical group process, as well as having over five years experience working together using a consensus model, Luciterra has a lot of both theoretical and experiential information to share on this topic. We continue to work in this co-creative way because we truly believe in it, and are genuinely committed to what we feel leads to a deeper and more fulfilling process and product.


2:30-6:30p FRI The Marissa Mission Experience *Marissa Mission*(4 Hours, for ages 10-18)

This multidimensional workshop experience offers many different facets of fun, based on the Marissa Mission philosophies of community and support through dance. Please invite any young person you know who might be interested, all are welcome!   

·         Improvisational Tribal Style Belly Dance: Learn foundational movements and how to dance together in a group without a choreography!

·         Yoga: Breath, Movement and Meditation

·         Crafts: Repurpose used t-shirts and bike tubes and turn them into fringe belts! (All materials will be provided.)


3:30-5:30p FRI Balkan Fusion *Eric Stern and Danielle Elizabeth*

Along the "Silk Road" travelers were bound to have met and mingled, shared their dance and music in celebrations... and guess what? They still are! Come get a taste of some Balkan stylizations with experts and aficionados Eric Stern and Danielle Elizabeth. Learn about traditional instruments, melodies, and look at the roots of how people dance to those wild 7 and 9 rhythms... before layering a few modern belly dance combinations over some challenging traditional foot patterns. Get ready to move fast and have fun!
Eric Stern: music
Danielle Elizabeth: dance


3:30-5:30 FRI Boss College- Promoktion *Noah Mickens*

(Lecture Class) Long-time DIY event producer Noah Mickens teaches the tricks of the no-budget promotion trade. "I've been producing shows in this town for 13 years on a shoestring budget. In so doing, I've learned a thing or two about how shows work. I've worked as a nightclub booker, run a street team, interacted with all kinds of media and press, toured the nation, sold out plenty of venues all over the place; and worked in various capacities with national and international acts, unknown local artists, and everything in between. It's been crazy.
People have often suggested that I should teach workshops, and I've always thought it sounded like a good idea, but you know how these things go. Always so much going on. At any rate, now I'm going for it.
This one will focus on Promotion! Street teams! Posters! Social Networks! Press! Venues! You've got this event - you need to be handing this money to the artists at the end of it - what happens in between is strange voodoo my friends, and I will do my best to impart the arcane knowledge I have acquired at great expense to my soul." ~Noah
*Difficulty/What to bring:  All levels welcome to this lecture class! Please bring a pad and pen for notes, and of course always bring your water bottle!*



Check out the Instructor Bios!


9-10:30 morning yoga with Marissa Mission

Start your day off right with morning yoga! 

10:45a-12:45p SAT Dancer's Body: The Art of Training *Aubre Hill* (Lecture Class)

Developing a self practice, importance of cross training, rehabilitation & how to best use your studio time to your advantage for efficient & effective progress. Aubre will lead this discuss providing essential information to build the best program for your dance training regardless of style as well as how to address weaknesses, injuries, and more. As a personal and group trainer for over 15 years, Aubre brings her experience of kinesiology & physiology, Pilates & yoga, fitness & wellness, and special population work to give students the tools necessary to open up their bodies for free expression. As dancers, our body is our tool. Don't let it hold you back. 


11-1p SAT Ouroboros: the Eternal Spiraling Snake *Luciterra*

A timeless symbol first emerging in ancient Egypt the ouroboros depicts a serpent or dragon eating its own tail.  It is thought to represent cyclicality and a sense of constant re-creation of the self: the eternal return. In this workshop we will explore the seamless flow of serpentine moves creating a look of infinite sinuous movement.  By connecting the dots, and linking the pathways within our bodies we slink through space like melting molten inciting the audience to chant: Hsssssssssssss!

This workshop will begin with a brief lecture on the history of snake iconography and goddess worship, and a warm up. We will then move on to explore two key concepts. The first concept will explore energetic flows in the body, linking bellydance movements in a continuing seamless look.  We will then explore the concepts of open versus closed pathways, focusing on creating cyclicality in our movements, thereby representing the ouroboros symbol.  We will conclude with a group activity in which participants work together to create a brand new combo that takes these concepts and puts them to use, pushing their own creativity and engaging in a new and fun process of choreographic formation.


11-1p SAT Tribal Baskets: Evoking the Divine Feminine *Gypsy Heart*

Honoring our Mother Earth, Carol Vance and Gypsy Heart Tribal bring you our Basket Dances.  

Designed for dancers of all levels, in this workshop you will learn sensuous, earthy moves and combinations, weaving them into formations that connect us to each other and the universal life force, reinforcing our own divine essence. In the process, you will polish your technique and musicality, and have fun!

The basket can be a container which represents the fruits of our labors, as well as pure potentiality. Through our dance, we share our everyday joys and emotions, and gratitude for the gift of life, offering and receiving blessing.

Please bring a basket that feels good in your hands (we will have a few extras to borrow),  and wear comfortable clothes which help you feel like the goddess you are.


Combinations are one of the most effective ways to build confidence and control in transitions and sequencing movement.  This workshop offers several hot-off-the-presses combinations focused on different aspects of the dance.  Please bring a veil and zills just in case, the combos in this class are always evolving depending on Ruby's current area of focus and passion!


2:30-4:30p SAT You Spin Me Right Round: Circles work and Spins *WildCard BellyDance*
When executed correctly spins and circle work are always a crowd pleaser. This workshop will focus on how to pull off a perfect spin as well as  how to  enter and exit into and out of a circle so that your troupe can wow the crowd and avoid the pitfalls of the collapsing circle or looking like bumper cars gone bad. We will break down our dynamic spins and moves that flow well in a circle or facing the audience and as always are ATS® friendly.


2:30-4:30p SAT A Celebration of Bedouin Dances *Aubre Hill*

A journey of folkloric bliss from across the Arab World. This will include eastern desert (Khaleegy) and western desert dances. Dive into the colorful music & dances of these traditionally nomadic tribes. 


2:30-4:30p SAT From Burlesque to Badia: A Feminist Analysis of Bellydance From the Turn of the 20th Century *Luciterra* (Lecture Class)

Where is bellydance originally from, exactly, and how did it get to be what it is today?  What makes a bellydance style traditional?  How are western dancers to navigate the issue of cultural appropriation?  We know this dance has ancient roots, and it is to this day a living breathing art form that is constantly morphing and redefining itself into perpetually new realms of expression.  In order to carry it forward, to continue to elevate the form and respect those who came before us, it is our responsibility to have an in-depth understanding of how we got here.

In this lecture, we will be exploring the time period from the orientalist movement in Parisian and European visual art in the early to mid 19th century, through the introduction of bellydance to North America at the turn of the century, to the end of the golden age in the 1950's, in both Egypt and in the colonial west.  Themes will include orientalism, eroticization of the other/self, exploration of cultural exchange, and the mutual influence of east and west.  Using a feminist perspective, we will explore tensions and contradictions in high and low-brow culture, with an emphasis on the social, political, and economic statuses of both western and egyptian women throughout this time period, contextualizing the art movements in the lives of the women playing them out.  This lecture will include a multimedia video and slideshow presentation overviewing movements in Orientalist art history, trends and changes in fashion, and footage of early modern dance, burlesque, and early American bellydance.


2:30-4:30p SAT (Part I) Dance and Pilates Conditioning for Strength and Flexibility  *Emilie Lauren*

This class will draw on exercises from jazz, ballet and pilates to help bellydancers develop needed strength and flexibility to take their dancing to the next level.  The first part of this class will be high-energy and cardio-oriented, while the second half will focus on flexibility training.  This class is open to all levels and is highly recommended for dancers planning to take Elegant Extension.  Dress in comfortable exercise clothes, bring a towel, yoga mat and water. (May take parts I & II separately)


5-7p SAT (Part II) Elegant Extension: Artful Transitions for the Athletic Bellydancer *Emilie Lauren*

This class is designed for advanced dancers with a high level of strength and flexibility who want to incorporate these skills into their bellydancing.  Through a series of short, but dynamic moving combos, we will explore creative and artistic ways to transition into spilts, standing and kneeling backbends, dancer's pose and more.  Modifications will be offered for dancers who are still working towards these skills.  We will do a short warm-up in class, but it’s highly recommended that dancers take the Dance and Pilates Conditioning class prior to this one, or do a thorough warm-up on their own.  Dress in comfortable, stretchy clothes.  You may want to bring knee pads for all the floorwork in this class. (May take parts I & II separately)


5-7p SAT Open Sesame: Unlocking Sharp and Curvy Swordplay *Nagamani*

Imbibe Nagamani's signature smooth and scintillating tribal style with a wicked hit of sword work. Balancing the sword is only a drop in this cavern of treasures. Learn innovative and dynamic sword techniques wrapped up in fusion combinations that can be adapted for solo, duo, or larger group work. No sword or balancing experience necessary.


5-7p SAT Theatrical Tarot: Archetypes, Alchemy, and Sacred Geometry *Sushila Battagione*
A lecture on evoking (and invoking) powerful Archetypal energies.  
We'll be looking at specific tarot cards in this discussion on expressing the Divine through dance: focusing on HOW to conjure and harness specific energies while on stage (both solo and group dynamics), as well as incorporating sacred geometry into footwork.  Together we'll visit the four faces of the Goddess, shake things up with the Tower, and discuss movement through the vehicles of the Wheel, Chariot, and Strength.



Check out the Instructor Bios!


9-10:30a Dancer's Warmup with Aubre Hill

Warmup, workout, and learn essential cross training techniques for a more well rounded approach to training and opening up the body for expression, technique, and athletic ability. Coordination, balance, alignment, core, strength & flexibility, breath work, and more~ Learn how to train smarter for your body, develop body awareness for more full expression in dance, and keep the body strong & healthy through life. A mat is highly encouraged. 


11a-2p SUN The Art of Performing *Aubre Hill* (3 hour intensive)

Expression, gesture, effort/shape, dynamics, improv, choreography, theatre usage and space, piece development, musicality, & working with different influences. This intensive is geared towards the intermediate/advanced dancer wishing to take their performing to the next level. Bring a notebook, water, and the openness to explore YOUR art and voice within bellydance. 


11-1p SUN Hip Hop: Fierce *Isaiah Esquire*

Shake it up with Portland dance-scene superdiva Isaiah Esquire, and let loose your inner ferocity! This hip-hop class will be fun, challenging, and FIERCE. Sass and swagger rule the day, with hard-hitting combos and booty shaking being only the tip of the iceberg of fabulousness. 


11-1 SUN Persian Dance: History and Aesthetic *Shahrzad Khorsandi*  (Lecture Class)

This class will provide geographical and historical background on Persian dance and will help students understand the cultural context in which Persian dance movements are formed and developed.  Lecture will also be given on what defines thematic Persian cultural aesthetics as seen in various mediums of Persian art.  Questions and exploration through group discussion is encouraged.


2:30-4:30p SUN Classical Persian Dance *Shahrzad Khorsandi*

Persia, bordering Central Asia and the Middle East, is the home of Classical Persian Dance.  This dance style is a fluid yet rhythmic dance form, which emphasizes the use of hands and wrists.  The movement and positioning of the body reflect the rich and refined aesthetics of Persian.  The focus of this course is on the shape of the hands, movement of the wrists and feet, isolation and coordination of arms and legs, and capturing the Persian aesthetics in the body line.  Nomenclature of the movements will be presented in Farsi (Persian language). 


2:30-4:30p SUN La Belle et la Bete *Violet Scrap*
Digging through the extremes of beauty (long lines, delicacy, control) and bestiality (angled lines, aggression, instinct), on one side to get over commonplaces, on the other to extend the possibilities of the body. Final combo to complement the two sides of the coin.


2:30-4:30p SUN Body. Movement. Awareness.*Bridgetown Revue*

Join Bridgetown Revue as we return to, and engage, our core strength in this moving meditation workshop. At its core, bellydance is an empowering form of expression, spirit rejoicing, and body awareness. Using the spiraling, isolating, and vibrating movements of the dance joined with breathwork and guided meditation, the three ladies of Bridgetown Revue will share their unique expertise and enthusiasm. As we explore bellydance’s mythological foundation and your spiritual connection to movement through this physical experience, expect to learn technique, history, and a fascination with your own abilities.



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Classes purchased are nonrefundable. However, if you're unable to make a class once purchased, or if you're interested in attending a sold-out class, please feel free to check out our Facebook group for classes to buy/sell.

Questions about the workshops or festival?  Pop over to the FAQ page!



Attendees, Please Note--Your Photograph May Be Taken At The JamBallah Northwest Festival.

To assist in future promotion, we will have professional photographers working throughout the event, at the workshops, shows, and other festival-specific gatherings.  Photographs of festival participants and their guests will be taken and posted on the JamBallah Northwest website, and/or the JamBallah Northwest Facebook page.  There is a possibility that your photograph may be taken and so used. We believe that this will enhance the overall experience of festivalgoers, and allow us to properly convey the atmosphere and awesomeness of the festival to the rest of the bellydance community! By attending the JamBallah Northwest festival, both workshops and events, you give your consent to the posting of such photographs by us and waive all rights and claims with respect to the posting of such photographs.

We do recognize an individual's rights to control how their image is portrayed.  If you ever object to a specific photo and want it removed, please email Be sure to reference the specific photo and include the URL of the page the photo appears on.