News and Special Events

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DG in the Press

Best of LAWeekly Badge 2012


DanceGarden was awarded the 2012 "Best Place to Learn the Art of Bellydancing" in the LA Weekly 'Best of' Award issue! Well, YOU knew it, but now everyone else does too!

Read the writeup here!

Nautch Conspiracy performs Improvisational Tribal Style

Special Series

ITS: Improvisational Tribal Style

Only $100 $90!!! for the entire series (8 hours!).

4 Sundays: July 21, 28; August 4, 11 from 12:30 - 2:30pm

Now is your chance to learn Improvisational Tribal Style Bellydance in the style of UNMATA! Always danced in a group, ITS relies on a series of cues and combos to create a group synergy through improvisation. This cohesiveness happens very quickly - within minutes you will be following and leading dance cues you didn’t know when you walked in, with people you have just met! Once you know the basic vocabulary, you can dance with other ITS students anytime, anywhere!

We will dance Hot Pot ITS, as created by Amy Sigil of Unmata. HPITS is a wonderful introduction to bellydance for beginners, and an enticing style for experienced dancers to add to their repertoires. All levels are welcome! ITS 1 is usually taught as an 8-week course, but we will tackle two weeks’ worth of material each session to learn it all in 4 weeks!

Students should wear yoga pants or similar (flowy skirts are not ideal for HPITS) and a snugly-fitting top or bare midriff (so instructor can see body movement). Bring water and an eagerness to learn. Dance is for everyone! Women and men of all ages welcome!

Jennifer Knott Biswas, Certified HPITS Instructor Jennifer Knott Biswas has been dancing Hot Pot ITS for 5 years and is a certified HPITS teacher. She dances with the ITS bellydance troupe, The Nautch Conspiracy ( and with the L.A. Bellydance Improv Academy, or L.A.B.I.A.. She is also a member of Belly Fusion Los Angeles or B.F.L.A. Her other love is fire, and she directs the Los Angeles-based fire arts company, Entropy Arts Firedance, as well as the 50-person Burning Man fire conclave, L.A. Fire Brigade. Jenn is primarily interested in the fusion of dance with technical fire spinning, large-scale choreography, the community-building and therapeutic aspects of ITS, and the transformational effects that dance, fire spinning, and all flow arts create in peoples’ lives.

August 2013

Princess Farhana

Princess Farhana Workshop

Wonderful Wednesday Workshops
with Princess Farhana
Badass Balancing and Fabulous Floorwork

Preregister for only $42 for entire series before August 1! $50 after that.

4 Wednesdays: August 7, 14, 21 & 28, from 6:30 - 7:45

Get on Down and Party:
Badass Balancing and Fabulous Floor Work

This four-part workshop will get you super-strong, limber and ready to use your head-as well as many other parts of your body- while using balanced props. We’ll be working on strength training, core conditioning, flexibility and stabilizing exercises in each class. You’ll learn safe handling for swords, shamadans, pots and trays, and a bit of history on each prop as well We will go over many types of floor work, from classic cabaret to folkloric and fusion, as well as ascents and descents, stationary standing technique with level changes, and traveling steps. You’ll learn a short choreography for sword balancing and a traditional zeffah (Egyptian bridal procession) choreography for shamadan.

Please bring your balanced props (swords, shamadans, pots, trays and finger cymbals if you use them) There will be a limited amount of “loaner” props in class.

You may also want to bring knee pads, and a yoga mat or thick towel for floor work.

Drop-ins permitted for $16 OR with 5 or 10 Class Card PLUS $2 per class. No Beginner Flex Passes or Passports. Registrants can take advantage of Same-Day Discount and stay for Zahra's class for only $11

Zahra Zuhair

Guest Workshop

Whirling: An Introduction with
Nicole McLaren of Switzerland

$32 before 8/8 ($45 after, $50 at the door)

Sunday, August 18 12:30 - 3pm

Every belly dancer will dramatically improve her technique through Whirling, as turns are a core element of Middle Eastern dance. A dancer who masters constant whirling will seamlessly, and seemingly effortlessly, cope with fast and consecutive spins, which are very popular in the grand finale of a classical dance routine. In Egypt, Whirling is widely renowned, while in many Western countries it is still rarely seen on stage. Consequently, the spectacular effects enchant all the more.

In the workshop, dancers will learn about historical and cultural origins. A detailed handout includes educational information and even a pattern for sewing a Whirling skirt (Tanoura). Specific exercises sharpen the focus in order to prepare the body for the new movement sensation and to avoid dizzyness. After learning the technique, every dancer discovers the whirling experience individually. This workshop explores new areas of dancing, refines a belly dancer's spinning skills and broadens her style spectrum. Whirling is meditation in motion and, simultaneously, a spectacular stage dance – and just so much fun!

Level: All levels (men and women)

Register online to secure your spot or email us for information!

September 2013

Holiday Closures

Labor Day!

DanceGarden will be CLOSED for classes Monday September 2nd

All regular classes are on the weekend before, August 31 and September 1.

Princess Farhana

Wonderful Wednesday Workshop

Wonderful Wednesday Workshops
with Princess Farhana

Technique, Combinations, Improvisation and Veil Work

Only $42 for entire series before Aug. 28! $50 after that.

4 Wednesdays: September 4, 11, 18 & 25, from 6:45- 7:45

This workshop series focuses on movements , combinations, improvisation perfectly suited for traditional Oriental taqsim and chiftetelli pieces. We’ll explore using muscular resistance for lyrical dance interpretation and work on concepts to increase your musicality, helping you learn to decrease the speed at which you move by “laying back” into the movement, how to increase the flow, fluidity and dynamics of your movements, with an emphasis on developing internal abdominal technique. There will be excercises for fearless improvisation musical phrasing and interpretation, the power of pauses in motion, and use of performance space. We’ll also cover technique for beautiful veil work, including cascades, flutters, turns, ‘old school’ American cabaret drapes and conceal/reveal movements. Please bring your veil and cymbals if you use them!

Drop-ins permitted for $16 OR with 5 or 10 Class Card PLUS $2 per class. No Beginner Flex Passes or Passports. Registrants can take advantage of Same-Day Discount and stay for Zahra's class for only $11

Alli Ruth: Hardcore Floor Image: Atelieri O. Haapala

Guest Workshop

Hardcore Floor:
Old-School AmCab and Turkish Bellydance Floorwork

$28 by 8/28 ($32 after, $38 at door)

SUNDAY September 8, 2013 from 1-3pm

This workshop will cover the strengthening exercises to develop necessary flexibility and muscles for dynamic floorwork. You will learn moves for traveling, descent, ascent, back bends, lay outs, Zar motions and some nearly extinct (and very wild) Turkish moves and Rom gestures for floor. Floorwork for both drum solo and taxim will be explored. We will not do Turkish Drops but we will cover safety and preparation for working towards them and minimizing risk of injury. Due to the strenuous nature of the workshop, we will take some breaks to watch vintage footage of different styles of floorwork. Alli will also lecture on considerations to take into account around costuming, stage and audience before opting to go to floor. If you’d like to prep for endurance during class, practice planks (in all directions), bridges and squats or any quad strengthening exercises. Highly recommended: kneepads, long leggings (not bare legs) and leg warmers or something to protect the tops of your feet (check out “Leotoes” with top pads). Alli began studying AMCAB in 1998. Her “floorwork gurus” have included Diane Webber, Anaheed, Cory Zamora, Alexandra King and Princess Banu of Turkey. She has been a principal dancer in both Perfumes of Araby and Desert Sin and recently founded troupe YIlan Kabilesi. She lives and teaches American Cabaret in Helsinki and travels regularly to continue her dance studies.

Register by midnight 8/29 and save!



taXim LIVE MUSIC & Bellydance Show

taXim LIVE MUSIC & Bellydance Show

featuring Saffron Parade Arabesque Band

Saturday September 14, 2013 at Studio Iqaat in Eagle Rock

Special Guests: (Hold on to your hip scarves!)

DanceGardenLA Co-Founder: ZAHRA ZUHAIR!!!


Tiziana from Italy


and more international treats TBA!!

Click here for more info and here to reserve VIP seating

October 2013

November 2013

Amani After making a huge splash at Cairo Caravan, we are lucky to have Amani right here at DGLA all the way from Atlanta, Georgia! Best known for her fluid and deeply sensual style of dance, she has built her reputation on delivering stellar dance technique combined with the heart and soul of the Middle East. Trained from an early age in dance and drama, AMANI has studied and performed extensively throughout Europe, the Middle East and North America. She is now teaching nationally with workshops scheduled around the United States.

Guest Workshop

Amani Jabril and Mazaag!

2 Amazing Dance Workshops

$70 for both by 10/17,
$80 in advance,
$90 at the door

Saturday, November 2, 2013 from 3-5pm

New Traditions: Iraqi Kawleeya
This class will discuss methods and demonstrate movements of “Iraqi Kawleeya” blended with Oriental movements for use with a dancer’s Oriental show and as an exciting and interesting entrance and exit of the stage. Taken from her own experiences in the field in Egypt, Lebanon and the U.A.E. in addition to ex-pat groups in the United States, Amani will teach favored combinations as seen on the contemporary dance scene as well as movement from her own signature style. “Kawleeya” originates with Roma (or Gypsy) groups in Iraq but also in the area known as the Persian/Arabic Gulf. The dance movements include sharp quick shoulder shimmies, poly-rhythmic clapping, and dynamic footwork.

Workshop includes technique and combinations . You do not need a thobe but you may want a supportive athletic shoe! Prepare to sweat!

$32 by Thursday October 17, pre-registration $40, $45 door

Sunday, November 3, 2013 from 1-4

Tuning The Dancer’s Ear: Musicality
with Amani Jabril, George Sadak (Percussion) & Jonatan Gomes (Oud)

While many have attempted to tackle the topic of improvisation and dancer-drummer connection, few have addressed the topic in a holistic manner taking into account the multiple aspects of the phenomena, including (but not limited to): structure of the song, rhythms and modes as well as conventions of dance style and technique that fully address the ebb and flow of the musical partnership. This workshop will be a hands-on, hips-on class with instruction and commentary from percussionist George Sadak, oudist Jonatan Gomes Derbaq and dancer Amani Jabril as musicians and dancer partner to create improvised music and movement combinations. This workshop seeks to develop the dancer’s musical “ear” and partner it with solid dance technique. Students will take away an enhanced attention to musical nuance and flexible and innovative movement phrases.

$45 by Thursday October 17, pre-registration $52, $60 door

Past Events