Melissa is an amazing award winning Belly Dance and Middle Eastern Dance artist from Toronto, Ontario. Her authentic movement style and elegant musical interpretation have made her one of the most beloved performers within the Arab community in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area. Her foremost training has been at Arabesque Academy, where she was an instructor for 8 years. In addition to her solo career, she was also a lead dancer in Arabesque Dance Company from 2006 to 2014 and appeared in six of their stage productions, as well as their 2010 tour of Western Canada. In 2015, Melissa co-founded Ya Amar, a dance ensemble focused on offering exquisite Middle Eastern entertainment packages, including belly dance, zeffah, and live music.
Friday April 28 - School of Raq 10426 81 avenue, basement
*FULL* Technique and Meet-and-Greet (with wine!) $70
6-8pm with discussion to take place from 8-9pm
Melissa will go over her tips and tricks for powerful yet effortless modern Egyptian style technique and musicality, as well as optimizing your movements for performance. From strong shimmies and amplified hip work to ooeey-gooeey undulations and graceful arms - this class has a little bit of everything! Stay with us afterwards for light snacks (and wine) and a chance to get to know Melissa – ask her all your belly dance related questions.
Saturday April 29 - Move Studios 4935 55 avenue, upstairs
*FULL* Essential Oum Kalthoum, 10am-Noon $60
Dancing to the music of Oum Kalthoum, regarded as the most beloved singer of the Middle East, is considered a privilege and honour for dance students. Every song was an epic masterpiece of lyrics, instrumentation and rhythms - creating a feast for the soul. This workshop will help dancers connect to this emotional music and discover ways to convey authentic feelings and expressions in their dance performances.
*FULL* Saidi + Ghawazee, 1-3pm $60
Saidi is an upper Egyptian folklore style known for its earthy bounce and strength. We'll get connected to the rhythms and instruments of Saidi music as we work on some upbeat combos utilizing the cane/assaya. A little bit of sass, a little bit of power - the perfect combination to take your Saidi skills up a notch! Melissa will also share some information and movements about Ghawazee dance that she learned during her recent trip to Egypt!
Sunday April 30 - Move Studios 4935 55 avenue, upstairs
*FULL* Muwushahat, 10am-Noon $60
Originally a poetic form developed in Arab-Andalusia in the 10th century, we will be working with a modern recording of Muwashahat musical form. This interpretative dance style is often characterized by its elegance and fluidity; Melissa will be covering the more balletic inspired movements used in this style, including turns, arms, and footwork - as well as adding her own personal touch.
*FULL* Khaleeji + Nubian, 1-3pm $60
The word Khaleeji, meaning "of the gulf", is used in a broad sense to refer to the styles of music and dance from the Arabian Peninsula. The dance style is mainly characterized by its gliding footwork and body movements, silky arm work, and expressive head movements and hair tosses. We'll work through the nuances of this style and then put it together in a fun choreography. Added bonus: Melissa will be including information on Nubian dance that she studied while in Egypt.
Monday May 1 - Move Studios 4935 55 Avenue, upstairs
NEW WORKSHOP ADDED: An Evolution of Shaabi Choreography 7-9pm, $60
One more chance to dance with Melissa before she departs to Toronto. This choreography is super fun and goes from Adeweya shaabi, to 80's shaabi, to "new" shaabi, to Mahragan shaabi. A minimum of 10 students are needed to run this class.
>Private classes available on Thursday April 27th, Sunday April 30th, and Monday May 1.
Payment can be made via e-transfer to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fine print: If you wish to pay with a different method, please contact me and we will work something out for you. Spots are limited; payment in full or deposit required to hold your place. All registration (including deposits) are non-refundable however they may be transferred to another dancer; by submitting registration you agree to these terms. Workshop locations subject to change.
Thank you for supporting the Canadian dance scene <3
YA HABIBI SHOWCASE
Join us for a beautiful show featuring Melissa Gamal and many local and out of town dancers. This show is focused on the timeless beauty of Raqs Sharqi and Folkloric styles of dance.
Location: College Plaza - access via 83 avenue and 111 street, building faces North. Look for the building with the curved roof, up a flight of stairs. Parking available on the street or paid parking, underground.
Doors at 7, show at 730pm. $20
To order tickets, please complete this form. No physical ticket needed, a list with your name will be at the door.