Tava’s Bellydance Workshop Topics

Interested in Tava’s 4-Week Online Intensive: Fearless Finger Cymbals (Level 1) – sign up for our mailing list to be notified when it runs again

Whats Included:

  • 1 to 3 Homework Assignments Per Week (You can work at your own pace)
  • Video Tutorials to Demonstrate all Concepts
  • Informational and Historical Articles/Videos
  • Inspirational Video Clips of Notable Dancer Playing Finger Cymbals


A. C. T. (Anatomy, Core and Technique) 

Go back to the fundamentals by learning which muscles propel the common movements of bellydance. Learn about the deep core muscles and postural stabilizers while you dust off your technique with increased body awareness and a postural tune-up. Students will breathe new life into their movements with a richer understanding about how the body works to create soft flowy movement chains as well as strong, percussive and precise movements. Note: This can be condensed into a one-hour class or stretched to a 2-hour format by including more or less dance elements.

A Taste of Turkish: Asymmetrical Rhythms, Fiery Footwork, and Flair

Fiery, passionate and unapologetic in its delivery, Turkish Oryantal pulls flavors from it’s folkloric dances as well as Arabic Dance & more. Known for its asymmetrical rhythms, finger cymbal playing, floorwork and super sass, this style is a crowd-pleaser. In addition to learning rhythms and combinations, students in this workshop will also view footage of notable Turkish dancers such as Nesrin Topkapi and Tulay as well Romani style dancing to identify the similarities and distinctions.

Fan Veils: Floating, Fluttering and Framing

Fan veils are beautiful when they’re floating through the air, but they still deserve a bit of rest. The balance of movement and body framing is what makes dancing with these props enticing to an audience. As dancers, we strive to turn props into partners so we never allow our movements to take a back seat to the prop. This workshop includes the basics such as how to hold the fan veils, tricks for quickly identifying right vs. left hand, Tava’s single fan-veil technique (with dominant dancing arm) and double fan veil floats, flutters and frames.

Finding Balance: Adding Dynamics to Balance Props

Whether you perform with sword, candle tray or a pineapple on your head, this workshop will teach you how to keep the emphasis on your dancing rather than doing a laundry list of tricks. Participants will learn how to integrate some wow-movements with fluidity and conviction to maintain artistry. Safety precautions, space considerations and additional details will be discussed. Tava has been dancing with balance props for many years and she is eager to share some of the mistakes she has made ( so you can avoid them), tricks and tips she has learned, and suggested modifications for various performance situations.

Tava's Turkish Oriental Workshop

Floorwork: Expression, Intention & Injury Prevention

This workshop focuses on the Vintage Oriental style of floorwork covering various descents, body movements, and traveling. Participants will also engage in a discussion about the history, costume considerations, and the fine line between too much and just enough. With the right intention and skill, floorwork is a dramatic and beautiful part of a set. And lastly, Tava will discuss anatomy and share strength-building drills to prepare the body for floorwork. Note: this is best offered in a facility with wifi for showing video clips. Suggested items: foam rollers, Yoga mat and knee pads.

Goodness Gracious Great Zills of Fire! ( Levels I and II)

(Tava’s favorite workshop to teach). Are you stuck in triplets and gallops? Developing musicality is essential and there is no greater way to connect with your music than to think like a musician while you dance. Students in this workshop will learn patterns that push and pull on the rhythms, purr softly and excite with unpredictability. In addition to learning how to play in a way that never overshadows the music song but adds dimension, Tava will also share finger strengthening exercises and post-zilling stretches. Pin and move myofacial release techniques will help to prevent overuse injuries.


Balancing Workshop with Tava

Balancing Workshop with Tava

Dance with Dynamics: Command the Audience (Levels I and II).

Demystify the art of performance and learn clever tips and tricks for how to pace yourself while dancing a full or partial set, how to make an effective entrance, how to engage a reluctant audience and the right balance of personality and technique. All of these questions and more will be addressed as well as 5 key elements of dancing with dynamics: 1. How to radiate natural joy  2. Incorporating an internal/inward focus 3. Adding elements of humor 4. Adding pops of wow, and 5. Projecting confidence.  No more frozen smiles and repetitive movements; this workshops is designed to help students go from dancing to performing by pushing through barriers or insecurities to command the audience.  Level I is best suited for students who are preparing to perform or have limited experience with full sets. Level II kicks it up a notch with a few extra role playing exercises to help dancers think on their feet and feel secure in every performance scenario. It also explores the different qualities required for stage vs. restaurant/party where the audience has varying levels of involvement.

Drum Solo Rescue Project: Discussion + Choreography

Many dancers feel they have to choose between accessing their best technique or feeling a sense of ease and playfulness. The choreography taught in this workshop addresses strategies for incorporating both. By focusing on breathing, pacing, humor and …of course….sass, student’s drum solos will be transformed into the perfect balance of wow-factor and joyful experience. Tava will teach an easily modifiable choreography that breaks down her tips for accessing clean and strong isolations, quick transitions, travel steps, holds, shimmys and gooey movements and pair them with the right tools for staying in the pocket of the rhythms and in sync with the accents. There is always room for fun and personality!

Veil: Inside the Lines and Outside the Box

The veil is an unpredictable dance partner but it brings breath, richness and emotion to our dance. Being “in control” of the veil is not necessarily the best way to approach with flowy fabric. Allowing the space for unplanned movements can yield exciting results. This workshop will focus on dramatic lines, holds, wraps, exciting releases and slides. Students will learn to be in the moment and embrace the unpredictable aspects of working with light fabric and to infuse their movements with meaning.


When I started bellydancing with Tava in 2009, I didn’t know how much my experiences with her would shape and improve my life for the better. More than just learning about both the physical and cultural anatomy of bellydance, Tava introduced me to an amazing and supportive community, nurtured my individual strengths, and compassionately guided me through personal transformations that have benefited my life beyond just my dance career. Years later and a continent apart, her words still give me inspiration, insight, and strength that make my experiences with Improvisational and Tribal Fusion style bellydance richer, and my relationships to my dance community more fulfilling.” ~Eliot

Workshops: Tava is available to teach bellydance classes and workshops in Fairfield County, Westchester County (New Rochelle, Larchmont, White Plains, Mamaroneck, Rye), and New York City (including Brooklyn, Queens and Harlem). She occasionally travels for workshops in other states. Please contact dancingtava@yahoo.com for rates.

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