“I want to thank you for winter session of belly dance classes. I have the unique ability to take belly dance classes all over the US. Your ability to blend dancing with a wonderful insight on women’s health in general has been a real bonus. The focus on what, how and why the body does what it does (or what you want the body to do) when learning a movement has made for a deeper understanding of the of dance for me. Not only did it provide a great foundation of a dance move, but also for whole body techniques for general positive health.
“For me, the way you explained a movement ( or dance step) taking place inside the body with energy flowing as well as muscle response to that energy and the mind “seeing” or directing the intent of that movement really made sense. I felt I was internalizing something instead of just trying to copy or mimic you. It made for a deeper learning experience.
“This well rounded teaching extended to music development, dance interpretation and styles, and book recommendations for more in depth study.
“I believe most of us take belly dancing because we enjoy (or love) the movements and music belly dancing exposes us to and of course hip scarves! Your continuing students had a wonderful feeling of acceptance and encouragement for the newcomers. You also did a great job of introducing new moves for some and the “layering” of that same move for your more advanced dancers.
“It has been my experience to sometimes feel a little bit like the outsider or feel some frustration from continuing students at the repeat of learning steps, that was not the case with your classes! The tone of real joy for dancing and learning was just wonderful. I hope to be a part of your classes whenever I’m in New Mexico.
“I also wanted to say the range of dancers in age (teens to sixty’s) and their skills ( beginning to advanced) says a lot about your talent as an instructor. I also thought the prices of your dance classes, zill classes and hip scarves were very affordable.”
“There I was, a stranger in Taos. I was in town for their famous wool festival, but I wanted to indulge my other love as well – belly dancing. I had contacted the only person I could find in the area who was listed as a belly dance teacher and set up an appointment – not sure what to expect. So on Saturday morning, I met with Annya in her studio for a private lesson.
“I have been dancing for around eight years, doing mostly tribal for the last three. But my troupe had recently broken up and I was going to be needing to solo if I wanted to continue performing. Thus, I had an agenda with Annya – I wanted her to help me overcome my fear of dancing alone and try to figure out how I could dance using my tribal moves so that I didn’t look as though I had a “ghost” troupe dancing with me.
“We met for an hour and I learned so much! While we danced together, Annya observed my style and was the first teacher to ever help me figure out what my strengths and weaknesses were! As a person who is very self critical, I thought I had only weaknesses, not any strengths. But here was Annya, a stranger to me, telling me what she saw in my dancing! I was amazed! Her comments were thought provoking and positive- not in a false, cheerleader way – but in a way that led me to believe that she really understood the mechanics of dancing. From her comments, I was able to see my dancing in a new light. She also gave me many hints on soloing, such as understanding the stage and lighting where you’re going to dance so you can find the “sweet” spots, organic methods of actively understanding the music I’ve chosen to dance to and to start thinking of myself as a soloist- not as a member of a troupe.
“Her approach was similar to other teachers I’ve had, but with more soul in it. I had been taught to pick apart the music for choreography, but the methods were quite clinical. Annya helped me to see I could bring my own sense of artistry to the music. Hard to believe this was just a one hour private lesson! I learned so much. Thank you Annya.”