CLASSES: Belly Dance & Qigong

Are you ready to have fun and get fit all at the same time time? Belly dance class is the perfect way to do this, all while spicing up your life with sensual movement, exotic music, shiny, jingly, fun stuff to wear, and spending time with a supportive group of awesome women. It’s hard to beat that! Check out the class schedules below.

To start belly dancing right now, you can get my free mini belly dance lesson, Welcome to Your Hips!, delivered to your inbox by putting your name and email in the Subscribe to Annya’s Newsletter box at the bottom of this page. You’ll also get a free Feminine Energy Activation video. Happy dancing!

I currently offer a monthly Women’s Qigong Gathering. More info below!

Belly Dance Classes: Movement Medicine for the Feminine


Weekly Belly Dance Class

Cultivate your feminine mystery and mystique with this ancient women’s dance form from the Middle East!

Belly dance is more than just exercise for your body. It’s true that it increases grace, strength, flexibility, balance, and burns calories. But even more importantly, it is a way to nourish and develop your whole self, connecting you to your body, your emotions, and your feeling of confidence and personal power.

Wear comfortable clothes that you can move in, and ideally bring a fringed or coin scarf or shawl to tie on your hips so you can see and/or hear your hip movements. No scarf? No problem! Just come as you are.

Bare bellies are welcome, but not required!

This is a beginning/advanced-beginning level class. It’s perfect for beginner dancers as well as continuing level dancers who want to refine their basics.

If you have questions about belly dance class, check out the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’S) page.


  • Mondays, 10:30 – 11:30 AM
  • September 16 – October 28, 2019
  • at Ballet Taos, 1037 Calle del Sol, Taos, NM 87571
  • Cost is $70 for all 7 classes. You can try the first class on September 16 only for $12 for the one class. OR pay for the 7 week series at the first class. Cash or check only please! No cards accepted at this time.

I love belly dancing because it feels so sensuous to make those moves. Dancing is keeping my body, mind and spirit healthy.


Taos, NM

For me, the way you explained a dance movement 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. I also wanted to say the age range of dancers (teens to 60’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.

Janet Herring

Angel Fire, NM

I love Annya’s belly dance class! I feel that I can move much more fluidly and easily than when I started 6 months ago, and my stamina has definitely improved.


Taos, NM

Learning belly dance with Annya Ishtara has made disciplined muscle toning fun and inspirational, and as well, has helped me find great joy in the embodiment of the feminine through graceful rhythmic movement. Annya is a highly skilled dancer and teacher!

Julia Ruth Claus, LMT

Taos, NM

Private Lessons

I offer private lessons in person and on Skype to personalize your blissful belly dance experience! I also offer private instruction in Rajasthani Gypsy/Kalbelia Dance and Turkish Roman (Gypsy) dance. In the focused time of your private lesson, we can really delve into the nitty-gritty of what will help you the most at this time in your belly dance evolution.

In private lessons, all levels of students have gained great benefit from my personalized instruction in the areas of:

  • in-depth understanding of movements
  • perfecting technique
  • feeling more confident with improvisation
  • developing emotional expression in belly dance
  • personal study in areas of belly dance outside the scope of regular class, such as Turkish Roman (Gypsy) dance, Rajasthani Kalbelia dance, and floorwork.
  • perfecting their mastery of props such as veil, double veil, and sword
  • preparing for performances, competitions, and other special dance projects

I find that private lessons are more successful when students are clear on the topic(s) they want to work on, so please come prepared. If I have not met you before your private lesson, I will ask you what you want to work on and possibly to see a video of you dancing before we meet. This is to insure that you and I make the most of our time together.


Private Lesson Details

Cost: $55/hour for 1 person in person or by Skype.
Semi-private lessons for 2 people: $85/hour
Private Lesson Package: Save $35 when you pay for 4 private lessons at once. Cost is $185 for 4 private lessons, which means you save over half of the cost of 1 lesson. You have 8 weeks from the time of purchase to complete the lessons.

If this sounds like what you are wanting in your belly dance training at this time, or if you have other belly dance topics in mind for a private lesson, please contact me to schedule your private lesson.
Private lessons take place in my studio in Taos, NM or by Skype from the comfort of your own home.

Click here to contact me to schedule your private lessons.

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.

Pat Spark, Spark Fiber Arts

Albany OR

I have been studying bellydance and Turkish Román with Annya for a handful of years now; and it is always with joy and anticipation that I make the three hour drive from Albuquerque to Taos to be under her focused and expert tutelage. She has always been great at breaking down both basics and subtleties of movement for me, often fluidly extemporizing sequences to practice that capture the essentials. And she has a superb and keen talent for analyzing problems and giving me the tools I need for their resolution.

In the workshops I have taken from her on improvisation and performance, Annya is passionate, articulate and fun(!), invariably fashioning the kinds of practice that help us easily draw from our own life experiences and extend the emotional range of our dance well beyond our usual reckoning. Every student that I have observed flourishes and grows under her gentle, positive and genuine encouragement; and so do I.

Eric Koenig

Albuquerque, NM

Women’s Qigong: Self-Care with Energy

Women’s Qigong Gathering

The monthly Women’s Qigong Meditation gathering is about nurturing our female organs and energies and building healthy yin energy in our women’s bodies through gentle qigong exercises. These include practices which are beneficial for the season of the year that we are in, practices to increase health and circulation in our female organs, as well as exercises to build healthy energy in the dantien and throughout the body. This class encompasses both movement and inner focus. And it is one long, deep, grounding meditative journey to connect with yourself that will leave you feeling radiant and rejuvenated.

This work is highly complimentary to belly dance because it enriches the energy benefits of the belly dance movements in a way that increases your health and enjoyment as you dance – so awesome!

So why a special qigong class just for women? Most qigong is taught in ways that work better for men because this is what most teachers were taught. However, not only do women and men have different bodies, but we have different chi, or life force energy, needs.

In this women’s qigong class, we focus on building yin energy in ways that are particularly nurturing to women’s bodies. As women, we become healthy through nurturing our life force energy slowly and gradually, rather than depleting our female essence through pushing or forcing in the name of health, as so often happens in Western health modalities for women.

Although this work is gentle, it is also deeply powerful in it’s effects on health and in connecting you with your body.

For information about monthly Women’s Qigong Gatherings, put your name and email in the box at the bottom of the page to receive the monthly email with the details.

The Power of Yin: 5 Weeks of Qigong Rejuvenation for Women

October 22 – November 19, 2019 in Taos, NM

A 5 week qigong based class to help you embody rejuvenating qigong practices and set a daily energy-nurturing routine in place. Click here for details.


I have been taking qigong classes, workshops, and doing qigong meditation with Annya for several years. I always feel so much better after doing it. I am able to move stagnant energy through and out of my body, which helps me feel more like myself again. Her qigong classes also help me feel more present in my lower body. I highly recommend Annya as a teacher, as well as qigong as a way to restore well being.

Deborah Hopper

Taos, NM