CLASSES: Belly Dance & Qigong
Belly dance and qigong are an exquisite combination of practices for women because they each bring elements to enhance the other. Both movement forms enhance strength, flexibility, grace, and well-being, as well as mental sharpness. And when these practices are combined, they become even more extraordinary!
Belly dance offers beautiful music, gorgeous costuming, and personal expression, while qigong enhances presence, energy flow, and deep inner power. Together, this is a potent and yummy elixir that makes women happier, healthier, and more connected to themselves.
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!
I currently offer small, semi-private belly dance classes in a private studio.
- Beginning – Advanced Beginning class series are 5 weeks long – perfect for beginner dancers as well as continuing level dancers who want to refine their basics.
- Advanced Belly Dance – by permission
If you have questions about belly dance class, check out the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’S) page.
Write to me at annyaish(at)Annya-Ishtara-dance(dot)com to be notified of upcoming classes. *Be sure to fill in the appropriate punctuation in the email address.
I love belly dancing because it feels so sensuous to make those moves. Dancing is keeping my body, mind and spirit healthy.
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.
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.
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!
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 for 1 lesson: $60/hour for 1 person in person or by Skype.
Private Lesson Package: Save $45 when you pay for 4 private lessons at once. Cost is $199 for 4 private lessons, which means you save well 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.
To schedule, email me at annyaish(at)Annya-Ishtara-dance(dot)com * Be sure to fill in the appropriate punctuation to make it a working email (Just trying to keep down the spam!)
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.
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.
Women’s Qigong: Self-Care with Energy
So why do I offer special qigong classes 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 women’s qigong classes, 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.
Women’s Qigong Gathering Online!
The Women’s Qigong 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 (an energy reservoir in the low belly) and throughout the body.
This class encompasses both outer 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!
The Women’s Qigong Gathering is drop-in qigong class for women that happens approximately once a month. It’s a great way to get an idea of what the 5 week Womanly Art of Qigong series is like too.
- Tuesday, March 24
- 6:30 – 8 PM Mountain Time
- Online through Zoom
- Suggested $20 donation. And any amount is truly OK!
- Donate at this PayPal link, and I will send you all the info you need, including how to sign up for a free Zoom account if you don’t already have one: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=DJXUSX4ZTTQR8&source=url
To be notified of upcoming gatherings, ask to be on the email list by writing to annyaish(at)Annya-Ishtara-dance(dot)com. *Be sure to fill in the appropriate punctuation to make this a valid email address.
The Womanly Art of Qigong Online: A 5 Week Course for Women to Build Pelvic and Breast Health and Enhance Energy Boundaries
This 5 week qigong course helps women develop a foundation for physical health and energetic strength in the pelvic area (whole body too!) through the simple movements of qigong. Start (re-) claiming this area for yourself as a safe space where you can thrive.
Attending a Women’s Qigong Gathering is a great way to experience a taste of what this 5 week course is like.
- Dates to be announced
- Tuesdays, 6:30 – 8 PM
- Online through Zoom
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.
In October I went to a free Qigong intro presented by Annya at the Taos food Co-op. I enjoyed it so much that I joined a weekly class for women. I was so inspired that I asked if she would offer a qigong class at my studio. I find many beautiful overlays with the Feldenkrais Method, and I sense Annya’s extensive training and artistic skill in belly dancing informs her teaching on a deep level. I am looking forward to continued learning.
A deeply empowering class: Annya’s ability to transmit living cellular female wisdom is a healing in itself. Where each woman takes it is up to her.