Category Archives: Education

teaching physics with dance

Ok, so it’s pole-dancing, but… Popular Science has a piece called “Flight of the Pole Dancer” that explains an unfortunate dancing incident in terms of Newton’s First Law.  Come and get your physics while it’s hot…

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the new sahara dance studio

there were rumors of this pulsing through my little grapevine for a while now, even as i’ve been sort-of disconnected and out of the loop, but today i got email from the source, so i guess it’s official and i can say something about it…

rachel kay brookmire and the people at sahara dance have been… well, busy, i guess is an understatement. anyway, there’s a new studio in town, and it’s a big deal.

We have very exciting news to share this month: On May 15th Sahara Dance will be opening DC’s only center dedicated to Middle Eastern dance! The center is located in Tenleytown, 2 blocks north of the Tenleytown metro and visible from Wisconsin Avenue. We will offer a full schedule of raqs sharqi, folkloric, tribal classes and drum lessons.

may is a big month for rachel, so congratulations and best wishes for the new studio… Continue reading

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finding instructors

inspired by deserts without dancers, and with an ulterior motive in mind (i really needed to do something like this for an entirely different reason), i give you a map that represents the geographic availability of instructors in any middle eastern/oriental dance form that i could find.


on this map, the circles represent about 45-60 minutes of travel (a figure chosen for compatibility with the deserts without dancers effort – depends a lot on the kind of road in your particular direction). also, no precision here – i just eyeballed the cities.

i eventually decided to include the bhuz list of almost 1000 instructors (973 as i write this). there is some duplication within the bhuz list, but in the interest of the broadest possible coverage, i’ve mapped everything i could find quickly. there’s also an issue of out-of-date material, so some of these points may be locations of former-instructors, or former locations of instructors that have moved.

a couple notes: this is just people who claim to be instructors, only a few of these have comments or references from students. the bhuz data set is also full of errors (los angeles, colorado got my attention).

update (2004.03.25): a couple people have asked about the map – this isn’t the same as the deserts without dancers list – what i’ve mapped is “positive space” – the circles represent places where dance instructors do (or did…) exist. christine is making a list of places where instructors need to exist (“negative space”) because someone’s looking (she might correct me on that). anyway, they are complimentary (positive space vs. negative space).

update (2004.03.26): another question came up regarding the instructor map – someone asked about how many instructors were represented. i didn’t keep a list, but what i can do is provide a general idea. the bhuz list was almost 1000 instructors, and i made no effort to map density – once i found an instructor in a city, i dropped a circle there and moved on (this was a quick effort, not a research project! :) ). anyway, if you are interested in density, i’ve included the “hits” from the bhuz list below the cut here for you. no real surprise, california takes the… lead.

update (2004.03.28): this post has been linked from the deserts without dancers page – just a note, the map represents something like 1100 to 1200 instructors – the vast majority come from the bhuz data set, but it also includes instructors i know personally (a dozen or so), and several more-formal lists from around the web.

(just the state density data below…) Continue reading

Posted in Belly Dance, Education, Help | 1 Comment

Sending Jarvis to School

Teen dancer needs assistance to continue studies

Reported in the Hattiesburg American, Jarvis McKinley’s, 16, and a student at the Virginia School of the Arts is trying to raise $7000 to continue his dance education. He has $3000 to date.

To provide assistance for McKinley to continue attending the Virginia School for the Arts, contact USM professor Tim Rehner at (601) 266-5114. Checks for tuition assistance may be made payable to: USM Foundation – School of Social Work (Jarvis McKinley) in order for the donor to qualify for a tax deduction.

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Lotte Berk

LONDON (AP) German-born dancer and teacher Lotte Berk, who used her training as the basis for an exercise program that became popular with the stars, died Nov. 4. She was 90.

Berk started modeling at Heatherley’s School of Fine Art and later danced with the Ballet Rambert at London’s Covent Garden. During World War II, she entertained British troops.

She developed her dancer’s training regime into a set of exercises that improved muscle tone and posture, including a series of somewhat raunchy stretches with such names as “The Prostitute.”

At 46, she opened her women-only studio in London’s Manchester Street. Clients included actresses Joan Collins and Sian Phillips, singer Barbra Streisand and model Yasmin Le Bon. Continue reading

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