Year in Review: 2016


As I was thinking back through 2016, I realized why December felt so empty: we didn't have to build a new studio! Technically, we have built studios in December/January for the past 3 years (added the addition to the Lebanon location in 2013, moved to WRJ in 2014, and moved again unexpectedly in 2015.).

One thing due to the craziness of 2014/2015 I missed was being a student. My number one priority was getting back into classes. I was able to take classes, intensives, workshops, and private lessons with Nourhan Sharif, Katia, Shadia, Yasmina Ramzy, Alia Thabit, Katerina Shereen, Roxanne Shelaby, Phaedra, and more! One of my favorite things is to sneak into others Beginner Classes and just soak up being a baby belly again! I also attended close to a dozen shows just as an audience member, and many with live music. One of my favorites was OPA, created by the triple threat dancer/singer/comedian, Aurel.

We hosted our annual Shimmyathon and welcomed 7 instructors from all over New England and put on one heck of a show! We hosted 2 roundtables: One on the history of Belly Dance and Fusion Family Tree, another with Sufi and Religion in Dance vs. Theatrics and Theraputic Abilities of the dance. We also hosted Phaedra of Boston for Workshops and performances.

I was invited to perform at Shalimar's Show at Marco Polo Restaurant in CT twice, a crazy fun summer Birthday Party Celebration for Duncan,  Hannah's Crazy Foam Birthday Bash on the Cape, Goddess Rising in southern VT, Bellies and Brew hosted by the ladies of Eidetic in MA, Performed for most likely the final time at Karoun restaurant before it closes with the Fred Elias Ensemble. We even saw dear Freddie Elias retire in the most killer live music and dancing night for the books. I taught at Rosa’s Noreen’s Bright Star World Dance in Maine, North End Studio in Burlington, VT, and in a couple other states too for private groups. I performed at Sue’s Cairo Cabaret and danced at family events and celebrations that always inspire me to be a better dancer. I’ve been kind of in hiding as a performer the past few years, I am thankful to have had these wonderful venues to reinvigorate and to inspire me to perform more in 2017.

I also did a super fun photo shoot with Peter Paradise Michaels, and with the help of the Lovely Sahina!

The Studio Performing Troupe, the Raq-ettes were on fire this year! In addition to our annual student showcase, they performed at Puppets in Education Gala, Open Fields Renaissance Festival, Marco Polo (some making their first Restaurant Show Debut!), various haflas, and more! Most importantly, their performances helped raise over $3K in VT for Syrian Refugee Resettlement.  I am so proud of them and their continuous growth into not only budding performers, but responsible dance community members that contribute back to the art and culture of which we borrow this wonderful dance from.


Which leads me to thanking everyone who supports our events, who dances with us, and continues to root us on from afar. We are so thankful for all of you! So here’s to 2017, which promises to be another busy year with new students, offerings, classes, research, special events, new Raq-On intensives, and more!

Amity Alize

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