Fall into Bellydance and Arabic Music this Autumn at Om Laila


Posted on August 13, 2015


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The autumn schedule and event calendar is up with exciting new classes, workshops and happenings. Let’s get to it! You can register for any of these classes and events by visiting The Store




Open House! We would like to invite you to our open house on Sunday September, 6 from 1-5pm for a costume sale, lemonade party and Om Laila style hospitality including percussion, dance and singing. Bring a friend!




We now offer a monthly membership
$200 no tax
Any 2 classes
Or 1 class and a private




Monday 6:00pm-7:15pm Essential Bellydance Introduction to Intermediate
Connect to your body in a new and nourishing light through Roula’s multi-level movement methodology.
Level: Foundation and Further (Introductory – Intermediate)
99+HST for 4 weeks




Tuesdays 11:15 am -12:45 pm – Bellydance and Beyond – intermediate to Pro
Dive in and develop more of you in this mixed-bag class supplementing dance technique with experiential musical training.
$120+hst for 4 weeks




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Wednesday 6:00pm-8:00pm Percussion and Voice Immersion with Roula and Naghmeh Farahmand – All Levels
6:00 – 6:30 Rhythms and Technique
Multifaceted master instructors, Roula Said and Naghmeh Farahmand teach rhythm training, technique and drills on various percussion instruments. Explore frame drums/daff, tambourine/riqq, darbuka, dahola, zills. Specialize in one instrument or try them all.




6:30 – 7:00 Singing and Lyrics
This 30 minute segment will focus on freeing and embodying the voice, learning song melodies, and learning the pronunciation and translation of the lyrics.




7-8 Ensemble Class
The ensemble class puts the rhythms and songs together so they can really be brought to life. Learn traditional songs from the Arab world and from Iran. People will have different parts to play and/or sing to make up elements of the whole. Here we put technique and drills into context and actually make music!
$120+hst for 4 weeks




Wednesday 8:00-9:00pm Rehearsal with Roula and Naghmeh
Audition or Invite Only
write to info@omlaila.com for more information




Thursdays 11:00 – 12:00 pm – Seven Waves All Levels with Roula
More details coming very soon!
$99+hst for 4 weeks




Sundays Sept 13, Oct 4, Nov 8, Dec 6 11:00 – 1:00 Ecstatic Chant with Live Drums
Drawing from intoxicating traditional and original Sufi-inspired melodies and rhythms. Simple hypnotic words in Arabic, Farsi and English make this inviting to all. PWYC at the Door




Private Classes with Roula
Private Classes with Roula Said in the following:
Essential Bellydance and Seven Waves
Qanun, Arabic rhythm and drumming, singing and zylls/saghat/finger cymbals.
Mentoring classes to emerging and established professionals who seek to deepen their work or venture into cross-disciplinary exploration.




Workshops and Events at a Glance




September 6 1-5pm: Open House, Costume Sale, Lemonade and Om Laila style fun and hospitality at the studio


October 17-18: Whirl and Chant Workshop Retreat at Wyldwood in Marysville


October 25: Autumn Zaar


November 1:
Joy of Aging Show in Vaughan




Looking forward to a fun and exciting fall at Om Laila!




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Posted in arabic music lessons,Bellydance,Classes,Om Laila,Toronto Bellydance,zill lessons | Tagged bellydance classes bellydance toronto bellydance workshops Doumbek Classes Toronto om laila studio Percussion Class Toronto

Spring Term Special for the Upcoming Term


Posted on April 15, 2015


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It’s spring! Our garden is waking up, the birds are returning and we hope to see your warm and friendly faces this coming Spring term, which begins April 27! We are very excited about our cute new homepage, a couple of new classes in addition to all of the favourites from last term AND an Earlybird Special for Spring.



If you register by April 26 through any method of payment you receive a $10 discount off one class per week and $20 off two classes a week. (Please note that this applies to the regularly priced Essential Bellydance, Musical Dancer and Seven Waves classes – not to the intro classes or choir/choir choreo classes).



We have already started Introduction to Om Laila Studio at our cozy Toronto belly dance studio. We do a lot in this studio including bellydance, wellness, music and singing lessons. This class offers a taste of everything we have across the schedule in one class. It is suitable for complete beginners, students new to the studio or current students that want to try something else the studio has to offer before making the commitment.



We are also introducing Sensual Fitness with Roula Thursday morning at 11am and Kaleena Saturday at 12:30. This class combines Seven Waves, Essential Bellydance technique and some drills and conditioning for a well-rounded mind-body workout.



Zill Workshop with Roula



In the workshop department we have just sold out for the Zaar on April 19 but there is still room in Get Zilly Again. The last workshop sold out so register soon!



Also, if you have a young daughter or girl in your life between the ages of 10-12 consider bringing her to G Day for Girls This is a day-long event that celebrates and empowers girls as thy transition from childhood into adolescence. G day events inspire positive self esteem and supportive family and community relationships at this key life phase. Roula will be a presenter at this beneficial and necessary event!



See you April 27 in the Spring Term!



Posted in arabic music lessons,Bellydance,Classes,Om Laila,Toronto Bellydance | Tagged bellydance classes bellydance toronto bellydance workshops om laila studio Toronto

The Benefits of Playing Zills for Mind, Body and Soul


Posted on April 4, 2015


zills at om laila studio


Learning to play the zills will complement your dance training but it can offer much more. Many dancers discover that playing finger cymbals provides benefits that extend beyond their belly dance classes as they notice the positive emotional, mental and physical benefits of learning percussion.



Five Healthy Reasons to Practice Percussion

 

  1. Become a Musician as well as a Dancer

 
As a dancer you will use finger cymbals to complement the musicians but as a musician you can learn a great deal about the structure of music, rhythm and beat. There is nothing quite like knowing not just the basic rhythms (called the skeleton of the rhythm and this is usually what belly dancers learn) but also how to fill those rhythms in a number of creative ways. This puts the beat (the pulse of percussion) and the rhythm (the song of the drum) in your body and brain on a much deeper level.

 

  1. It’s your Brain Gym

 
Looking outside of belly dance training we need to find activities to keep us sharp as we age. Learning to play the zills is the ultimate brain gym. Even for beginner level percussionists, playing simple patterns within a rhythm, (ex: 123 123 123 123 in a 4/4 rhythm like Baladi) and stepping on the beat seems impossibly difficult. However, as you progress not only does it get easier but provides ongoing self-accomplishment. You even notice a newfound ability to multi-task on an entirely new level in day-to-day life!



For dancers and artists that like a challenge, and love to put themselves in the beginner’s mindset, zilling reminds many of when they started taking belly dance classes. students have to relearn to move and find the co-ordination that is required of belly dance but now with the addition of simultaneously playing a musical instrument.

 

  1. Connect with Yourself and Others

 

Percussion is a connection activity both in terms of self-awareness and bringing participants together socially:


 

  • Playing zills in class is oftentimes a group activity. Dancers and musicians work together to practice and produce layered and complex songs and dances. Even the newest percussionist can play a simple pattern while more experienced players fill and hold the piece.

 

  • Percussion is a team building exercise. As we learn to play zills we are watching and listening to each other. This overflows into dance as well. We need to be communicative, comfortable and in tune when reaching a common goal with our troupes and classmates.

 

  • Playing finger cymbals is fantastic for self expression. When you learn music you gain the ability to play with and within the music. There are a seemingly infinite number of rhythms and patterns that can be played within the beat of the music and this unleashes a serious amount of creative and artistic potential; the chance to be heard and the opportunity to work as an individual within a group, or as a soloist.

percussion benefits

  1. Reduce Stress and Ground Yourself

 

Percussion is powerful and has been used to heal for millennia. Playing the finger cymbals or a drum has a trance-like effect that reduces stress. Learning to play the zills also involves a deep level of focus and concentration that can take your mind off anything from a bad day to a traumatic experience. Finger cymbals will ground you because you must be in the present moment for the level of timing and coordination involved. Being grounded and in the present moment helps us to live “in-the-now”.


    • Percussion increases alpha waves in the brain leading to a calmer mind. Drumming and percussion can be used to help treat individuals with over-active or hyper-vigilant minds.

 

    • Sometimes we are out of sync with ourselves. This can manifest as sickness, addiction and even self-centeredness. There is something to be said regarding the act of physically syncing and its result on mental and emotional synchronicity.

 

    • Life has natural rhythms and percussion helps us to feel the earth, nature and universe in more deep and profound ways.
  1. Zills are Fun!

Zilling is fun, there is no doubt. Whether you’re a belly dancer looking to add a new element to your routine, an older adult hoping for interesting ways to achieve brain health or someone that wants to come out of her shell and be heard; finger cymbals provide countless opportunities to find the musician within and to progress on both personal and artistic levels.




While belly dancing is a gentle exercise that can be adapted and modified to almost anyone’s level of health and physical fitness, playing zills is accessible to absolutely everyone. Even the most fit and conditioned dancer can take a break in class to play percussion if s/he feels the impulse. Developing musicality, playing in time and putting it together with dance does take work, patience and practice but we all start at day 1 and it’s a fun and rewarding process!

 


Guest Writer


Kaleena is a student and teacher studying under the tutelage of Roula Said at Om Laila Studio in Toronto for belly dance, wellness and music. She has discovered the benefits of playing zills as a dance artist and as an individual seeking new and fun ways to achieve a powerful mind-body connection. She attends Om Laila for its focus on artistic, intellectual and personal growth. Visit Kaleena’s belly dance blog, Kaleena Belly Dance to read more.



Guest writers are welcome to submit articles relating to their experiences at Om Laila Studio. Please write to Roula with your idea at info@omlaila.com



Posted in arabic music lessons,Bellydance,Classes,Om Laila,Toronto Bellydance,zill lessons | Tagged bellydance classes bellydance toronto om laila studio Toronto Zills

Hip Hip Cabaret and Winter 2 Term Starting Now


Posted on March 5, 2015


We had a great time at the February edition of the Hip Hip Cabaret. The Bellydance Choir is a live music performance ensemble and we have been workiing together for under a year. However, this was the very first time we performed as (an almost full) group outisde of our own shows at May Cafe! We are quickly learning and experiencing the joys and challenges of presenting our work with live musicians and vocals. Here’s a couple of pictures from the evening:


roula at hip hip cabaret


Hip Hip Cabaret at Round


Next up is the fundraising event at Beit Zatoun on March 7 and Star Bellydancer Canada Competition on March 15. See our events page for more information!


In class news, the first term started this week and there is still space left in level 1 and 2 on Monday evening, Karma/PWYC Saturday at 11 and the Introduction to Bellydance Courses Wednesday at 7:30 and Saturday at 12:30. Please see the new pricing and payment options page, and also the Introduction to Bellydance Course page to learn more. Many of our students in Toronto and beyond take classes and workshops with Roula as an experienced artist but you can start as a baby, beginner belly dancer too!!


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See you in the studio for the March/April term!



Posted in Bellydance,Classes,Om Laila,Performances,Toronto Bellydance | Tagged bellydance classes bellydance toronto Om Laila om laila studio performances Toronto

New Intro Course and Om Laila’s Luscious Love-In Wrap Up


Posted on February 10, 2015


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It may be cold but the coach house is always very warm and we have been enjoying a technique-based winter term across all Essential Bellydance levels from Intro – Level 3. And while we’re on the topic, we added an Intro course to the curriculum! There is a special promotion right now in celebration of our new website! This Introduction to Bellydance Course provides 4 classes for $75 and offers the fundamental technique that is necessary for a strong start in belly dance! Click Here to take the course!

 

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Saturday was great fun! Thank you to all that came out in the cold and snow to celebrate an early Valentine’s Day at May Cafe. We plan to bring our parties back in 3-4 months. Don’t worry – We will be back but Nomadica received a grant and needs to work on their recording, and the studio will also be working hard (more news to come!) to make Om Laila an even better experience for its students!

 

We are extremely grateful to our performers, the Bellydance Choir (for singing three songs!), volunteers and musicians for their hard work and spectacular talent! We were very happy to see a packed dance floor and the fogged up May Cafe windows! We definitely all love to dance and these shows have been some of the best dance floors we have seen given the size of our humble studio and venue. THANK YOU EVERYONE

 
Luscious Love In Trio

 

Our next show is the Sisters of Salome party on February 13. We will also be performing on February 28th at the Hip Hip Hooray Cabaret and of course the Star Bellydancer Competition in March!

 

Finally, the Musical Dancer class on Thursday has just started a new Vocabelly number. Have you seen one of these before? It’s really cool. If you want to try it out, now is the time to start!



Posted in Bellydance,Classes,Om Laila,Performances,Toronto Bellydance | Tagged bellydance classes bellydance toronto om laila studio performances Toronto Zills

Events

Testimonials

Meeting Roula in her studio setting for the first time, the most poignant sensation I experienced was that she provides a dynamic, safe space where one instantly knows it is okay to be a “real person.” For me, this is a core factor when it comes to being able to tap fully into my creativity in an honest way. Roula is so authentic, natural, earthy, in-the-moment, sensitive, accepting, modestly confident of her own knowledge and talent – and observant without being judgmental – that I think it would be near-impossible for even the most timid and uncertain of people to feel uncomfortable for long.

Navigating this planet as woman in a world that often seems threatened by female empowerment is very difficult. Learning to embrace one’s own strengths and talents in an unapologetic way is even more challenging. But sometimes finding places (whether physical or otherwise) – especially in group settings – where just being one’s natural, sensual, creative, imperfect, laughing, crying, inspired, frustrated, embodied Female Self is the challenge of all challenges. Roula creates an atmosphere where it feels okay to be strong and weak at the same time but, almost more importantly, she magically does it in a way that generates supportive, loving and sisterly bonds amongst everyone in the room. Roula creates magic.

-Sudarshan

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