Posted on May 12, 2015
Thanks to the students in the Get Zilly Again workshop! We had a fun and informative day with a lot of take-home video! At the studio, we are now in our spring term and have a performance and a couple of specialty workshops coming up for May and June.
The performance is at the Healing Market. We performed this show back in December.
This is a FREE Admission Event.
Markets have been with humanity through out history, a place where culture, knowledge and wisdom is shared and spread, where the exchange of ideas and inspiration spark, and where interaction with our human fellows make us more UNITED.
“The Healing Market” will be a family friendly market experience including Energy Healers, Craft Vendors, Organic Food Vendors, Conscious Businesses, Music and performances. The idea is to co-create community, promote alternative and natural healing, and more conscious gift-giving through out the seasons, giving city people an outlet to purchase healing and handmade meaningful gifts, and the opportunity to learn where they can find these services throughout the year. This seasonal market will also give local healers, artisans, and Conscious Businesses an affordable means to outreach and spread their services.
For workshops at Om Laila, the studio is hosting two in May and June and both are based on the fun of G Day Toronto and Roula’s workshop with girls ages 10-12. One is for just girls on May 30 and the other is Mothers and Daughters on June 7. The Mothers and Daughters workshop only has a couple spaces left so Register Soon!!
Posted in Bellydance,Classes,Om Laila,Performances,Toronto Bellydance | Tagged bellydance classes bellydance workshops performances Toronto
Posted on March 13, 2015
Om Laila’s Bellydance Choir is competing at the Star Bellydancer Canada Competition this Sunday, March 15!
The choir is a very special group that has a keen interest in dancing, singing and playing percussion with Roula Said at Om Laila Studio in Toronto. We are a self-accompanied performance ensemble. The Om Laila Bellydance Choir sprouted last spring with only a few members and has since grown to 10! In almost a year this group has made great strides and has performed together many times within the bellydance and Middle Eastern communities and for private events.
Here’s some Interesting Facts about the Bellydance Choir
1. We perform 90% of the time to live music and Roula Said’s vocals. However, we also learn our dances to prerecorded tracks so we have the ability to perform without our band and singers.
2. We have 5 numbers so far but they are never performed the same way twice. The group is very versatile and this allows us to perform with any number and combination of singers and dancers available for the show!
3. Different Bellydance Choir members have different interests and goals. Some want to learn the songs, others the dances and some want to learn it all. Our commonality is the desire to authentically represent belly dancing as a rich and beautiful art form and to have fun while we’re at it.
4. Our numbers have many layers. Most of the group learns the song first in choir class, or a choreography in weekly classes and/or workshops. From there, the performers learn the piece in stages. The last step is usually adding zills/percussion.
5. This is our first time competing but last year Roula was one of the judges! We will likely be the only group in the troupe division performing to live music.
6. The Bellydance Choir operates as two classes. The choir is taught by Roula at 7 pm on Thursday and the Choreography class is with Kaleena at 8. This is a class format so some attendees are learning to perform with the Bellydance Choir while other belly dance students just want to be in class to improve their musicality or to learn the lyrics and meaning to popular Arabic songs.
7. After the competition we plan to slow the pace and welcome new students to this delightful and happening ensemble. If you are interested in attending choir and/or choreo class write to firstname.lastname@example.org
We are very excited to participate in the competition and would love to have friends come out to see and support us. To buy tickets visit the Star Bellydancer Canada official page!
Posted in Bellydance,Classes,Om Laila,Performances,Toronto Bellydance | Tagged Bellydance choir bellydance workshops Classes performances Toronto
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:
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!!
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
Posted on February 21, 2015
This week has been super exciting for us at Om Laila Studio. For one thing, we finally launched the new website, which has been in design + development since January. If you are in Toronto and have always wanted to take belly dance classes, the new website should make finding and purchasing classes very easy. We have also added a new Introduction to Bellydance Course on Saturday at 12:30 pm. Here’s the link to the Intro Course in the shop.
In other class related news, the new term is starting in just over a week! Please see the new schedule and register for your classes soon to reserve a spot.
Prepping for Performances!
On the events side of studio happenings we have been VERY busy preparing for performances. Roula, Kaleena, Shaila and Liz recently performed a funny skit and drum solo at the Sarah Skinner and the Sisters of Salome’s fundraiser Be Bine or Bite Me on February 13. It was a fun night spent with new and old friends!
Upcoming performance prep includes the Hip Hip Hooray Cabaret that is next Saturday, Feb 28th and the biggest Bellydance Choir undertaking yet, the Star Bellydancer Canada competition on March 15 (21 days away!). The piece we are performing has been evolving and refining since last summer.
The Bellydance Choir is also making their own costumes and rehearsing for an extra 1-2 hours together every week. We thank them for their hard work and dedication. Even if we all fall off the stage and come in last place we have all been making progress as individuals, and as a group, and that’s already a huge success!
See our events page for more information about these performances.
We do have permanent studio fairies but in addition, the Om Laila students are also crafty and resourceful fairies that always help to make the studio better for everyone by bringing in decoration, snacks for the back-to-back-to-back classes, painting (the stairs in the studio were painted entirely by long-time students!), cleaning and making fabulous and practical items like a hanging business card holder and fancy, fuzzy boards for choir songs!
Thank you students for caring so much about everyone and the space. We appreciate your generosity but most of all we appreciate your presence. You are all bright lights and shiny stars
Posted in Bellydance,Classes,Performances,Toronto Bellydance | Tagged bellydance classes bellydance toronto performances Toronto
Posted on February 10, 2015
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!
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
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
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.
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