The Yellowstone Valley Belly Dance Festival is the heart and soul of Spiral Skies Belly Dance Troupe. We fulfill the need in our region for area dancers to train and perform at a higher level without having to travel to major metropolitan areas. As a group, we volunteer countless hours of our hard work all year long to bring popular, professional dancers to Billings, host a gala showcase and provide abundant shopping opportunities. Spiral Skies ultimate goal is to create a full weekend celebrating our love of belly dancing!
Dancers from across the region travel to attend this event, which is the largest festival in the region. On Saturday evening, they will showcase the various cultural styles, music, and costumes of belly dance. This family-friendly showcase is a one-night-only opportunity to enter the world of belly dance with professional headliners Princess Farhana and WildCard Bellydance, as well as the dance community of Montana and the outlying regions.
FEATURING WORKSHOPS & PERFORMANCES BY:
~ PRINCESS FARHANA ~ Internationally acclaimed belly dance and burlesque dance star!
~ WILDCARD BELLYDANCE ~ Professional Tribal Style dance troupe specializing in their own unique and vibrant blend of Improvisational Tribal Style dance!
Please visit our "shopping" page on our website to purchase your workshop space!
FRIDAY, August 15th - 6:30-8:30pm (Location: TBA in Billings, MT)
**The Power of the Cue** with WildCard Bellydance
Ever wonder if the Improv Tribal Style troupe you are watching is really using improv or if it’s choreographed? Join WildCard BellyDance as we share the magic of group improv and the power of the cue. The cue is the subtle but powerful core of communication between dancers. Without clear cues you cannot smoothly transition between moves and create a fluid and seamless performance. We’ll start by breaking down foundational ITS moves and build up to our modern combos. Our modern combos can be seamed together to create a dynamic choreography or used improvisationally. The moves we teach are ATS® friendly and they can also be valuable to the cabaret, tribal fusion troupe or soloist. Be prepared to have fun and get sweaty and don’t forget your finger cymbals!
SATURDAY, August 16th - 9:00-11:00am (Location: TBA in Billings, MT)
**You Spin Me Right Round: Circles work & Spins** with WildCard Bellydance
When executed correctly spins and circle work are always a crowd pleaser. This workshop will focus on how to pull off a perfect spin as well as how to enter and exit into and out of a circle so that your troupe can wow the crowd and avoid the pitfalls of the collapsing circle or looking like bumper cars gone bad. We will break down our dynamic spins and moves that flow well in a circle or facing the audience and as always are ATS® friendly!
SATURDAY, August 16th - 1:00-3:00pm (Location: TBA in Billings, MT) with Princess Farhana
**ABS-OLUTELY FABULOUS: ALL ABDOMINAL TECHNIQUE**
It’s time to BELLY dance! This highly acclaimed, special workshop will focus exclusively abdominal technique and core strength and laying the foundation for truly incredible abdominal work. Learn how to flutter and achieve amazing belly rolls- we’ll drill rolls upwards, downwards and from side to side! You will also learn to LAYER your abdominal movements, like the amazing “flundulation”, a flutter layered over a belly roll; or combining abdominal work with figure eights and upper torso isolations. Also: stomach pops, many types of body waves and undulations, muscular and breathe control. Pretty soon you’ll be yellin’, “That’s Just How I Roll!”
SUNDAY, August 17th - 9:30-11:30am (Location: TBA in Billings, MT)
**IMPROVISATION AND ORIENTAL DANCE** with Princess Farhana
This class will be beneficial to dancers who want to develop the tools to spontaneously create beautiful Oriental or belly dance fusion-style dances. Using mind and body techniques and exercises to increase your musicality, you will learn to trust your intuition and let your creative juices flow. Instead of relying on choreography alone, learn to use instinct and emotion as well your performance space and build your own unique stage presence. Arabic song structure will become demystified through musical analysis as you learn to “ illustrate” the music with your body, and dance to both the rhythm and the melody. Add power and personality to your performance as you build the confidence to experiment and improvise with traditionally-based and contemporary Oriental Dance technique.. All levels welcome.
______________ PRINCESS FARHANA BIO_______________
Internationally acclaimed dance star Princess Farhana (Pleasant Gehman) has performed, taught, researched and written about belly dance and burlesque since 1990. She has appeared in Egypt, Turkey, Hong Kong and Australia; toured several times across Europe and The United Kingdom, as well as throughout North America. An artistic chameleon and a boundary-pushing pioneer, she performs many styles of dance with ease, from ultra traditional to contemporary belly dance and burlesque. Her diverse talents encompass visual, literary, musical and dramatic arts as well as dance. She has fronted three bands, and is featured as an actor in several motion pictures and television shows, and has been interviewed for numerous feature-length documentaries, including director Steve Balderson's "Underbelly: A Year In The Life Of Princess Farhana".
Trained in Egyptian style belly dance by Zahra Zuhair in Los Angeles and Raqia Hassan in Cairo among many others, The Princess is well known as a theatrical belly dance fusion performer, conceiving and executing fantasy tableaux in minute detail, a dramatically recreating vintage styles of Oriental Dance from the Edwardian Era, the 1920's, The Egyptian Golden Age, and the American Cabaret Style of the Sixties and Seventies
She has starred in seventeen instructional and performance DVDs. Her most recent projects include her two new books, "The Belly Dance Handbook" (January 11, 2014) and the memoir "Showgirl Confidential: My Life Onstage, Backstage And On The Road" (published by Punk Hostage September, 2013). Her latest instructional DVD "Strike A Pose: How To Make The Camera Love You", was released in June 2013.
The Princess is known for her high-concept, innovative performances, dramatic stage presence, and incredible abdominal work. Her warmth, enthusiasm, extensive knowledge and her adventurous spirit -both on and off stage- captivate audiences worldwide.
____________ WILDCARD BELLYDANCE BIO____________
A professional troupe of Tribal Style belly dancers, teaching and performing in Sonoma County, California and around the world. WildCard BellyDance teaches their own format of Improvisational Tribal Style (ITS) belly dance, which is a modern fusion of traditional dances from cultures along the Silk Road; the Romani trail from from Spain through North Africa, the Middle East, Persia, India and beyond.
Over the past four years, WildCard BellyDance has developed their own unique repertoire of movements along with visual and verbal cues to achieve graceful synchronicity within the group. They are rooted in American Tribal Style® belly dance, and their style holds true to the foundations of synchronized group improvisation. Our ITS moves and cues are ATS® friendly!