Kiyaana's Blog

Bellydance Social for Hope House

On April 15th, join me to learn some bellydance moves and shimmy your cares away at Baba Ganoush!  No charge, but donations will be accepted to benefit the Hope House women's and children's shelter in downtown Fredericksburg. Baba Ganoush is letting us use their space, so purchasing a beverage and/or food item will be appreciated.  The fun starts at 3 pm.  (Baba Ganoush is located in the Eagle Village on Rte. 1 in Fredericksburg.)

Why Hope House?  A couple years ago, my home phone number was accidentally printed on a resource list for women seeking help. The result was women leaving messages on our answering machine, usually speaking in hushed tones or whispers, desperate for assistance. I would call them back and give them the correct number(s) to call, but, WOW, it really made an impression on me. 

I hope we can make a difference for these women and their children!!!! 

Printable large flyer (PDF format).

Printable half-sheet flyer (PDF format).

Girl Scout Programs

NEW!  Coloring page of Kiyaana. Enjoy!

I was a Girl Scout for 12 years and am thrilled to help girls learn about Middle Eastern dance.  Whether your troop is working on a Dance badge, want to learn some moves for Thinking Day, or want bellydance to be part of a fun night together, I can help you make it happen! As a certified public school educator, certified fitness instructor, active bellydance instructor and professional dancer, I'm more than prepared to assist you.

If your troop is visiting the Gainesville area, visiting Nora (Lebanese restaurant) on a Friday or Saturday night will make your trip even more memorable! In Richmond, try The Phoenician on a Saturday night. The manager at each location can work with you to customize your visit.  In the Fredericksburg area, we can explore a couple of restaurant options, if you wish. Contact me for more information.

These are some suggestions for badge requirements I can help you address:

Brownie - Dancercize, Making Music, BS Around the World - Complete the Follow the leader, Dance on stage, Move to the beat, My own dance, and Around the World activities.

Junior - Dance - Fulfill the Dance Watcher, Dance Around the World, and Dance Party requirements.  Either attend one of my Friday or Saturday night restaurant shows or schedule a time for me to visit one of your gatherings.

Cadette/Senior - Invitation to the Dance (Cadette/Senior) - A1, A3 (Lebanese dabke), A4, B1, B5


I'm sure there are more!  Please let me know what I have missed.

Ballet for Belly Dancers Plus Jillina's Pop Choreo DVDs


I shared this on Amazon.com:
"Ballet For Belly Dancersalt is another high quality video production from Cheeky Girls. I was really excited to hear that this DVD was coming out because whenever I take a belly dance workshop and the instructor uses ballet terms, I feel a little lost. I had looked into ballet-specific DVDs, but didn't want to get that involved with ballet, so this was a perfect fit for me. Brianna is clear and easy to follow. The filming and sound quality are excellent. There's even a glossary of ballet terms inside the cover. I highly recommend this DVD!"

I also recently viewed Bellydance With Jillina, Vol. 2: Lebanese Pop Choreographyalt.  This DVD showcases a full choreography with step-by-step instructions for the included combinations. 
Jillina is easy to follow and the overall quality is great.  If you like Jillina's style, you will be very happy with this instructional DVD.  I rarely follow choreographies exactly for my own dancing.  Instead I use them to observe how another dancer has interpreted the music and am inspired by new combinations of movements.  (It's important to note that while the music is Lebanese pop, the dance style is not Lebanese-specific.  The music used is "Ya Hawa" by Shady Sayegh.  From what I can tell, this version is available only on Jillina's Companion CD, which includes the music for her other instructional DVDs in this series.  This song was previously recorded by Wael Kfoury, so you may be able to easily adapt this to his version, which is longer by about 1 1/2 minutes.)  

Pain Free


A few summers ago I couldn't move my left arm without excruciating pain.  (I prefer waiting it out, trying home remedies, homeopathic methods, etc. to going to a medical doctor.)  My self-diagnosis was tendonitis in my elbow and, along with a trip to the local health store, I ordered the book Pain Free: A Revolutionary Method for Stopping Chronic Painalt.  Reviews I found online were very positive and the author's realignment approach made sense to me.  As soon as I received the book (next-day shipping!) I read the first couple of chapters and then went to the section on elbows, wrists, and hands.  Because of the pain, I doubted that I could do some of the exercises, but I was able to do them with no problem. ( My favorite was the Supine Groin Stretch at the end on p.72.)  My arm felt so much better after one day of following the routine!  I kept it up every day, as recommended.

Since that time I have consulted this book for mild hip, then knee pain (it helped!) and also for my husband's shoulder pain.  While the exercises themselves have been very useful, I especially appreciate that the author, Peter Egoscue, reminds us throughout the book that we are out of alignment and eventually in pain because we don't MOVE enough.  Keeping up your range of motion and flexibility just makes sense.

Keep moving and feel good!

Music for the Dance

altMusic that "moves" you is absolutely essential for bellydance,  perhaps even more so than other dance forms.  Oriental (belly) dancers seek to become the music. If an observer were wearing earplugs, the music would should still be seen through the movements.

When I perform in restaurants, guests often ask me about the music I use.  Some even want to take home my CD, they are so inspired!  I regularly update "Kiyaana's Picks" on my site BellydanceDownloads.com.  I have included links for either (legally) downloading the songs or purchasing the albums that feature the songs.  If you have any specific question about the music I use, don't hesitate to ask.

For downloading bellydance music, my absolute favorite vendor is eMusic.com.  You can get 25 free tracks.  Seriously!   Here's my short list for the dance albums they have and also my long list (over 300 albums!).  If you'd rather buy an album, you can't go wrong with ordering from Scheherezade Imports or Bellydance.com.  

Enjoy the music!