About us! Hello my name is Amy Renee, Director of Arabian Flair Belly Dance. I invite you to experience the ancient art of Middle Eastern belly dance and Middle Eastern drumming in a class setting.
My belly dancing studies began in 1998 after borrowing a video of Alexandra King. Ms. King was such a wonderful instructor, even on a DVD, that I started my hunt for a real teacher. I found that in Troupe Arabesque, who I danced and studied with for 10 years. In 1999 I basically tricked my sweet husband into taking a drum lesson. That year, Benito learned to drum and began performing with me in local events.
All those years I studied American Cabaret, Turkish, and Egyptian belly dance in dance studios and workshops. Building a diverse, strong skill and choreography repertoire. I learned finger cymbals, cane dance, sword, candle, veil, double veil, fire, and started to play the doumbek/darbuka. In 2002 I began teaching at the local YMCA. When I started to teach, my students wanted to learn whole dances, so I wrote choreography for groups and soloist.
During this time I fell in love with Egyptian Style Belly Dance. Tallahassee has always been my home, and I wanted to bring Egyptian belly dance here, as there was very little concentration in Egyptian style belly dance. So I continued to travel to workshops all over Florida, Georgia, and Alabama, perform in shows, haflas, and local events. Learning all I could about Egyptian dance, music, and culture. I read books, watched videos, asked questions to instructors, talked with dancers who worked and lived in Egypt.
In 2008, Benito and I opened Arabian Flair Belly Dance. We were a dance company without our own studio. Moving studios three times, looking for a permanent space to make our own. April 2012 we found our cozy little studio space in Railroad Square. We have been here almost a year. It has been a fulfilling and exciting, at times scary, experience. We are still growing!
Our focus is a diverse and strong background in American Cabaret and Egyptian Style belly dance. I teach to the skill level of the students in my belly dancing classes. I try to give as much of myself as a teacher as possible. I want my students to learn all they can. We start with simple dance moves, drilling and becoming familiar with body mechanics. Combining moves and working on linking them comes next, putting everything to music and learning choreography.
This is a folk dance. We are folks. We can do this!
Photo in header of Amy Renee, Director credited to Shawn Doughtie, Alpharetta, Georgia. Thanks, Shawn!