Category: Events

Turkish Dance Intensive in Gainesville, FL

Hi everyone!  Heather here, to tell you about some workshops I recently attended.

This past weekend two local dancers, Leela of New York and Najmah Nour, co-sponsored a weekend with 2 workshops overviewing several Turkish folks dances (mostly line dances), as well as 2 workshops exploring the Turkish Oriental style through choreographies.

The folk dance workshops were taught by a wonderful local lady, Margaret Tolbert.  One look at her website and you will know that she is definitely multi-talented.  In addition to being a wealth of knowledge on folk dances from many regions, she is also an artist and an environmental activist.  She recently released a book including her own art and writing, as well as that of other contributers, about Florida’s spring systems, their features, and the urgent need for their preservation.  The book is AQUIFERious and you can learn about the book project, and find out where to purchase your own copy, here. (It’s available at several local venues, as well as on Amazon.)

Each day had one workshop focused on folk dances and one focused on an oriental choreography.  This was nice to keep the brain from being overwhelmed with two much information on one subject.  I loved both classes!

The first day’s folk dance was all line dances, and they were so much fun!  Unlike the dance workshops I’m used to – this was not stressful.  That was a nice change of pace, and it was great dancing together with everyone.  This cooperative aspect is something I really like about tribal group dance, that is missing from a lot of other dance styles.  I think I would like to learn more line dances and begin incorporating them into show and hafla activities for audience and member participation.  (And to make sure I don’t forget what I have learned!)

Some of the dances we learned over the 2 folk dance workshops were:

  • Kemane from Konya
  • Militsa from the Black Sea area
  • Delilo from Elazig
  • Berde from Erzurum (one of my favorites!)
  • Kechiko from Elazig (another favorite)
  • Madimak
  • Sepastia Bar
  • Erzurum Bar

The first day’s oriental choreography was also a blast.  Some of the moves were pretty tricky, but I really *loved* the music.

The second day’s choreography was more in my usual style and aesthetic, (and I really liked that music too) but I luuuurve the first day’s music.  (Hadi Hadi, which is a pop song about a pre-destined love that is just meant to be.  Everyone likes a good love song.)

Day 1 Group Photo!


I really enjoyed this intensive, Turkish culture and dance are major influences on American belly dance, and so I think it’s an important part of the picture that we should have a bit of familiarity with.

Satchel’s Shakedown!

Last night we had our monthly student showcase, Satchel’s Shakedown!, and we had a great time as usual.  There were performances by a group of students from Inna’s American Tribal Style class (one of which was accompanied by didgeridoo!), as well as students from the Shambling Shimmies Improvised Tribal Style class, a wonderful duet from a couple of students, and solos from the instructors.  There were even some excellent audience members that were kind enough to join us onstage and learn a couple moves during the audience participation part of the show!

Native or longtime residents of Gainesville already know that Satchel’s Pizza is definitely something you must see – the venue is eclectically decorated, the pizza is delicious, and the employees are wonderful.  There’s even a junk museum out back (Lightning Salvage), which houses the stage where the showcase takes place.  If you are new to town – definitely go check them out at

We were also honored to have a very nice person (Elise Giordano according to the photo credit) from the Alligator in attendance, and a photo from the show was featured in today’s edition!


There was also a reporting student who interviewed a few of the dancers for a school assignment (whose name I have unfortunately forgotten because I did not write it down) – if you see this, email me using the contact link at the top of the page and I’ll update the post with your name!  I definitely enjoyed speaking with her and am sure that she’ll get an A+ on her assignment.

What a blast!  You really should have been there – but don’t fret, you have another chance.  The monthly showcase takes place on the last Tuesday of every month, and you can get details on shows and other events on our calendar or on the events listing for our fan page on Facebook.  We hope to see you at Satchel’s!

Spring Workshops with Karen Sun Ray March 9th

Come join us on Saturday March 9th for Tahitian and Egyptian dance!

Sign up and order your tickets online at

See workshop descriptions after the photo.

karen flyergainesville

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Tantalizing Tahitian Treat
10am – 12pm, $35 in advance, $40 at the door

In this workshop you will learn the magic of moving your hips fast and saucy! The versatility that Tahitian dance has to offer with its variety of tempos to play with will challenge the most seasoned dancer while laying a great foundation for those just starting out.

This workshop is perfect for the dancer who wants to add a greater level of control and body vocabulary to their bag of tricks. Tahitian dance has a very graceful, powerful and playful quality to it that will bring out the joy you have for dance. Be ready to sweat and feel some new muscles as we take a tour of the islands playing with traditional movements and combos. Bring a pareau (sarong) and a towel; let’s make those skirts fly!!!

Move Like an Egyptian: Then and Now
1:30pm-3:30pm, $35 early bird, $40 at the door

This workshop is ideal for the dancer who wants to add some spice to their dance. Whether your focus is Cabaret or Tribal styles, the foundations of belly dance are the same. Be ready to move, isolate and explode onto the stage like an Egyptian.

We’ll be going through a series of combos to different types of music, giving you a wide variety of styles to play with, while also working on technique:
#1: Smooth and Flowing (Classical Egyptian)
#2: Explode onto the Stage (Modern Egyptian)
#4: Folkloric Stylings
#5: Drum Solo

There is a package discount for attending both workshops! ($60 in advance, $75 at the door)

Please join us back at the studio in the evening for a casual dance party.
7:30-8:00 mini-rhythm and moves review
8:00 – 10:00 party

If there is anything Gainesville needs more of – it is belly dancing.

Luckily for locals, Lightin’ Salvage Enterprises is here to fill the belly-dance void with Satchel’s Shakedown [today] from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. behind Satchel’s Pizza, located 1800 NE 23rd Ave.

Satchel’s Shakedown, hosted by the Shambling Shimmies Dance Company, brings belly-dancing entertainment to the popular pizza spot.

The event will feature performances by the Shambling Shimmies, the Swamp Daises and additional guest dancers.  Open stage time is also available for guests who dare to show off their dancing skill.

Danny Lore, event coordinator for Satchel’s, said a former employee who brought her dance class to perform at Satchel’s introduced the restaurant to belly dancing several years ago.

“After it went down I asked her if she would just want to come back and do it once a month,” he said.

The Shakedown continues to occur on the last Tuesday of every month, just like it did when it began.

According to Lore the two girls who run the event now, Heather Fullen and Jules White, were students of the employee who started the Shakedown.

Fullen and White are the founders of the Shambling Shimmies Dance Company.  They began their business in 2011 with the aim of providing tribal and fusion belly dance classes and performance opportunities in the Gainesville area.

The Shambling Shimmies perform about once a month, Fullen said.

“The show that we do every month is a student showcase,” she said, “so it’s the student’s regular opportunity to perform whatever they’ve been working on.”

Instructors normally dance along side the students as well.

Fullen said at [today’s] Shakedown the Shimmies will present an Egyptian style belly dancer, tribal dance students and a cabaret style student giving her first performance.

In addition to the Shimmies’ showcase, anyone bold enough can sign up for a guest spot and dance for five or 10 minutes.

Lore said Satchel’s Shakedown, on top of being a popular event, has been a good way for new dance students to be familiarized with performing.

Satchel’s Pizza is right there too, of course, with pizza and beer.  Another reason to check out the Shakedown.

Anyone interested in more information about Satchel’s Shakedown and the Shambling Shimmies, or looking to participate in the dancing can visit the event’s Facebook page at

Patrick Kelly, 1/28/2013

We’re very happy to announce that Lacey Sanchez will be joining us in Gainesville, Florida at the Shambling Shimmies Studio for a weekend intensive!  Sign up and buy your tickets online HERE.  You can also check out the Facebook Event Invite HERE.

VIP passes (includes admission to all workshops and the hafla) are $175 if you preregister.  This will be an intimate intensive and attendance will be very limited – get your spot today before spots sell out!  See class descriptions after the photo:


Saturday, May 11, 2013

Ins Outs & Omis (10am – 12pm)
This workshop is designed to give you an intimate look at what makes Tribal Fusion so exciting. We will analyze proper posture and foundational techniques. We will break down those amazing tricks, pops, locks, and snakey bone defying moves that are distinctly tribal. We will also cover my fun smooshing combos as well as performance concepts! Beginners are welcome.

***The Gainesville Shimmy Mob event will be taking place during the midday break. We’ll be organizing a carpool caravan from the studio. Visit to learn more and register.***

Stackable Layers (2pm – 4pm)
Every advanced dancer reaches for the goal of successfully layering multiple movements together. In this class we learn techniques to “trick” the brain so that layering becomes smoother as well as techniques to execute layers with more ease.

Slow & Slinky Combos (4pm – 6pm)
One stylistic element of Tribal Fusion is undoubtedly the snakelike serpentine movements that make us all drop our jaws. In this class learn the signature moves that we all love in an easy to follow broken down format that will have you slithering out the door.

There is an evening hafla in the upstairs area of Sharab Lounge downtown from 9pm to 11pm.  Admission is included for workshop participants, and shimmy mob participants that wear (or show) their official shimmy mob T-shirt. For others, a small donation to Peaceful Paths (the local Shimmy Mob partner) would be very much appreciated.  See the details in the Facebook Event HERE.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Industrial Elements (1:30pm – 3:30pm)
Tribal Fusion borrows from underground club, trance, and hip hop. In this class students will learn how to utilize their technique in such a way that makes their movements look mechanical and otherworldly.

Performance Concepts (3:30pm – 5:30pm)
This class will focus on performance aspects including stage presence, Door vs. Window technique, storytelling, being the visual and how to effectively use your stage whether in a group or solo performance.