Thursday, November 13, 2014

Ciao! Italy 2014: Workshops

Hello again, readers!

Here's another post about my adventures in Italy. This time I will be discussing about my experiences on taking the workshops with two amazing people: Ahmed Hussien and Maria Strova.

For those who have read my previous dance posts, the name Ahmed Hussien is familiar to you guys since he is our dance coach. He comes to visit us here in L.A. a few times a year and I've attended his dance camp in Kansas during the summer. So it was very exciting to be able to travel with him and especially learn from him in Italy. 

It does not matter how many times I take his workshops or any of his dance private lessons, Mr. Hussien never ceases to amaze me. He is absolutely a master when it comes to the art of dance and trust me, he is skilled in every genre of dance. He is just pure fun!

Dancers having fun with Ahmed's choreography

"Suffering" during the shaabi (I'm the one with the orange hip scarf). Shaabi- Egyptian street dancing

Attendees of the Shaabi Workshop

Attendees of the Oriental Workshop (Oriental- classical belly dance)

I always come out with drenched hair from Ahmed's workshops

In Italy, there's no one like Maria Strova. There are no words to describe how incredibly amazing she is. This was my second time working with her and again I was wowed by her magic.

There are no pictures of her classes since she is a very private person. Besides, I don't think pictures would give any justice on what an incredible person Maria is.

She gave special semi-private master classes to the U.S. travelers. We got to learn how to breathe, the importance of pausing and being slow, how to be indirect and direct with our movements, and most importantly to trust ourselves when it comes to dancing. I always come out of her lessons as a new person and dancer. I am eternally grateful for everything she taught us.

Also, Maria and Ahmed gave us a special treat towards the end. Maria's theater was opened and workshop participants were allowed to perform their solos on stage. This was not a show, however. It was more of a lab/seminar. We were given two minutes to perform then Maria and Ahmed gave us feedback. Afterward, we had to redo our performance to see if we could improve. What was incredible about all this was to witness every dancer, including myself, transform into a strong and confident woman after every feedback. This performance will always be cherished by me. 

The performers (I'm the second on the right)

I know this post did not talk about my traveling in Italy. The reason why I came to this beautiful country was to further my education with my dance. If you read this post, I thank you because I have shared with you something that is very dear to me.

Stay tuned for the next post where I will talk about Rome!


  1. I loved reading this post!! It sounds like you worked with two amazing and incredible individuals and dance instructors..

    1. Awww! Thank you for taking the time to check out this post. Though I didn't talk about EVERYTHING, I still shared a small part that was important to me.

      And yes, I was completely blessed to work with two incredible people.

      Thanks again for your comments!