Photo by Lebin Yang

Taster Lessons

Dance is for everyone!

A taster lesson provides a fun introduction to the Middle Eastern dance style of your choice. Taster lessons typically last 1 hour and are appropriate for participants of all ages, sizes, and genders.

For Parties -
Liven up a birthday, holiday, bachelorette, or Sweet Sixteen with a Middle Eastern dance taster lesson, or use the lesson as an excuse to throw a party! Dancing breaks the ice, gets party-goers energized, and makes for a memorable event.

For Schools - Dance taster lessons are an engaging and approachable way to educate children and teens about the cultures of the Middle East. Ainsley has taught taster lessons for students in Grade 2 and up. It's particularly exciting for children if the lesson is followed by an opportunity to show schoolmates or parents what they've learned.

For Community Groups - Learning a new skill together is a wonderful way for social or special interest groups to bond. Cultural heritage societies can request a taster lesson on the dances of their home country, while faith groups may enjoy learning the dances of the Holy Land. Dance lessons can also be used to fulfill the requirements for a youth group merit badge.

For Festivals - All-ages participatory activities like dance lessons are a great draw for festivals. They entertain and promote exercise while meeting a festival's educational or artistic objectives.

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Photo courtesy of the Yale Bulletin & Calendar
Workshops offer an opportunity to study a particular topic intensively. Workshop length can range from 1.5 to 3 hours, and multiple workshops can be scheduled over the course of a day or weekend.

Ainsley has taught workshops to dance students of all ages and can present on a variety of topics, including Egyptian Oriental dance technique, musicality, walking shimmies, propwork (veil, cane, Isis wings, sword, and skirt), and folkloric dance.

Ainsley is available to travel outside the St. John's area to present workshops if sufficient notice is provided and travel expenses are compensated.

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"What should I wear to my lesson?"

Classwear should be comfortable and allow the teacher to see your movements. Close-fitting tops (e.g. tanks or fitted T-shirts) and stretchy pants (e.g. jazz or yoga pants) are recommended. Many students of Middle Eastern dance opt to dance barefoot, but it's also perfectly appropriate to wear dance shoes with flexible soles (e.g. ballet slippers, dance paws, or split sole jazz shoes). For debke or international folk dance, please wear comfortable shoes or sneakers.

Check out Raqs Ainsley Designs for some cute classwear!