RANYA RENEE'S BALADI COACHING SERIES IS BACK... BETTER THAN EVER!

I know you are ready to get especially juicy with yourself.
Maybe you have focused on other styles of belly dance before, and now you want to get some juicy cultural perspective.
Maybe you are already extremely juicy, and you are all about the baladi.
Maybe you are a teacher juicing it up with your students!

It's not just about the juiciness though, it's about feeling confident in yourself, knowing what you are doing, recognizing what steps to do with which music. So that your confidence shines through, and you find your own ownership of the baladi in yourself.
You don't have to do #allthethings.
It's about doing just the right amount, so your dance is potent and satisfying. To yourself and to everyone around you.

Watch the video below for more on this program 🙂 

BALADI COACHING 2021-2022 will be in two parts, with  integrated programs. You can do part 1 only, or parts 1 & 2 together, and there will be a teacher-training portion as well, for interested teachers with some experience.

This Baladi Coaching Series *4* (2021-2022) builds upon the formats used in BCS 2020-2021 and Acting for Dancers/Bring Your Best, as well as brand-new material, for a powerful and empowering immersion in Egyptian baladi.

Whether you are a dancer who really wants to develop or deepen your practice in Egyptian baladi, or a teacher looking to present things the right way, full of inspiration, you'll find all the goods in this program.

ABOUT THE BALADI COACHING SERIES (BCS):

The Baladi Coaching Series is not just any online program! 

In BCS, I offer you deep instruction on baladi, as well as a broader cultural perspective, as a non-native Egyptian who has studied Arabic language, music, and culture in depth. That wider perspective provides a bridge into Egyptian culture, in a respectful, honest way, while highlighting the nuances that are sometimes glossed over in other "mainstream" modern Egyptian dance workshops (even in those by Egyptian teachers).

I also offer personalized feedback that is truly tailored to you, as well as support and learning through feedback given to others, in a safe, supportive container. There will be an online performance showcase near the end of the program (participation optional but it will be fun!). BCS is for those who want to reach the next level in not just their technique but also in their personal presentation, whether for performance or just to shine greater confidence in Egyptian baladi style.

And this year I've developed the program even more, from deconstructing my own process in the baladi and interviewing students about theirs. Even if you have studied baladi with me before, this is a fresh approach, one that integrates resources from my previous baladi programs and incorporates new material that I haven't put in one of my courses before, along with the compassionate and tailored coaching you've come to expect from me.

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In BCS, you'll get accountability and support as you focus in on...

-  Keeping it simple... while still being interesting  

- Appreciating yourself so you'll never be bored (...and neither will the audience!)

- Increasing your baladi knowledge and your bravery in using it, so you can stop apologizing for not being "enough"

- Taking a music-centered approach to your dance movement selections, even on the spot: we'll cover traditional movements and steps, and get them ingrained in your body, to eliminate wasted time "thinking" about what you should be doing, and develop the reflexes to do it. 

Plus:

- You'll receive technique feedback that is personalized and specific for you (yes, YOU! and super specific!), to help you highlight your strengths, build greater physical stability, look better and feel better. This is available to everyone who submits videos during the series.

- If you are a teacher, you'll get a ton of inspiration you can apply to your own classes, with fresh ideas on teaching this material. Participants in the full program (parts 1&2) will also have the option to join the baladi teacher training group and develop their own baladi lessons as part of the series.


By the end of the BCS*4* program, you will have:

- a strong concept of Egyptian baladi for dancing and teaching
- recognition of which steps and movements traditionally go with which sections of music and rhythm in baladi
- better understanding of the stylistic differences between home-style baladi, stage-style baladi, masculine vs. feminine baladi, and classic/traditional vs. modern baladi
- greater self-confidence in dancing the baladi
- a better understanding of the national, social, economic, and musical roots of baladi, including why there seem to be so many ways of dancing it, even among Egyptian teachers
- a sense of self-ownership in the baladi ...even if you did not grow up with Egyptian music!
- and, for the full Parts 1 & 2 program, much more detailed feedback and greater self-understanding to bring out your own "special sauce" in your dance performance (applicable to baladi as well as other styles!)

Read through the information. If you want to discuss the series with me and whether it's a good fit for your needs, or whether to take BCS Part 1 only, or Parts 1&2, you can set up an appointment to connect with me.


WHAT'S SO SPECIAL ABOUT THIS APPROACH TO BALADI, AND WHAT'S DIFFERENT FOR THIS YEAR'S BCS PROGRAM?

For this year's program, I decided to go "back to basics" ...but in my usual detailed way. This meant revisiting my original BellyDance Egyptian Style: The Baladi DVD, which was filmed in 2008, with a critical eye, and thinking about how to approach this material with the eyes I have now, teaching the strong technique practice methods of the DVD while addressing some cultural and physical subtleties I didn't have fully at that time. In 2008, I really wanted to get it all in. It was my first DVD, and I had a ton to share. But there were plenty of concepts I was just starting to get as I filmed the DVD, and now they are more settled in me, and in how I coach people to work with them.

The loop drills concept I developed for the DVD was a way to help dancers immerse themselves in the feeling of the movements and music, so that it becomes almost like wallpaper, part of the background, to try to simulate the familiarity one might develop with baladi music if one grew up in Egypt. There were some important lessons about the culture of the dance that I had yet to fully learn, when I recorded the DVD, and I decided to revisit the DVD in this year's BCS program, with the addition of Baladi from the Ground Up and other brand-new trainings to help create what I call a "circular learning" environment for baladi.

When we learn our native language (or dance style), it's not actually a linear progression, it's an immersion. The learning is circular, as I see it, and multidirectional too. We learn one thing, accidentally, then another, and revisit the previous things we learned, and we are shaped gradually, unconsciously. But when we learn another culture's language or dance, we may try to approach it in a linear way... and miss something in the process. What is missing? Maybe it's the fact that the familiar taqasim baladi progression is linear, at least in theory, but also, WE need to be flexible doing it, to really embody the feeling of baladi; my aim in this approach is to explore the way baladi was, before the modern folklore-inspired approach changed oriental dance. So we'll look at old video clips for inspiration, and I'll share what I learned from close discussion with Mona el Said and Nany and Nelly Fouad and Egyptian musicians on this topic. We can recognize and practice the traditional movement choices, so that they become more natural for us, and capture something that is elusive in much of the modern approach. We can develop a familiar comfort of being right on the beat, and present in ourselves, without trying too hard, and without apologizing as we try to be something we fear we are not. How many dancers dancing baladi really don't look like they could have come from a baladi background - from the working classes of Egyptian cities?

I've often been one who tries too hard...and since 2008 I've learned where to relax, more. And when it came to developing confidence and familiarity for baladi, I started to use a different approach, one that was, frankly, more chill! More organic. And that has been reinforced for me through the previous online Baladi Coaching Series as well as the Bring Your Best performance coaching series:  the idea that less is often more, and that if we can balance our own energies, we can express our dance in the best way. Some of us need yang for our yin. Some need yin for our yang. We can balance our potential energy with our kinetic energy, our effort with our ease. These concepts are universal. It's about balancing our energy while we fully own our feet and our bodies, as we commune with this dance.

So through the Baladi Coaching Series this year, I'll be guiding participants through a partially linear and partially nonlinear series, including key building blocks of traditional baladi, the tools to recognize them, and an organic process for building your baladi from the ground up, whether it's taqasim baladi or baladi song or bits of baladi flavoring an Oriental piece. We'll use the material from the Baladi DVD, because it's great for practice, and I'll also help you simplify things even more, so that it becomes more accessible, and allows us to tap into something different from our own cultures and so very satisfying to our nervous systems.

These building blocks will also pave the way for the Organically Grown Egyptian Oriental and Classic Orientale Online Intensive in March-May 2022. Egyptian Oriental was built on the bones of baladi - with it and in opposition to it. 

As I like to say,

You shouldn't settle for being just a dancer with movements, if you really want to move people.

And if you want to dance baladi, first you have to move yourself.

If you want to move yourself, you have to feel comfortable with yourself, both in movement and in stillness. You may want to relax your noisy self, to share a deeper essence of yourself that is undeniable, and powerful in a different way. 

And so it goes, in circular fashion, and you will end up with something much more profound than you ever thought you could find in a dance program.

IS THE BALADI COACHING PROGRAM FOR YOU?

Do you want to feel fully confident in your Egyptian dance, to actually feel like you deserve to dance it, that you are honoring the culture, and maybe can show it to the world?  

Do you want to understand baladi dance as it was done traditionally, in homes and at street weddings, and be able to tap into that sense of familiarity in your own body, so your dance actually feels like baladi ...and also feels like you?  (and if you are a teacher, to share that with your students?)

If you want to be fully respected in your talent as well as feeling safe enough to take risks that will pay off... the full BCS program may be just the thing for you.

If you are ready to commit to yourself, you WILL reap the benefits.


We'll have a few live Zoom meet-and-greets to kick off the BCS Part 1 series, so you can get to know fellow members and build comfort and camaraderie with each other. 

WEEKLY VIDEO ASSIGNMENTS FOR BCS PART 1

For each week's assignment, there will be a new short training of about 10-15 minutes to watch and work with, plus various famous dancer examples to refer to throughout the series. You'll also want to practice with the recommended Baladi DVD drills and the technique work in Baladi from the Ground Up, before filming your videos.

- 1-3 short video exercises, with recommended short video submissions from you, to share your work  (in private video galleries for course participants - so you can witness each others' progress)

- Feedback from me on your videos and on everyone else's in the group - You can watch it all to learn from others too, all recorded for easy review. 

- Ongoing discussion in private club in the website discussion forum, accessible on any device

- Accountability and support buddies - it makes the experience warmer, and you make more progress

- Lifetime access to video trainings and PDF worksheets in the Ginger City membership site



BALADI COACHING SERIES...WEEK BY WEEK

BCS*4* - PART 1 "BALADI BUILDING BLOCKS"

NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2021

Part 1 is a light COACHING series, meaning you'll get short feedback from me for each of your submitted videos! Dancers in the last Baladi Coaching Series improved a lot from this feedback. Then if you want deeper coaching in the pods format, you'll get that in Part 2 starting in late December/early January.

Late October and early November 2021 - pre-work: start going through or reviewing my 2009 Baladi DVD (also available by streaming) and online Baladi from the Ground Up programs - and get them if you don't have them yet!

Nov. 1-17 orientation period - discussion club and website opens for early registrants to begin introductions and to get familiar with the how the website, video submission app and discussion club work, to set up email notifications for site communications, and test your video and sound equipment so you are ready for the video exercises. We'll also start organizing watch party leaders for group baladi watching and practice!

Each week of programming begins on a Wednesday with the new pre-recorded assignment, and you can work through the material on your own, connecting in the course forum at times that are convenient for you, and submitting your videos anytime during the week, using our handy app (works on any device!). The GC is international, and we welcome members from all time zones; meetings will be scheduled to accommodate members around the world, and will always be recorded so you can catch them and comment after, if you can't attend live. 

"BALADI BUILDING BLOCKS," Part 1 of the Baladi Coaching Series 2021-2022, will be musicality and technique-focused, while laying the groundwork for deeper work for each dancer in Part 2. Through Part 1, you'll get feedback on your video exercises and learn from others' feedback, in a private video gallery only for course members. 

Taqasim baladi progressions are not the only way to dance baladi! But they are an easy way to practice the melodic style and rhythms found in other baladi music too (baladi songs will be addressed in Part 2). And conveniently, the Baladi DVD is set up for that!

In Part 2 we'll go deeper into refining technique, work on tailoring your own personal style and energy to connect with an audience - while still staying true to traditional technique and musical response. Those who sign up for Part 2 from the beginning will be invited to a special meet-and-greet in early December, and some preliminary work towards the second part of the series. Payment plans (including an early "interest-free" option) are available.

Getting an understanding of the socioeconomic and regional dynamics of Egyptian baladi will be a part of this course, and we'll start to address it from the beginning, even while we spend most of Part 1 in November and December with a focus on the music and steps. There is room for you to bring your own personal qualities into baladi, finding common ground between your own personality and background, and that of Egyptian baladi culture and attitude: What do you naturally embody, and what can you borrow? We'll also go over the technique and "feeling" differences between traditional baladi and stylized "folklore" baladi, as well as foreign influences on baladi and the subtleties of global appreciation and appropriation. The focus in the course will be more classic (and pre-globalist) than contemporary... (This emphasis will lead us into the Classic Orientale Intensive March-May 2022, for those continuing on.) In BCS, we will focus mainly on solo social dance and party/nightclub-style baladi, as opposed to theatrical folklore for the stage (like Reda style), but you will be able to apply many of the concepts to theatrical stage work too, and understand the differences between them. 

*Each week's video assignment will be due by the following Tuesday, by 2:00pm US Eastern Time. I'll watch and give short targeted feedback for everyone who submits a video. Most of these will be very short videos of about 30 seconds, demonstrating a short section of baladi music, or speaking briefly and informally about your experience working with the music or the concepts we cover. These will include: steps and movements with a specific physical and musical focus, and some while also embodying different baladi character aspects (like the meallima "boss lady", or the bint el balad "girl next door"). You'll submit your videos using our easy-to-use video app to a private gallery only for course members. Make sure you have a way to play music that we can hear on camera with your video (either through the computer or on an external speaker...you can test this using the app in advance, to be sure your setup works well). I'll give feedback to everyone who submits videos.

Nov. 17 - Connecting with the Baladi in Your Own Body - Build a bridge between yourself and Egyptian baladi, and bring it into your core - from the physical perspective (the gravity of it, earthiness, settled comfort in yourself) and the cultural perspective. We'll explore ways of using the feet, legs, pelvis, pelvic floor muscles, buttocks, and placement of weight, as well as the positional relationship of rib cage to pelvis to feet, to achieving a more baladi flavor in your body. These are the true building blocks of your baladi.  We'll also address use of arms and hands for a more natural, less "stagey" approach that is still full of confidence and dignity. (Watch: Baladi & Personality, Baladi Challenging You recorded talks, segment from Acting for Dancers on embodying the "meallima" persona; review Baladi email list free videos & PDF)  - First exercises and video assignment given on this day, with the short video exercises due for submission in one week.*

Nov. 24 - Holding Space for Yourself in Your Dance: Heart and Hands, Pelvis and Stance - Build your baladi from the ground up, through your feet, while using torso, pelvic basin, shoulders, and hands to develop a comfortable "baladi container" to enjoy and frame your natural self-expression. Practice placement of your weight through your lower torso and feet into the ground, as introduced in the workshops and recorded lessons. Give yourself permission to find the heaviness in the dance, to claim your ground. We'll work with this in taqasim and weight shifts applied to slow rhythm. (Watch: Baladi from the Ground Up, on GC website, and taqsim exercises in Baladi DVD; examples from Fifi Abdou, Soheir Zaki, Tahia Carioca.....)  Video exercises #2 given.

Dec. 1 - Foundational Steps: Slower Baladi - Building from the previous week, we'll focus on interpreting the slower and mid-tempo baladi rhythms, including maqsoum, and the initial sekkat found in taqasim baladi. We'll explore how to use the rhythm as cue to where your energy and visual focus should be - either bringing it in close or sending it out, or somewhere in between - for introverted vs. extroverted sections of baladi music. The goal for this week will be to develop continuity in your steps at a slow-medium tempo without overly complicating it! Simplicity often can be more challenging than fancy complexity, and you'll be able to observe the differences in your own and each others' work too 🙂  (Watch and practice: Baladi DVD maqsoum and 4/4 drills; examples from Fifi Abdou, Soheir Zaki, Tahia Carioca...). Video exercises #3 given.

Dec. 8 - Foundational Steps: Faster Baladi - Interpreting the faster baladi rhythms, including maqsoum saeriaa, fellahi, and "fast tet" practice. Putting it together to make sure you keep breathing comfortably to stay relaxed and natural, through different speeds of baladi music! The goal for this week will be to develop continuity in your steps at a faster tempo, also without getting too fancy...and managing your energy to not get tired (and how to keep the energy up even when you are tired!). (Watch and practice: Baladi DVD maqsoum saeria, fellahi and 2/4 drills; examples from Fifi Abdou, Nagoua Fouad, Naemet Mokhtar, Dendash, Mona Said). Video exercises #4 given.

Dec. 15 - Balancing Your Body in Baladi - Frame and "hold" your baladi across the music, using hands and eye gaze to support your posture and steps. Achieving the right balance physically and energetically/emotionally. Explore effort vs. ease in your own energy as you hold space for your dance. Tricks to balance yourself even when you feel nervous or speedy (like working against the speed of the music to remain in control)....or to pump up your energy when you need to!  (Watch: Baladi from the Ground Up - Arms & hands training, Baladi DVD Arm Paths drill, videos of famous dancers including Fifi, Mona, Tahia, and Nany). Video exercises #5 given.

A few live meetings will be held during the series, at different times to accommodate different time zones. During the meetings, dancers can volunteer for coaching feedback from me, and will also connect in smaller breakout groups, to practice and discuss recent exercises in a live format. 

In the series, you can make new friends from around the world, while feeling the support and camaraderie that allows you to make even greater progress. Dancers are usually quite surprised at the amount of progress they and others make in a short time, using this coaching format.

There will be a few meeting opportunities in January and February, for Part 1 members who are not in Part 2 to reconnect with other members and share progress. But if you want to make the most progress - exponential progress - then you'll be glad you took Part 2 as well.  You won't regret this investment in yourself.

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BCS*4* - PART 2  -- "BALADI EMBODIMENT & FULFILLMENT"

 JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2022 

In Part 2, we'll continue the work in Part 1, at a deeper level. You'll also work on your own baladi performance skills, in addition to the dancing, with the goal of reaching a new level of comfort with yourself as a dancer...whether you are new to baladi or already an experienced veteran... Understanding baladi is one layer of the onion, and then we peel the onion to reach a deeper level of self-possession and confidence. With your podmates (4-5 people per pod), you'll find a circle of support for your work, and experience the thrill of witnessing each other's progress in your dance and performance skills. Even if you have done the coaching series before, I guarantee you'll reach a new level in your dancing. 

Joining for Part 2 participation in the pods for deeper coaching is by application interview, to be sure each member understands the commitment to group coaching in the pods format and is committed to reaching a new level in their dancing and presence, regardless of starting level. You must sign up for Part 1 to be eligible to join Part 2.

Part 2 orientation will straddle the end-of-year holiday season. No group meetings during the Dec. 20 - Jan. 4 time frame, but the online discussion club will be open, it's a good time to keep practicing the pointers you've received in Part 1 feedback, and those who are available can schedule one-on-one coaching meetings with me if needed during this time, or contribute to online discussion on your own time. 

Mid-late December - final scheduling polls in the club for forming "pod" groups for Part 2; assignment of pods

SELECTED TOPICS FOR PART 2

Each week from early January through mid February, Part 2 participants will have another short video practice exercise to deepen your dance, with topics chosen from among these below, selected for their relevance to group members preparing for the showcase, to work with your whole self as a dancer and performer. Mid-to-late February, you'll prepare a short baladi for the online showcase. Showcase participation open only to those in the deeper "pod" format coaching. Two pod meetings with longer coaching slots for each member (approximately a half hour per person) will happen in mid-January and mid-February, and those pod sessions are where the deep breakthroughs often happen.

- WORKING WITH TRANSITIONS IN THE BODY, PHYSICALLY AND MUSICALLY

- SUBTLETIES OF FOOT AND LEG PLACEMENT TO GET MOST OUT OF YOUR HIPWORK & ABDOMINAL WORK

- SLOWING DOWN - CONTROLLING YOUR SPEED, TAKING PLEASURE IN THE SLOW MOVES

- TRAVELING STEPS - IN A MORE CONTAINED WAY (WHILE STRENGTHENING YOUR PERSONAL SPACE)

- STAYING CALM DURING THE FAST PARTS

- WORKING WITH ENERGY AND DYNAMICS WITHIN YOURSELF AND IN RELATION TO AN AUDIENCE

- PHRASING & PAUSES IN THE MELODY LINE - WORKING WITH MOMENTS OF SILENCE AND BETWEEN PHRASES, WORKING WITH PITCH CHANGES IN MELODY 

- EYE GAZE FOR RELATING TO THE MUSIC, TO YOURSELF, TO YOUR SPACE, AND TO THE AUDIENCE, TIMED WITH CHANGES IN THE MUSIC

- AVOIDING BALLET IN YOUR BALADI: DISTINGUISHING BETWEEN BALADI & ORIENTAL & "FOLKLORE"

- WORKING WITH BALADI SONGS, AS COMPARED WITH INSTRUMENTAL BALADI

- FINDING MUSIC AND APPLYING COSTUMING TO IT FOR YOUR PERFORMANCE

- OLD-SCHOOL BALADI VS. NEW-SCHOOL BALADI: DIFFERENCES AND SIMILARITIES

- STAGE PRESENCE & ACTING FOR DANCERS: CHARACTER FOR BALADI 

Jan. 5 -  First exercise and video assignment given on this day, due in one week (each week's video assignment will be due by the following Tuesday, by 2:00pm US Eastern Time)

Jan. 12 -  Video exercise for next week assigned; feedback given.

Jan. 19 - Video exercise for next week assigned; feedback given.

Jan. 27 - Video exercise for next week assigned; feedback given.

Feb. 2 - Video exercise for next week assigned; feedback given.

Feb. 9 - PUTTING IT TOGETHER! assignment givenReady for prime time - Claim your music, film your full baladi video, in costume and makeup! I'll give feedback on the overall effect, in terms of your dance, performance skills, and presentation.

Feb. 16 - FINAL VIDEO assignment given Final product from your process so far!

Final hi-res video for show due by Tuesday Feb. 22; you can use your previous week's video if you are satisfied with it.

Feb. 23 - About Letting Go, and celebrating where you are - Discussion of process vs. result, and how to "let go" of your result and stay present in your process. Filming your final comments on your own submitted videos to share with the group, as well as posting comments on others' videos in the discussion club.

Part 2 ends with the online Baladi Showcase, held on Zoom over the Feb. 26-28, 2022, weekend. We'll select 2 showtimes to accommodate dancers and audience members from across the world, and performances will be pre-recorded so you can enjoy the actual show and the audience's reception of your work (and you can participate even if you can't make the exact showtimes - although we'll aim to pick times to accommodate everyone). There will also be an opportunity to discuss your process with fellow dancers and audience members at the show.

As a member of the BCS Part 2 coaching series, you will also have an opportunity to be featured in the Performers in Process talks series in the Ginger City Community Facebook group (#performersinprocess).

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New this year:
BCS Teacher Training add-on component (approval by application and interview) 
The BCS Teacher Training is an integrated supplemental training that will involve approximately four extra meetings, for those who are already teaching or who are planning to teach and are participating in BCS Parts 1 and 2. We'll go over your teaching of baladi topics such as those from the Part 1 program and other creative ideas you want to develop into marketable workshops. Teacher training members will assist with moderation of groups and also present a short lesson teaching one aspect of baladi to the group, getting feedback on your work. Some merit-based work scholarships are available for teachers with experience. Reach out with your interest to support@gingercity.com to learn more and to set up an interview.


BALADI COACHING SERIES - FAQs

Ask additional questions using the brand-new chatbot at lower right, or email to support@gingercity.com. I'll answer you by email, and also keep adding FAQs on this page.

What if I can't make one of the workshop weeks?

No worries! Catch up with the exercises and discussion when you have time - it will all be there for you. If you are not able to submit a video exercise by the deadline for that week, you won't get feedback for that week but you can learn a lot by watching others' feedback from me. All feedback and live meetings are recorded, and you'll have lifetime access to all materials so you can return to them again and again.

Nervous about sharing videos - do I have to do it?

I understand! The assignments are very short though (20-30 seconds for most), and with our video app it's easy to participate. For BCS, each week's assignment is not an absolute requirement, but strongly recommended - you'll get a lot more out of the program if you do. Many people feel a little nervous at first, but remember, these are only viewable to you, me, and the others in this program. After the first time, and after you see others participating, you will likely get more comfortable with it! The custom app makes it easy to submit even if you are in a hurry, and you'll enjoy checking out everyone's videos in the gallery! The idea is for these to be short and sweet so you can get it up there fast, and desensitize yourself to just getting it out there. You'll gain confidence by doing it, and not trying to do something "perfect". Trust in the process: it's how you will make the most progress.

I live in a far-off timezone - how can I participate?

For the live meetings, we'll set times to accommodate different timezones. We'll do outreach to members to see where everyone is located, and set one or two meeting times to accommodate everyone. Even if you miss the meeting, don't worry, you can still get feedback from me on your submitted videos, and the meetings also will be recorded and posted so you can watch after. 

When are the workshop dates?

Each workshop's content will be delivered in the membership site, and you can work on these on your own, with ongoing discussion in the site "club". You can submit videos of the practice exercises for feedback, and then the live meetings will be held at a few points in the series. Live meeting times will be selected to accommodate different time zones. Remember that all trainings, feedback videos and live meetings are recorded, so even if you have to miss one, you'll be able to watch after, and get your feedback and your questions answered. 

How much time should I plan for, for each week?

First, note that the more time you spend on the series, the faster and deeper you'll progress. Each week's assignment will feature a short training video from me of 5-15 minutes each, explaining the concept, and exercises for you to do. In addition to watching the videos, you'll want to leave extra time to work on the exercises. You can plan to spend at least 30-60 minutes twice or three times a week on your own time on the material, plus between 1 and 1.5 hours for meetings in Part 1, and for longer coaching meetings with pods in Part 2, between 2 and 2.5 hours with your pod, once per month January and February. That said, spending less time could still work, as long as you are providing support for fellow pod members if you are doing Part 2 (short typed feedback in the discussion club). Some watch every single meeting for full immersion 🙂  You do what you can do and what feels right for you, and everything will be accessible even after the series, in case you miss something or want to revisit it.  Watching others' videos and commenting on the process is recommended, and it makes it more fun for everyone: You'll get more out of it if you have more time to put into it. This might be here and there, listening to feedback videos while cooking or driving, or it might be active note-taking on all the feedback to yourself and to others. You'll be part of a small buddy group ("pod") for accountability, and asked at least to watch each other's videos and give some positive, specific feedback to cheer each other on. Veterans of my coaching series will help welcome you into an accountability group in the discussion club.

My internet is not strong, can I still participate?

For these series, you will not have to dance live on camera during the trainings and video submission part. During the live meetings there will be times you'll want to have your camera on, but if you have a restriction with internet speed, we can arrange for you to join by audio only for those. And you can always watch the videos after on your own.


 

 
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Roslyn Hart New Zealand

I cannot recommend Ranya enough!

 

Before I met Ranya I felt like I wanted to speak but I had no voice. Through Ranya’s coaching methods she has taught me how to unlock my potential and become a really effective performer and artist. Now I feel like I can truly connect with myself, my audience and share my voice through my dance. Learning how to dance from my core, how to focus my attention and use of breath work through Ranya’s methods has really transformed my dance. I cannot recommend Ranya enough. If you truly want to invest in your dance and take it to another level, invest in Ranya, you won’t regret it!

 
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Tammy, Oakland, California dance teacher

She really does listen, and actually engages you. And it encourages you to take risks.

 

She has really taken a lot of time in her personal education to learn about the mechanics in terms of how we move and how we breathe, and what's going even psychologically. She also has a really good appreciation for different body types and different abilities in the dance, and different sensibilities, and it makes a world of difference in her teaching and people's ability to learn and take in things. I also think it encourages people to take risk and chance in a way that they wouldn't [normally do]. "

With Ranya, if she doesn't understand she takes the time to understand. She really does listen, and actually engages you. And it encourages you to take risks. I tried out things I had never seen someone with my body type do, because Ranya was talking me through it.

I feel my dancing improved a lot in a short time.

I would just like to say how much I enjoyed working with Ranya on her initial coaching class. I am not a tech person but learned a lot about taping my routine.. submitting it to her for critique….video conference..etc. Don’t let any fears on the tech side stop you from signing up… If I can manage it anyone can! The one-on-one part of the coaching was excellent as was working in the group…The first time I met everyone online was a little nerve-wracking as I didn’t know what to expect, but as the course went on these sessions became a favorite part of the experience. I have no problems in highly recommending this course and feel my dancing improved a lot in a short time.

Jim, Saskatchewan
 
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Julia Stuttgart, Germany

Ranya's coaching is genius!

 

I am largely self-taught and I was used to filming myself in order to analyse and improve my dancing, so I already had a lot of ideas about what might be better. But Ranya made me realize things I would never have seen by myself. Her comments are always spot on and at the same time always super encouraging. And she will not only tell you what kind of changes might improve your dance but also how to achieve them. Especially her expertise on stage presence and performance qualities is invaluable and makes her coaching format unique. I highly recommend her program to any dancer who wants to not only dance better but also feel better about their dance.

It was such a wonderful experience taking Ranya’s online coaching.

She is an excellent teacher with her pool of knowledge and patience….What I enjoyed was the fun dance learning communication across the globe and the stack of pointers that she gave to each student.

Evelyn Wong, Singapore
 
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Raena Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas

My dance has catapulted to a whole new level

 

“In my opinion, my dance has catapulted to a whole new level since the first Baladi Coaching session. I’ve felt the difference in my performances over the summer and also felt it contributed to very positive outcomes in my first solo competitions. People (including judges) have shared great feedback and those who know me more personally have commented that they almost didn’t recognize my dancing. One actually said, “Did magic fall into your head or something?” Now, I’ve also worked hard mentally during this time and listen to several audio books that were complimentary to improving mindset BUT my decision to do Ranya’s program WAS the catalyst for my new approach to dance, physically and mentally. She is extremely in-tune and insightful so she challenges you to step out of your comfort zone in a way that isn’t too much. It’s a little scary but you can see she believes in you and wants you to be your best you so your feel safe in your attempts. The group setting also offers you great insights. You get to observe others challenging themselves and can observe how it all can apply to you in some way. I don’t think I would’ve gotten as much from private sessions as I did from the group set-up. Highly recommend this class to anyone who wants to level up their dance!


BALADI COACHING SERIES Part 2 "pods" participation is by interview only, if you are new to my coaching format, or if you have done coaching with me before but have not yet done the "pods version" of Baladi Coaching Series or Bring Your Best. The reason is that I want to be sure everyone who signs up understands the commitment to one's fellow podmates, because it's the secret to your success in the series.  Sign up for a meeting with me here to discuss over Zoom video or audio. If you don't see a time that works for you, just reach out via the chatbot or email me at support@gingercity.com with BCS INTERVIEW in the subject heading.

Note - if you are concerned about fitting into a pod that is at a time you can actually do without waking up in the middle of the night, don't worry! We have never had a problem finding a place for each person in a pod, even from far-off time zones. In the last series we had one pod with members from Hong Kong, New Zealand, US East Coast and US West Coast, all in the same coaching group. We will always find a spot to welcome you. It makes the world a little smaller, in a good way 🙂

 
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Bobbie, Victoria, BC dance teacher

I LOVED seeing other’s personalities and musicality come through their dance.

 

I really appreciated how positive Ranya’s critique was for myself and everyone else. Not once did I feel threatened or judged. She created a very safe and supportive atmosphere and I appreciate that she shared some of her own personal struggles and process. I also liked working an a small group for the conference sessions. At first I was intimidated to be critiqued in front of others, but as we got going I found it was helpful to see everyone else being critiqued too. Often the concepts and skills they were working on were applicable to me personally, and I was able to listen to and evaluate all the critique in a more objective way than when it was just my own feedback, if that makes sense. I LOVED seeing other’s personalities and musicality come through their dance. It was inspiring and made me that much more excited about my own creative process and interpretation.

 
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Penny Ting dance teacher, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

This is a very different learning experience.

 

I feel grateful for Ranya's coaching series, and I am very happy that I have registered for this course. This is a very different learning experience. The discussion and supportive comments from fellow dancers are the most precious ones I have gotten from this course. Ranya encouraged everyone to give specific comments on each piece, and so I learned to appreciate every different style and every level of dance in this group.

I once fell in some certain styles of dance, but after this course, I broadened my perspectives on various styles. I start to think about how each dancer's personality shapes this dance, and I should not follow other's footprints but create my own. I was not confident in my own choreography and always wanted to try to add more steps in it, but neglected the power of presenting true emotions. In this course, I learned how to show my emotions (which is also my ultimate goal when taking this course), and so the dance will come out naturally.

The breathing technique and the imagery training (painting the room, creating characters, etc.) are also amazing. I've tried to implement these ideas in my different dance pieces and I do find they work very well. This course also helped my teaching, that now I can teach other than techniques and have students go deeper into the meaning of the dance.

ABOUT MY COACHING, AND MY COACHING PROGRAMS

You can read more about my coaching methods and how I’ve adapted them for online work here.

Do you believe you can make fast progress towards your performance goals? I do. 

The results I've seen from dancers of all levels are inspiring. If you join us, you will make progress during the time of the series, period.  It may be the type of progress you would expect..... and it may be something you didn’t even think about before. And it will probably surpass your expectations.

But if you have any doubts, you can speak to any of the dancers who have done my series previously. There's a reason most series members come back to attend another program, and another, and another, each time reaching a new level in their artistry and confidence. Reach out to one of them on Facebook, or I can send you their way. They can speak to what they experienced from their own participation, and the progress they saw in fellow participants over the course of the series.


Participants in my coaching series have said that the series “add up to much more than the sum of its parts” …and I think you’ll agree!


You’ll be surprised what you can accomplish in just a short time frame, when you are part of a committed group of dancers supporting each other!

 
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Mimi, Edmonton, Canada

These courses are for any dancer who is ready to excel towards more intelligent, confident, and exquisite performances.

 

Ranya Renee is a master instructor. Her wealth of knowledge is uncommon and she delivers her unique message in a variety of ways which make understanding the method abundantly clear. Ranya’s teaching involves dance movement, body mechanics, and musicality, but extends further to context, history, culture, theatre and comedy. She is extremely funny. The online meeting environment is safe and supportive and one can make friends for a lifetime. ...The Baladi Coaching, Bring Your Best! and Breathwork for Performance series were invaluable experiences for me. The challenges were many, as were the rewards. These courses are for any dancer who is ready to excel towards more intelligent, confident, and exquisite performances. Forever, thank-you, Ranya! I already miss you.

It was worth every penny.

I was a little bit hesitant going into it. Because at first when you look at it you think 'that's a good bit of money to invest into it." But really it was worth every penny. Because receiving that individualized attention, but also getting that community of your peers helping you as well- you don’t find that anywhere else. Sometimes workshops can turn into competitions, but there was never that feeling with [Ranya’s coaching series]. Ranya is very good about keeping everything very positive. Everyone wants to help you be your best.

Jamie, San Antonio, Texas , San Antonio, Texas

Trying to decide if BCS would a good fit for you? 

No problem! I'm happy to speak with you about it. Email support@gingercity.com or block out calendar slot for a call with me to discuss whether one or both of these programs would be a good fit for your needs. 

Then, take a look at our recent BYB*6* showcase video if you haven't yet, with comments from the dancers who did Bring Your Best, which is a similar coaching experience to BCS.


Pay-in-full and installment plan options are available for the Baladi Coaching Series. 
In addition, a limited number of equity-based partial scholarships towards Part 2 costs will be given (contact me at support@gingercity.com for details on applying - an initial interview is the way to begin- link to my calendar). This is the info about the scholarship fund


 

After you join BCS Part 1, you'll be able to set up a meeting with me to interview for BCS Part 2 before registering (unless you have already done a "pods version" of Bring Your Best or Baladi Coaching Series in 2020 or 2021, in which case you know what to expect, and can just ask me for the link to register, unless you have additional questions you want to ask me.)

You don't need to join Part 2 right away, but if you know you want to, you can do it early so you can join in the discussion and bonus meet-and-greet times for the early birds. 🙂  Just let me know and I can send you the link to pay by payment plan or in full. 

After you register, you’ll also be given access to the online Coaching Prep videos and welcome materials, which will be on an easy-access login page. Then you can start prepping and getting excited about the series! You can start work on the initial questionnaire, and start watching the Baladi DVD, or review it if it's been a while 😉  and also start Baladi from the Ground Up or review it, to start getting connected to the technique fundamentals, and ground yourself for an amazing ride. 

Can't wait to work with you!!   - Ranya



BALADI COACHING SERIES PART 1 SHOPPING CART LINK WILL BE POSTED BELOW, ON FRIDAY OCT. 22!

You can register for BCS Part 1 only, or Parts 1&2, or Parts 1&2+Teacher training component.

(Please note: we have fixed the initial typos in the pricing information and added clarification on the early rates. The info below is now accurate.)
Pricing for BCS Part 1: $349, payment plan over 3 months available if begun by Nov. 15 ($99 + 2 monthly x $125). (Save $30 with your signup by Nov. 15; after Nov.15, payment plan will be $129 + 2 monthly payments of $125)

Pricing for BCS Part 2: $599, payment plan over 5 months available if begun by Nov. 15 ($199 + 4 monthly x $100).  (For signups after Nov. 15, the payment plan for Part 2 will be divided over 4 months: $299 x 3 monthly of $100)

Teacher training information and application: please contact me at support@gingercity.com with your interest.

PREREQUISITE MATERIALS FOR BCS PART 1:
There are a few required materials we'll be using as part of BCS, that you will need to purchase if you don't already have them:
1)  My Baladi DVD (also available by streaming and on Amazon or other stores) and
2) Baladi from the Ground Up (from the Ginger City website) during the program, since we'll be using them in the series. Some folks will have these already, but if you don't, you can get them right after you register for the series, at a reasonable rate, or before you register for BCS.
Start working with these as soon as you can!
Watch for the pop-up screens after you make your initial payment to register below, or purchase the programs directly from the home page at GingerCity.com (or for streaming of the Baladi DVD - it is a product of World Dance New York, streamable on Vimeo).
Do it up: If you are a *real* music geek, you may also want to order my Taqasim DVD or the bundle of my three DVDs to save on shipping, and we do ship internationally (discounted flat rate of $20 anywhere if ordered from my site) if you can't get the DVDs in your area.

A limited number of partial equity-based scholarships are available for BCS Part 2, for dancers from marginalized communities who are on a teaching path, and committed to the group project of BCS, who have current financial constraints. APPLICATION WILL BE POSTED HERE SHORTLY, or contact me at support@gingercity.com for more information. Consider a donation here, to contribute to this group funding project, for which I match all donations 1:1.. In the recent Bring Your Best series, more than $1000 of aid was allocated, from more than 25 donors.

Hope to see you in the program! - Ranya

PS - Questions not answered here? I know it's a lot of info, especially if you are new to the Ginger City coaching experience. Feel free to reach out to me at support@gingercity.com or via the yellow chatbot link at bottom right of this page, and I'll reply. 🙂