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2021 BellyDance Bundle!!

The Bellydance Bundle 2021!
Ashley Rhianne – Pilates for Dancers

2021 Bellydance Bundle!

I am beyond thrilled to announce this – I have been accepted as a Bellydance Bundle Contributor for 2021!!

It has been one of my GOALS for the last few years to join this group of dancers & teachers & it finally happened!

What is the Bellydance Bundle??

It is an AMAZING Collection of dancer collaborations to keep you training & working at your own pace to grow as a dancer. There are dancers from all over the world & backgrounds that are included in the bundle so you have a variety of teachers & disciplines to keep growing.

This year I will be presenting 2 workshops on Pilates for Dancers that will be included in the bundle.

4.5 years ago I stepped into my pilates training to not only learn how to help others through movement but also how to help my body & dance. It has been an integral part of relearning oriental dance & movement patterns – not to mention core conditioning, strength and muscle integration. During the start of the pandemic I started to teach virtual mat pilates classes to dancers, personal trainers & other fitness professionals & I got such positive feedback! Today my virtual class is made up of mostly dancers who are looking to keep their bodies strong & develop muscular awareness.

“Pilates has helped my dance ability! My muscle & joints are stronger, which supports my body more. For bellydance, I can articulate moves better & I have a larger range of motion” – Sheri

2021 Bellydance Bundle Details

We kick off a strong month + of Bellydance starting today (September 15) with a fantastic new resource to see the progress you’re making in your practice in real time.

Track Your Dance, See Your Progress.

This new guide takes you through some different ways that you might be able to track your practice, has you set some goals, and then has a 30 day fillable tracker that you can use while you’re practicing!

Check it out here: The Bellydance Bundle Link

Can’t wait to see your progress in real time!

Who doesn’t need a new pair of zills, or five? The Bellydance Bundle is giving five lucky winners, five pairs of zills from Turquoise International & Saroyan to celebrate their fifth year! Check it out here!

Contest starts September 20 – October 2!! There will be loads of other giveaways (including from yours truly) so make sure to watch your email!

Bellydance Bundle Sale

In October, there is a crazy sale happening for the bundle which starts October 20 – 27 (7 days only!!) where you can save a Bundle on the Bundle! Mark your calendars to grab this deal!

Thank you all so much for this support! It is crazy amazing!

That 70’s Bellydance Show – Retro Raqs


A TRIBUTE TO THE 70s


Bringing you Egyptian, Turkish and Lebanese dance from this often forgotten about era!Ashley Rhianne will be performing in the Retro-Raqs Online Gala Production – That 70’s Bellydance Show October 23, 2021!

That 70’s Bellydance Show Coming October 2021!
Gala Show Featuring Ashley Rhianne

This weekend will be an all-star studded weekend featuring Shahrzad (Egypt/USA), Esmeralda (Brazil), Azad Khan (Turkey/Germany) and is hosted by Katie Sahar & Amara Sayid.

Early bird registration starts August 15.

www.retro-raqs.com for more details!

New Baladi Video is up!

I had the honour of being asked to dance in the Nova Scotia-based online show Belly Dance Brew in July 2021 (thanks Vanessa!!) and here is the performance!

The baby bump is making an appearance also at 17 weeks!

Click here to be directed!

If you haven’t subscribed to my Youtube Channel – please subscribe! Stay up to date with dance & pilates content with me 🙂

Do you love baladi? Message me & tell me what you love about it!

Pregnant! Now what???

Since getting pregnant, I have gotten lost trying to navigate this crazy world! I decided to compile a list of services that I am using so far along my journey to help you in finding your way.

Here are a list of resources, & support to help you if you are either on this journey OR if you are thinking about it! I am constantly adding to this list so keep checking back!

Midwifery

It was important for us from the beginning to find a midwife team that would be able to care for our needs & ultimately provide the best care for the baby. We settled on Strathcona Midwifery Collective in East Vancouver based on a few referrals & recommendations.

Fitness

I am still sourcing out a good athletic prenatal program (let me know if you got one in Vancouver!) but here are a few things I am currently doing:

Katie Crew Maternity Program – I have been doing the gym program 3 days a week in addition to whatever else I have going on. The program also gives you a home program as well and its $99 for lifetime access!

Zack Fitness Personal Training – I have been training with Zack since 2019 and see him 1:1 one day per week. He offers online classes as well every morning and is guaranteed to make you move!

Pilates Process Vancouver – Great classes and 1:1 attention!

Mama Method Pilates – I am currently working through the Prenatal Basics program and find it a great way to keep myself inspired & aligned.

Physiotherapy, Accupuncture & Chiro

I see the amazing doctors at Chiro Culture in East Van – they are VERY experienced with pregnancy & post-natal clients and even treat your babies & dogs!

The Cheerful Pelvis – a MUST for women in all ages of life!

The Village Acupuncture – a soothing clinic that helps rebalance, calm & nurture. Women owned & run.

Clothing

At time of writing I am still squeezing into my clothes but I have bought a few things! This will change for sure as the weeks roll by – feel free to message me with your fave spots to get clothing!

Blanqi – often feature great sales!

Skin Care

I went back to Paula’s Choice & followed their pregnancy recommendations for skin care! Here are their list of must-haves!

Please feel free to email me to tell me about YOUR fave place, service or resource you used while pregnant!

Big News!!

Big news!! Well if you are on my mailing list you know that I dropped a bomb on everyone last week – I am 14 weeks pregnant with my first (and only!) child!

Big News!  Baby Winter coming winter 2021!
Me & my momma!

Its been a REALLY crazy experience so far as I never wished to walk the motherhood road. I was pretty happy with my life until I met my now-husband and suddenly I started wishing to have this experience with him. Its a big change for both of us and I think we are both kinda like “Whaaaat?” although he is definitely taking it more in stride than I am. This is big news for both of us for sure!

Being someone very health conscious, I always thought IF I got pregnant that I would be able to still eat the way I wanted, workout & train as normal and basically live life the same except with a cute baby bump.

Well sadly this hasn’t been the case! Early on I experienced nausea and food aversions which has meant I haven’t touched a salad or greens now in nearly 4 months, can’t stand the smell or taste of coffee or most scented teas (bye chai 🙁 ), and all I want to eat is carbs and treats like banana bread and chips. Its been a COMPLETE 180 and to be honest quite a hard thing to wrap my head around.

I am nearly 15 weeks and still experiencing these symptoms except it has expanded to anything scented (makes me ill). I am pretty much off the bread train now but my diet has been the worst its been pretty much since I was an unhealthy vegetarian teen.

I have been able to maintain most of my fitness for the majority mind you exercising in masks has been difficult so I have lost alot of my cardio. There are days when I drag myself to the gym and it helps me feel better, some days I just focus on form and don’t break a sweat. I am still teaching pilates so I try to incorporate some pilates into my week when I can. Other days, I am resting.

Being pregnant has required me to start to surrender and give up what I am used to. Its a hard thing for me to process as I am definitely very much in control of my life ha ha so I don’t like giving up easily. I have been told many times that this is just the beginning – I am going to get schooled hard I think.

As for my teaching & dance life, everything is still on as planned for this year. I will finish my fall session end of November as normal and will break until March. I have 2 bookings in October – Raqs Quebec & Kelowna so will still be teaching these. I hope to run a few workshops here in Vancouver for Dance to the Beat of the Drum with my sidekick Tim Gerwing and possibly a tarab workshop.

I will be teaching pilates until the bitter end and hope to see some 1:1 privates post-partum. I am working out of a home studio in East Van (please see my CLASSES page for details) so if you would like reformer training, I gotchu!

If you are wanting privates for pilates or dance please book with me soon as my schedule is already filling up ö.

Any advice for this wary first time mom? Please comment below!

How to Set Goals

We have all heard about the importance of setting goals for ourselves – ESPECIALLY around New Years. Goals are a way to direct our paths to achieving things that we want – such as improving our health, getting out of debt, focusing on an accomplishment or finishing something. Where goals can go wrong, however, is that we can easily get sidetracked once we realize that perhaps we have bitten off more than we can chew. The first 2 weeks of working towards a goal is the golden period because we feel inspired, driven & motivated to achieve. Then once real life kicks in, it becomes harder to sty focused.

How do we keep on track with achieving our goals & succeeding?

The S.M.A.R.T principle works because it sets us up for success from the beginning. Spending some time really planning out how to achieve our goals is super important because you are giving yourself a bird eye view of your goal & all the other things you have going on in your life.

Say your goal is to save $10k in a year. At first it might seem doable – you might eat out less, pick up an extra shift or gig a week but suddenly without a plan this goal can seem unattainable.

Using the S.M.A.R.T principle – you can then structure the minute steps you need to take in order to get there.

You will need to break down how much you need to save per month in order to save $10k a year. You will need to put away $833/month or $208.25/week. Suddenly this does not seem as overwhelming.

Look at the S – what steps can you take monthly to put this money aside? Eat out only 1 meal a week? Make a plan to sell unused items in your home? Look for odd jobs?

M – do a weekly check in to see where you are at – how close are you to saving your weekly minimum?

A – If you are not meeting this weekly target, what actions can you put into place in order to achieve?

R – Make sure that this goal is realistic- consider all the things you have going on in your life & reassess to make your goal fit in. This goal should be attainable at all costs – its important to aim high but remember you want to set yourself up for success!

T – Set your timeframe accordingly. Give yourself a date (December 31) and work backwards.

For dance, this is how I structured creating choreographies, courses and classes. Each of these take up SO MUCH time and I used to leave everything to the last minute which left me feeling rushed, unprepared, not connected to the content and stressed. It took the joy out of what I was creating. Now I use the S.M.A.R.T principle to structure my time which actually gives me back time as I know I have focused time to work, and then once I have accomplished what I laid out, I can continue on with my life until I come back to work again.

Life is so busy for all of us, and we have big dreams we want to fulfil. By setting yourself up from the start in a structured and SMART (ha ha yes I went there!) way, you will be able to achieve all that you want. These microtasks take some time to figure out & plan, but this is time investing in YOURSELF which is always important.

Make yourself a priority!

What Does SUCCESS Look Like to YOU?

The Iceberg Theory

What does SUCCESS look like for you?⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

⠀⠀⠀🎯Creating content, choreographies, workshops, class programs, prepping for a show is a hustle for sure. It’s easy to look at someone’s work or success & think that either they have it easy or that it is easy. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

🙅🏻‍♀️What we don’t see is the magnitude of sweat labour it took to get to the finished product. It’s easy to forget the layers of foundation work it took to get there.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

⠀⠀🗣I find this with clients. When they balk at your price or ask for a discount it can be really disappointing & rude. As I reflected a few weeks ago on my Instragram, I’ve really started to lose patience with this! But quite often it’s because they don’t understand the level of work it takes to even just show up at their door let alone how you got to the place where you would even be considered to be hired as a professional in the first place. This is the opportunity (if they are willing to listen) to give a quick run down of why your prices are what they are & why, because of these reasons, you should be hired.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

💰 We spend thousands on honing our crafts. Between classes & workshops alone that is serious bank. Not to mention costumes, jewelry, make up etc. This is without the non-monetary value stuff – what about missing your cousins wedding, dancing on a broken toe (me! lol), spending hours on research & analysis…it all adds up quick. Don’t forget you can still do all this work and still not get to where you want to go. It’s tough. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

☝🏻Remember what we see at the top is a tiny fraction of what is unseen below. Where do you think the real successes are found? I would wager that these real success are the ones that are unseen – without this foundation you would never see the peak!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

What are some other things we sacrifice in order to find our personal success? Comment below 👇🏻

Finding Your Creative Process

Finding Your Creative Process

Generating ideas for a choreography or performance is hard in the best of times.

This can be even harder when you are asked to dance in a themed show or given a concept to work with. It might be something that you don’t necessarily jive with or you feel restricted by the direction.

It can be all-consuming, stressful or even painful creatively to get started.

Rehearsals can feel wasted or even that you don’t have the drive to start.

I’ve been in this boat MANY times & tbh sometimes my best work comes out of being commissioned. I tend to fight against it a lot but it typically forces me out of my box & to put on a different hat. But even creating choreo for myself can be tough & hard to navigate.

I’ve created a way over the years to help me get on board & reduce the stress around creating performance. It helps me hone into the end result but essentially storyboarding the entire thing from concept to creation.

So you have been asked to dance in a show. Now what?! Lets start from beginning… looking at the overall Theme of your performance.

#1: Choose Your Theme

This part might have been given to you already so now where are you going to go right? Well this is the part where you can take that idea & turn it into your creation.

Say you have been asked to play a certain character in a show. You have the rough sketch or expectation of the character, but you can turn that into something personal that you embody.

Focus on what feelings & emotions do you want to portray. Find your theme by exploring the overall tone & message of your piece. Determine what feelings & emotions you want to showcase both in yourself & your audience…what do you want you audience to feel?

#2: Represent

This is now your chance to take these emotions & feelings and start to embody them. What & how do you want to represent your theme? Start by brainstorming what you want to represent by setting the tone & the message. Write these out so that you have a clear understanding on where to work from & to make connections. You can also cross reference or delete in this step once you start compiling ideas.

#3: Inspiration

What is your inspiration? Where do you seek inspiration from typically? Are you inspired by watching other dancers, reading poetry, watching a film, nature? When starting to create your overall theme, go to where you get inspired keeping in line with your idea for your piece. Keep writing, create wordclouds, doodle. Allow yourself to connect with words and use them to keep setting the theme.

#4: Communicate

This is where you want to start to further enforce your message. What message do you want to send to the viewer? To the performance? Do you want to take the audience on a journey with you? Do you want them to experience visceral emotion? Do you want them to interact with you or silently observe? Do you want this piece to be purely authentic in its style or abstract? Do you want clear symbolism or leave it up to the audience to decide what it was about?

Having a clear direction about this message means that you will be able work from here equally clearly as you can start to draft the experiences from this place.

#5: Dive In

Get to work! Now that you have determined the overall theme & tone of your piece, it is time to dive in and start working.

Stay tuned for the next installment!

Ashley Rhianne xo

Ashley Rhianne at Miami Bellydance Convention 2019

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Ashley Rhianne is thrilled to be a guest artist and teacher at the 2019 Miami Bellydance Convention.  Thank you to the Miami Bellydance Convention team for this amazing invitation!  For festival information, please contact Ashley Rhianne Click here to be directed to the festival website.  She would love to see you there!

Ashley Rhianne at Bellyfolklore in Quito, Ecuador

Ashley Rhianne taught at Bellyfolklore Festival this year alongside Mohamed Kazafy, Esmeralda and Oksana Almaz.  It was an incredible event and opportunity to be an instructor at this festival!  Thank you to the Bellyfolklore team for this invitation!

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