Ziah's Workshop Selection

What are attendees saying about her workshops?

“Her ability to break down movements, her knowledge of the history of the movements and her truly amazing ability to put together performances that are truly awe inspiring really set Ziah above and apart.” -- Sherry Morrison, Birmingham, AL

“She has the overarching wisdom to anticipate what the bellydance community needs before it knows itself, be that education on lineage, professional development, foundational skills, or diversification of influence. It’s like seeing our beloved art-form through the eyes of a brilliant hacker: she’s probably fixed your problem, before you even realized you had one!” -- Onça O’Leary, Richmond, VA

“Ziah imparts to her students the solid technique required for any style of belly dance. Ziah’s classes are challenging and fun, and you’ll learn the technical details required to execute movements with efficiency, commitment, and grace.” -- Barbara Smith, Atlanta, GA 

Ziah and Awalim offer Tribal Bellydance Classes in Atlanta and Decatur GA and around the world

Even though Ziah identifies as "Tribal", her many years of study mean she started Before Tribal (BT) so her technique base is 60’s, 70’s and 80’s Egyptian and American Bellydance. This is the same base that Tribal uses so she understands its history in a unique way of watching it form throughout the US. The majority of her workshops are equally accessible across bellydance genres and are unique to her due to her years of physical therapy, geographical isolation from the Tribal community at large, and broad technique experience during her travels across the US early in her studies Before Tribal.


Short Ziah Bio:

Ziah is the Founder and Director of the Awalim Dance Company, TribalCon, TribalCarnivale and Crossroads & Origins, the Tribal Bellydance Center of Atlanta, and Atlanta Tribal Cafe. Her total commitment to professionalism, sustainable technique, artistic discipline, and endurance has shaped the face of Tribal in the Southeast and beyond.

Specialty Consultation:

Event Production Consultation: Ziah has 17 years of event production experience and that experience can save you time, money, and headaches. If you are serious about event production then investing in your event's success is a must!

Dance Coach: Getting ready for a competition? Trying to figure out what is the next step in you training? Want to forge your own style? Ziah has earned a reputation as an astute coach over the years whether you are a performer, teacher, contestant or student. Ziah's long history in this dance form gives her a unique perspective to help you reach your goals. She has moderated many coaching panels at TribOrignal throughout the years and has directed a diverse group of 20 women over the years in the Awalim Dance Company and over 100 in her student troupe, Banat Almeh. Coaching sessions are available at workshops, festivals, contests, and at the Tribal Bellydance Center of Atlanta.


Lecture Topics:

East Coast Tribal History: A lively discussion on the history of Tribal as it developed in areas outside the West Coast/Bay Area from someone that witnessed it's history. 2 hours Basic Bellydance History Not sure who Badia Masabni, Mahmoud Reda, or Ibrahim Farrah are? Then this is the class for you! This gives a simple overview of the recent history of bellydance starting in the 1920's. 2 hours, lecture can be combined with a dance workshop that will be an additional 2 hours.

Exotic Stage Make Up for Normal Faces: How to make yourself look dramatic for the stage. Beyond just making your features not disappear in stage lighting what do you do with a perfectly ordinary face in this extremely exotic world dance form with ornate jewelry and costuming? Using her theater tech background Ziah is a perfectly ordinary person who has made her living being the most interesting person in the room for the past 20 years. Good workshop for NON TRIBAL dancers. 2 hrs minimum, 3 to 4 hours are best so I can demonstrate on two types of faces and attendees can try the techniques themselves


Costuming Topics:

The Indestructible Tassel Class: Tassels are in vogue for ATS and Tribal Fusion again! Learn how to make completely indestructible tassels for costume adornment. Instructor can supply yarn or students can bring their own supplies. 2 hrs.

Choli Pattern Drafting/Adjusting and "What is a gusset?": A pair of workshops on creating a pattern that fits you and how to sew it together. Minimum 2 hours each workshop.

Interchangeable Tribal Belt Creation: Learn Ziah’s secrets to making Tribal/coin bellydance belts beautiful and interchangeable. One belt can become 4 belts for less expense and ease of packing! Get ready to revolutionize your approach to costuming.

Tribal Bra Creation: Make the sturdiest, most adjustable bras that fit you no matter what time of the month it is! A great accompaniment to the Tribal Belt Workshop!

Building Spectacular Headdresses: Suitable for tribal or orientale styling, Ziah will pull from her theatrical roots to teach you how to craft a wire headdress base from scratch that is sturdy enough to support all the adornment you could ever want!

Patterning & Sewing Pantaloons: This workshop is open to all levels of sewers! Ziah will share her secrets to patterning three styles of pantaloons, plus super strong construction that will stand up to floor work.


Dance Workshops:

OTS Group Improv- Orientale Tribal StyleCreated by Ziah and the Awalim Dance Co based on the ATS® Format. Are you an Orientale/Cabaret style dancer and always wanted the same group improvisational tools and fun that ATS® dancers have? This language is great for group restaurant and live band performances. Now you can explore the music and dance on the fly with your Cabaret buddies. Also great for integrating into your ATS® dialect! For this workshop, Ziah and Awalim will share both ATS® related and original OTS moves developed by Awalim.

Relearning How to Walk…, Endurance Techniques, and How to Simplify What Seems Complex: A grouping of three workshops that build on each other. They can exist on their own but work best together. Depending on the level of the dancers they are each 2 to 3 hours.Good workshops for NON TRIBAL dancers.

1. Relearning How to Walk and Talk: Dance Secrets Your Bellydance Momma Didn’t Tell You: You will be challenged with new concepts of posture and body mechanics to execute belly dance movements with more ease while traveling. You will be surprised at what doors open after examining these concepts: The mechanics of your feet and walking Chained and Unchained movement Weighted and Unweighted movement Detaching hip movement from legs Differences in body types Which muscle groups create what movement

2. Endurance Techniques: Hours of rehearsal! Restaurant gigs that go all night only to have to get up to do it again that night! Back to back classes! Plus the fact that Bellydancers have amazing longevity in the artform! All these aspects present special challenges that energy conservation can help with. I mean really, why do more work to produce a move than you need to? How shoulders and hip joints work, revealing the ultimate, mind-blowing potential of “Basic Position”, alternating between using your muscles and your skeleton to power moves, and more!

3. How to Simplify What Seems Complex: This class will give any dancer a good base to study with any international Bellydance star! Stop being frustrated when attending seminars. With a good foundation you can do anything! This workshop’s goal is to stop the “I paid $80 for this one move because it is all I can remember” syndrome. How to discern what a dancer’s feet are doing- common footwork patterns to recognize and simplify. Stop being frustrated with the basic portions of workshops so that you can really grab the essence of what an instructor is trying to convey! How to break dance down into simple parts to make class and workshops you attend fit together and be more relevant to each other. You will receive tools to better understand how simple this can all be.

The Infamous Zill Drill Class: Begin with drills to connect feet, hands, and arm movement together while playing zils. These drills are useful to integrate into your weekly classes. We will go through breakdown of rhythms and learning appropriate accents within the rhythms to build improvisational skills. All students will be amazed at their zill playing at the end of the workshop. Good workshop for NON TRIBAL attendees. 2 or 3 hrs.

Spatial Skills: Do you think of an interior hip circle/umi as just one move? Or an undulation as just a “regular” and “reverse”? This workshop will give your standard belly dance moves new life as we explore accents, infinite numbers of stopping and starting points, and exploring all three dimensions when transitioning between moves. Good workshop for NON TRIBAL dancers. 2 to 3 hrs.

BELLYDANCE! Join Ziah Ali for an intense day in the studio. Attendees make a verbal agreement at the beginning of class and then work to make it reality Flawless isolations? Beautiful zills? Intricate footwork? Yes? Yes. YES! Anatomy, turns, footwork, across the floor drills, basic dance technique, zills and floorwork will all be covered. Committed to perpetuating bellydance in its pure, expressive and artistic form, Ziah will have us quivering with enthusiasm and exertion. A great resource to take your dance practice to the next level. **Note to sponsor: Good workshop for NON TRIBAL dancers. Full day of workshops, 3 hrs in morning and 4 hrs in afternoon with a 30 minute discussion and snack time during the 4 hours to discuss material covered to that point and fine tune what will be covered for the rest of the afternoon based on attendees progress.

ATS Technique via History: Ziah is what is called a “bellydance hacker”, meaning she studies the history, lineage and development of each move. In her role as “hacker” she can take the basic Tribal moves that everyone is well versed in, break them down and rebuild them so that you see them in the new light of their history. 3 hrs.

Drills, Skills and Zills: This workshop can be many things to many people. Its basic components are traveling with across the floor drills which layer footwork with basic moves and zill patterns. Developing endurance is a main focus since, just like a musician who has to hit each note perfectly throughout a long concert, a dancer should hit each hip bump and chest drop with the same emphasis at the beginning of a show as at the end… along with playing a musical instrument, her zills. Good workshop for NON TRIBAL dancers. 3 to 4 hrs.

Spin Technique: Cross turns, paddle turns, three point turns, chaine’ turn, airplane turns and barrel spins. **Note to sponsor: This is best married with another workshop since few people can spin for two hours straight. Good workshop for NON TRIBAL dancers.

It's a Fan! It's a Veil! It's Both! Not just another prop workshop, Ziah will show you how to express your own ideas with Fan Veils. These combinations of silk and wood are fascinating extensions of your own body because of their soft and hard aspects. The workshop will go into detail about how to hold the fan veils for quick opens, effortless flutters, and glorious swirls.

Veil Work Components: This workshop breaks down all the complexities of working with a veil into easy segments of moves with similar starting points and explores the geometry that creates the designs in the air. Aerodynamics will be discussed, 8 to 9mm silk is recommended for the air foil effect that Ziah employs in order to keep the veil from entangling in the heavy accoutrement a Tribal dancer wears. An excellent workshop for dancers wanting to create their own unique style of veil work. Stop dragging your silk through the air and let it dance for itself! 3 hrs**Note to sponsor: This is a good pairing with the Spin Technique workshop. Good workshop for NON TRIBAL dancers

Bubblegum Choreography: Awalim’s infamous Bubblegum Choreography to Tim Rayborn’s Veselba, a 7/8. It’s the first piece on our TribalFest YouTube. This is a intermediate to advance choreography that is challenging because most people have never worked in 7. **Note to sponsor: This makes a great full day workshop or we can learn combos from it for a morning or afternoon workshop.

Choreography Creation: This can be anything from writing it mostly myself with input from the dancer it is for, to just helping the dancer focus on writing a solo piece for themselves…it is usually something in between those two. I receive the music ahead of time along with any ethnographic information she may have. I also ask the dancer to write down the times of the breaks in the music and any ideas she may have for each portion. I put them in a spread sheet and do a bit more research on the music (sometimes attempting to contact the musician if it is possible). On the date we meet up we set aside at least three hours and hammer out a choreography! Good workshop for NON TRIBAL dancers.

Improvisational Choreography or American Tribal Style (ATS)®: Group Improvisational Choreography is one of the things that makes Tribal Style Bellydance unique. One dancer leads the group by a special system of cues until she is ready to rotate the group and another dancer comes forward to lead. This is exciting to watch and exhilarating to perform requiring concentration and attentiveness from all dancers. Being present in the music is what makes Improv Choreo so special. You are sharing what you a feeling and hearing in the music at that precise moment with your fellow dancers and the audience. Each time you perform that move it will have the same arms, feet and count. Most often you will do each a count of four or eight and then cue to transition to the next move. This can be exhilarating and frustrating at the same time but it is very bonding for the dancers because you are supporting and truly dancing with and for each other. Everyone is there with you in that moment. Awalim’s ATS® is Fat Chance based. 3 to 5 hrs.

Basic Bellydance Technique: This class will give any dancer a good base to study with any international Bellydance star! Stop being frustrated when attending seminars, with a good foundation you can do anything. This class, depending on length of time, will cover upper, lower and full body moves as well as weighted and unweighted traveling. Class can either just cover each move or a short choreography can be taught that includes all moves. Good workshop for NON TRIBAL dancers. 2 to 4 hrs.

Sword Duet: Awalim’s totally unique approach to dancing in pairs with the sword! **Note to sponsor: Good workshop for NON TRIBAL dancers. This workshop can include floor work or not. VIDEO Dramatic Spins, Level Changes and Floor Work Class begins with exercises to help warm up, stretch and tone so that level changes and floorwork can be done smoothly and safely. Workshop covers jazz spins to the floor, sitting, rolling and traveling moves. Students should wear pants they can do yoga in. Knee pads are recommended if students are not use to floor work. Good workshop for NON TRIBAL dancers. 2 hrs.

Dramatic Spins, Level Changes and Floor Work While Balancing Props Class: Begins with exercises to help warm up, stretch and tone so that level changes and floorwork can be done smoothly and safely. Students will balance objects while going through sitting, rolling and traveling moves. Students should wear pants they can do yoga in and bring a basket or sword to balance. Knee pads are recommended if students are not use to floor work. Good workshop for NON TRIBAL dancers. 2 to 4 hrs.

Tribal Cane: So fun we don’t know why nobody has thought of it before! Pairing the strong arms of ATS® with the cane. Cane, like sword, is taking a tool that men use and subverting their power by making it feminine. Bring a stick of bamboo that comes to about to your navel (available at all hardware or gardening supply stores). 2 to 3 hours.

TurkishTribal: Turkish people call bellydance “throwing your belly” using the abdominal muscles to generate the movements. This internal creation of movement is also true with Tribal bellydance so they are a natural fusion. Intermediate to Advanced (Good paired with Spatial Skills before and/or the Bubblegum Choreography Workshop afterwards) 2 to 3 hrs.

Fancy Folk Footwork: Want the musicality that dancers from “over there” have? They grew up doing folk dances to Eastern music and those experiences are layered into their “belly dance”. You can have the same skills! The class will cover folk dance patterns and putting belly dance moves on top, this will call on your mental and physical endurance. Good workshop for NON TRIBAL dancers.. 2 to 3 hrs.

Folk Dance: A fun, relaxed yet exhausting class learning a few line dances. Note to sponsor: This workshop can be paired with Majda’s Arabic Music Ensemble to have musicians learn to play the songs and the dancers learn the folk dances that go with them. Good workshop for NON TRIBAL dancers. 1 hr.

Basic Technique Clean Up: A fun, fast two hours of warm up with all the basic bellydance moves, cleaning them up while moving through them. Basic dance technique is also covered; such as turn out, releve’, chasse’, and arabesques; as we seamlessly add footwork. **Note to Sponsor: Good workshop for NON TRIBAL dancers. This is a good workshop paired with The Infamous Zill Drill. 2 hrs