A Look Into Ruby Jazayre’s Belly Dancing Class!

Hello! Welcome to our Belly Dancing photo blog! Ellen, Rebecca, and I (Mary Kate) traveled to visit Ruby Jazayre’s belly dancing class in Mishawaka at the Battell Community Center the past couple Wednesdays in March. These pictures are taken from the March 29th class session! Rebecca, Ellen, and I were lucky enough to be able to observe this class, talk to many of the women involved, and participate in some of the dance. The group was in crunch time for their annual “Dances for a Festive Night” on April 1st that we were also able to get tickets for and witness! The dance class ranged from women of all ages, ethnicities, and sizes which was very cool to see. These women gather together to express themselves in this beautiful style of dance and learn from the Queen of Beledi herself, Ruby Jazayre!

#1 The Queen of Beledi, Ruby, teaches, choreographs, and coaches people of all ages the movements and rhythms of the Middle Eastern belly dancing. She was standing by her sound system and would be in charge of the music throughout the class. The music was very loud and upbeat, and was very fast paced that went to the rhythm of their dances.  (See Consent Form)


#2 Sally Norton got dressed and ready before the rest of the class because she had a couple questions for Ruby. (See Consent Forms)
#3 Sally Norton received advice from Ruby and then practiced it in front of her to make sure she was doing the step correctly. Sally had a scarf that she is dancing with. The scarf is used in an artistic and graceful way. She uses it by having it flow behind her while she spins around. All of the scarf movements are very light and quick. (See Consent Form)

#4 (Left to Right) Ruby Jazayre, Sally Norton, Zaida Gerna, Beth Floyd, Anita McClain, and Elizabeth Young demonstrate a hip movement where they rotate their hips in a figure eight movement. Ruby instructed them to focus on moving the bones in their body. Many of these women would be wearing sparkly belts that would jingle and make a loud noise when they danced. Also, many allowed their stomachs to be seen by wearing crop tops. (See Consent Forms)
#5 This photo was captured to show that women of all ages and stages of their life can take part in belly dancing. Ruby made a comment to us that Elizabeth Young was one of the few pregnant ladies she has worked with in her time. (Faces pictured in photo: Robyn Smith & Sally Norton-also see Consent Forms)
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# 6. Throughout the practice, Ruby was indicating a step count and the women were able to follow her movements if needed. This was the final rehearsal that Ruby led before the ladies practiced it on their own. By doing this, it allowed Ruby to watch and critique their movements. Ruby was not able to see everyone’s movement when she would lead the class because her back was to them and she could not see everything in the mirror. Some of the women asked Ruby to watch them during rehearsal to make sure they were doing the movements correctly. This was a helpful teaching method for many of the women. Pictured from left to right (Beth Floyd, Zaida Gerna, Anita McClain, Kim Szucs, Sally Norton, Robyn Smith, and Ruby Jazayre- See Consent Forms)
#7 Sally got changed into her costume that she would be performing in on April 1st. Sally participated in a solo performance, the class group, and also the performance done by Sisters of the Nile! Her costume was very colorful and consisted of a beaded belt, skirt, and a crop top with a bandeau underneath. It took Sally a couple minutes to piece it all together! (See Consent Form)
#8 Ruby looks on as the women are rehearsing their group dance. This picture captures some of the arm movements in the dance. Arm movements add to the dance, but are not the main focal point. While the abdomen region and stomach area are more aggressive movements, the arm movements are simple and graceful! They ended the class by rehearsing this dance. Pictured:  Elizabeth Young, Ruby Jazayre, Robyn Smith, Kim Szucs, Anita McClain, Jessica Heverly, and Zaida Gerna (See Consent Forms)



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