News & Updates
February 2, 2015, US/International Newsletter
Every year in February I make the Groundhog cookies. I don’t care if the Groundhog sees his (or her) shadow or not…it brings cheer to all in a cold month. It does sometimes take me all February to find the time to turn on the Donovan CDs and make the fancy batter, but the Groundhog finds a way in the end, and it’s a time for me to reflect on the new year. I’ve been doing this for the past 25 years (wow), which is also as long as i’ve been bellydancing.
(photo: me, looking a little Groundhog-insane, with Noga Group fan Maury
and G-Day cookies, at Lafayette Grill in NYC, Feb. 2001)
I started bellydancing 25 years ago, in January of 1990, in my snowy hometown of Rochester, NY, under Lorraine MacNeil, at the same town recreation center where I used to practice with my high school field hockey team (pictured here below–of course I’m the artsy rebel -#59- with the bare feet in the cold autumn), just a few years before that…
Time flies, and yet I’ve taken so many journeys in these intervening 25 years, it feels like a long time anyway!
Skipping way ahead… these past few years since 2012, when I added grad school to my busy touring schedule, have been an exhilarating and occasionally crazy-making balancing act– between my rewarding studies in cognitive psychology at the New School for Social Research and my nourishing, sustaining dance projects. I certainly would not have found my way back to academia without the tremendous insights and support I’ve gotten over the years from the bellydance community – my students, teachers, and colleagues. I feel like many things are coming together now in terms of what I can further contribute, and I’m very grateful for this chance to make the most of my time in science as well as in art.
My psychological research I will report on at a later point– (I’m preparing for a presentation in my lab this week right after i send this newsletter!!) — but some of you just might get recruited into a future study, so I won’t go into too many details now!
I’m feeling excited and appreciative for the upcoming events listed below… I hope you can join me at one or more of them! (and if you are in NYC, find me sometime this month for your cookie!!!)
Nany will be back in NYC (workshops Feb. 13-15…scroll down!) and also joining me in Cairo June 5-13 for the Salamat Masr festival! This is a great chance to come with us to hang out and take with wonderful teachers (including Mona el Said and Nagua Fouad, among many others!) (scroll down for details!).
I’ll be presenting in San Diego at a performance psychology conference Feb. 21, and teaching in Los Angeles too… back west for more workshops in March as well (scroll….down….for more) …and I’ve been asked to be the next cover girl for long-established bellydance magazine Zaghareet, which is a real honor– and we’ve decided to crowdsource my interview so I can answer your deep questions!
Also want to give a shout-out to my wonderful dance friend Roxxanne Shelaby from Los Angeles, one of the nicest people you could ever meet, who is making a documentary of her Lebanese father’s LA nightclub the Fez – a historic spot by all accounts. More info below
Just scroll on down and check it all out…. and may the Divine Groundhog bring you luck this year!!!!!
Send your thoughtful, nerdy questions to firstname.lastname@example.org! DEADLINE FEBRUARY 15th for questions! Multipart ok if it’s a good one! If your question is used, we’ll give you a credit in the magazine! We may be organizing a teleconference too, so let us know your interest in the email USE THIS LINK for the right subject line. In any case, I’ll answer as many of the questions as I can. More about this classic bellydance magazine: http://www.zaghareet.com
U.S. and International – Ranya on the Road
February 19-21 Ranya in San Diego – presenting on her Breathwork for Performance method, at the 2015 Conference on Performance Psychology (in La Jolla, near Del Mar). While in town, Ranya is also available for private lessons with local dancers Feb. 19 and 21; we may be organizing a small class too – contact Sahar Sami or Ranya to see if there will be a class.
Sunday February 22 — Ranya in Los Angeles – teaching at the LA dance oasis the Dance Garden-click for info and to register (thanks to Jenna and the fabulous Dance Garden crew)! Organically Grown Egyptian Oriental workshop 2:00-5:30pm; private/semi-private lessons and breathwork coaching also available… Facebook event here
Friday-Saturday March 27-28 — Ranya in San Francisco – Reda style Fri. eve and Organic Oriental Sat. afternoon workshops — two different approaches for a satisfying dance experience!! Sponsored by the always awesome Monica Berini – Info and Registration here (Ranya will be in SF and the East Bay Area March 23-28; lessons also available) Facebook page
Sunday March 29 — Ranya in Dallas-Fort Worth – Organic Oriental workshop all afternoon in a yee-haw Rhinestone Roundup! Private lessons also available. Organized by the dynamic Nadirah Johara. Facebook event page Info and register here — And check out Nadirah’s fab graphics!
June 5th-13th — Ranya teaching at the Salamat Masr Festival in CAIRO, EGYPT at the 5-star Meridien–with a host of amazing dancers, including Mona el Saeed, Nagua Fouad, Nany, and many more – Come hang out with Ranya and Nany and dance up a storm! Email Ranya to find out about joining her group to travel there together.
Click here for the festival website (NOTE: site has music, of course…so you may want to adjust your volume if you are at work and your boss doesn’t like “Lissa Faker”
CALL TO SPONSORS – BOOKING FOR 2015 and 2016
If you’re interested in bringing Ranya or a special Ranya and Nany intensive to your city, contact email@example.com to discuss options! We are working on touring options for Ranya’s school vacations.
PRESIDENTS’/VALENTINE’S WEEKEND 2015 NYC WORKSHOPS with NANY EGYPTE
NANY IS BACK – February 13-15 workshops in NYC (plus private lessons Feb. 11-17)!
Click here for more info and to register! For those who don’t know Nany, she was a big star in Egypt in the 1990s, moved to Paris, left the dance world… until Ranya convinced her to teach with her two years ago, and the rest is history! Nany has been performing and teaching at festivals from Cairo to Mexico. Her style is unique and brings back a feeling of Oriental dance that is harder and harder to find amidst contemporary dancers: an elegant, womanly, warm, extremely musical (and sometimes cheeky) style that you are sure to love! Come dance with us…
Workshops will be Fri. Feb. 13 (7-9pm), Sat. Feb. 14 (1-4pm) and Sun. Feb. 15 (3:30-6:30pm with private/semiprivate lesson slots before) at CAP21 Studios, 18 West 18th St., between 5th and 6th Aves, on the 6th floor, in Manhattan. Register at http://ranya.net/shop !
Facebook link for workshops
AND….. it’s Nany’s birthday Feb. 14 (awww, Valentine’s!), so be our date and celebrate with us for an informal outing Sat. evening.
I’ve been teaching at the Flushing Y for (wow!) 15 years… Imagine my surprise arriving to teach this past Saturday (wearing many many sweaters) and finding that the promised brand-spanking-new studio is complete and fantastic!!!!! With amazing full mirrors. It was a dream come true! Soon we’ll have two classes per week there! Right now the Saturday class is 2-3pm but it will be moving to 11am-12pm for the new session… and then we’ll have another class (to be confirmed) probably Wed. evenings starting soon. The lovely Rayhana teaches while I’m out of town. Plans to work on some group choreo for performance too, so join us to get in on the fun!!
Can be scheduled with Ranya. Skype lessons and video/phone coaching available, as well as in-person lessons held at Ranya’s Sunnyside Salon studio in Queens or at rental studio in Manhattan. $100/hour for 1-person private lessons with different rates for two or more students. Packages are available–ask for details.
SAVE THE DATE – WED. APRIL 29 – RANYA WITH ZIKRAYAT AT DJAM @ JEBON
This is going to be a fun night, performing with a great band at this notable weekly bellydancers’ hangout!
My dear friend and dance colleague, Roxxanne Shelaby, grew up in her father’s Arabic nightclub in Los Angeles, watching the great dancers of the time. She has been filming what looks like an amazing documentary and record for the bellydance community. She’s a sincere, giving person, and I know that any help you can give her towards this massive project will be well used and appreciated. Film editing is so time-consuming and expensive, and it’s just impressive that she is spearheading this permanent record for our field, a real legacy.
Here’s the Kickstarter link for more info about the project, and to donate if you’d like to make a contribution. She’s my buddy, and she’s also someone who really cares about our field and about the culture and the community.
November 2014 Newsletter
New hairdo selfie, yes… and, besides that, it’s the time of year when things get cold outside yet still heat up! I hope the season is treating you well.
I’m wrapping up my school semester and planning for my 10th Annual Holiday Gala, December 7th Sunday evening - the last Holiday Gala! It’s bittersweet, as I have really valued running the annual fall Performance Prep Series leading up to the show, but ten years is a nice round number, and this feels like the right time to conclude the run and free myself up for other projects going forward, including more weekend and long-weekend workshops in NYC with live musicians that will be more accessible for the out-of-towners (see below for the next Save the Date – Feb. 2015!)
Nany is here in NYC, and you won’t want to miss her workshops Dec. 5-7 or her performance in the show Dec. 7. She is also available to teach private lessons. Scroll down for details.
We have 3 spaces left for dancers in the Performance Prep coaching series who want to perform in the 10th Annual Holiday Gala in NYC at Byblos on Dec. 7 (Sunday evening)! These spaces are for those preparing a piece through coaching with Nany and me over the next week and a half (contact me if you want more info- we can still squeeze you in if you join us this week). See below for more info.
For those of you here in Amrika, enjoy your Thanksgiving!
‘Tis the season for shipping discounts! Free shipping on all US orders over $20. For international orders, it’s $15 flat-rate shipping: please select the international shipping & handling supplement in the Shop if you are ordering during our special promotion period. Any order over $20 is eligible for this discounted flat-rate shipping. Expires December 15th, so get your orders in! (Look for this lovely Turkish beach photo icon in the Shop for International orders. And, I just got brand-new old Best of Ahmed Adaweia CDs in stock, nearly impossible to find – not yet up on the shop, but email me for details!
U.S. and International
PRESIDENTS’ WEEKEND 2015 NYC INTENSIVE
Save Presidents’ Day Weekend Feb. 13-16, 2015 for the next NYC weekend intensive – and send your requests for topics to firstname.lastname@example.org – Full details will be sent out in late December!
CALL TO SPONSORS – BOOKING FOR 2015 and 2016
If you’re interested in bringing Ranya to your city, contact email@example.com to discuss options! Ranya and Nany are also planning a joint US-Canada tour for June 2015.
New York City
NANY IS BACK!
Click here for more info and to register! We are so excited to have Nany back in New York. She is already here and available for private lessons, and please come join in for some fun workshops Dec. 5-7with her. For those who don’t know Nany, she was a big star in Egypt in the 1990s, moved to Paris, left the dance world… until Ranya convinced her to teach with her two years ago, and the rest is history! Nany has been performing and teaching at festivals from Cairo to Mexico. Her style is unique and brings back a feeling of Oriental dance that is harder and harder to find amidst contemporary dancers: an elegant, womanly, warm, extremely musical (and sometimes cheeky) style that you are sure to love! Come dance with us…
Fri. Dec. 5th, 7-9pm Shimmy & Taqasim ($50 advance/60 door)
Sat. Dec. 6th, 2-6:30pm Awalem Style – Roots of Oriental ($60 advance/120 door)
Sun. Dec. 7th, 3:30-5:30pm Classic Oriental ($50 advance/60 door)
Full package: $190 adv/ $200 door
Workshops will be at CAP21 Studios, 18 West 18th St., between 5th and 6th Aves, on the 6th floor, in Manhattan. (see individual workshop listings for rooms – We’ll be in room 603 most of the time except for the 2-4pm portion of Saturday, when we are in 605 before moving to 603 at 4:30)
Facebook link for workshops
Join us for the big show Sunday evening! It’s an easy walk or transit ride from CAP Studios, at Byblos (80 Madison Ave. at 28th St.) Facebook link for show
After a wonderful 10-year run, this will be Ranya’s *last* Holiday Gala, so please come out to support and enjoy some holiday spirit with us!
Ranya Renée’s 10th Annual Holiday Gala featuring Nany and live Arabic band led by Maurice Chedid
Sunday, Dec. 7th, 7-10pm
AT Byblos Lebanese Cuisine
80 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10016
(212) 687-0808 -call for table reservations
Note: You must buy tickets (Shop link here – or get your tickets from a show performer- list will be posted soon) and reserve seating (by calling Byblos) separately to guarantee admission to the show.
Your tickets will be waiting for you at the door, listed under your name; tickets will not be mailed. Bring your Paypal or shop receipt for confirmation of purchase.
General admission tickets at the door will be $25, cash-only – Buy online ($21.50) by Dec. 1 or from a show performer ($20) for advance rates.
Please consider becoming a VIP for the show! There are $50, $75 and $100 tiers- VIP ticket holders will receive the best reserved seating; $100 VIP ticket holders will also receive a choice of one of Ranya’s DVDs. Most importantly, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that you’re making a difference in our ability to stage this show with a fabulous Arabic band – led by the wonderful Maurice Chedid. Your contribution helps us to pay these artists. Thanks for your support!
Can be scheduled with Ranya for this fall. Skype lessons and video/phone coaching available, as well as in-person lessons held at Ranya’s Sunnyside Salon studio in Queens or at rental studio in Manhattan. $100/hour for 1-person private lessons with different rates for two or more students. Packages are available–ask for details.
FLUSHING YMCA, FLUSHING, QUEENS
Fun bellydance workout classes for all levels are ongoing on Saturdays, 2-3pm. Contact for more info. The lovely Rayhana teaches while Ranya is out of town. We are preparing for our next student show, Saturday Dec. 20th (save the date!) after the big success of the last one, so join us to get in on the fun!! Ranya will be teaching a choreo to Ghannili Shewayy Shewayy, and Rayhana will start her choreo this Saturday when she teaches at the Y.
Aug. 1, 2014
RANYA’S AUSTRALIA-NEW ZEALAND TOUR TO BE SCHEDULED FOR 2015.
AUGUST 23-24, 2014: RANYA IN SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA
Saturday & Sunday workshops and Sunday evening performance at Pachamama. Sponsored by the lovely Monica Berini. http://www.monicaraqs.com/ranya2014.html Facebook event
AUGUST 29-SEPTEMBER 1, 2014 (LABOR DAY WEEKEND): RANYA IN FAIRBANKS, ALASKA
Friday evening performance, Saturday evening potluck lecture discussion, Saturday through Monday workshops. Sponsored by the intrepid Lara and Alaska Awalim. http://alaskaawalim.com/special-events/ Facebook group and event
NOVEMBER 2, 2014: RANYA IN BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS
Sunday afternoon workshops and evening private/semi-private breathwork and performance coaching. Sponsored by the amazing Johara. http://www.joharasnakedance.com/join_us.htm Facebook event
NOVEMBER 7-9, 2014: RANYA IN RICHMOND, VIRGINIA
Friday evening hafla, Saturday evening show, Saturday and Sunday workshops. Sponsored by the fabulous Women of Selket. http://www.womenofselket.com/event-list/details/2-ranya%20renee-workshops
MORE DATES WILL BE ADDED HERE SOON – PLEASE CHECK BACK
Jan. 28, 2014
Dec. 12, 2013
Nov. 29, 2013
Oct. 22, 2013
Oct. 2, 2013
Sept. 17, 2013
Aug. 27, 2013
Aug. 3, 2013
June 25, 2013