Audra Simmons of The Dark Side Studio & Lavish at Mahasti in Hamilton – Modern Bellydance Workshops

audra october

Audra Simmons of The Dark Side Studio & director of Lavish at Mahasti – The Bellydance Emporium

Sunday, October 21

Finger Cymbals are a great way to develop your sense of rhythm, timing and ability to layer, and they don’t have to be a mystery.

Audra will teach some basic music theory, discuss some of the different sounds we can play with the cymbals, and we’ll work with playing a few different patterns to start the morning off.

For those with some experience, several variations will be offered for each pattern as we string together a few phrases for home practice, on their own and with some simple dance phrases.

Bring your own cymbals if you have them, there will be a few pairs to loan out.

Come dance with me as I teach you a few dance phrases from my own practice. Maybe fast, maybe slow, they’ll be a mixture of technique and creative ideas.

It’ll be all new (for you) and all kinds of fun (for everyone).

I’ll start off by outlining the simple shapes and ideas that are the base of each phrase, and then layer on and enrich the phrases as we make our way inside my head, into the nitty gritty of what makes my dance, my dance.

Since 2009, Lavish has been experimenting with, practicing, refining and performing a version of group improvisation that we have coined ‘diving’. In this workshop, Audra will lead you through several of the exercises and situations that we utilized along the way as we developed our dive skills.

These concepts will help to develop your personal sense of awareness, presence, openness, intuition and decision making, and can be used in solo or group improvisation in practice or performance.

If you can, it’s helpful (but certainly not mandatory) for your entire group to attend the workshop with Audra, so you all have a chance to learn the concepts first hand, so everyone has the basic idea before you begin to work to develop the skills as a group.

All workshops are open to all levels and styles with any experience in any style of belly dance.
Not recommended for absolute beginners.

FC 10-11AM $20
New Fun 11:15-1:15 $40
The Lavish Dive 2:30-5:30 $60
All Day $100

Interac etransfer to, cash at Mahasti or online payment in our shop

Finger Cymbals $20!/1-Workshop-1-Hour/p/79014740/category=18890056
New Fun $40!/1-workshop-2-hours-total/p/72074891/category=18890056
The Lavish Dive $60!/3-Hour-Workshop/p/80134844/category=18890056
All Day $100!/All-Day-Pass/p/80134840/category=18890056

Audra Simmons is the Founder and Artistic Director of The Dark Side Studio, which opened its doors in 2004, and was Canada’s first dance studio dedicated to tribal fusion and modern belly dance. Audra teaches weekly classes, speciality workshops and intensives at the studio, as well as traveling across Canada to teach and perform. In 2012, Audra launched the Dark Side Dance Program, which is a five level certification program in technique and musicality.

In 2007, she formed Lavish, which performs modern and tribal fusion belly dance with a twist. Among its diverse collection of work, Lavish’s repertoire includes two full length productions, STEP (2010), Affogato (2011, which toured Ontario and Quebec), and Fragment Repair (2017). Lavish has also appeared at Tribal Fest, the New York Theatrical Bellydance Conference, and is the host of artist-in-residence program The Lavish Project.

Her own dance training began in 2000, at Toronto’s Arabesque Academy with Yasmina Ramzy. Audra was a member of Oasis, and Arabesque Dance company, and taught Beginner through Advanced classes at Arabesque from 2001-2004. She began her non-traditional training with Rachel Brice, in 2004, and hosting Rachel in Toronto for multiple workshops, as well as traveling to San Francisco to work privately with her. Audra has General Skills and Teacher Training Certification from FatChanceBellydance, Level 2 Certification from the Suhaila Salimpour School of Bellydance, and Initiation and Cultivation Certifications in Rachel Brice’s 8 Elements. (Teaching CV available here.)and a Grade 9 designation, with honours, in piano, from the Royal Conservatory of Music.

For many years, Audra produced events which showcased local belly dancers, as well as hosting widely known instructors such as Rachel Brice, Mardi Love, Carolena Nericcio, Heather Stants, Suhaila Salimpour, Samantha Emanuel, Mira Betz, and Ariellah, among others, to teach and perform in Toronto. In September of 2012, she hosted the first Dark Harvest Festival, a 6 day event dedicated to non-traditional belly dance.

More at

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s