Learn from Kaeshi Chai


Kaeshi Chai
is a globe-trotting world fusion bellydancer who is known for her chameleon ability to effortlessly cross genres and theatrically portray strong and soft characters. She co-founded the renown New York-based dance company, Bellyqueen http://bellyqueen.com with Amar Gamal in 1998 and is its current artistic director. In 2004, Kaeshi also co-founded PURE (Public Urban Ritual Experiment) www.pureglobe.org, an international community of artists committed to positive change. Kaeshi has performed and taught all over the world, including the US, Canada, Europe, Mexico, Morocco, Carribean, Australia, New Zealand, South America and throughout Asia. She is an alumni member of the Bellydance Superstars, Ahmet Luleci’s Collage, Jillina’s Bellydance Evolution and the Dalia Carella Dance Collective. She performed over 500 shows to an Arabic orchestra including famous musicians, Amir Sofi and Bashir Abdel Al at Desert Passage in Las Vegas and has toured the US with Djinn, (Carmine Guida, BradMack, Pete List, Chern Hwei), and Europe with Beatbox Guitar (Rob Mastrianni, Pete List). She has danced with Natacha Atlas, at BAM, Summerstage, and on the TV shows, Conan O’Brian and Blue Peter. Kaeshi has a 4 year degree in design from the University of Technology, Sydney, has multiple fitness, bellydance and comedy improv certifications and is 200 hour Yogaworks teacher certified. She is currently studying drama therapy at the New School and anatomy at ASFYT. Kaeshi considers herself an eternal student of life, and is committed to helping develop and elevate bellydance as an artform, and explore it's powerful, healing properties. kaeshi@bellyqueen.com | bellyqueen.com | kaeshi.com

Photos of Kaeshi

8 Day Residency with Show

  • PURE Reflections: Beauty Reimagined is a theatrical dance story about the journey to self-love and becoming whole. See photos from the 2013 show. Watch 2013 video http://youtu.be/CL9qfCuwVqM. Watch short documentary from the 2010 show in Japan https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QjZzP6HwT8g (Requires Kaeshi Chai plus director) This show has been performed in New York, Connecticut, Orlando, Japan, Taiwan, Mexico, and is booked for Sante Fe, New Mexico in Oct 2015. (Requires Kaeshi Chai, Arielle Adamy and Natalie Nazario)

    The workshop and performance were an emotional rescue. PURE is an experience in dance that should be seen around
    the world to help inspire self love, acceptance and growth in women. - Grace Zazzaro, CT (Artist)
    It is truly impressive what a positive impact this program has had on so many women's lives. You are all an inspiration!
    - Rebecca Rafelson, Vice-President of NOW NY.
    The Reflections performance tonight was really powerful and moving. Thank you for what you are doing. Every young woman should see this program. It is transformative! - Henry Hoffmann

  • Journey Along the Silk Road is a story about a princess who collects three magical ingredients from China, Turkey and Egypt, to create medicine to save her dying mother, the Empress. See photos from the 2013 show. Watch video http://youtu.be/oVGjMYQQYgs This show has been performed in New York, Taiwan, Montreal, Vermont and Massachusetts. (Requires Kaeshi Chai, Elisheva, Irina Akulenko & Anasma)

Bellyqueen Teacher Training 10-40 hours
Deepen your practice and understanding of bellydance with this training. This course is ideal for serious students, current and aspiring teachers. Learn effective tools for teaching, classroom organization and visual, auditory and kinesthetic cueing methods so all types of learners are reached. Learn which stretches are most important for bellydancers in warm ups and cool downs for safety and injury prevention and Bellyqueen's foundation movements.
See upcoming trainings.

PURE Procession 5 hour workshop, plus 2 hour procession through local city
Learn the choreography that unites all PURE chapters internationally. Discover how to listen to yourself to find your breath and to tune into your fellow dancers. Learn sacred circle dances from Eastern Europe and create a giant dance spiral creating synchronized formations. (A minimum of 6 people is required to create the patterns for this choreography.)

Watch video: http://youtu.be/yjmKnRGIbjo

Bellydance Fans 2-3 hours
Fascinated by fans but don’t know how to use them? Then come and discover how the beauty of fan dancing can enhance your ability to mesmerize an audience. Kaeshi will teach you different hand holds, dramatic accents, poses you can strike, travel steps, plus a myriad of bellydance movements that work well with traditional Chinese fan technique. Appropriate for 12 inch fans with 5-12 inches of fabric hanging off the edge. Please bring your own fans to the workshop. (If you don't have any, extra fans will be available for purchase.)

Turkish Choreography 2-3 hours
9/4 The Ladies – Kaeshi will teach a challenging and engaging choreography to the song "9/4 The Ladies" by the wildly popular Brooklyn based band, Balkan Beatbox. She will explain how to listen and clap to the famous 9/8 rhythm from Eastern Europe. She will explain the difference between the Roman rhythm and the Karsilama rhythm and will teach Turkish folkloric and gypsy dance steps and gestures along with their meaning. This choreography covers many popular Turkish movements including, basic Turkish step, pelvic drops, grapevines into hops, box step, drunken sailor, heel in the mud, fist hits, and how to execute a Turkish drop.
(Optional use of finger cymbals)

Dynamics of Bellydance 1.5 to 3 hours
Transform between the strong and soft styles of bellydance to become a more dynamic dancer using the Laban concepts of time, weight, flow and tempo. Kaeshi will lead you through group, solo, and partner exercises exploring short combinations and improvisation using the elements of earth, water, fire and air.

Innovative Veil Techniques 2-3 hours
Bored with using the same old veil moves? Then come to Kaeshi's veil workshop to be inspired with lots of new ideas. Become one with the veil, learn new flourishes, throws, holds, wraps and combinations. She guarantees you won't view the veil in the same way ever again. Please bring a 3 yard veil, and if you forget, there will be some extras on hand.

Snake Priestess 2-3 hours
Become a serpent and learn the Tribal Fusion choreography to the song Filii Neidhardi by Corvus Corax. Tribal moves you will learn include: Satellite, Maya ¾ shimmy, Tribal turn, Egyptian basic, Torso Rotation, Taksim, Arabic, Cobra circles and some unique Kaeshi creations movements including the bow and arrow turn, slinky, death dive, small, medium, large Lotus arms and more.
See the choreography http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXB5wZwMoWU (for sponsors eyes only)

Bellanova 2-3 hours
Learn an innovative flamenco-Tribal-fusion choreography to Beatbox Guitar's song "Bellanova".

The End Again 2-3 hours
The End Again Gypsy Fusion Choreography Learn Kaeshi’s fiery gypsy fusion style with step-by-step break down in technique and combos culminating in an enthralling choreography to Beatbox Guitar’s beautiful song “The End Again”.
(Bring a full skirt.)

Flamenco Fusion 2-3 hours (Just added in 2015!)
Unleash your inner fire with this dynamic flamenco fusion choreography to the exciting song, "Revolt" by Beatbox Guitar. Kaeshi will share mesmerizing arm patterns alternated with sharp dramatic accents that will keep your audience riveted.

Combo Platter 1.5-6 hours
Learn 3 combos in the styles of Oriental, Fusion and Gypsy from Kaeshi Chai who is renown for her versatility as a performer and instructor. Kaeshi draws upon her extensive experience performing internationally for all walks of life in many different venues to bring you a workshop that will also enable you to effectively reach your audience by learning how to modify your dance style to suit each unique situation. By the end of this workshop, you will have greater confidence with how to tackle a variety of performance opportunities.

Alf Leyla wi Leyla 2-3 hours
Dynamic Egyptian choreography to one of the most famous bellydance classics.

Trans-discipline drills 1.5-2 hours
This worskhop is designed to train bellydancers to become more versatile and have the tools to be able to flex between Oriental to Fusion, and have the skill set to create long, graceful lines for large stages as well as a varied stationary vocabulary for more intimate settings. It begins with a thorough warm up incorporating yoga stretches, ballet and pilates exercises, and progresses to layered shimmy and isolation drills, turns, traveling steps and improvisation. Please bring finger cymbals.

Performance Skills 1.5-3 hours
Learn how to express your authentic self with an audience exploring a variety of inherent and unexpected emotions inside and outside the belly dance movement vocabulary to create a compelling message using your imagination for a riveting performance. Learn how to expand your presence to connect with an audience as well as different methods to improvise with confidence. Appropriate for dancers of all levels and styles.

Unleash your inner demon and goddesses 1.5-3 hours
The Goddess evokes compassion, serenity, love and joy. The demon evokes anger, manipulation, and wild animalistic behavior. Over the past 5 years, Kaeshi has explored these characters in depth through portraying Pandora with Bellydance Evolution, a demon and ocean spirit in PURE Reflections and an Apsara, a flying celestial heavenly being in Bellyqueen’s Silk Road show. She will lead the exploration of light and dark characters in a safe environment by varying your gaze, muscle control and intent and learning moves and combinations from both worlds.

Poses Galore 1.5 hours
Bored with using the same poses over and over? Learn 36 arm positions and 18 leg positions that will give you over 20,000 new options to add to your dance tool kit and learn patterns to seamlessly transition between them.

Stage makeup 101 2-3 hours
Struggling with false eyelashes? Come learn from veteran stage performer and award winning illustrator and designer, Kaeshi Chai. This workshop is useful for beginner to professional dancers who want to look their best during hafla or special performances. Transform your face into a work of art so your expressions read from a distance and your natural beauty is enhanced using eye shadows, blush, glitter, bindis, and much more. Witness Kaeshi Chai's 30 minute stage makeup routine first hand and try some of her methods out under her guidance. The double-winged liner look will be featured in this workshop.

“Loved it! Left looking like a beauty queen!” – Dalia Carella
“As an absolute beginner to stage make-up, I found it overwhelming… Kaeshi’s workshop eased my apprehension.” – Qi Zhou
“I loved the handouts that had details of products used in class. Kaeshi teaches in such a clear, organized way that is easy to follow and understand. We are looking forward to the next makeup workshop.” – Marie Richardson
“I recommend this workshop for anyone from novice to the expert. Kaeshi simplified the application techniques and took the intimidation out of it.” – Nahla

Get Funky with Bellydance Hip Hop 2-3 hours
Funk it up Fusion Combos Add some funk to your bellydance with moves straight from New York City. Learn dance moves that you can incorporate into your personal style that encompasses slow and gooey moves to sharp and powerful accents.

Prince (Kiss) Choreography 2-3 hours (Just added in 2015!)
Get funky to "Kiss" by the legendary singer-songwriter, Prince.

How to Create Dynamic Group Choreography 2-3 hours
Discover new methods to approach floor and movement design. Create innovative, engaging group numbers for you and your team to capture and mesmerize your audience. Learn to use and vary space, quality of movement, beat, phrases and improvisation.
Exercises will involve creating an individual combo, teaming up with a partner to learn each other’s combos, and teaming up again in a quartet to create dynamic floor patterns. Concepts such as opposition, reverse, inversion, mirroring, level changes, facing, use of peripheral vision and high impact group shapes will be explored.

The Liz Lerman critical response feedback model for effective communication and constructive feedback to help fellow dancers advance their pieces to the next level will also be shared.

Learn from Kaeshi Chai & Brad MacDonald

Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway
As a performer there are fewer things more terrifying than improvisation. It requires trust in yourself, trust in the audience and, if you're performing to live music, trust in the band. In this workshop will we will put you on the path to mastering your fear and embracing the joy of improvisation. Find your voice as an artist, learn tools to refine that voice and add the spark of improvisation to your life on and off the stage.

Students will practice listening skills and apply them to improvised live drum solo phrases and recorded music that has been selected to express a range of emotions and dance styles. No two dancers, or shows, are the same so we'll explore a range of moods! Learn strategies for dancing with, and against, the music. Explore the power of humor and connecting with the audience. The workshop will culminate with the students new skills applying their new-found skills in the iPod Shuffle Dance Challenge!