Breaking News! AutumnWard.PivotShare.comYou may take class with me once again, this time via online video. Please visit autumnward.pivotshare.com. Subscribe ($19.99/month) for unlimited access to the full library, or go one class at a time with 10-day rentals. This is an ongoing project, and I anticipate adding 3 to 4 new classes every month.
I’m a dancer, choreographer, class instructor, and traveling workshop presenter, specializing in artistic belly dance. My work on appears on DVDs, including Belly Dance, Beautiful Technique from Step One as well as several other instructional, reference, and performance programs. I am currently based in New York City.
|Photo by Scott Shuster|
|Photo by Lina Jang Photo by Dale Langdon Photos by Sarah Skinner|
|Blurred/Antiqued from an original photo by Fernando Ulloa Jr.|
|Photo by Jesus Cerda Photo by Scott Shuster Photo by Brian Lin|
Hire me for:
- Salons, soirées, dinner parties, and elegant gatherings
- Theatrical performance
- Art openings and gallery events
- Avant-garde variety entertainment
- Bridal showers and other women's parties
- "Princess Jasmine" parties and other fairytale themed celebrations for girls
- Upscale nightclubs and restaurants
- Dance classes, workshops, and private lessons
- Choreography commissions
Please note that I’m happy to initiate social dancing after my performance is over, but I do not include audience participation in a typical appearance, do not accept jobs to embarrass a guest of honor, and will not drag "victims" on to the dance floor. I’m able to improvise when live music is available or when the unexpected arises, but unless you’re specifically looking only to create atmospheric interest, I deliver a polished floor show appropriate for a seated audience.
I am a top instructor with thousands of hours of classroom teaching experience. I aim to empower students with clean versatile foundation technique, adaptable to traditional, tribal, and fusion styles, and, emphasizing purpose and integrity, promote belly dance as an artistic medium for individually-authentic self-expression.
Encouraging students to take ownership of their dancing, I teach detailed movement breakdowns addressing alignment, mechanics, kinesthetic sensation, and injury prevention; nuanced musical interpretation; and an uncontrived natural beauty aesthetic. My students gain wisdom, charisma, and the graceful "finished" look of classical training.
I was a faculty member at Washington DC’s largest dance school, Joy of Motion Dance Center, from 1999-2002, have been teaching independently in New York City since relocating in 2002, and travel internationally as a workshop presenter. While I approach dance and fitness as separate disciplines, my teaching is informed by best practices from the health and wellness industry: in 2009 I obtained AFAA group fitness certification, and earned a diploma from a 300-hour vocational preparation program for personal trainers. I have also studied kinesthetic anatomy with Irene Dowd. My instructional-reference DVDs, Beautiful Technique from Step One (2009) and Travel Steps (2011), are among the most comprehensive informational programs ever available to students and teachers of belly dance.
My academic background is in environmental science and Russian literature. I attended Eugene Lang College in New York City and graduated from George Washington University in Washington, DC, with a bachelor’s degree in geography. After college, I worked for many years with geospatial data as a cartographer and satellite imagery analyst. Although I no longer work in this field, I have a continuing interest in ecology and natural history. While my career path may seem divergent, I feel like I have always relied on common skills in all my work: just as a cartographer must understand and interpret the earth to represent it in a map, a dancer must understand and interpret music, representing it in movement.
In my spare time I enjoy baking cakes, visiting the farm animals at the Central Park Petting Zoo, reading historical romances and watching costume dramas, sewing, and getting out of New York City.
|Cats pictured are not my own. Yours could be next!|