Special Reports

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Studio Sephira featured on First Local from Studio Sephira on Vimeo.

Above is a feature story on the Studio and the dance done by Chris White and aired on First Local.

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Here is a short article called "Mastering an art form : Belly dance instructor finishing up first class in Amherst" by Raissa Tetanish (rtetanish@amherstdaily.com) published on 14/02/08 in the Amherst Daily News on classes I offered in the area. http://www.amherstdaily.com/index.cfm?sid=108184&sc=58

AMHERST - A tragic incident a decade ago lead Barbara Aubie down a path she fell in love with and has since to look back.

"Years ago, I had a very best friend who died violently and it changed my life," said Aubie from her home in Moncton. "It traumatized me and I needed to kind of re-think things."

Aubie was attending university at the time, and decided to stop taking the courses. She knew it was important, however, to keep learning, so she says she started taking classes and learning about her body.

"I took a belly dance class at one point and I never stopped. I fell in love with it. It just talked to me."

For the past four weeks, Aubie has been teaching more than a dozen students at the Cumberland YMCA about the dance she says is the most amazing - belly dancing.

"The expression really helps women to move their bodies in ways that is different and new, and it really helps a lot with self-esteem," said the 37-year-old instructor.

"It's a dance that everybody learns the same basic moves, but everybody's expression of the dance is going to be different because everyone's an individual."

Aubie teaches her students to create a body-mind connection, focusing on their breath, core and improvisation.

"Belly dancing is about isolating different parts of the body to make either circles, lines or undulations. We use our core to power the movements. There's a lot of grace that's mixed with strength," said Aubie, adding the goal is to connect with the music.

"It's really an art form that is used to express the music. The music and the art form evolve together."

For almost 10 years, Aubie's been teaching the dance and currently operates Studio Sephira out of Moncton. Four or five women traveled from Amherst to her studio for her classes and had expressed interests in Aubie teaching in their hometown. Aubie put the ball in the hands of her students who helped her get in touch with the Y.

Right now, says Aubie, there are two belly dancing courses but she's hoping to boost the energy in the class to offer one from March to April, and another from April to May.

"The dance looks easier than it is to learn. It's like any movement form, it takes practice," said Aubie.

"This one in particular is about making it look easy. When we're isolating and expressing the music, it's to engage the parts of the body that we want to engage while having the rest of the body relax."

For more information on the belly dancing classes, contact Sephira's Bellydance Studio at (506) 383-8138, or call the Cumberland YMCA at (902) 667-9112.

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