Visions of the Nile Belly Dance School is celebrating with an Open House and Grand Reopening on Sunday, August 30, 2015 at 1723 Saddlewood Avenue in Akron, Ohio 44313.
You are invited to join Ameenah Von and staff for demonstrations of classes and shopping at the newly remodeled Treasures of the Nile Consignment Boutique. The boutique is always looking for items to sell.
Visions of the Nile believes that belly dance is more than just dancing. They consider it an art form that touches the innermost spirit of the person. It is an ancient dance by women, for women. It is also a form of low impact exercise for all shapes, sizes and ages. In addition to belly dance, the studio offers Polynesian dance. It also offers Reiki, and Mindful Dance. They also have an extensive library for perusing.
Ameenah Von established the studio in 2001 after having danced for years and is the director of the Visions of the Nile dance troupes, lectures and performs at events. She is former treasurer for the national organization MEDIA (Middle Eastern Dance Instructor’s Association). She teaches intermediate and advanced classes and private lessons at her studio. She has taught at the Ananda Center in Massillon, ProQuest in Richfield, Kent State University, Stewart’s Caring Place and Quirk Cultural Center. She was the guest of Oasis and Civic Forum, that aired on cable broadcasting. She was interviewed for the Stow Show and appeared on That’s Life with Robin Swoboda. She taught at the National Nursing Aides Convention. Ameenah is also a Reiki Master and Lomi Lomi healer.
Ameenah began by taking lessons from Danielle Cowgill in the summer of 2000. She has studied under Dahmia, Shakira, Aegela, Veena and Neena and Carrie Konyha. She attended Oasis Dance Camp in 2003 with Cassandra Shore and Jillina, 2005 with Cassandra and Amel Tafsout, 2014 with Cassandra and Ava Cernik and seminars with Jasmin Jahal, Samra El Nil, Faten Munger, Aeila, Mylitta, Tarik Sultan, Morocco, Bellyqueen, Suzanna Delvecchio, Artemus, and MEDIA’s teacher’s seminar.
“What made me decide to become an instructor? One word STUBBORNESS. The original partnership did not work out and I had a studio so……it was either quit or learn in a hurry and I am NOT a quitter. I spent hundreds of hours talking to people, watching and studying videos, reading books to figure out what are beginning, intermediate and advanced moves. Just because you can do a move doesn’t mean you can teach them. Soooo I spent hundreds more hours studying how to teach and individual learning styles so I developed my courses. I would write out the instructions for the moves, give it to my husband, and tell him to follow the instructions exactly as written. If it looked close, I figured I had it. The first six months was tough……I sewed and sold Belly Dance items on Ebay to pay the rent at the studio while I learned and developed my coursework. That was all 15 years ago.”
She prefers to instruct “American Triberet”, which is a conglomerate of all the styles. A lot depends on where the students are in their development. A lot of the time I bring in other teachers to augment what we need at the time. Teachers like Shakira, Dahmia, and Aegela. At those times I am a student also. The thing I like best about teaching is watching my students grow. It is such a rewarding experience to have a student come in who thinks “I can’t do this; I’m fat; I have two left feet; I’m too old; etc. and to watch them blossom into a graceful, self-confident goddess. That moment when the light bulb goes on and they quit holding their breath and turn into graceful, beautiful dancers is the most gratifying experience in the world.”
“My goal for my students is both physical and spiritual since both are so interconnected. When the body grows in confidence so does the inner spirit. The students come with so many goals of their own. Some, of course, want exercise, some want an hour or so to themselves. Some want to socialize, some want to perform, and some are doing it just to have fun. After all, if it isn’t fun why would you pay to come. So I try to meet as many of their needs as I can while I teach them this wonderous dance. I even recommend that my students take classes from other instructors when I think it may benefit them. I learned long ago that no one teacher can be everything to every student as much as you hate to see things change, it’s about helping them grow to “be all that they can be”.
“We have not moved the studio. I had subleased the front of the studio to Mystic Pathways. When she closed her shop we simply remodeled that room for our consignment shop, Treasures of the Nile which takes gently used and new costuming items on consignment,” Ameenah explains. “What sets us apart……WOW…..that is a loaded question. While we love the glitz and glitter of a $600 + costume, most (not all by any stretch) simply would prefer to spend money on “other” things, like going to dance camp or seminars. We do most of our performing for arts in the parks, community festivals, libraries and nursing homes. We believe in giving back to the community as much as we can along with the fun of being able to share our dance with soooo many. We are definitely family-oriented. I don’t usually promote myself, I believe all the credit should go to the dancers that make my dreams come to life. To have a vision and see it come to life is such a thrill. I will come into the studio with a crazy idea I concocted and say hey here’s what I want and they make it happen. How cool is that??? I am constantly dreaming up ways, choreographies, and fun things so we can share our love of the dance with anyone who might be interested.”
Visions of the Nile loves to give back to the community and that is evident by the number of causes they have supported through the years. They have danced at numerous Cancer Society events: Relay for Life in Springfield, Barberton, Massillon, Hudson, Stow, Wadsworth, and Making Strides in Canal Park. They have sponsored a Shimmy-A-Thon to raise donations for the Akron-Canton Regional Food Bank. They have danced at benefits like the Teddy Bears to Cuddle Drive for the Battered Women’s Shelter and Haven of Rest. They also dance at nursing homes, festivals, style shows, art openings, just to name a few.
On staff is the legendary Dahmia. Dahmia has been a Middle Eastern Dance and Polynesian performer in Northeast Ohio since the 1970’s. She is the founder and director of the Ahawat el Rakisat (Sisters in Dance) and Sisters of the Islands dance companies. She recently attended her 29th Oasis Dance Camp in Traverse City, Michigan. Dahmia is also a Reiki Master.
“I have always believed in the mind, body, spirit aspect of life and to that philosophy I have tried to design a safe, caring space for women to gather. This fall we will be offering classes in all levels of belly dance for all ages, belly dance drills, cardio belly dance, golden goddesses (designed specifically for women 50+), mommy and me classes and of course kiddie classes. We will also have Polynesian and mindful dance classes. Once a month we will have “Freaky Fridays. ” Each month we will do something different, i.e., Reiki attunements, Reiki shares, movie nights, herb classes, aromatherapy, meditation, chakras or any other fun things we can imagine.”
“We will be having an Open House and Fall Grand Reopening at the studio; 1723 Saddlewood Ave; Akron, OH 44313 on Sunday, August 30, 2015 from 1 – 4 p.m.
Come meet the instructors, learn about the classes, shop a little in the bazaar, eat, drink and be merry. The 15 minute demonstrations will begin at 1:30.”