Improvisation Toolkit

DVD series with Nadira Jamal

About the Toolkit   Volume 1   Volume 2   Future Volumes

"I can only see myself growing more confident and accomplished through your advice."
- Amy

Future Volumes

Many more volumes of the Improvisation Toolkit are in the works! Below is a sneak preview of what's in store for the series.


Are awkward transitions stalling your improvised dance?

Clunky transitions not only make your dancing look stilted, but they also get in the way of improvisation.

In this volume, you'll learn how to use transitions to:

  • Prepare your body to change smoothly between moves and combinations
  • Communicate a change of idea to your audience

In the process, you'll learn a variety of transitions:

  • Simple transitions that get the job done
  • Ornamental Transitions that add interest and punctuate your dance

But I don't just hand you the material. You'll also learn the theory behind transitions. This empowers you to create your own.

And because these skills are no good if they don't come to you easily in the moment, we'll use a variety of exercises to drill transitions into your muscle memory.

Volume 3 has been delayed due to injuries, but it is still in the works!

Notify me when this volume is released



Does your feel one-dimensional, no matter how many moves you use?

In this volume, you'll learn how to make the most of the moves you use. By adding dimension and variety to your dance, you can make sure that your audience stays interested.

You'll learn how to add variety and interest using principles of dance composition. In the tradition of the Taktaba Podcast's analytical method, we'll explore elements of space, shape, time, and energy, such as:

  • Traveling Patterns
  • Timing Patterns
  • Pacing
  • Level
  • Body Orientation
  • Linear & Angular Shapes
  • Movement & Stillness

In this video, I'll introduce you to these concepts, how to use them in improv, and how they make your audience feel. If you enjoy this approach, check out my Taktaba Podcast, which covers these elements in depth.

And because I never throw you in the deep end, I'll give you exercises and tips to help you gradually incorporate these ideas as you learn to improvise with confidence.

Notify me when this volume is released


Musical Analysis in the Moment

The belly dancer's job is to reflect and translate the music for our audience. However, learning to listen to, analyze, and respond to the music on the fly can be overwhelming at first. We'll work from the ground up, starting with the most basic and important skills, so you can start using musical analysis in your belly dance improvisation right away.

We'll discuss how to work with the structure of the music on the fly:

  • Finding the "one"
  • Dancing to:
    • The Beat
    • The Rhythm
    • The Melody
    • Accents
  • Phrasing
  • Accent Patterns
  • Song Structures

Since you only have so much brainpower to spend, we'll discuss how to prioritize while improvising:

  • How to get the most bang for your attention buck
  • How to respond to more than one part of the music at once
    (and why it's not always a good idea!)
  • How to dance to different parts of the music sequentially
    (and transition between them smoothly)

What you hear in the music is an important part of your personal style. I'll include exercises to help you find your own style of:

  • Hearing the commands of the music
  • Matching movements to instruments

And remember, I won't throw you in the deep end of the pool! We'll gradually incorporate these skills into your own belly dance improvisation with practical, step-by-step exercises.

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