Ana Dancing in Kuwait

Ana Dancing in Kuwait

Ana Otero (Madrid, Spain)

Ana Otero (Madrid, Spain)

PHD Dance Ethnologist

As long as Ana can remember, dance has always been a part of Ana’s life. At an early age she started studying classical ballet, Flamenco and Spanish Dance in Madrid. Ana Otero later went to University in Miami to study Dance and Literature.

At university she met Miriam Eli and enrolled in her Middle Eastern Dance class at Florida International University. Ana considers Miriam as her soul teacher because not only did she learn the beautiful and complicated technique of this dance from her, but also its history. Miriam also taught her the importance of folklore in the Arab world and introduced her to sufism and Persian Sacred Dances.

After University she went back to Madrid, Spain. She immediately was hired to perform in Poland with the Theatre company Lomvriz. After touring Poland she decided to settle in her home town Madrid and focus on teaching. She taught in Escuela de Baile El Horno in Madrid. In her journey as a dance teacher and choreographer, she taught Flamenco and Middle Eastern Dance. She eventually developed a style wich she called Duendel Dance which was a fusion of Contemporary, Flamenco and Oriental/Gypsy Dance forms. She later met Shokry Mohammed (Egypt) and studied in his Middle Eastern Dance School (Escuela de Danza Oriental Pirámides) for 4 years. There she studied Classical Egyptian, Raqs Sharki, as well as Turkish styles and Persian Sacred Dances. Shokry and Ana began a journey which they called Al Andalus, having Ana a Flamenco backround, both of their passions became to reinvent the dance of Al Andalus, the dance in Spain as danced by the muslims, jews, christians and gypsies living together in perfect harmony. Ana soon became a dancer in his company and performed in Shokry Mohammed's theatrical shows throughout Spain. Her interest in Oriental dance has taken her to Turkey to study Turkish Gypsy Dance and to Cairo.

Ana slowly started working towards her PHD in Dance Ethnology, which she happily finished, and soon realised that inside of her dance studios, her students found a home, they found a comfort, and she started to teach dance on a more spiritual level. Ana believes that through dance not only do we acquire a sense of wholeness and happiness, but we also become more aware of our bodies. She started incorporating a yoga (Ana is a certified yoga instructor) based workout, breathe and movement synchronization exercises and meditation. Soon, her dance class was more than technique and choreography, it became a spiritual awakening for her students and herself.

Ana has lived and taught in Egypt, Kuwait and Dubai. She has learned from many masters from the Arab world and from India.

Flamenco Arabe Workshop Hollywood Florida Agosto 2008

Contemporary Flamenco

Many of Ana's masters: Cristiane Azem, Eva Chacón, Julia Salmerón, Gloria Alba, Tatiana, Mahmoud Reda, Rakia Hassan, Nabil Mabrouk, Fátima Fontes, Myriam Szabo, Souhaila Salimpour, Tito and Ansuya, Bettinal Castano, Manuela Reyes, Belen Maya, Faruk Mustafa, Mona Mustafa, Nasra, Freiz, Sameh el Dessouki, Ashraf Hassan, Chua Alba, Manolete, Judea Maya, Isabel Bayón, Rafael Campallo, Raquel Molina.

Ana and yoga:

Ana Otero received her first certification with Swami Sivananda and lived in the Sivananda Ashram in Zaragoza, Spain, for three months. She later received the European Association of Yoga Degree (3 year degree). Her great Masters in Spain have been Ramiro Calle and Margot Paccuad, and she has studied with many other Masters from the United States and India. She has also taken workshops with different masters around the world. Ana teaches a variety of styles: Hatha, Iyengar,Ashtanga, Jivamukti (a mix of these 3), Vinyasa and Kundalini. She has also created a new yoga philosophy which she calls Kundalini Shakti Dance, which is a fusion of yoga and dance, the main objective being to wake up the Kundalini energy which lies dormant in the base of the spine and to balance out the chakras. This Dance, just as in yoga, is centered in the breathing. Movement and breath synchronizing to create the state of a moving meditation.

Ana's yoga classes focus on Mind, Body and Spirit working in unison throughout the practise. Her warm up exercises in class consist of Pranayama Breathing and Kundalini practise to warm up the spine. At the end of each session she places great importance on savasana, relaxation, and offers a reiki message to her

In addition to my artistic vision of dance and to my artistic needs as a performer, I am now keenly interested in the therapeutic and life-saving powers of dance and I want to help dancers and people in general to “Dance the Dance of Life!” I work with students, not only to improve technique and skill, but to travel into their inner spirit to get to the ‘soul of the dance’ . I use dance to express emotion, have fun, build strength and confidence, to improve physical and emotional health and ultimately, send out positive energy and beauty into the world.

Ana Otero

Emiratos Árabes Unidos 2008

sábado, 24 de octubre de 2009

Dancing Flamenco in Kuwait

Inauguration of the Rose Program.

Dancing Saidi in Kuwait

Inauguration of the Rose Program. Special program designed for women, a holistic approach to self-improvement, physical and emotional well-being and for expanding our awareness.

domingo, 13 de septiembre de 2009

miércoles, 24 de junio de 2009

Ana Otero and Ali Khattab. Cairo, Egypt.

Flamenco Oriental Workshop. July 2009

Workshops & Classes

Flamenco Oriental Workshop with Ana Otero and Ali Khattab in Madrid, July 18th and 19th of July

Saturday, 18th of July, from 11:00 - 14:00

Sunday, 19th of July, from 11:00 - 15:00

Dance school: Qué Arte

Contact: Sara, 0034 687987737

Ali and Ana met in Cairo, Egypt, and realized that they both shared a common artistic esthetic: to fuse flamenco music and dance with oriental music and dance. The objective of this workshop is to teach a basic flamenco body technique and incorporate this to the oriental repertoire. Both styles will be present throughout the choreography, not one predominating, and the dancer will learn how to feel the flamenco and oriental energy so that the dance travels from one expression to the other.

Ali Khattab

* contact Ana at OR call on +2 0168829668

viernes, 22 de mayo de 2009

Ana Otero at El Sawi in Cairo

6th of June at 8:30 pm at El Sawi Cultural Center

Ana Otero presents Lorca y El Amor

Flamenco and Gypsy Fusion

domingo, 12 de abril de 2009


The origins of flamenco are one of those hotly debated issues which I don't think anyone can really prove. Certainly it was influenced by moorish/eastern dance, spanish dances, and it's greatest proponents were probably the gypsies. They may have even been some cross- influence of flamenco back into Turkish and other Middle Eastern dances. None of this is that clear-cut and proven. Despite all the 'Moorish' dance interpretations you will see, there's very little info on what these actually looked like - there is a 'Moorish' style of flamenco dance that hints at what it might have been - it's performed barefoot (Zambra).

Flamenco is a generic term applied for the body of music, song and dance normally associated with Andalusian Gypsies . In the broader sense, flamenco is the Andalusian folk art of the poor. The word is also used to describe a flamenco performer or aficionado.

It evolved from a combination of Gypsy and non-Gypsy cultural influences. In the 9th century for example, a musician from Baghdad called Zyryab founded a singing school in Cordoba. He was largely responsible for adding Persian music and poetry to Andalusian culture. Later influences included the Gregorian musical system of the Christians and possibly the liturgical music of the Jews .

The first time Flamenco is reported on in literature is in the "Cartas Marruecas" of Cadalso, in 1774.Between 1765 and 1860, the first Flamenco-schools were created: Cádiz, Jerez de la Frontera and Triana (Seville).In this epoch Flamenco dance started to have its firm position in the ballrooms. Early Flamenco seems to have been purely vocal, accompanied only by rhythmical clapping of hands, toque de palmas. It was left to dedicated composers, as Julián Arcas, to introduce guitar playing.
During its Golden Age (1869-1910) Flamenco was developed in the epoch's numerous music cafés (cafés cantantes) to its definitive form. Also the more serious forms expressing deep feelings (cante jondo) dates from then.
Flamenco dance arrived to its climax, being the major attraction for the public of those cafés cantantes. Guitar players featuring the dancers increasingly gained a reputation.
The time from 1910 to 1955 Flamenco singing is marked by the ópera flamenca, with an easier kind of music such as fandangos and cantes de ida y vuelta. The latter clearly showed South American influences.
From 1915 on Flamenco shows were organized and performed all over the world. Anyhow, not everybody was enchanted with that development and intellectuals such as Falla organized in 1922 in Granada a contest to promote "authentical" cante jondo.
1955 started a sort of Flamenco Renaissance, the great performer Antonio Mairena being its key figure. Outstanding dancers and soloists soon made their way out of the small tablaos, successors to the early cafés cantantes, to the great theaters and concert houses. It was now that guitar players acquired a great protagonism, and their playing arrived to masterity.
Actual Flamenco frequently shows influences of other kinds of music, as Jazz, Salsa, Bossa Nova, etc.
Also Flamenco dance has changed, specially female dancers try to rather showcase their temperament than artistry. The Flamenco guitar that formerly was just featuring the dancers arrived to be a soloistical art form, great virtuoso Paco de Lucia being the pioneer of that development."

Flamenco is a way of life, a philosophy of life, I will always be a flamenca…

When I discovered Oriental Dance I was absolutely mesmerized, I became addicted to the importance given to the dancer’s spirit, how the dancer must be absolutely transparent to show his / her emotions.

I remember when I took my first Class with Myriam Eli at Florida International University, where I studied dance. After a semester of intense research and dance we had our exam which consisted of three parts: 1. Choreography 2. Research paper, and 3: Improvisation .

I took my fellow classmates by surprise when I improvised. I got so into the music that my “duende” awoke from deep inside and since our bodies also have a memory, I started to naturally fuse Oriental Dance with Flamenco…

After class this older woman who was signed up in the course approached me and said: “Ana, you must pursue this, the duende is exactly what oriental dance lacks, and the free flow movement is what flamenco lacks…

That was the beginning of my relationship with Flamenco Arabic fusion. This fusion later took me to study Katak, Baratanatyam and Odyssey, three forms of Indian dance where there is an obvious connection to Flamenco dance.

miércoles, 11 de febrero de 2009

Nia Dance / Chakra Energy Healing Dance

The Nia Technique is a movement practice that not only offers the cardiovascular benefits of traditional fitness classes, but also encourages emotional expression and engagement to nourish the mind, body and soul. Nia is a barefoot technique and is a blending of modern and jazz dance, aerobics, martial arts, yoga and body integration therapy based on the Alexander technique and the teachings of Moshe Feldenkrais.

How does Nia work?

Nia honors the organic movements of the body to strengthen, stretch, open, align, balance, invigorate and heal. Accessible and innovative choreography engages the mind, stimulating music evokes the emotions, and instructor-guided focuses and visualizations access the soul. Engaging both the outer and inner self invites freer and fuller movement and results in a well-rounded and satisfying movement experience.

I Combine this technique with Chakra Energy Healing Dance

Energy centres — or Chakras — that are open and active generate energy into all of our organs and cells; cleansing, healing, and strengthening not only our physical bodies and immune systems, but also our mental, emotional and spiritual bodies.

In these modern day times of countless diseases, environmental threats to health, fear and emotional turmoil, and spiritual confusion and/or emptiness, we have to dig deeply inside ourselves and work consciously in order to activate all of our self-healing powers if we want to stay healthy. All of the many wonderful herbs, supplements, and delicious organic foods can help us a great deal on the physical level. There are also many homeopathic remedies, flower essences, crystal energies etc., that can help us heal on a deeper emotional and spiritual level.

But equally important is to cleanse, reactivate and re-energize our inner energetic system. This is the work that will create ongoing and ever increasing health, vitality, immunity and, yes, even the happiness, contentment and fulfillment that most of us crave.

The Chakras are the energy centres in the body through which Universal Energy is absorbed and transformed into a force which the body can use. This energy has the power to lift us out of fatigue, depression, illness, and despair. It has the ability to bring body, mind and soul together as one. If we clear the blockages and allow this energy to move freely through us, it has the power to lead us right on to our Life’s Path. It will connect us deeply with our soul so that we may easily find and follow our soul’s purpose. Once we are living our purpose, all fatigue, depression, fear and confusion just fade away. If illness, accidents or other seeming tragedies come our way and we are connected, through the chakras, with soul, then we can see and creatively use these events as opportunities to help us grow and evolve. Since the majority of illnesses and accidents are stress-related, these will occur much less frequently in a person whose Chakras are open and “dancing freely.”

Most of us have far more energy than we could even imagine. And we all have an amazing ability to channel that energy in ways that are healing and creative for ourselves and others.

That may all sound well and good and exciting. But the truth is, many of us are still tired and stressed and struggling. So how do we make the shift into a dynamic, inspired, energetic life and way of being? I’m sure we have all experienced moments or occasional bursts of that energy force within. It’s like that amazing feeling you get when you are newly in love — the “honeymoon phase” — when you see only the beauty in the world and you feel like you could do anything. Or that ecstatic moment of orgasm that lifts you, if only briefly, into another realm of existence. Because these moments are “externally generated” (i.e., need another person or external stimulus) they cannot be lasting.

But when we consciously and actively work through the Chakras, we begin to open the inner energetic channels. Once the Universal Energy is flowing easily and abundantly through us, then we move into that place of living an inspired, ecstatic life. This “inner generated” energy is our true life force; our true guide and healer. With this energy flowing through us, we become the co-creators of our own lives; working, living and playing in Harmony with the Universal Energy. This is the place where addictions lose their power over us as that formerly “empty hole” is filled by our willingness and ability to allow Universal Energy to fill us and move through us. This is the place where magic and transformation begin to happen in our lives.

To begin this work, it is helpful to eliminate those things that drain our energy. The biggest and deadliest energy drain is negativity. While it is nice to know what is happening in our world and to do what we can to help, to totally focus our attention and energy on illness, disasters, war, etc. will drain our energy and will actually give more life and energy to those negative situations. Love, pleasure, fun and laughter are the things that will boost our energy and keep us healthy. Fear and stress deplete the immune system. Love and nurturing and safe touch will strengthen it.

Negative emotions can completely block the flow of energy through our bodies. If we are holding onto anger, resentment, jealousy, etc., these dark heavy emotions not only block our ability to feel good and enjoy our lives, they become embedded in our cells, muscles, tissues and organs, creating physical discomfort. Often these emotions and “issues” have been embedded so deeply for so long, we may not even be aware of their presence in our bodies and energy centres. The only thing we know is that we feel tired, full of anxiety or in physical pain. This is the time to allow your intuition to guide you to one or more of the many wonderful healers and therapies that will help you clear these blockages and free your energy.

Once the energy is flowing a little more freely through you, you will likely find yourself wanting to flow and move and dance with the energy that is waking up and dancing inside of you. You may well find yourself spontaneously dancing the dance of one or more of the Chakras.

Starting with the Root Chakra — the dynamic red energy that spins around the base of the spine — our dance is a very primal, physical dance. Through our feet, we connect strongly with the Earth. The sound of drums stirs the passion of the wild animal within us. The tribal energy moves us into connection with our own personal tribe.

We move up into the centre of the belly to the Sacral Chakra. The colour is orange and the dance is sexual and sensual. The life force begins to move and pulse through us, opening us up to new forms of creative movement and expression. The pelvis undulates to the flowing sounds of water and stringed instruments.

Then our dance shifts up into the solar plexus, above the navel. Here is the power and brilliant yellow of the sun energy where we dance the dance of the inner warrior/ess. Here we know and experience our own power to step courageously out into the world. The blasting of horns heralds our arrival as spiritual warriors.

Our dance becomes gentle and loving as we move up into the Heart Chakra in the centre of the chest. Accompanied by the haunting, gentle sound of the flute, our dance exudes love and compassion. The spring green healing energy that flows out of our Heart Centre is the most potent healing force of all.

As we bring our awareness up into the centre of the throat, the Throat Chakra, we connect our movement and dance to the Dance of the Soul. Through the Throat Chakra, the soul communicates and creates. We dance our dance of Creativity, surrounded by the gentle blue of a clear summer day. The music comes from our own Throat Chakra.

Our dance becomes quiet and subtle as we move with the Wise Being, all-knowing part of ourselves — the Third Eye Chakra — between the eyebrows. The colour of indigo surrounds our intuitive Third Eye Dance. Our vision is deep and clear.

Then our dance moves into that most sacred place in the Crown Chakra, at the top of the head, where we dance in silence, shrouded in royal purple. Here, we know ourselves to be divine beings, connected with all of the other divine beings of the universe. This dance takes us beyond duality into oneness and connection with our divine source.

The Dance of the Chakras is the dance of evolution. It is the dance that moves us from the struggle of our lower selves into the power and wisdom of our higher selves. It can be done sitting still in meditation, allowing each centre to open and dance its own dance as our awareness and focus travel up the spine. Or we can allow the energy of each Chakra to move our bodies into a beautiful physical expression of that energy. Any way you do it, the dance of the Chakras is an amazing, sacred and healing dance.

Classes consist of 6 week blocks, 1 class per week, and the price for 6 weeks is 240 LE. If you would just like to pay for the individual class that day the price is 50 LE, but if the space for the class is full this isn't an option.

Classes are on Monday, at 6:30 pm, at Ana´s Studio: Road 199, building 2B, Apartment 41.