Instructors Page 2
Scroll down for bios and videos for Agni Dance Company, April Rose, Blair Logan, Daniel Kelch, & Devin Alfather
Agni Dance Co.
Bollywood dance may seem like the latest craze, appearing to mainstream audiences after the release of Slumdog Millionaire in 2008. But this dance form has been evolving over the last century in the Hindi film industry based in Mumbai. Innovative choreographers have been combining classical and folk Indian styles with disco, jazz, and jive. At cultural events across North America, South Asians have borrowed the movement from the screen and combined them with styles they have learned in the diaspora: hip hop, salsa, and modern. Bollywood is an eclectic style with a distinctly global flair--Bollywood dance is for everyone!
Starting in 2007 as a small group of dancers, Agni dance ensemble now features 35+ dancers that have performed at major venues, various festivals, musicals, schools, corporations, studios, and private events. The ensemble's repertoire ranges from folk styles such as garba and bhangra, classical techniques such as kathak and Bharatanatyam, to shoulder-shimmying feel-good medleys, and poetic interpretations of sufi music.
In 2008, Agni opened its dance academy, offering classes starting 4 years of age at multiple locations in Austin, Round Rock, and Cedar Park areas. Now the academy offers 15+ classes at four different levels (basic, intermediate 1 and 2, advance), targeting four different age groups (4-7, 8-12, teenagers, and adults). All classes are taught by members of our ensemble, and each semester, students are given an opportunity to perform at our bi-annual recital: lights, costumes, props, and all.
Agni is actively committed to building community in the greater Austin area. The company not only performs at city-sponsored events such as Diwali celebrations at Zilker Park, but also annually organizes Bollywood Day in central Austin. The company has also collaborated with other local artists and dance companies to produce full length shows such including Om Shanti (a Bollywood style musical) and Strings of Time (a musical interpretation of scientific theories).
Most recently, Agni has introduced AgniFit, an opportunity for people of all ages and body types to get healthy while rocking out to Bollywood songs with trained and competent instructors. We continue to extend our reach into the community by offering performances, choreography, and workshops at schools, companies, and private events.
April Rose began bellydance at age 11 in Sacramento, California after being inspired by one of Suhaila Salimpour’s legendary company performances at the Renaissance Faire. After studying 5 years of cabaret style bellydance under Daleela Morad, she became a student of fusion bellydance at Hot Pot Studios, directed by Amy Sigil. From 2005 to 2010 April Rose danced as a company member of Sigil’s hard-hitting experimental dance troupe UNMATA.
In 2009 April earned a bachelors degree in Dance from UCLA where she studied choreographic method, the role of dance in the production of culture, and a variety of dance forms (including: ballet, modern, West African, jazz, hip hop, Bedhayo, Bharatanatyam, Odissi, and Khathak classical Indian dances, contact improv, and Skinner Releasing Technique). In 2008 and 2009 she studied abroad in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India where she studied the Hindi language, yoga, and dance.
From 2010 to 2012 April Rose danced as a principal performer with Miles Copeland’s groundbreaking commercial dance company Bellydance Superstars. While touring internationally for the shows “Bombay Bellywood” and “Magic of the Dance”, she had the honor of dancing alongside world class performers Kami Liddle, Moria Chappell, Sabrina Fox, and Petite Jamila.
After her touring with BDSS, April Rose returned to Los Angeles to finish graduate school at UCLA’s World Arts and Cultures | Dance Department, where in 2012 she earned her Masters degree in Dance Studies, with honors. April’s research explores the transnational history of bellydance since the mid-19th century and the many incarnations of bellydance practice in the post 1960’s US. She is currently editing her Masters thesis for future publication.
April Rose now permanently resides in Austin, Texas directing her dance school, Rose Movement Studio. There she teaches classic and fusion bellydance, as well as Improvisational Tribal Style, a dance form created by Amy Sigil, for which April has the honor of being the first certified teacher.
April has had the pleasure of teaching dance technique, history, and composition at bellydance conferences in over 20 countries including Russia, Estonia, Croatia, Poland, Slovakia, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, Korea, India, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Brazil, France, Italy, Portugal, Spain, England, Scotland, Austria, Switzerland, and Canada. Look for April at a festival near you, visit Rose Movement in Austin, TX or study with April Rose from anywhere at Rachel Brice’s online dance studio, Datura Online.
Blair Logan has been belly dancing since she wandered upon her first hafla back in 2006 in Missoula, Montana. Since then, taught classes, workshops, and after-school programs, emphasizing this dance style as a form of confidence and communication building education. She has also explored performance with a variety of musicians, dancers, and community-driven events. These, most recently, include the annual Rosewater Review show through Rose Movement Studio, Migrations World Dance and Music Festival through the Austin Tribal Collective, and the Burlesco Variety Show, and musician collaborations include local bands such as Kev Bev and the Woodland Creatures, Atlas Maior, and Our Suns. Her passion for dance and performance extend from staging and costuming to the mundane world of wrangling artists/fundraising/advertising for events--the goal of it all being to create a strong and encouraging community for artistic expression as a means of positive self-development.
Daniel Kelch began photography 10 years ago as a hobbyist in wildlife and nature photography. Shortly thereafter he was convinced to dabble another type of wildlife: the Western WA Belly Dance Community. He continues to photographs dancers in the Central TX area. Several of Daniel’s photographs have been used in dancers’ portfolios, and his wildlife and military action photographs have been featured in several national publications
Class: Hit Me with Your Best Shot
Devin Alfather is a classically trained Martial Artist with over twelve years of both continuous study and teaching. She is currently certified to teach Women’s Self Defense under the ASFA and was a member of the I.O.M.A.U. from 2011-2016. As Principal Assistant under Juko-Ryu (American Division) she achieved the rank of San-Dan (Third Degree Black) in Shorin-Ryu Karate, acquired various weapons certifications (including Tonfa, Bo staff, Te-bo, Naginata, and small bladed weapons), and began working with students--primarily women--to develop a consolidated set of techniques designed to work with our smaller size and stature.
Frustrated by a lack of innovation, she began branching out into other arts, such as Judo (2013-2016) and Tuidi (2010-2016). She was put to work training and polishing women, both as beginners and advanced students, giving demonstrations in Chicago, Detroit, and Dallas.
After leaving the I.O.M.A.U. she began exploring techniques in American Boxing, and those practiced by the U.S.M.C and Army. She continues to train and study her craft, so that she may lead by example in designing arts for women, by women.
Class: Self-Defense for Dancers