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The Gilded Serpent presents...


Amara/Laura Osweiler, PhD, is a versatile and diverse Middle Eastern dancer. She is well known for her entertaining and dynamic American belly dance and as a leading innovator in theatrical and experimental Middle Eastern dance. Amara has performed as a soloist and in Middle Eastern Dance companies all over the United States. In addition to holding long-term performing engagements at many nightclubs and restaurants in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Austin, she has been highlighted in over 15 commercial videos. Amara is also the director of Ya Helewa! Middle Eastern Dance Company.

Amara is known for her personalized attention to student needs and expectations. She wants teachers, dancers, and students to be the best that they can be at any given time. Amara stresses a strong foundation while helping individuals achieve their goals and enjoy their practice of learning. As the result of working closely with students, she in turn learns from them and continues to expand her teaching methods. In addition to teaching dance studio classes, Amara has taught accredited courses on dance appreciation and Middle Eastern dance at University of California, Los Angeles, and University of California, Riverside, and Cal Poly, Pomona and workshops at a number of universities and colleges. Recently, she began a certificate program for dance teachers and producers, called Training 4 Dance Teachers.

Amara’s productions are centered on building supportive dance communities. She wants dancers to reach intellectual and artistic goals, and therefore, develops a variety of avenues for practice and performance. Amara produces numerous events, such as “An Evening of Experimental Middle Eastern Dance” concerts, “X-MED” (co-producer) workshop, and “How to Teach Middle Eastern Dance.” She has also hosted a monthly belly dance showcase and co-founded “Dance Under Construction,” a UC system wide dance conference.

In addition to teaching and performing, Amara is also deeply involved with studying and researching Middle Eastern dance. Her interest began while obtaining her degree in Music History and Literature and a certificate in Ethnomusicology from Florida State University. Amara’s pursuit deepened when at UCLA she worked towards an Masters of Arts in Dance Ethnology and an Masters of Fine Arts in Dance Performance. She finished her PhD in Dance History and Theory at UC Riverside. She has published articles in numerous Middle Eastern dance magazines and has presented at international dance conferences including, Congress on Research and Dance (CORD), Society for Dance History Scholars (SDHS), International Belly Dance Conference of Canada, and International Conference on Middle Eastern Dance.

Information about "An Evening of Experimental Middle Eastern Dance" concerts and X-MED workshops

Certificate Programs for dance teachers and producers

Articles on Gilded Serpent by Amara