The 8 Elements™ is a technique-based approach developed by Rachel Brice. It is rooted in tribal fusion, american tribal and american cabaret belly dance styles, other contemporary and ethnic dance forms, and viniyoga™.
The 8 Elements™ Instruction
The 8 Elements™ approach is taught through multi-phase intensives which explore 8 key concepts, building from the simple to the complex, with the purpose of developing a healthy dance practice while demystifying the process of dance making.
The 8 Elements™ approach encompasses biomechanics, vocabulary development, improvisation, choreography, musicality, practice development, tribal belly dance history, costuming, and performance preparation and experience. Participants in intensives will come away with a toolbox full of methods and concepts to improve technique, stimulate creativity, and build effective and dynamic dances, whether improvised or choreographed, solo or with others.
The 8 Elements™ intensives are intended as an approach for exploration and development of one’s personal dance practice, with the opportunity to join a network of other practitioners and teachers who have displayed a degree of commitment and proficiency in the approach through testing for recognition at each phase and two culminating certifications: A Practitioner’s Certification and a Teacher’s Certification.
The Practitioner’s Certification will be offered for participants who complete phases I - III and who satisfy the requirements and testing for each phase. The Teacher’s Certification will be offered after the completion of the Practitioner’s Certification and phase IV, the Teacher Training phase and its requirements. A document of recognition at each phase will also be provided for those who complete and have passed the testing for each phase. Participants who complete all phases and testing, earning the Teacher’s Certification, will be certified to teach the 8 Elements™ approach.
Overview of Each Phase
Phase I: Initiation
Initiation, phase one of the 8 Elements™ training, introduces and explores 8 key concepts building from the simple to the complex with the purpose of laying a foundation to unlock the "how" of dance making and healthy dance practice. In Initiation participants are introduced to the key concepts of the approach which encompass biomechanics, vocabulary development, improvisation, choreography, musicality, practice development, belly dance history, costuming, and performance preparation and experience. Participants in this intensive will come away with a tool box full of methods and concepts to improve technique, stimulate creativity, and begin to build effective and dynamic dances, whether improvised or choreographed, solo or with others.
Initiation is open to all levels of dancers, from the familiar beginner (1+ year of experience) to the seasoned performer seeking to strengthen the foundation of their dance.
Phase II: Cultivation
Cultivation, phase two of the 8 Elements™ training, continues the focus on technique and creativity as engines for expression while expanding the dancer’s creative ‘toolbox’ for building a unique approach to vocabulary, musicality, adornment, improvisation, and choreography. This intensive goes deeper into the fundamentals of belly dance technique and yoga asana, exploring Rachel’s dance vocabulary, shared vocabularies, while practicing solo and group improvisation. Participants will create original choreographies, expand proficiency in musicality and odd-metered rhythms, and practice design for adornment. Initiation is an overview of a well-rounded dance practice, and in Cultivation the approach is advanced and refined to support the dancer’s process of development and discovery.
Cultivation is open to dancers who have completed phase one, Initiation.
Phase III: Culmination
Culmination, phase three of the training, continues with the refinement of technique alongside a process-based focus on practice, costume creation, presentational and performance elements of belly dance. In addition to daily technique training, the student will create original solo and group choreographies with costumes to be shown at a local theatre for the general public. We will cover structuring a group rehearsal, designing and constructing costumes, navigating the challenging situations presented by rehearsal and performance, and creating optimal conditions for group work. The intention of Culmination is for the 8 Elements™ training be applied and blossom in a real life experience.
Culmination is open to dancers who have completed Initiation and Cultivation.
Phase IV: Transmission
Transmission, phase four of the training, focuses on transmitting what has been learned from these trainings and other performance experiences to other dancers. Subjects will include demonstration, observation, corrections, different teaching styles and methods, ethics, non-violent communication, inspiration vs. imitation, and the business of belly dance. Participants will teach each other in class, and discuss some of the different situations that may be in encountered in a classroom setting. Participants will also have the opportunity to gain practical experience through teaching classes at Rachel’s home studio Datura.Transmission is open to dancers who have completed Initiation, Cultivation and Culmination.
To find the upcoming certification events, check out Rachel's website http://www.rachelbrice.com