FOL Exhibits Posters from White Oak Conservation Center


Mikahil Baryshnikov, White Oak Dance Project (1992) Photo by Annie Leibowitz

Friends of the Library is pleased to announce the new exhibition of posters from White Oak Conservation Center which will be on display from January 10th – April 30th, 2018 in the library Community Room gallery.

White Oak Conservation was created in 1982 by Howard Gillman in Nassau County, FL to help preserve some of the world’s most endangered species. It remains today as one of the premier wildlife breeding, research and training facilities in the world.

Howard Gilman (1924-1987) became Chair and CEO of the Gilman Paper Company in 1983 after the death of his father and brother and created the Howard Gilman Foundation. The Foundation gave to organizations devoted to science, medicine, education, endangered animals, social justice, and the visual and performing arts. These were Howard Gilman’s philanthropic passions.

Posters on display represent Gilman’s love for music, opera, horses, endangered animals and dance. Gilman supported Mikhail Baryshnikov and created the White Oak Dance Studio for Baryshnikov and Mark Morris to explore new choreographic development in both ballet and modern dance. Several posters show his commitment to dance and music.

Highlights of the exhibition include a poster from the White Oak Dance Project, along with images of cheetah, baby rhino and giant eland, all part of the White Oak Conservation effort.

The exhibition is open during select hours and the Library is located at 25 North 4th Street in downtown Fernandina Beach. For viewing hours call the library at 904-530-6500, Ext 1. or visit FOL’s website at

Educational activities associated with the exhibition will be scheduled and announced separately. For more information on White Oak Conservation visit:

Performances of Ballet and Opera from Europe Shown at Cinema 7

Performances of Ballet and Opera from Europe Shown at Cinema 7Mouth of Amelia has sent word of live, streaming performances of ballet and opera that are being shown at our own Carmike Amelia Island Cinema 7 movie theater.

The next feature is Le Corsaire (The Bolshoi Ballet); with a encore performance on 3/20/12, at 7:00 PM.

WHEN: Please see Schedule of Events below!

WHERE: Carmike 7 Cinema, 1132 South 14th Street in Fernandina Beach, Florida

WHAT: This is in the “Who Knew” department! It is a little known fact that ballets and operas are streamed in live from La Scala, Bolshoi Theatre, Royal Opera House, etc. to our local theatre, Carmike. The showings are usually here at 11am (from Russia) or 2pm (from London). They’re recorded during streaming and shown again locally once or twice as Encores. The performances often last over three hours because, being live, they include intermissions. Usually, the intermissions show views of the event’s theatre and sometimes interviews with principals, costumers or conductors — always translated into English or with English captions. Performances always include English captions.

A loyal Mouth reader writes, “The sound system at the theatre is wonderful and with cameras streaming in the live performances from different angles, even overhead views and closeups, it’s pure eye candy! We see far more than the audience at the event could possibly see from any seat. We’ve become avid ballet fans as a result. Although we’ve always loved opera, this venue brings it up close and personal!”

We are so lucky to have this program right here on our little island since not all Carmike theatres are participating. You might subscribe to for “Ballet in Cinema” and “Opera in Cinema” to get notices about upcoming events, but the notices come in just a few days in advance of the event which only helps as a reminder. However, when you attend a performance, you receive a good program that provides performance details, including a synopsis, and lists upcoming events on the last page so that you can schedule for them further in advance.

My spies tell me that there are always seats available. Music lovers should patronize these showings to encourage Carmike to continue to subscribe to this series!

Schedule of upcoming events:,/em>

Puccini’s La Boheme (Gran Teatre del Liceu) Encore – 3/27/2012, 7:00pm

Verdi’s Rigoletto (The Royal Opera House) Live: 4/17/2012, 2:30pm; Encore – 4/24/2012, 7:00pm

Le Corsaire (The Bolshoi Ballet) Encore performance 3/20/12, 7:00 PM.

Romeo & Juliet (The Royal Ballet) Live: 3/22/2012, 3:30pm; Encore – 4/10/2012, 7:00pm

The Bright Stream (The Bolshoi Ballet) Live: 4/29/2012, 11:00am; Encore – 4:30pm & 5/15/2012, 7:00pm

La Fille Mal Gardee (The Royal Ballet) Live: 5/16/2012, 2:30pm; Encore – 5/29/2012, 7:00pm

Raymonda (The Bolshoi Ballet) Live: 6/24/2012, 11:00am; Encore – 4:30pm & 7/10/2012, 7:00pm

Le Corsaire, from the Bolshoi Ballet

In the Bolshoi Ballet’s new staging of Le Corsaire, Petipa’s original choreography is revived and refreshed by Alexei Ratmansky and Yuri Burlaka to breathe new life into this production. The ballet follows Medora, a young Greek girl, and Conrad, a dashing pirate, as they journey through a tapestry of dramatic events, culminating in a shipwreck considered to be one of ballet’s most dazzling spectacles. Starring Svetlana Lunkina, Ruslan Skvortsov, Andrei Merkuriev & Nina Kaptsova.

“The final scene has one scenic masterstroke after another. Moonlight upon the Mediterranean, then the corsairs’ ship… filling most of the stage with characters on board, trumped by thunder, lightning, storm, rising waves, and the boat splitting before our eyes: the kind of special effect that in recent decades has belonged to film alone.” – The New York Times

“…fairly bursts with dazzling ingredients… the final ocean scene is Kaminsky’s crowning glory.” – Washington Post

COST: Tickets are usually $20 for a ballet and $25 for an opera

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: Carmike is not very aggressive in advertising this series. Their phone message is not updated. But you can TRY to get more information by calling 904-261-9867 or 904-261-8983.

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Dancing for Those Who Cannot

Dancing for Those Who CannotMouth of Amelia invites you to “Dancing for Those Who Can’t”, a Concert with a Cause presented by Memorial United Methodist Church.

WHEN: Sunday, October 23rd at 7:00 PM

WHERE: Memorial UMC, Maxwell Hall, 6th Street, FB

WHAT: Each Year, the Memorial United Methodist Church offers the community a series of events called “Concerts with a Cause.” This opening concert of the 2011-2012 season is a night of local liturgical dancers who will present their art to help people who cannot walk, run or dance. This concert is suitable for the family and a nursery is available for the youngest guests!

WHY: The church offers this gift of dance to our community in its hope to provide a source of beauty and inspiration and also as a way to benefit organizations who are doing work to help people and countries in need.

COST: These concerts are brought to the community free of charge. At this concert, a Love Offering will be taken to support “the PET Project,” one of the charitable organizations sponsored by the church.

INFORMATION: Please call Joan Averett, Director of Music and Worship Arts at (904) 261-5769

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Setting a Guiness Record for Largest Ballroom Dance Class

Setting a Guiness Record Be a part of this historical event, Dance for Jax! Set the Guinness World Record for Largest Ballroom Dance Class.

Whether you’re a beginner or not, In 2 hours you will be dancing like a star. You will learn to Salsa, Swing, Cha Cha, Rumba, Waltz, Foxtrot, & Tango your way into a World Record for a good cause. Portions of the proceeds to benefit Wounded Warrior Project & Wolfson Childrens Hospital.

The Goal is to have 1,001 persons in class on Saturday, September 17th, 2011, at the Prime Osborn Convention Center.

Free parking is available and check-in and registration will start at noon. Class line-up at 3:30 pm, with class starting promptly from 4:30-6:30 pm. There is a Victory Dance Party too, fromm 7:00 to 9:00 PM.

World Record DancingThe Cost is $25.00 for each Participant and $10.00 for spectators.

You may pick up Registration Entry Forms at Southside Medical Center Or any of the following Dance Studios: Absolute Dance, Beyond Just Dance, Avondale Dance Directions, Boleros, Dance Alday, Dance Elite, Dance Shack, Kalubys, Fred Astaire, Arthur Murray, A Social Affair, Dance Tonight, Richard’s Latin Danza, The Wedding Dance, Z Studio or find us on Facebook search “Dance for Jax.”

Rules and Regulations
1) All Participants must be 18 yrs of age or older to be eligible for the record.
2) Couples do not count as one participant.
3) Participants to be at the line-up by 3:30.
4) Class starts promptly at 4:30.
5) Spectators and under 18 are $10.00 each.
6) Prime Osborn and the organizers of the Dance for Jax Largest Ballroom Dance Class and their associates cannot be held liable for any theft of personal items or injuries sustained by any person in attendance, whether as a participant or spectator. Each person attending in any capacity whatsoever does so entirely at his or her own risk.

You may also call (904) 704-7635 for more information.

November Hafla Dance Party

Come check out Hafla at Indigo Alley on November 13, from 8 to 11:00 PM. This is an evening of dancing and entertainment by the Island Tribe Belly Dance troupe. Just watch or be part of the action, this indeed will be a night to remember!

Ballroom Youth Academy Open Dance

Learning to Dance

Learning to Dance

Let’s Dance is an open dance and fundraiser for the Ballroom Youth Academy that will be held on Friday, September 24, from 7:00 to 10:00 PM at the Peck Center auditorum, 516 South 10th Street in Fernandina Beach.

From 7:00 to 7:45 you can enjoy complimentary dance lessons with open dancing from 8 until 10 PM with a special performance by the Ballroom Youth Academy dancers.

This is an event open to all ages. Tickets are only $10.00 and children 17 years and under who are accompanied by a parent are admitted for free. The dress is resort casual.

All proceeds go to the Ballroom Youth Academy, a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit program that offers free ballroom dance classes to Nassau County Youth in Grades 1 thru 12.

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Belly Dance is More than Just a Fitness Class

Belly Dance is More than Just a fitness Class

Belly Dancers

Photos by: Helmut Albrecht
The people in the photo are Sandra, Olivia, Louis and our newest troupe member Johari.

Many new students enter my classes with a sense of embarking on something unknown but many don’t realize the depth of what they are about to undertake. Often clothed in baggy shirts, jeans, or sweatpants, the shy beginner uses the excuse of wanting something fun to get in shape. As they watch students of different levels enter, often with new costume elements or heavily adorned tribal belts, I look for the light to ignite in their eyes. I know they’re lured in when they venture so far as to reach out and touch someone’s belt or caress a tassel with appreciation for the artistic embellishments.

As the class begins I start by clarifying the body posture: very erect, knees soft and pelvis released, the shoulders are proud and strong as the arms and hands remain soft. Slowly, we start by moving each joint individually, then in combination.

Belly Dance Students

Belly Dance Students

At this point, the beginning student starts to realize how intensely difficult, yet simple, this art is. It seems so easy to bend this knee while straightening the other but as they struggle to make their bodies do what I instruct, contorted faces of concentration can be seen throughout the class. Soon, as they always do, someone will exclaim, “My body just doesn’t move like that!” Assurances from the other students will keep them moving and they begin to discover their own bodies as if they’d never met.

The students learn the anatomy of belly dance, so too, they learn the anatomy of the music. Middle Eastern rhythms are fun, complicated and often unpredictable. The experienced dancer is familiar with the more common rhythms and can easily identify them by sound or name. Venturing into music that is based on 9/8 or 7/9 tempos can intimidate even the experienced western dancer who is used to 4/4 or 8 count music. As each song begins in class, I clap the tempo and ask the dancers to listen to the music, not just hear it. In Belly Dance, we interpret the music with our bodies; we play with the beat, flirt with the rhythms, and seduce the melodies. We become one with the music so understanding it is vital.

Culture, etiquette and professionalism then become focus as the dancer advances and begins to consider performing.

Belly Dance Costumes

Belly Dance Costumes

Costume construction, vocabulary, and the history of this dance become an overriding addiction as closets are taken over by exotic fabrics, tassels, beads and antique jewels. Lamp shades and curtains are purchased simply to take apart for costume elements, while second hand stores are scoured regularly.

What originally was entered into as a “fitness class” has now become part of who you are. Your hair has grown longer, your walk is more feminine, and your inner spirit and strength shines through every pore. Your world views have widened, your understanding of cultures deepened and your conversation revolves around more than the little league.

So, you tell me… is it “just a dance class” or a whole new way of life?

Belly Dancing During Pregnancy

Belly Dancing During Pregnancy

Naia's Prenatal Belly Dance DVD

Across the country prenatal belly dance classes are held in homes, hospitals, dance studios and clinics. As fit, athletic and active moms debunk the notion of “stay off your feet” for nine months, new mothers are turning to the ancient art of Belly Dance.

Many women are looking for safe alternatives to the generic long walks recommended by their doctors. The rhythmic slow movements and controlled breathing of pre-natal belly dancing actually prepares the new mother for childbirth, aids in bonding with the baby and speeds post-natal recovery. Many pregnant belly dancers report relief in back pain along with increased focus they hope will aid in the birthing process.

A lot of research on this subject has been done and many fascinating articles note the similarities between belly dancing and Lamaze, which are both based on the same method of muscle isolation. In her book, Belly Dancing, Wendy Buonaventura demonstrates that the dance movements exercise all the birth muscles and the rhythms, in fact, match the birth process.

Many belly dancers also talk of belly dancing during the birthing process, using the learned undulating movements to control the pushing while easily focusing on breathing and keeping rhythm with the natural waves of labor pains.

But is it safe? “Yes,” says Dr. Sue Kelly Sayegh, associate professor of maternal-fetal medicine at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk in a Time Magazine article Thursday, Aug 23, 2007, By Elisabeth Salemme/Brookfield. “Low-impact exercise is recommended five to seven days a week during pregnancy. Although Sayegh warns against overexertion as well as fast-paced footwork that could lead to a fall, she says ‘the art of breathing while doing other things is an excellent preparation for labor.'”

Island Tribe Belly Dance offers special pre-natal seminars focused in helping mothers-to-be stay in shape, while aiding in their preparation for labor. Beginners classes are also offered where pregnant and non-pregnant students can learn the basics of this art. If you would like to know more about pre-natal belly dancing, please feel free to contact us at or (904) 415-0300.

Also, more information on pre-natal belly dancing can be found HERE.

Hafla at Indigo Alley

Hafla (that means Dance Party) will be held at Indigo Alley in historic Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island on Friday, July 3 at 8:00 PM.

Join these beautiful woman of all different ages while you sit back and enjoy the entertainment, or wrap something around your hips and join in on the fun!

Belly Dancing has Left the Hookah Bar

Belly Dancing has Left the Hookah Bar

Island Tribe Belly Dance

What do you think of when you hear Belly Dance?

What do you think of when someone says “Belly Dancer”? Does it bring to mind the image of a young attractive girl in a swirl of chiffon and rhinestones dancing her way through the tables of a Middle Eastern restaurant or Hookah Bar? If you answered yes, then you’re not alone. This is quintessential mainstream idea of what a Belly Dancer should look like, made popular by a turn of the century Hollywood fascinated with anything oriental. This sparkly, scantily clad icon was later adopted by many of the Middle Eastern countries and has become the symbol of their national dance.

If you’ve had the chance to see Island Tribe Belly Dance perform recently, you would have noticed that the costuming and look of the dancers is far from this more popular ideal. The young girl has been replaced with women of all ages and sizes; chiffon can not be found in the layers of hand dyed cottons and silks and the rhinestones are overshadowed by antique hand crafted jewelry made in Afghanistan, Ragistan, and Turkey. Often turbans cover the flowing hair and the solo dancer is now a sisterhood of joy and laughter.

This new style of Belly Dance is referred to as American Tribal Fusion. True to its name, it was created here in the United States and incorporates a fusion of many different cultures. Large full skirts and postures come from the Spanish Flamenco. Joyous earthy moves from the tribal dances of North Africa and strong gestures from the Romany peoples are fused with Ballet, hip hop, and jazz. Dance styles from Egypt and Turkey blend with the Indian Katac while Tunisian and Baltic folk dances add zest and flavor. This is the new look of Belly Dance that is sweeping the world. Women from all walks of life have found a joy in dance, the artistic expression in costuming and for many, they have found themselves again.

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Hafla at Indigo Alley [Video]

Hafla at Indigo Alley with Island Tribe Belly Dance

Island Tribe Belly Dance

Island Tribe Belly Dance entertained guests at Indigo Alley with their alluring expression of dance as an art form. This group of remarkable women come from every age and fitness level to experience American Tribal Fusion Belly Dance.

Hafla (the name used to describe Middle Eastern dance parties) on Amelia Island drew many spectators to peer through the windows of Indigo Alley on Centre Street while others came in and danced along. Swords, scarves, drums and other props transported the crowd to another place and time.

American Tribal style belly dance combines costumes and movements from a variety of Middle Eastern cultures, but with innovations that appeal to Western venues and audiences.

Island Tribe Belly Dance invites women to join the fun, meet other wonderful women, and experience this exciting art form while getting in shape. They offer classes in entry level, beginning, intermediate and advanced American Tribal Fusion Belly Dance. Please visit their website to find more information on classes, their dancers, and upcoming events.


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Complimentary Dance Lessons

Complimentary Dance Lessons

Complimentary Dance Lessons

The Ballroom Youth Academy is holding a fund raiser on Friday, May 7th at the Peck Center in Fernandina Beach, Florida. From 7:00 to 7:30 complimentary dance lessons will be included with your $10.00 donation to enter this great event.

The dress code is resort casual and you can dance the night away, well – you can dance until 10:00 PM. There will be an intermission with performances by the Ballroom Youth Academy students.

Children under 17 years of age are admitted free with an adult. (This is limited to two children unless they are attending with their parent.)

Donations benefit the Ballroom Youth Academy, a 501(c)3 nonprofit program that offers free ballroom dance classes to Nassau County Youth in grades 1 through 12. For more information visit their Facebook page.

Ballroom Youth Academy, Inc.
Classic Ballroom offers weekly group dance lessons to children of all ages through the Ballroom Youth Academy, Inc. The purpose of the Academy is to provide opportunities for youth in our community that are interested in learning dance skills and technique. Classes are held at the Recreation Center off Atlantic Avenue on Amelia Island every Thursday from 3:30-4:30.

Scholarship Program
For those students who wish to take their abilities beyond the recreational dance level there is a Scholarship Program. All students taking classes through the Academy are equally eligible for the scholarship program, and may show interest for a scholarship by demonstrating a positive attitude and potential ability. After an interview process with the Scholarship Committee, selected children will be awarded scholarships based on availability. Becoming a member of the Scholarship Program allows students to take weekly group and private partner lessons. It also gives students the chance to compete at local, state, national, and even international levels. All of this is given to the students at no cost. Dance shoes, costumes, and even certain travel expenses are paid for by the Academy.

Amelia Island Jump, Jive and Wail

Amelia Island Jump, Jive and Wail

Click to Enlarge

This weekend is the classy musical event, Jump, Jive and Wail. This Swingin’ Dance and Show will be held at Sheffield’s at the Palace on March 27th from 7 to 10:00 PM.

Presented by Moet & Chandon, The Dynamic Les DeMerle Band, with vocalist, Bonnie Eisele, will have you dancing the night away.

Put on your dancing shoes to swing, cha-cha, rhumba, shag and get close on the romantic ballads and fall in love all over again. Don’t miss a beat, purchase tickets today by calling the Palace Saloon at (904) 491-3332, or stop in at Sheffield’s at 117 Centre Street or the UPS Store, next to Publix.

A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Amelia Island Jazz Festival Scholarship Program.

Dancing with the Local Stars VII

Dancing with the Local Stars VII

Dancing with the Local Stars VII

This is the final episode of our series, Dancing with the Local Stars. This seventh video includes footage of the kids who benefit from the scholarships provided by this great fundraiser showing off their dancing skills.

There is a special number by professional dancers, Chandra and Felix Solis. Felix’s dance studio, Classic Ballroom Dancing presents Dancing with the Local Stars as a fund raiser for the Ballroom Youth Academy. Scholarship recipients demonstrate a positive attitude and are given dance lessons, shoes, costumes, and some travel expenses to compete in local, state, national and even international levels.

Felix dedicates their moving and passionate dance in this video to his wife, Chandra, also a dedicated dancer. Together they have won several open rhythm titles and been finalists in the United States Ballroom competition.

Finally, we show you the first, second and third place winners of the local celebrities who competed in this amazing fund raiser. Many thanks go out to the “Stars” who participated and to all of their supporters. Maybe next year we will see more men dance in Dancing with the Local Stars… you ladies are wearing Felix out!

Dancing with the Local Stars I
Dancing with the Local Stars II
Dancing with the Local Stars III
Dancing with the Local Stars IV
Dancing with the Local Stars V
Dancing with the Local Stars VI

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