Project Band is a year-long performance improvisation program that is designed to give dancers of all levels tools, concepts, and skills to deepen their experience with live music and their understanding of how it can be used as a tool for development.

Check this video to know more about Project Band!



Refined Listening Skills

once you have developed the ability to hear an 8 count phrase of music in 10 different ways, you will never struggle with a piece of music again!


Enhanced Confidence

when you are able to be present with live music and have movement choices occur to you because of your training and trust, the experience of "nailing it" will give you a new sense of your real power!!

Broader Movement Vocubulary

the energy, dynamics, and team spirit of being on stage with musicians will enhance your abiity to access and expand your movement vocabulary and be creative on the spot!

Tools for Life

yes, really! life is improvisation! you will be amazed at how the lessons of project band regarding adapting to the unexpected, smoothing over rough spots, and making choices about when to hit the brakes will enhance your day to day life.


I'm Karen Barbee and I have been a dancer for 55 years; a belly dancer for 50 of those years. And I'm still at it. More importantly, I'm more excited than ever!!!

I've had several growth spurts over the course of my dance journey such as when I became a teacher and when I became a gym rat; but BY FAR my biggest growth spurt came when I had the chance to work to live music on a frequent, recurring basis.  

As a studio owner for over 30 years, I wanted to find a way to simulate this growth opportunity for my students - not easy in these days of mp3s. But it's done. That's Project Band, a passion project of mine that has been evolving over the last 10 years.

"Karen's Project Band was a wonderful experience in every way; pairing world-class live Arab music with thoughtful instruction, and encouraging personal feedback is just the start. Karen's approach allows for individual expression of technique and style while developing a more complete iteration of the music.

The icing on the cake is the positive and supportive group atmosphere with fellow students and musicians, alike. There's really nothing else like it!"
- Bahaia
          Austin Bellydance Studio

"I can't express how grateful I am for your Project Band classes. They are so totally beneficial towards improving my dancing.

Even if I'm not participating fully, so much information is sinking into my brain. I feel in the 6-9 months that I have been Skyping into Project Band, it's worth something like 10 years of lessons"
- Sue
          Karavan Student, Florida

"I've been dancing for 3 years with Karavan. Prior to that I had no dance experience, and this is my first semester as a Project Band member. Karen puts together creative and unique weekly workshops for Project Band students.

The structure and focus are improvisation; crafted in equal parts fun and challenge. I've also gained so much more in music appreciation and theory with a healthy dose of support and camaraderie! I absolutely love it and it completely supports my evolution as a dancer."
- Cameron
          Karavan Student, San Antonio
For dancers at any level, the excitement of knowing that you will be able to work with live music on a recurring basis for a solid year – and take the time to reflect and learn from the experiences as they happen – serves as a reason to FOCUS. The result is accelerated growth and a deeper assimilation of your dance training. 

Additionally, any sustained learning experience presents its plateaus. Generally, those who find the tools, the reasons, the patience, and the motivation to move through them excel; and those who don’t remain stalemated - and eventually quit.

The recurring, themed nature of the classes, exercises, workshops, and performance opportunities in Project Band will provide a tangible, everlasting shift in the way you match movement to music. You WILL grow. You WILL move forward from the experience.  
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