Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Zoe Jakes When I am having a bad day I like to watch Zoe dance.  She is the dancer I always wanted to be but never had the talent.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Costumes on the Cheap

What's in your closet? This tutorial comes from Leilani. Tips on making a tribal-burlesque costume from bits and bobs you already own.

MECDA Inland Empire Chapter

I was thinking of re-joining M.E.C.D.A. and hooking up with the Inland Empire chapter, but when I went to the Inland Empire page it didn't exist.  Anyone know if it's still out there? Maybe I'll go over to Facebook and ask.

Sew a Choli Top

I think this would be cute as a choli style top. I sure need some new costuming. I like that the top is opaque, but the rest can be sheer.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Zoe Jakes

Every time I see her dance I fall in love with her a little bit more.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Where Did the Dancing Go?

Last night about 2 AM I was reading my Facebook stream and a local group was advertising a showcase.  To my surprise and delight the organizer was a dancer I used to cross paths with quite a lot.  You know how you are part of a belly dancing sphere and you bump into people a lot coming and going to classes and conventions and what not.  I wouldn't say we were ever more than acquaintances.  Even then (twenty years ago) she was locally famous. I also doubt she'd remember me as more than a face in the crowd.

The painful part is where as about ten years ago my belly dance career ground to a halt as I got older, fatter, more frustrated and just slowly lost my desire to persevere with my dancing goals, other dancers my age and older didn't give up.  Now they are teaching at conventions, performing all over the world, performing at local restaurants and so on. Many of them are older than me, some by a lot. 

Basically life got me down. One of the places I taught at went under. The other place I taught had shoddy management that got real bad about paying people. I got some really harsh criticism following some dance gigs.  It just all piled on top of me along with mundane problems like poverty and not being able to build my own dance studio. Right now I don't even own a car.

But seeing her website last night I realized quitting was the wrong thing to do. I just don't know how to get back to where I once was, mentally, emotionally or physically. I want it back but I don't even know where to start. I don't even think I could survive a dance class right now, much less teach one. At 3 AM I finally went to bed. This morning, I'd hoped to feel better about it but if anything I feel worse.

Friday, July 06, 2012

Time and a Place People

Scary but funny: After fireworks on July 4th, while leaving a park in the L.A. area, a van pulls behind our parked truck blocking our exit, and some scary looking characters start to pile out. They are yelling something out to me. I'm thinking 'carjacking' or 'robbery'. A woman gets out and says, "Hey do you belly dance too? Best exercise ever." Behind her is a little girl who says, "I love your belly dancing scarf." LMAO.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Belly Dance Bazaar

I just found out my friend Marisa has an amazing belly dancing website here: I have barely scratched the surface of it but it's been a long day and I'll have to check it out later.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Be A Better Dancer

Years ago, when I was in my mid forties and teaching belly dancing, a 22 year old dance student challenged me in class to a flexibility test she had in some college class.  I lost of course. When she's 45 maybe she'll figure out that it's not so easy once your not all that flexible.  But today I was thinking that while flexibility is important to a dancer there are so many other factors that are important.  Most of us love to keep practicing the ones we are great at because that's our comfort zone.  But if you want to grow as a dancer, it might help to pick the five you are the worst at and work on those too.

Here are some I came up with off the top of my head.

  1. Timing
  2. Motivation
  3. Musicality
  4. Confidence
  5. Poise
  6. Strength
  7. Stamina
  8. Overall good health
  9. Passion
  10. 'the it factor'
  11. Balance
  12. Persistence
  13. Consistency
  14. Ethics
  15. Spacial awareness
  16. Peripheral Vision
  17. Symmetry
  18. Teamwork
  19. Theatricality
  20. Synchronicity
  21. Punctuality 
  22. Business savvy 
  23. Originality
  24. Innovative 
  25. Trust 
  26. Self-acceptance 
  27. Sense of humor 
  28. Posture

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Flowers in Your Hair

How to keep those fancy hair ornaments in your hair while you dance.

Saturday, March 17, 2012


Many nights when I am restless I find myself watching belly dance videos on line. I must have seen 1000 by now. I wish that resource had been available in the 70's when I needed them. I love all the innovations. When I first combined belly dancing, fire spinning and juggling back in the 70's, people looked at me like I'd just fallen off the turnip truck. No one patted me on the back and said, "Wow, what innovative ideas." Now of course a great many dancers combine things like hooping and fire props. Maybe I was born 20 years too soon. I wonder if other dancers in their 50's feel like I do. One year I was performing at Cairo Carnivale with a boa constrictor, juggling, and magic. I wish I'd known a friend with a video camera from back then so I'd have a record of it. The only time I got to watch belly dancing videos back then was if I was at a M.E.C.D.A. party of something and someone put videos in. I was on a tight budget, raising 2 small daughters, so videos weren't a high priority compared to rent and groceries. Costumes are also much easier to come by. You don't have to wait for a convention to roll around anymore. I hope you guys are appreciating how good you have it.

Tarot Inspired Belly Dancer

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Pink Gypsy

Penny over at the Pink Gypsy updated my listing. It's here: Make sure you refresh your browser to see the new updates. If you've wanted to take belly dancing but had no idea how to find a local teacher, her site provides links to many resources, so pop over and see what's in your neighborhood.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Seeing Spots

Love this costume. The spots remind me of Flamenco dresses. This is Sandra. She will be teaching for M.E.C.D.A. at the convention.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Twisted Gypsy

Twisted Gypsy performing at Festival of the Rose last Saturday. I was too far away to get good photos, but at least these are better than nothing.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Amazing Belly Dancer in Leopard Print and Red Costume

I thought this dancer was so talented and gorgeous, and I said to myself, "I bet in the comments someone is going to be hating on her." Belly dancing seems to be so polarizing and some of the comments are so ridiculous.  Why oh why did I read the comments? A few people give a very condescending 'well, I thought she was kinda good, but you should go watch so and so, now that girl can dance." One guy said, "Look at that jawline, must be a man." Seriously? What an idiot. Anyway, you can judge for yourself.  If I never see another belly dancer again, I'd still die happy knowing I saw her, even if it was only on YouTube.

And her costume is to die for. It fits her like a second skin. And she won a major contest. Who do YouTube commentors think they are anyway? If I had $10,000 to hire 10 dancers for a show and each one got $1000. then she'd be my headliner.