Saturday, December 28, 2013

Reflections on Being an Older Dancer

As I've gotten older I think I have  a different outlook on belly dancing. I'm beginning to think any dancing is better than no dancing. So what if no one wants to watch. So what if no one will pay me anymore. The point is I need to do it for my soul. And I can't live in the past. I have no choice but to be the dancer I am right now. There is no resting on laurels in belly dancing. Things get rusty if you don't review them, practice them, and adapt them. The body I once had could do a lot of things this one can't. So I need to figure out what this body can do and hope for some improvement.

I'd also like it if some of my former dance students would stay in touch. If you recognize me or you are on my FB, please leave me a note and remind me where you took my classes.

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Dancing in Heels

Tonight was my first practice on the porch. I didn't get much dancing done because balancing on heels was challenging enough. I don't recommend dancing in heels, but sometimes you have no choice because that's what the choreographer or the club wants. So make sure you practice lots before the big show.

Since I have no idea where my dance bras went when I moved, I just made do by wearing my hip band as a top.  It might have even worked except for the pink fringe on the bottom that made a weird horizontal line right where I needed it the least.

Also, my camera doesn't work well at night, and getting a good photo on a timer is practically a miracle, but I'll share a few.


At least I like my hair.

I love them but I can barely stand in them.

Killer heels can have a double meaning.

Veil at night.
Nicole Scherzinger, how do you do it?

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Day 2 of My Dance Recovery

Move over birds. It's time to dance.
Since I no longer have the luxury of a dance studio, I keep trying to come up with alternatives. As I was sitting here watching the birds on the porch, it suddenly occurred to me that my giant, long, flat front porch could be my outdoor dance studio! Why didn't I think of this before? It even has a railing I can use for a barre. I can either cover it with thick carpets (since it is concrete) or buy more of those big foam mats with the jigsaw puzzle edges. I have 4 in the kitchen that I can use right now. Harbor Freight has good prices on those when they go on sale. They come in packs of 4. So if I buy more each time we go there, I'll soon have enough to cover the  porch. I'm so thrilled! The porch is also shaded sometimes to keep me out of the desert heat, and right by my bedroom window so I can play music through the screen. Not that I mind dancing on the sand, rocks and gravel, but I'm afraid of tripping in a gopher hole. Also, I don't want to lay down on the ant covered sand. So the porch will work much better.

As I expected, my neck and shoulders were stiff this morning from the veil work yesterday for the first time in many moons. So I spent time in the kitchen doing all the basic ballet hand positions. I use modified ballet arm positions for belly dance. I find students do much better when you teach them specific ways to hold their arms. Then if you wear your finger cymbals, it's an even better arm workout (weight plus momentum). So I did those to work the kinks out of my muscles while I was cooking breakfast. Then I did some tendus for my ankle issues. Just slow steady stretches to build up my strength and flexibility. Remember, I'm 55, with injuries, so I'm taking it easy. Work without your own fitness range.

The quail will have to share the porch railing with me.

Quail on my fence.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Rainy Day Dance Practice

I confess I haven't danced much since moving here in Oct. There is no indoor place to dance, and who wants to dance outside when it's 100 degrees for 7 days in a row. Plus I've had injuries, including a pulled Achilles tendon, a pinched nerve in my left shoulder, and a pinched nerve in my lower back.  But today, between raindrops, I went out there and practiced. My arms felt like they weighed a ton. I practiced veil mostly, to keep the weight off my bad foot. Hey, at least I practiced. I'm so rusty, I feel like it will be a year before I can teach again. I miss the body I used to have. Sigh. It is super humid out, so I kept it short.

What Happened to Tribal Dancing?

Have you ever noticed how when tribal belly dance came along, it allowed for great experimentation and freeing ourselves from the cages of traditional dancing. And now, everywhere I look people are selling conventions and books and videos on 'how to do it right.' And the higher the ticket and the bigger the name, the more clout we are supposed to have as dancers and dance teachers. At some point you have to own the dance and make it your own. Otherwise you will perpetually be a clone of someone else.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Crocodile Stitch Hip Band or Bustle

I learned a new crochet stitch called the crocodile stitch.  There are plenty of tutorials for it over on Youtube. It has a great texture that I thought would either make a wonderful belly dancing hip band or a combo bustle/shawl for steampunk. I'm using olive colored Woolease yarn by Lion. I might add more colors for each successive layer but I haven't decided yet. My hips are big so that first row is going to be very very long and it will take a long time just to do one row. When I get further along I'll show photos.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Facebook For Belly Dancers

Follow my blog with Bloglovin One of my friends has become a belly dancing teacher. I assume it is tribal since that's the kind I've seen her do. And not too long ago I ran into one of my belly dancing students and met one of her students. Somehow Facebook makes belly dancing seem a lot more fun than I remember it. There sure is a lot of inspiration to be found there. I know some people wouldn't be caught dead on Facebook, but I've been able to connect with many of the dancers I've known in the past. A lot of them have either personal or business Facebook pages. I think if you are selling any kind of belly dance related products or services (lessons, costuming, seminars, etc.) it would be a good idea to join Facebook.

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Cairo Carnivale

I am sorely disappointed that I didn't get to go to Cairo Carnivale this year. I couldn't find a ride, and honestly, I don't just want to be a spectator. If I can't be a dancer there or do the workshops, it's not really worth it to me, and I'm in no shape to perform right now. I have some sort of Achilles issue on my right foot. It pains me to walk nearly every day and if I can't walk, I can't dance.

I did talk to someone at the Apple Valley Park and Rec. yesterday and she said they are always looking for teachers, so hopefully I can start teaching soon and earn money towards getting a car. It's a long way to ride a bus and as any dance teacher can tell you, there is a lot of stuff to carry. I'm between sessions right now, so the soonest I could teach (if they say yes) is in the fall.

If you've never heard of Cairo Carnivale, it is on the Queen Mary in Long Beach CA and it is going on right now. If you are local you still have time to go to it and they sell tickets at the door. A lot of my Facebook friends are already there. I hope you are all having a blast!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

ATS Shoot

Out of the blue my daughter announced she wanted to take tribal belly dancing to get back in shape after the birth of her second child. So that inspired a tribal style photo shoot using just what we had on hand. I whipped up a floral headband, raided her jewelry stash, threw in some jewelry I brought on the train, and pulled out some costume stuff, and viola!

My digital camera is only showing you it's limitations. The ones I took with her professional camera are amazing, but I have to wait until she edits them and all. It's tricky doing hair and make-up with a 2 year old and a baby to care for at the same time. So I totally forgot the tribal tattoos until after the sun went down, and then I couldn't find my eyeliner. Even so we were both happy with the photos and we hope you are too. Her startled husband said something abour her looking like the goth queen of the damned, so maybe its good we didn't add the tribal markings.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Tomorrow is Valentine's Day

I emptied out a storage bin that had stuff in it for 14 years and found these old belly dancing valentines I made. I must have been about 40. So Happy Valentine's Day.

Saturday, February 09, 2013

My Personal Glory Days of Belly Dancing

Yesterday I was sorting through boxes that had been in storage for over a decade and found belly dance photos from my past as well as some art I did. I hope to scan them soon and share them here, because it helps me to affirm that I was once a very active dancer. And some of them are for Valentine's Day so they are appropriate for this time of year. I'm glad I save things. People are so hell bent on order and neatness they are throwing their memories away. Trust me, as you get older, your memory is not all that dependable. Better to have a few photos, old business cards and some brochures to jog your gray matter. So when you clean house, keep a scrapbook or a memory box for those things that will be more precious as time goes on. And don't let anyone else talk you into throwing them away.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Belly Dance Drawings

I found some belly dancing sketches in an old sketchbook from the '90's. Maybe you will enjoy them.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013