Monday, January 27, 2014

Newly Inspired

Seeing this belly dancer win Season 2 of Project Belly Dance gave me new hope in dancing no matter what my waistline measurement is. I did find the ending of the show strange though. The usual announcer didn't even announce who came in 2nd and 3rd. In fact she was nowhere to be found. Instead there was a crowd shot of people holding up signs with the winner's name. Odd. Still wanted to know which dancer came in 2nd.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Belly Dance Reality Show

Like many of you, I like to watch belly dancing videos. So I happened upon the Belly Dance Project Reality Show. I've thoroughly enjoyed all the dancers and the rainbow of costumes. I stayed up until 3 AM last night watching the end of season one and the start of season two. How odd I've never heard of this show or any of the contestants or judges. How could I be in the belly dance field for 33 years and not know these people? Ah well. Because of bandwidth issues I can only watch Youtube after midnight, hence the reason I was up until 3 AM. One thing I liked about the show is they feature dancers of different races and body types. At least they are giving all sorts of dancers a chance. That makes me happy.

I thought I was motivated to start dancing again until I saw a full length photo of myself today. That killed my motivation right there.

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.