I don’t know one single bellydancer (or artist of any kind for that matter) who ever reaches a point where they say “Ok, that’s it. My art is perfect, I have no more to learn and no farther to go. I am complete.” If I ever met one I would probably hyperventilate from laughing in their face. Sounds mean, but it’s the truth. I have heard from some of the biggest names in bellydance that everyone no matter their status in the world of dance has things they want to improve, new things to try, new elements to add.
I was very inspired a couple of weeks ago when I saw via Zoe Jakes Facebook page that she was getting certified in the Jamila Format. “Damn”, I thought, “Zoe Jakes is still getting new training. That’s freaking awesome!” My first experience with something like that was about four years ago when I attended a weekend of workshops in Malibu with Jillina and Lauren. Who was there but Sonia of BDSS. Taking the workshops just like all of the rest of us. Truly amazing dancers never get to a point where they stop learning.
Now, for years I’ve thought to myself, “Man, I’d like to do that festival (or training, or certification)”. But it was only recently that I sat down and made a list of the things that are on my radar for the years to come. So, I’m going to share some with you guys. If you have any I’ve missed that you think just can’t be missed, let me know! I’m always up for new training ideas!
These are in no particular order, and it may be years before I accomplish them.
FatChanceBellyDance General Skills: This one is really high on my priorities list. I think it’s a fabulous starting point for all fusion dancers, you really need to know what you’re fusing after all, and I love the community and spirit of ATS.
Datura 8 Elements: There are 4 phases of training in Rachel Brice’s format, each building on the previous phase. Rachel being the mama of Tribal Fusion and just generally awesome, gets this one pretty far up on my list as well.
Suhaila and Jamila Salimpour Format: 5 levels each and do I really have to say more? It’s Jamila and Suhaila!! Clarity of technique would probably be my biggest reason for these two certifications.
The Dark Side Studio: 4 levels plus Teacher Certification. Audra Simmons program in Toronto is very far atop my list. I love her aesthetic and style. She is a superb dancer that keeps her lines very clean and sophisticated while technically amazing.
Black Sheep Belly Dance: Kajira Djoumahna’s program is three levels and is her own creation of Improvisational Tribal Style that has some roots in ATS. The aesthic is similar, but there are key points that are very different. I really like BSBD’s aesthetic and think Kajira’s program would be beneficial as a groundwork for virtually any style of dancer.
Goddess Workout: Now, I personally hate all the flack I have heard Dolphina get. Her videos were some of my first and I have always loved her spirit and Bellydance Ideals. I think the experience would be invaluable and it would kind of bring a part of my training full circle.
Now, there are ALOT of events I want to go to. But here is a short list of some of the biggest and ones that top my list.
Tribal Fest: Boom. That’s it. The ultimate Tribal Extravaganza and Mecca for Tribal dancers. Yep.
Cairo Caravan: It’s bellydance, it’s on the Queen Mary, my beloved PFar does a ghost tour and I can wear Sailor Trash outfits. Who wouldn’t want to go?!?!
Rakassah West: For some reason this just seems like one of those events where you would have a total transcendental moment of extreme Bellydance love.
Split Tribal Fest: It’s in Croatia, it attracts amazing Tribal Fusion dancers and the performances are in a Roman Palace. Yes, please?!
The Dark Harvest Festival: Again from the Dark Side Studio, this Toronto Festival just seems fun and has, again, the sophisticated, really neat air that I imagine when I think about Canada. Or Portland. 😉
Miami Bellydance Convention: Whaaaat? A non tribal event? Yes, I like those, too. MBDC, by the beautiful Nathalie seems like a fun, amazing event, and is always chock full of great traditional bellydance instructors. Plus, I’ve never been to Miami!
Camparet: In West Texas, this Bellydance weekend set at a boys camp in October seems like a great, get back to your roots, simple event, that seems like they always have great instructors. And it doesn’t seem to “camp-y” for me. As long as I have somewhere to plug in my hair dryer!
Ok! There’s my main ones! I’m sure there are others, which I will add when I think of them. Know of any can’t miss events? Let me know! I am always looking for my next adventures!
Smiles and shimmies! 🙂 E