Tag Archives: Self

Weekend Craziness and Dance Adventures!

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Wow! I actually had to take a day to process this weekend before I could write this post. This weekend was amazing and crazy and fun and exhausting and inspiring! It was pretty much one of the best weekends ever!

Saturday it started with getting ready to head to Dallas to perform at The Event. I had been looking forward to this show for months and even though I was very sad to be unable to take the workshops, I was so happy when the lovely Aiyah Bree told me to go ahead, come on down and perform!!! I danced a brand new piece to “Bedroom Hymns” by Florence and the Machine, got to see some amazing performances and meet April Rose (who is such a sweetheart and I have a giant girl-bellydancer-crush on!) as well as see her and Edenia Archuleta perform. There were so many amazing performances and I only got to see the first half of the show! I was I could have stayed, but during intermission after a little milling about, talking to people and perusing the vendors wares (and sucking down some GLORIOUS lemon flavored water and buying an April Rose poster!) I had to leave to get back to Denison for my next show which was………..

AT A DRAG SHOW!!!!! I don’t know why, but I’ve always wanted to dance in a drag show and I finally got the chance for my good friend, the lovely Abbi Lee’s birthday drag show at The Goodtime Lounge. I got to see some lovely, talented queens and I danced to (wait for it!) Jump by Rihanna!!! I figured, how often do you get the opportunity to dance to a song like that and what better place than a gay bar?!?! (I wanted to dance to Applause by Lady Gaga, but one of the other lovely ladies had already claimed it!) Heehee! It was so fun!

Ok, so I finally got home, scrubbed my face, at some leftover enchiladas and PASSED out! Got up Sunday, went and taught class and ran home to get half my face on before getting in the car to head to “Dalida and Friends” hafla. I love, love, love being a part of this show!!!!!! Dalida is one of the most amazing dancers I have ever met and the shows are so fun! I danced two pieces, one with a wine bottle as my dance partner and one very emotional, then fun piece to a song by Dikanda (one of my favorite groups at the moment!) and a song from the first Sherlock Holmes movie. The show was amazing! Badrawn, a middle eastern musical group from the Dallas area was there and kicked things off with Dalida dancing a wonderful Saiidi piece. Saiidi in a live band is a magical thing and I had chills so many times from their playing! I also got to meet an amzing drummer, El Lobo and we had a fun chat about tribal dancing and the connection between drummer and dancer.

My lovely friend Zahra came to the hafla to see me dance and afterwards we had a fun dinner at Steak and Shake and celebrated me finishing my four performances with cheeseburgers and fries (but no shakes, sadly enough!). Home again and SLEEP!!!

It was such a fun, fun weekend, so inspiring, seeing so many great dancers and getting to perform so much! I will post pictures and video as I get them uploaded! Whew! This weekend I only have one performance, but it’s for A Sunday Soiree and the theme is Golden Age!! I wonder what this tribal fusion girl will pull out for that?! If you want to find out come see me at Mango’s in Richardson, doors at 6:30, show at 7!Smiles and shimmies!! 🙂 E

Tea

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I don’t know about you guys, but I am totally knackered. The last couple of weeks have taken their toll. I haven’t even done anything the past two weekends! More than anything, I am tired in my head. Do you ever feel like that? You’re body is relatively okay, but you brain feels like if you do anything but sit or lay and stare at stuff you might actaully turn to jelly? Yeah, I’m there. And when I get there I’ve found there are a few things I need to do.

First is re-evaluate and take some things off my plate. Right now that is sewing. Now I’m still sewing. Just accepting the fact I don’t have to have a completely new costume for every performance. Also paring my sewing to do list. Putting a couple of things on hold and finishing some stuff up.

Second I need to dance. But wait, shouldn’t you rest? Yes! But also dancing is relaxing to me. So when I start feeling like this I know I’m focusing too much on things surrounding the dance and not dance itself.

Third I need to knit something. Yes that’s right knit. Something that cannot possibly be used for bellydance. Like a scarf. I think I’ll start a scarf. Or finish Amber’s hat. Yes, I’ll do that. Just in time for fall!

Fourth I need tea. I’ve always loved tea and there’s something so relaxing about the ritual of tea, even when drunk out of a white styrofoam cup at work, when it contains a lovely tea it automatically is so much more relaxing than the brash hustle and bustle of my beloved black coffee.

So tonight on this cloudy late summer evening as I sit wishing for rain, crisp weather and a movie-date with my sweetie, I’m drinking tea and trying to relax. Remembering to drink things in the way you do with tea. You don’t gulp down a good cup of tea trying to finish as soon as possible. You drink it slowly, savoring the flavors and the warmth. We should treat life the same way.

Smiles, tea and shimmies! 🙂 Elena

From The Belly of a Traveler

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So I’ve hit on this blog a couple of times before, but hadn’t really gotten the time to sit and read it until recently. And I am in love. Written by Kristine Adams, dancer and teacher with FCBD and ATSer extraordinaire, this blog chronicles Kristine’s jaunt about the WORLD spreading ATS everywhere she goes. Now you all know I love ATS and I love adventures, too. And this is the adventure of a lifetime! I am adoring looking at her pictures, watching her videos and reading her tales of her travels throughout these different places, a lot, way off the beaten track. I especially love reading how she finds dance and ATS in the tiniest pockets throughout the world.

Kristine Adams

She has been on her adventure for over a year now and has no end in sight. If you like ATS, bellydance, adventures, or good stories, check out her blog. http://www.fromthebellyofatraveler.com/

Also, keeping in mind that adventures and stories have all sorts of unforeseen expenses and problems she does have a link to give her a little donation, if you can, to keep the journey alive! I am inspired to come up with a way to help Kristine out a little if possible and will be working on this in the next little bit. Maybe something that also spreads ATS to people and can help her journey out too?

Anyways, smiles and Ghawazee shimmies till next time! 🙂 E

New Performance Announcement! The Event Dallas!

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I am so thrilled to announce that after months of pining to perform at this event (Bahaha, see what I did there…and it’s called The Event…ahem), I will officially be performing at the show! It’s on Saturday, Sept 7, 2013 and there will be some big badass names there! Haven’t decided what I’m dancing yet, working on that this weekend, but I promise it’ll be fun!

I’m also dancing at “Dalida and Friends” again in Septemebr, on the 8 and at A Sunday Soiree on the 15!! Wait…wasn’t September going to be a slow month for me? Ah well! No rest for the wicked I guess. Plus, I’d rather be dancing!

Find out more about The Event at http://theeventdallas.weebly.com/ and come see me dance if you’re out and about in the Dallas area! Smiles and shimmies! 🙂 E

Summer Days…Drifting Away…

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Well, folks, August is almost upon us! With but two days left in July, I am both reflecting on what the summer has brought so far, and looking forward to the adventures that are coming. This summer marks the 12th year that I have been bellydancing, and I love it even more now than the day I started. I made my return to performing in July with the best performance I have ever given and was met with such nice things said about it. Truthfully that performance could have made or break my big return to bellydancing (in my head, at least) and it made it in such a big way. While I love the way dancing makes ME feel, my favorite part has always been making OTHERS feel through my dancing. And I’ve got a lot of that on the horizon!

So in August! Here’s a quick snapshot of what’s going on!

August 4th, I will be appearing in Dallas bellydancer Dalida’s “Dalida and Friends” show in Plano, TX at the Celebration Event Center and Ballroom. Doors at 5:30, Show at 6. Tickets available at http://www.dalidabellydance.com/# I can’t wait to perform at this event! Dalida is an amazing dancer and lovely person and I am honored to be sharing the stage with her and many other talented dancers. I’ll be performing a jazz age juicy fusion piece full of old school fun with some modern flair! I’ll also be (finally!) wearing my newly finished “Burgundy Ice” costume. This bad boy has been in the works for over a year and I am excited to bring it out!

August 10, I will be trekking down to Arlington to spend a little time with the ladies of Wild Sky Tribal and the lovely Jeanne Mason-Howerton for the Second Saturday Drum Circle at Feed You Head and a little post drum circle nosh and dancing at Narah Cafe! I love any excuse to pull out my ATS garb and I love spending time with my ATS sisters and getting to see them dance!

August 11 I am holding an Open House in Sherman at Kristina’s Studio of Dance to promote my classes beginning the next week! You can come by to register for classes or get information, I will be doing 4 mini classes, 2 Traditional, 2 Tribal Fusion and will be doing a little performance as well. Oh did I mention it’s free?!?! So come by for some free mini classes, to register for the six week series (don’t forget, register before it starts and you save a bundle on classes!!) or just to chat! I’m good with any or all!

August 15 my classes begin with Traditional Bellydance at 12:30 and August 18 at 3 with Tribal Fusion Bellydance. Remember all classes are Beginner Friendly!!!

August 24 is the August Drum Circle Round the Moon at 300 Little Mineral Blvd in Pottsboro, TX and I will be there with Cassandra Campbell, my lovely ATS partner and hopefully some others dancers, dancing the night away! Any and all are invited to come drum, dance or spectate at will!

And finally in August is August 30- September 1 in Denison, TX an ATS Drillhaus with Little Goddess Trybe of Denison and Jeanne Mason-Howerton of Wild Sky Tribal! I am really looking forward to this event as it’s not often a Bellydance event happens 15 from my house!!! Hopefully soon, between Heather Emory, director of Little Goddess and me events will be hopping around the Grayson county area far more often! Heather and Jeanne will be vending at the Drillhaus, so bring your piggy bank and buy some of their pretties!

It’s going to be a Bellydance filled month and on top of all listed I will be instructing regularly again and having regular private practice as well, plus working on things for my Etsy shop which will be popping up with Bellydance costume listings hopefully in the next week! I will have an annoucement about that, soon!!! Yay August! I can’t wait!

Smiles and shimmies! 🙂 E

The Body of A Bellydancer

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So now that I have your attention with that title (I know, pretty awesome, right?) I would like to talk a little bit about body issues. First and foremost, let me start of by saying that I personally know bellydancers with all types and sizes of body. Tall, thin, short, medium, goddess size, skinny, fit, not so fit, used to to be fit and man! look at her!. I think you all rock!!!! You’re all beautiful!!!

Now, everyone has their own body issues, but this post isn’t for whether you think your thighs are fat, have cankles or small boobs. I want to talk about how we view OTHER bellydancers. I read an article lately that upset me a great deal. It insinuated that all that “thinspiration” stuff on Pinterest and the like is awful and that we as dancers may not be looking up to some of the best bellydancers in the world because they ARE some of the best bellydancers in the world, but because they are thin/fit. So I want to talk about it. Because this is my blog and I can. *insert dastardly giggling* Ok, ok I’m good.

So….thin/fitspiration…. Well, here are my thoughts. Some go way too far. Collarbones or cake? Oh please, I totally used to eat cake and still had a nice set of collarbones. I also worked out a minimum of 2 hours 4x a week. Yeah. I was a crazy actress back then. I guess the collarbones or cake one pops up to me because the pictures on it are of these teeny, tiny women. Are those women gorgeous? Yes. If you naturally look like that is there something wrong with you? Umm, no. If you starve yourself to look like that is it an issue? Yeah. So moderation! But let’s not just condemn all that stuff! What about the pictures of “fit/thinspiration” that are of a woman who has worked her butt off to be fit and in great health. Why on earth would we condemn that? Just because she doesn’t sit on the couch eating potato chips? I don’t care what you eat as long as you’re healthy. Just because you don’t look like or even want to look like the women in those pictures, lets not condemn them for looking like they do.

So are we making fitspiration out of top bellydancers? Yes they are smaller and in better shape than the average bellydancer who also has a 40 hour a week job, plus dancing. Guess what?!?!?!? Dancing is their job! Pro dancers can dance for up to 8 hours in rehearsals in a day. (This goes for all types of dance) add on to that Yoga/Pilates which is very popular for stretching and strengthening the muscles so you don’t injure yourself while doing all that dancing, strength training, cardio or the chosen cross trainer of choice PLUS teaching classes and performing. That’s ALOT of exercise! If I danced that much I’d be much smaller too! That’s their job. Not necessarily to be thin, but think about how many calories the average pro dancer would burn in a day with that kind of schedule. Bunches! And yeah, I guess I do make fitspiration out of top bellydancers. I want to be fit enough to do this move or that one. I want my muscles to work like hers, so I’m going to train like her.

So! Why is it assumed that just because you may love the way the big Pro dancers dance, you only do so because they are thin, not because they are spectacular dancers? Honestly, I don’t know. But unfortunately, I see a lot of smaller women being condemned right along with bigger ones. You’re not “too skinny” the same way she’s not “too fat”. Personally, I admire a lot of smaller dancers, but not because of their size, but because they are really, really good. I also admire bigger dancers not because of their size, but because they are awesome dancers. Quality of technique, showmanship, entertainment value and passion is really what matters to me in a performer not what size their costume is. The simple fact is that many of those qualities show up in Pro dancers who have worked so hard to attain those and the careers they have as well.

So, in closing, I don’t care what size you are. I care that you are healthy or trying to get healthy. And guess what you can be skinny and not be healthy or fit. I love that bellydance can make women feel good about their bodies. Maybe they feel too skinny and Bellydance helps them appreicate that they are still beautiful and look great as a tiny person. Maybe they feel fat and Bellydance helps them appreciate their curves and embrace their size. Maybe they’re shy and Bellydance gives them a way to open up to not only others, but themselves. Yes, I want to encourage you if you’re larger to feel confident and happy dancing. But I want to do the same with everyone no matter what your size is.

Smiles and shimmies. 🙂 E

Midsummer Masquerade Ball is This Sunday Night!

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This Sunday, July 14th I am performing at the Midsummer Masquerade Ball hosted by A Sunday Soiree in Richardson, TX at 7pm. I am performing a brand new piece and would love to see you there! Costumes and masks are encouraged, so feel free to get all decked out and come join the fun! Live music by Badrawn and BYOB. It is going to be a magical night!!!

Smiles and Shimmies! 🙂 E