Monday, June 15, 2009


Do you have an inspirational story about dancing? The Belly Dancing Diva is sponsoring a contest here.

Stories are up. Go read them here. Mine is included.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Bellydance Plus!

Shira of fame has a website focusing on all things Bellydance for the plus sized gal. As an apple, I find it highly informative and useful. Check it out here.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Yousry Sharif presented by Alexia

Jessica, Jen ('Azraa), Yousry Sharif and Laura (Laziva)

Where to begin...maybe with the pain in my outer thighs. That was a very intense workshop but I loved every tiring minute of it.

I will start at the beginning. It is safe to say that anything Alexia does is professional. The biggest hiccup with any workshop is usually check in, registration and any administrative detail. Alexia's team was well organized and had everything in order. They handled any slight confusion calmly and professionally and kept things on track. The workshop started and ended on time (relative to bellydance time, we get an automatic 15 minute grace period).

Mr. Sharif as an instructor is truly phenomenal. He uses a watch and repeat method but rather than showing the class once or twice, he drills it until everyone is dancing the combination correctly. I was sweating and ready for a break by the time we began the choreography.
The space for the workshop wasn't exactly small but due to the high participation it was quite crowded. Mr. Sharif regularly switched the rows and split the class into two halves to run the dance completely through.
While any dancer should be falling over them self to study with Mr. Sharif, I would not have recommended his workshop for beginners. The choreography moved very fast and no technique was addressed. Any student needing clarification beyond footwork or transitions would be easily lost. I remember being that lost at my first workshop but it did not require the time and financial commitment of one of Mr. Sharif's workshops.

On to the show, as I started by saying anything put on by Alexia Productions will be professional. There were guest stars from New York, Miami, Chicago, Atlanta and Chattanooga. Aside from Alexia and her Troupe, Shahira and Caryn of Troupe Hyetti represented Knoxville in the show. Knoxville has a huge a dance community and I would have liked to seen it showcased along with guest stars.

Of course, due to the restrictions on flash photography I couldn't thoroughly document the show. The picture of the grand opening number did come out very clear although small and demonstrates the orchestration of the show (sorry about that person's head).

This whole week-end was amazing. Mr. Sharif said he will come back to Knoxville and I am already looking forward to it.

Use a checklist when packing for a performance

A post today over at Princess Farhana had some tips for performing. Some were about entrances, staging, and etiquette but the post opened with reminders about packing.

I am CDO (which is just like OCD but in alphabetical order like it should be) and have lists about what lists I need to make but in the heat of the moment I still forget things. At a recent drumming workshop I forgot my drum!

I have drafted a ready made list that includes the most common things needed when performing as well as room for additions. The Performance Checklist is available online here. I suggest printing it and checking the boxes as you pack something. When packing up to leave your venue mark through each item so you make sure everything you brought comes home with you again.

Finally, I want to give a shout out to the Stanley Mobile Workstation or man box as we call it. When I bought mine it was only available at Home Depot online. It has two big compartments, little bins on top perfect for keeping handy things like lipstick and safety pins, and a great rotate out tray that I use for jewelry (originally designed for nails and screws). Unlike a suitcase it has large rugged wheels that can handle some of the fields, parking lots and other unorthodox locations we dancers drag our belongings.

Friday, June 5, 2009

A Poem

I was just looking a nice photo on Belly Dancing Secrets and it reminded me of my Profile photo. The photo that made me pick ScarlettDancer as my e-mail address (red hair, red top, I am from the South). It was taken by a guest at Knoxville Zoo's Boo at the Zoo in 2007. She posted it online with the following poem.

by Jude Cowell
October 21, 2007 12:41 AM EDT

Belly dancing is a pleasure
benefits too full to measure
shaking up the lady hips
just as fun as tango dips
bells and scarves with skirts a-twirling
makes a woman of a girling
if you like to spin and prance
try a little belly dance!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Blog Redesign

So this blog may be relatively new but that doesn't mean I can't change it already. I wanted to give credit to the sources I use.

To get 3 columns:
Background image:
And because it still wasn't perfect:

Dance Pet Peeves

Don't we all have them. I can tell you one of mine.

Dancers who wear a jingly jangly hip scarf to a workshop. I have experienced two kinds of workshop facilities. One is LARGE and that makes it hard for people in the back to hear, and the other is SMALL and this makes the acoustics horrible. Both of these problems are only exacerbated by the noise of a coin scarf.

I found a great post here about basic workshop etiquette.

What is your pet peeve when it comes to dance?