Shimmy Mob DC 2017

Title pic and above pic courtesy of Shavei Dancer.

Hello, lovelies!  Back in May (this post is SO late!), we performed our annual belly dance flash mob, Shimmy Mob DC.  Belly dancers from all over the world participate in Shimmy Mob for World Bellydance Day.  This event is to bring awareness and raise funds for victims of domestic abuse. 

Every year, Shimmy Mob DC performs at 12:00 noon at Freedom Plaza.  But this year our fearless leader, Shavei, was able to get permits for us to dance at 4 different locations: The Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) Memorial, The Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) Memorial, The Lincoln Memorial, and our usual spot, Freedom Plaza.  We all had to meet up early this year so that we could be at Freedom Plaza by noon.  It was a challenge, but it was well worth it!

Here’s the video I’ve put together for our adventures in D.C.  The video clips of us dancing are courtesy of Shavei Dancer.

 

 

 

Here are a few pictures of our day:

 

Our team leader, Shavei with team leader for Shimmy Mob New Carrollton, Adina

 

 

The following pics are courtesy of Shavei Dancer

 

 

With Shimmy Mob New Carrollton

 

 

That is all folks.  Us shimmy-mobbers have been discussing dancing at different locations again in 2018.  I hope we do.  As a night person, early mornings are challenging for me.  But if it’s in the name of dance, I’ll happily get my groggy self up and meet the challenge!

Peace, love, and darkness,

Dasia Denise

Gothic Fashion: How To Tuck Your Skirt

Hey, motherTUCKERS!  I’ve been asked by a few people (and noticed by fellow belly dancers) about the 25-yard skirt that I often wear in my outfit-of-the-day videos.  The 25-yard skirt (also known as a tiered skirt) is a staple of belly dance costumes, particularly tribal fusion and tribal (i.e. ATS® and ITS).  So, I decided to show you all how I tuck in my skirts, achieving a frilly, gothic look.

 

 

I encourage you all to watch the video, but you can read the basic instructions below on how to tuck your skirt.  I’ll show you 4 different ways to tuck in your skirt: the Right-side tuck, the Hitchhiker tuck, the Double-cross tuck, and the Bustle tuck.

 

 

THE RIGHT-SIDE TUCK

Grab the left side of the skirt about 1/2 to 3/4 of the ways down and pinch these pieces together.  Bring these pieces up and hold them out to your left side.

 

Take the skirt that’s in your hand and bring it around the front to your right side.  Twist the fabric together and tuck the skirt in on your right side. 

 

Once these pieces are tucked, fluff out the ends to accentuate the frills on your right side.

 

 

THE HITCHHIKER

Grab the skirt 1/2 to 3/4 of the ways down.  The further down you grab the skirt, the less the ends will stick out, creating less poof.

 

Bring the skirt up, flatten the side with your free hand and tuck the skirt in.  Repeat this step on the other side.

 

This is the tuck that I wear most often in my gothic wardrobe.  It’s one of the easier tucks to achieve and can easily be undone and re-done.  This is essential when “nature calls”.

 

 

THE DOUBLE-CROSS TUCK

Grab the skirt 1/2 way down on your right side, then flatten the front of the skirt with your free hand.  Tuck the skirt in on your left side.

 

Reach 1/2 way down the other side of the skirt.  Pull this end out towards the side.

 

Take that end, wrap it around the back, and tuck the skirt in on your right side. 

 

You may need a full-length mirror for this look, in order to keep the front and back of the skirt flat.

 

 

THE BUSTLE

Reach 1/2 way down the right side of the skirt and hold the skirt out to the side.

 

Wrap that side towards the back and tuck in the skirt.  Repeat this same step on the other side. Again, a full-length mirror will be helpful in making sure the front is flat and that the bustle is nice and fluffy. 

 

I used the reflection of myself from a large window instead of a mirror, resulting in a sloppy bustle.  Not only should I have used a mirror, but I also should have tucked the ends in more.

 

 

Now, let’s discuss yardage for a bit.  Tiered skirts used for dancing typically come with different yardage: 15 yards (13.7 meters), 25 yards (22.9 meters), and 36 yards (32.9 meters).  Tiered skirts also come in 10 yards (9.1 meters).

 

As you can see below, the more yardage a skirt has, the more fluffy the skirt will look.  Keep in mind that more yardage may also increase the weight a skirt, depending on the type of fabric used.

 

That’s it for now, my dear lovelies.  I really enjoyed creating this video and more importantly, my viewers found these tucking tips helpful.  You’ll find that these tiered skirts are very versatile and are suitable for a whole range of body types.   If you’re into long, frilly skirts like I am, these skirts make an excellent addition to a gothic wardrobe.

Peace, love & darkness,

Dasia Denise

Lookbook: The Year In Costume & Dance 2016

With gorgeous dancer, Rin Ajna, from the Sahara Dance Vintage Belly Dance Brunch, December 2016

Hello, lovelies!  Here’s another year-end post on the performances and costumes I wore in 2016.  It’s a little late since I was waiting on the Vintage Belly Dance Brunch performance video.  Like the previous year-end posts, this one is image-heavy and light on text.  The costumes where I posted a full post will have a link – just click on the title to view the full post and video.

 

DC TRAVEL & ADVENTURE SHOW – February 20

 

 

 

 

DREAMING UNDER A DESERT MOON  – April 30

 

 

 

 

 

SHIMMY MOB – May 14 

 

 

 

 

FIESTA ASIA – June 5 

 

 

 

 

HALLOWEEN – October 31

 

 

 

With Chell of the video game, Portal

 

 

VINTAGE BELLY DANCE BRUNCH – December 11

 

 

Photo courtesy of Joseph Ortiz©

 

Photo courtesy of Joseph Ortiz©

 

I hope you all enjoyed seeing our costumes and pictures.  I’ve included a video below my signature.  I must admit, I had a lot of fun editing these year-end videos.  There are other belly dance performances in the works for 2017, so stay tuned.

Love & Shimmies,

Dasia Denise

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Vintage Belly Dance Brunch Performance

Belly Dance Brunch poster courtesy of Sahara Dance.  Used with permission.

Hello, lovelies.  Last month, the ladies and I performed for the Sahara Dance Vintage Belly Dance Brunch at the Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club.  This dance was inspired by flamenco dance, and our costumes and music reflect this influence.  

First, here’s my makeup and costume for this performance.  I missed wearing my usual bindis, big hair, and over-the-top accessories, but since the theme was flamenco dance, I had to do without them.  I wore a big ass flower to make up for my lack of accessories.

 

 

 

Here are the ladies of Raquettes Amira

 

Our lovely, flamenco-inspired costumes:

 

The performance went pretty well.  It was a faster piece than we’re used to, but I think we pulled it off nicely.  I still need to work on my arms and posture. Sigh.

 

Stage photos courtesy of Joseph Ortiz© (unless otherwise noted)

Photo courtesy of Jeanette

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve included a video of our performance, courtesy of Sahara Dance Productions.  I hope you all enjoy it.  This Spring, we’ll be dancing with swords!  It’s been 4 years since I last danced with a sword, so I’m very excited about the Spring show.  Stay tuned for more belly dance posts.

Love & Shimmies,

Dasia Denise

Summer Bellydance: Shimmy Mob & Fiesta Asia 2016

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Hello, lovelies!  This will be a long post, meaning lots of pictures but not much text (you know how I roll).  I danced with the two troupes that I belong to: Shimmy Mob DC and Raquettes Amira.  We danced at Freedom Plaza and at the National Asian Festival (Fiesta Asia).

On May 14th, I danced with Shimmy Mob DC for World Bellydance Day.  World Bellydance Day is where belly dancers worldwide perform in “flash mobs” – we perform to the same choreography and with the same music.  Each belly dance “flash mob” represents a different city.  Not only do we do this to celebrate the joy and sisterhood of belly dance, but we also dance to raise money and awareness for victims of domestic violence.  I wasn’t able to “shimmy mob” last year, so I was very pleased to join my team this year.

As always, we danced at Freedom Plaza and in front of The National Theatre. Here’s a few pictures of Shimmy Mob DC: 

 

All Shimmy Mob group pics courtesy of Shavei Dancer

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On June 5th, four of us “Shimmy Mobbers” danced at the National Asian Heritage Festival (Fiesta Asia).  I also danced with Raquettes Amira, my ATS® dance troupe.  It was so hot on that day, but it was a lot of fun!  Not only do I enjoy attending different festivals, but I especially love dancing at these festivals.

Here are a few pictures from Fiesta Asia:

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Following Raquettes Amira stage pics by our fellow dance sister, Jeanette

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F.ASIA-Circle.2

 

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I hope all of you enjoyed this post.  Everyone should experience a little belly dancing in their life, whether it’s taking classes, performing, and/or watching (both live performances and videos).  I wasn’t able to get video for our Shimmy Mob performance, but here are some clips from our performance at Fiesta Asia.  Enjoy!

Love & Shimmies,

Dasia Denise

 

Raquettes Amira ATS® clips provided by Jeanette

14th Annual Dreaming Under a Desert Moon

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Hello, lovelies!  Back on April 30, my ATS® dance troupe and I performed for the Sahara Dance annual Spring show, Under A Desert Moon.  This year’s theme for the show was “Dreams”, so the 14th annual Under A Desert Moon was aptly titled, Dreaming Under A Desert Moon

First, here’s my makeup and costume for the annual Spring show and my first ATS® makeup tutorial:

 

 

 

Our group, Raquettes Amira, took inspiration from the dreaming theme to create magical, “elf-like” goddesses.  Our dance sister, Illyria, made our harem pants and our dance instructor, Eugenia, made our Ghawazee coats.  Elizabeth (aka “Gaia”) came up with the idea to represent different goddesses.  You can tell that we have a couple fans of Game of Thrones within our group.  I haven’t seen the show, but I will jump at any chance to look like “royalty”.

 

♦ Here are the ladies of Raquettes Amira ♦

(click on each photo to see a larger view)

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Raquettes Amira for Sahara Dance, Washington DC

 

 

We performed a slow piece to “Journey” from Video Games Live, by Austin Wintory.  Very dreamy.  I felt like we were in a fairy tale.  As you know by now, I’m a huge fan of themes.

 

The following stage photos are courtesy of Christopher “Puma” Smith (via Facebook)

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UDM16-Illyria.stage_CPumaSmith

 

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I hope this post has put a bit of joy in your day.  This was one of my favorite performances and definitely my favorite costume!  Who doesn’t like looking like a goddess?  I’ve included our dance performance video at the end.  Enjoy and may all of your dreams come true.

Love & Shimmies,

Dasia Denise

 

Video courtesy of Sahara Dance Productions

Summer Solstice & Starting Over

Bat Fit 2016

Bat Fit logo by Franny of The Curious Professor Z.

Today is Summer Solstice, the official first day of summer and the day with the longest daylight hours.  This is also the day where I admit that I have failed. Well, maybe not completely, but I’m not doing too good with my goals for this year.  My three goals for this year were starting yoga again, taking up drawing again, and simplifying my life.  The only headway I’ve made thus far is simplifying my life.  I’m still getting rid of excess clothing, shoes, tchotchkes, etc., but I have failed in the other two goals and I am not too pleased with myself.

And I’ve been feeling it, lately.  I’ve been tired, sick with pain and allergies, stiff, and unmotivated.  My skin looks terrible and I’ve been feeling listless.  This has got to change.  I can’t continue with being a useless, sack of skin.  Maybe not useless (I’m a fan of hyperbole), but I do not feel healthy.  The only thing saving me from being a complete slug is belly dance.  But as I get older, that is not enough to save me from merely existing.

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Edgar comforts me while I lie down

 

So, this week I’m getting back on the horse and taking up yoga again.  I started hot Vinyasa yoga last year and loved it.  After a couple of years of searching, I had finally found a yoga practice that suited me, but I somehow got derailed. However, the past is the past and I’m ready to try yoga again.

For some reason, keeping track of my progress is a lot easier when I blog about it.  I do this with my deadlock posts and while it doesn’t take much work besides washing and separating my locs, it’s nice to see my loc growth from loose hair to the present.  I think keeping an active web log (which is where the word “blog” comes from) of my yoga progression will help me stick with it.

 

♦ MONTH ONE ♦

So let’s get started.  I will check my progress every 60 days (every other month) instead of monthly, so that my progression will be more obvious.  While my goal will be overall health, I’ll be looking out for two things: flexibility and strength.  I’ll also be paying attention to weight loss, but this is not my goal.  I’ll still have fat, but if I can see some muscle I will be more than satisfied.

 

Now for the dreaded pictures. Ugh.

 

FLEXIBILITY

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The Squat – used in ATS® dance for level changes. Notice how I’m unable to do this without keeping my heels off of the floor.

 

I never was very flexible.  Maybe I was as a child, but as an adult I’m as flexible as a brick.  While I can still dance, improving my flexibility would definitely improve my dancing.  The three moves I’ll be using to check my progress will be a squat, a backbend, and a split.  I’m not worried about ever achieving a split, but it’s a good way to see how flexible I can get.

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The Backbend – used in ATS® for laybacks
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The Split – because, why not? Look how far off the ground I am. Sigh.

 

STRENGTH

Here’s the truth: I will never have a flat stomach.  Those days are over.  One of the wonderful things about belly dance is that having a belly is not seen as some character flaw.  While I don’t care about not having a flat stomach, I would like to have some muscle definition (I know they’re in there somewhere).  And when I say muscle definition, I particularly mean my obliques.  I’m okay with not having six-pack abs.

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We’ll see how I do in the next couple of months.  I always have this fear of starting things up again – my fear of failure is pretty strong.  But I must start working towards improving my health.  I can’t keep putting it off – I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired.

How are you doing with your yearly goals?  I hope it’s a lot better than I’m doing.

Love & Shimmies,

Dasia Denise

Fall / Winter Belly Dance, Part 2 – Sahara Dance Golden Era Salon 2015

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Title poster by Twiggy and Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club marquee pic courtesy of Sahara Dance.  Used with permission.

About three weeks ago my ATS® dance troupe and I danced our last performance for 2015 at the Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club for the Sahara Dance Golden Era Salon: A Vintage Belly Dance Brunch.  What a wonderful venue to perform in!  I’m really enjoying dancing while people eat, just like the dancers did in the mid-20th century – hence, the “Golden Era”.  It was also the first time I danced to live drums, performed by Sahara Tabla.  Or course, I like dancing to recorded music as well, but nothing beats feeling the drumbeat of live music.

First, here is my ATS® costume, with hair and makeup:

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Next, here are the ladies of our ATS® dance troupe for the Golden Era performance:

Not pictured: Gretchen, Erin K., Erin V.

 

Here are some of our stage pics.  Photos are courtesy of Jeanette Trejeda de Gomez and Stereo Vision Photography.  Used with permission.

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Photo courtesy of Jeanette Trejeda de Gomez

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Sahara Tabla on drums
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Photo courtesy of Jeanette Trejeda de Gomez

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VNTGE.13-ATS.group2_Isabel

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Finale
Finale

 

I’ve already signed up for the annual Spring dance show, Under A Desert Moon (UDM) and I’m looking forward to the new semester.  Not only is our dance troupe now a student dance company, but we also have a new name for our company: Raquettes Amira, named after the famed restaurant in San Francisco.  It was THE place to see tribal belly dance.  I’m really looking forward to 2016!

You can check out our performance in the video below, courtesy of Sahara Dance Productions.  Our performance started with the wrong music cued, but I must say that we recovered nicely.  Even the audience showed support of our recovery.

Love & Shimmies,

Dasia Denise

The Year In Costume & Dance 2015

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Hello, lovelies!  As we come towards the end of 2015, I decided to do a couple of year-end posts.  They’re more like a photo album vs. an actual blog post. Translation: 95% pictures, 5% words.  This post is a rundown of the costumes I wore this year.  Needless to say, they’re mainly dance costumes, but still costumes nonetheless.  

Without further ado, here are the costumes I wore in 2015.  You can click on each title to read the full blog post.

 

 ELVIS’ BIRTHDAY FIGHT CLUB – January 10

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With my dear friend, Matt

 

COUNTDOWN TO YURI’S NIGHT: SPACE PIRATES – April 11

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CSTME15-C2YN_mkp.duo

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With my sweetheart and life partner, C.

 

SAHARA DANCE: 13th ANNUAL UNDER A DESERT MOON – April 25

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With 3 of my ATS® troupe mates, Illyria, Isabel and Suzanne
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Photo courtesy of Stereo Vision Photography

 

DC HAFLA ATS® PERFORMANCE – July 18

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CSTME15-Hafla_OOTD.duo

CSTME15-Hafla_caftan

 

SAHARA DANCE SUMMER CARNIVAL – August 8

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CSTME15-Carnival_OOTD.trio

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ATS® FLASH MOB – October 10

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With Shavei Dancer and Isabel

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DEVIL’S NIGHT – October 30

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With Jocelyn as Chell (from the video game series, Portal)

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CSTME15-DevNite_OOTD.duo

 

HALLOWEEN – October 31

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Me and my sweetheart as Prince and Tina Turner

 

RAQ OUT: CREATURES OF MYTH & LEGEND – November 7

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With fellow unicorn and dance partner, Amy

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GOLDEN ERA SAHARA DANCE SALON: A VINTAGE BELLY DANCE BRUNCH  – December 13

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Photo courtesy of Stereo Vision Photography
Finale
Photo courtesy of Stereo Vision Photography

 

And there it is.  I hope you enjoyed viewing my costumes for 2015.  There will be another year-end post in a couple of days.  Stay tuned.

Love & Shimmies,

Dasia Denise

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Fall / Winter Belly Dance, Part 1 – Raq Out 2015

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Program flyer courtesy of Kathy Papienski.  Used with permission.

Hello, lovelies!  About 4 weeks ago, I performed in the bi-annual Raq Out show, presented by the College Park Arts Exchange.  Raq Out is coordinated  twice a year – once in the Spring and once in the Fall, usually around Halloween.  I performed in last Halloween’s Raq Out and decided to do it again this year.  This year I performed with one of my dance sisters, Amy.  I’ve danced a couple of solos before and a number of times in groups, but this was my first dance duo.  Amy and I decided to perform tribal fusion.  I was nervous, but I had so much fun!

As always, I must share our makeup and costumes.  Here’s our makeup:

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With my dance partner and fellow unicorn, Amy

 

Here are the costumes.  It’s common in tribal and tribal fusion belly dance for our costumes to coordinate a bit, without matching:

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Here are more pictures of us dancers and our costumes:

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Four horned beauties

 

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Stage photos are courtesy of Todd Harris.  Used with permission.

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It’s a dance off! Lol.

 

It was a blast dancing with Amy and everyone enjoyed our cute performance. My apologies for not taking video of our performance – I was just too nervous. But there will definitely be video of our ATS® Sunday brunch performance, coming up in one week!  I’ll leave you with the song that Amy and I performed to, “Unicorn Zombie Apocalypse” by Bogore & Sikdope.

Love & Shimmies,

Dasia Denise