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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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:
Following Raquettes Amira stage pics by our fellow dance sister, Jeanette
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!
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)
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)
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.
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:
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.
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.
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:
Here are the costumes. It’s common in tribal and tribal fusion belly dance for our costumes to coordinate a bit, without matching:
Here are more pictures of us dancers and our costumes:
Stage photos are courtesy of Todd Harris. Used with permission.
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.
The above photos are courtesy of Ivan Krivega. Used with permission.
Last Saturday was our first participation in the ATS@ Flash Mob. This is a worldwide event that started in 2012, and the first year for the DC team (us!). As a tribal belly dancer who has participated in Shimmy Mob DC (that performs on World Bellydance Day, in which flash mobs from around the world dance Raqs Sharqi) since 2013, I was jazzed to learn about the ATS® Flash Mob.
Flash mobs are always informal. While many of us belly dancers enjoy dancing on a stage or in a restaurant, for flash mobs we “take to the streets” and just dance for whoever happens to be there. Last weekend, we got a chance to dance for an awesome crowd at the Greenbelt Rhythm and Drum Festival and it was so much fun!
Here are some pics of our ATS® Flash Mob. Since this was an informal event, our “costumes” were simplied – what I like to call “tribal lite”. While there’s somewhat of a uniform (black skirts or pants, black shoes; for World Bellydance Day, the designated Shimmy Mob t-shirt must be worn), a costume is not required.
We took video, but since this was our first ATS® Flash Mob and a couple of us (including me) didn’t feel too confident about our dancing, we’re keeping it private for now. Our dancing wasn’t bad, but I felt like I could have done better (I was wandering around a little bit). So, no video of us but here are some photos:
The following photos are courtesy of Ivan Krivega. Used with permission.
No video of our dancing, but I did capture video of other people dancing to the Bele Bele Rhythm Collective. I think I’ve found a new band to jam out to, but I couldn’t find any published music of theirs. Thank goodness for YouTube!
My apologies for shooting the video vertically (trust me, it hurts!) – I didn’t realize this until I started editing. But even if you don’t watch the video, I suggest at least listening to the awesome drumming! I dare you not to shake something on your body.
Here we are with Part 2 of our ATS® summer performances. This one is for our August 13th performance for the Sahara Dance Summer Carnival at Source Theater in Washington, DC. We performed on a stage, which is a bit more formal than our lounge performance in Part 1, but just as much fun!
First, I want to introduce the ladies of Sahara Dance ATS@. This group started last year and the more we dance together, the more of a unified group we’ve become. Since life happens, our members tend to change each semester. But just because some of us may not be able to perform, does not mean they’re not a part of our troupe. Here are those of us that performed in this summer’s Carnival:
Here’s my hair and makeup. One of our dance sisters, Illyria, helped all of us with pinning flowers to the back of our heads. She did such an excellent job! I love how my dreads blended into the flowers. I felt like I could easily attract bees!
Here’s my costume:
Here are some pictures of us on stage. We performed 2 shows that night: one at 5pm and one at 8pm. Usually, the night crowd is a bit more lively than the evening crowd but not this time – the 5pm crowd was fired up that evening! We love nothing more and a lively audience.
Today is the beginning of a new semester of dance classes and of course, this makes me very happy. I can’t wait to see what Eugenia has in store for us. Below my signature is the video of our 8pm performance, courtesy of Sahara Dance Productions. Enjoy!
Love & Shimmies,
Video courtesy of Sahara Dance Productions. Song: “Derwood Green” by Phil Thornton and Hossam Ramzy.
As summer comes to a close, I wanted to share both of our ATS® dance routines that we performed this summer. Part 1 is of our performance for DC Hafla, performed on July 18 at Aura Lounge in Washington, DC. This is my first ATS® performance in a lounge/club setting and it was so much fun!
What is a hafla? A hafla is usually an informal, dance party (hafla is Arabic for “party” or “social gathering”). These are generally performed at a club, a restaurant, or even at someone’s house. It’s almost like dancing at a club here in the West, although haflas are also performed at weddings and at more formal events. Sometimes there are performances, sometimes there are none. Haflas are a great way for people to show off their dancing skills, regardless of skill level. Professionals, teachers, students, and members of the public come together to eat, dance, and socialize. You don’t even have to belly dance at haflas; in fact, you don’t have to dance at all. It’s just a way to socialize in a comfortable, supportive environment. There are always different haflas going on, many occurring on a monthly basis (such as DC Hafla).
Here’s my makeup for the hafla, from bare-faced and boring, to pretty and “tribal-esque”:
My finished face and flowers added to my hair:
Here’s my ATS® costume and a few more pics from that evening:
The following pics are courtesy of DC Hafla and a couple of our beloved friends:
That concludes Part 1 of our summer dance performances. You can check out our video from that evening, below my signature. Stay tuned for Part 2, where we perform for the Sahara Dance Summer Carnival.
UDM poster used with permission. (Photo credit: Toscana Photography. Design/Illustration: Jessica Inouye).
Hello, lovelies. I performed again with my ATS® dance troupe for Sahara Dance’s annual Spring show, Under A Desert Moon (UDM). This is the 13th year that Sahara Dance has put on this wonderful event. We danced in 2 shows, one in the evening at 5:00 pm and one at night, 8:00 pm. Both shows had large audiences who thoroughly enjoyed our performances. It was one of the best shows Sahara Dance has had! It’s so much fun to dance for a lively audience. We belly dancers love the loud cheers and zaghareet! It helps us to bring you the joy that we feel for this dance.
Here’s a short video by Dance Like An Egyptian, on how to zaghareet (pronounced ZAG-ar-eet). It’s a lot easier to explain when you can see and hear it. Also called trilling or ululation. Zaghareet is plural – the singular form is zagharoot.
As we become more of a united group, our costumes are becoming more layered and beautiful. My selfies didn’t turn out too well (hence the vintage filters), but here are a few pics of my costume:
And now we take to the stage! What I love about ATS® is that it’s mostly (sometimes completely) improvised. I used to be nervous about improvisation, especially to a song that I’ve never heard before. But it’s very important that one can improvise in belly dance. The Egyptian dancers mostly improv in their performances, so it’s worth it to get more comfortable with improv.
We had a cast party after the show and it was wonderful. I saw dancers and teachers that I hadn’t seen in a couple of years. One teacher in particular remembered me from my first belly dance classes; she told me that it was great to see how much we had grown into our dance. It means so much to me when teachers see how much we improved. Unfortunately, I didn’t take any pictures of the cast party. I was having too much fun and simply forgot.