OOTD & Makeup for October’s Birthstones: Opal & Tourmaline


Gemstone pics via Photobucket.  Gemstone info via Wixon Jewelers and The American Gem Society.

Here we are with October’s birthstones and there are two: Opal and Tourmaline. While tourmalines come in a rainbow of colors (literally),  Opals have the rainbow colors in the stone and each color combination is unique – no two opals are the same.

Tourmaline means “mixed stone”, reflecting the many colors of this gemstone. Tourmalines are found all over the world including Afghanistan, Brazil, East Africa, and the USA.  Tourmalines come in every color imaginable, but the most popular are blue, red, green, and multi-colored.

Tourmaline crystal (top); polished and faceted tourmalines (bottom)
Tourmaline crystal (top); polished and faceted tourmalines (bottom)

Opals are much older, going back to ancient times.  Because opals contain so many colors, it was known as the “Queen of Gems” (the ruby is known as the “King of Gems”).   As an opal is turned, the colors seem to “dance” as the light reflects each color.  The black opal has a dark gray to black background, making the colors more vivid.  Black opals are more valuable and are mined at Lightening Ridge in New South Wales, Australia.

(top to bottom): polished opal, Ethiopian waro opal, and black opal
(top to bottom): polished opal, Ethiopian waro opal, and black opal


Here’s what I wore.  I decided to wear the mesh skirt that I purchased from Bellydance.com.  Belly dance skirts are a wonderful staple in a gothic bohemian wardrobe.  I like that it has some weight to it, but since it’s mesh it grabs onto a lot of things, such as leaves, grass, bricks, and sharp corners.



Long cardigan: Amazon, Long t-shirt: Ebay, Shoes: Clarks (brand)


Here’s my face.  I’m still experimenting with different looks and I like this one.  I applied a hot pink eye shadow over a metallic, bronze eye shadow.  This tones down the pink and gives it a bit of shimmer:





Vintage Sarah Coventry opal pin: Moonlight Martini (Etsy)


I’m currently working on posting more videos.  I was tagged for the “Goth Tag” by Ramona over at Just Keep Brains back in August.  August!  Ugh, I am so slow.  For now, I’ll leave you pretties with a OOTD clip.  You’ll see more substantial videos soon.

Love & Shimmies,

Dasia Denise

ATS® Flash Mob 2015 – Greenbelt Rhythm & Drum Festival

ATS.MOB.16-me.Margo_FotorThe 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.

Love & Shimmies,

Dasia Denise

Summer ATS® Belly Dance, Part 2 – Sahara Dance Carnival


Poster courtesy of Sahara Dance.  Used with permission.

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:

backstage waiting to perform
backstage waiting to perform




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:





White flowers against a white wall - not the best idea.
White flowers against a white wall – not the best idea for a photograph.


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.


Stage photos courtesy of Joseph Ortiz©.  Used with permission.








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,

Dasia Denise


Video courtesy of Sahara Dance Productions.  Song: “Derwood Green” by Phil Thornton and Hossam Ramzy.


Summer ATS® Belly Dance, Part 1 – DC Hafla


Image courtesy of DC Hafla.  Used with permission.

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”:

before and after
before and after




Eyeshadow has been applied, but no foundation yet. For easier clean up of "fallout", I apply foundation after my eye makeup.
Eyeshadow has been applied, but no foundation yet. For easier clean up of “fallout”, I apply foundation after my eye makeup.




Foundation, blush and eyeliner has been applied. Eyebrows lined and colored in.
Foundation, blush and eyeliner have been applied. Eyebrows lined and colored in.


Gold glitter added for some sparkle!
Gold glitter added for some sparkle!


My finished face and flowers added to my hair:







Here’s my ATS® costume and a few more pics from that evening:





I included this picture because i love the background. But you can see how “naked” I look without the coin bra.


Selfies with my love


The following pics are courtesy of DC Hafla and a couple of our beloved friends:

With my buddy and co-worker, Scott
With my buddy and co-worker, Scott







All of us lovely dancers pose for a group shot


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.

Love & Shimmies,

Dasia Denise

Our ATS® Spring Dance Performance: UDM 2015

Image source
Image source

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.

Spreading joy and shimmies to everyone!


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:







Professional pics courtesy of Stereo Vision Photography:





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.


Following stage photos courtesy of Stereo Vision Photography via Sahara Dance.  Used with permission.



Circling up with my dance partner, Suzanne





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.

But, the good news is that there is a video!  I had a friend videotape our performance.  Unfortunately, his seat was too far away and I forgot to zoom the camera lens for him.  Luckily, Sahara Dance Productions© captured our performances on video.  You can take a look at it, below my signature.

Love & Shimmies,

Dasia Denise


Video courtesy of Sahara Dance Productions©.

Our ATS® Dance Performance: Winter Caravan 2014

Image source
Image source

Winter Caravan poster courtesy of Sahara Dance.  Used with permission.

In 2 weeks, I’ll be dancing with my ATS® troupe for the big, annual Spring show, Under A Desert Moon (UDM).  I decided to share my second dance performance, which was the Winter Caravan show back in December.

I’m absolutely loving tribal belly dance.  Eventually, I’d like to branch out into Tribal Fusion, but for now, I’m working on tribal belly dance.  Tribal Fusion is an off-shoot of tribal.  In dance, one never stops learning.  In addition to leading workshops, belly dance instructors still take classes to hone their craft.


With my dance sister of 5 years, Isabel
With my dance sister of 5 years, Isabel


Our dance troupe performs American Tribal Style (ATS®) vs. Improvisational Tribal Style (ITS).  The difference?  ATS® follows a distinct, dance vocabulary, created by Carolena Nericcio, who also created her dance troupe, Fat Chance Belly Dance®.  ITS is tribal belly dance that is not ATS®.  In other words, ATS® is the “brand name” whereas ITS is simply, tribal belly dance.  You have to be certified in ATS® in order to teach it.


Here’s my makeup and costume for our Winter Caravan performance:









Here are a few pics from our Winter Caravan performance.  Our performance video is located after my signature:

The Sahara Dance American Tribal Style (ATS®) troupe. L-R: me, Kelsey, Gretchen, Erin, and Isabel.


Following performance pics courtesy of Joseph Ortiz© and Toscana Photography.







I’m so excited for the upcoming Spring performance!  I do love classical, Egyptian belly dance, but I think tribal is more my style.  Stay tuned for more ATS® photos and videos.

Love & Shimmies,

Dasia Denise

My First ATS® Dance Performance: Summer Carnival 2014

Image source
Image source

Gifs via Photobucket.  Summer Carnival poster used with permission.

I started taking belly dance classes in the fall of 2009, and I haven’t stopped since.  Ever since I started dancing, I knew that eventually, I wanted to take tribal belly dance classes.  I started out taking Raqs Sharqi (Arabic for oriental dance), which is the classic, Egyptian style of belly dance that many of us know. This is also the foundation for American Tribal Style (ATS®), Improvisational Tribal Style, (ITS), and Tribal Fusion.  These 3 styles wouldn’t exist without Raqs Sharqi.  This is essential to learn before moving on to tribal and Tribal Fusion.


belly dancer photo: belly dancer dancinglady.gif
Raqs Sharqi


ATS® dance troupe, Fat Chance Belly Dance®. The founder of ATS®, Carolena Nerriccio, is 3rd from the left. (Image source)


tribal fusion belly dance photo: tribal belly dance gif tumblr_lxcio1QXwN1r3gl55o1_500.gif
Tribal Fusion


The theme for the summer carnival was “Dancing Through The Decades”.  Each dance troupe represented a different era, starting with the early 20th century and ending with our modern era.  Our troupe represented the 1970s, since the early roots of ATS® started during this time.  The beginnings of tribal belly dance is credited to Jamila Salimpour.


Here are a few pics of my costume and of our performance.  Tribal costumes are the best – nothing has to match and a little imperfection is a-okay.  We gothic bohos love layers, and tribal costumes are layers upon layers of gorgeousness!





with my first belly dance teacher, Colleen and fellow ATS® dance sister, Isabel
with my ATS® dance sister, Isabel (left) and my first belly dance teacher, Colleen


Stage photos courtesy of Toscana Photography.

In front is our troupe leader, Eugenia




Taking a bow
Taking a bow


Below my signature is a video of our dance performance.  I hope you enjoy it.  I think I’ve found my dance niche.  Hooray!  They’ll be other videos of our dance performances in the near future, so stay tuned.

Love & Shimmies,

Dasia Denise


My 42-Year-Old Face: DC Fashion Week


Hello, all!  I turned 42 this year and my dearest friend, Matt, bought me a ticket to DC Fashion Week.  I had no idea that DC had a fashion week!  DC Fashion Week has been going on for 22 seasons (11 years) with shows every February and September.  My birthday was on Tuesday, February 17, but who wants to hang out on a Tuesday night?  We had cold, crappy weather anyway, so we decided to celebrate on Friday.

We’ll start with my outfit, which was nothing impressive.  A long, flowing skirt would of been perfect!  But it was bitterly cold and there was still ice and snow on the ground, so my outfit was more utilitarian than fashionable:

Long tunic: Amazon, Lace shirt: Ebay




New glasses for my birthday: Zenni Optical, Amethyst necklace: Habit Jewelry (Etsy), Leather choker: Aeon Leather (Etsy)


Amethyst-purple bobby pins: JME Beads (Etsy)


Extra long, scrunchy socks: Sock Dreams, Boots: Fit Flop (brand)


Here’s my makeup.  I decided to get new frames for my birthday.  They look kind of crazy, but I like things that look crazy.  I also bought a couple of amethyst-purple, sparkly barrettes, but I don’t think I pulled them off very well.  They’re not right for my hair and I think they’re a bit “young” for me.  I’ll probably make them into something else or save them for a belly dance costume.  These would look better as accent pieces to my floral hair clips:







Here are a few more pics from our lovely evening: 





I couldn’t figure out if these were mannequins or real women.




I didn’t know her, but I had to take her picture. Her gray ombre hair was so beautiful.


Happy Birthday To Me! I bought this beautiful, dark blue, tunic top from the show. And Matt gave me a black, sparkly belt and a book on signs and symbols.


Here’s a video I made at the fashion show.  I’m still getting the hang of making videos, but I’m slowly improving.  I hope you enjoy the video.

Love & Shimmies,

Dasia Denise




Non-Fashion Week – Bag Lady Style!


It’s “Non-Fashion Week” here at my humble abode.  Why?  Because this week was frickin’ COLD!  Monday started out okay.  It was cold, but not too unbearable.  My day on Monday even started with a solo jam session:



Then, the temperature dropped to a low of 12° F (-11° C) with about 2 inches of snow on Tuesday.  It was also windy, making the temperature feel like 3° F (-16° C).  I do NOT do freezing weather!  Horrendous.  Since Old Man Winter decided to hang around all week and every inch of my body was covered in triple layers (and I was still cold!), my fashion and makeup went out the window.  I just wasn’t feeling it this week.

old man winter photo: Old Man Winter Winter.gif
Ah, Winter. Beautiful, yet so cruel. (Image source)


Here is my very boring “outfit”, luckily covered with a coat.  The only thing fashionable in this pic are my Doc Martens.  Since they’re tall with awesome traction, these are kind of my “snow boots”:

Coat: TJ Maxx, 20-eye Boots: Doc Martens (brand)


I do love nature and I’m working on getting in touch with it more, and part of that is accepting that Winter is just a cycle Mother Nature goes through.  I actually don’t mind Winter itself.  If I was able to hibernate like a bear, I would have no issues.  But that’s just not possible at this time.

A lot of goths love winter.  Are you one of them?  

Love & Shimmies,

Dasia Denise

Making Peace With Myself On Video


(Above photo courtesy of Toscana Photography)


Am I vain?  Probably.  I am always taking photographs of myself, especially in costume.  As Z says, “It’s all about making memories”.

However, this love of seeing myself in still photos does not translate to video.  I hate looking at myself on video.  I’ve ALWAYS hated it.  I hate hearing myself on video and I hate watching myself on video.  I’ve dreaded being on camera ever since my mother bought a camcorder back in the early ’90s.

But I’m a dancer, so this is a huge problem.  You have to watch yourself dance – this is one way to improve your dancing.  My dancing isn’t great and I know I can do better.  It would really help to watch myself on video.  This is especially true since I have no formal dance training.  I’ve played sports and used to do aerobics, but that is very different from dance.  Plus, I can’t hide anything on video, which is one reason I hate it so much.


Nice in photographs, clunky on video.


For example, this video is of me dancing with my troupe, Raquettes Tribaret, for the Sahara Dance holiday show back in December 2013.  While I had trouble with my urn (it happens), my arms went “window washer”.  While your arms still move, they’re supposed to be in a “controlled” motion instead of flaying around, making the moves look sloppy.  This could have been avoided if I had the guts to watch myself practicing.



Sigh.  How do I bring myself to practice on video?  It’s just so hard for me to be comfortable watching myself dance.  But then, recently, I started doing this:


View this post on Instagram

Take 2 (I could used to this!)

A post shared by Gothic SoulFlower (@gothic_soulflower) on


This video was taken on Instagram, so it’s really short.  But I actually started to enjoy recording myself, and I can already see what I need to work on.  Since Instagram videos are more like clips, I wasn’t stressed out about it.  I’m not performing either, so these Instagram clips are just to share with people and for practice. 

So the point is, I have to get over this irrational fear of the video camera.  I just do.   And I think the short clips on Instagram is helping me to overcome that fear. For now, I’ll be working on my technique: work on drills, take my time and start recording my practice sessions.  Watching myself on video will be crucial in improving my performance.

I’ll leave you lovelies with a video that I do like.  This is our Tribal Sword Fusion piece, performed for the Sahara Dance Soiree & Holiday Bazaar, December 2012.  This is my first time editing and posting videos.  I hope you enjoy our performance!

(photo below signature is courtesy of Toscana Photography)



Love & Shimmies,

Dasia Denise