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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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

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

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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

 

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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!

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Here’s my costume:

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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.

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Finale

 

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

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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

 

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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.

 

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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:

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

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

 

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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

 

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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.

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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:

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Professional pics courtesy of Stereo Vision Photography:

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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.

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Circling up with my dance partner, Suzanne

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Finale

 

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:

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

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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.

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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.

 

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Raqs Sharqi

 

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

 

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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!

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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.

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In front is our troupe leader, Eugenia

 

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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