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Perhaps this was my mistake; I had a plan for my dance career, and I was not shy to tell it to everyone who would listen. My goal was to dance as long or longer than my dance heroine, Martha Graham, who performed until she was 92 (when she proceeded to drink herself into toxic alcoholism, which was definitely not part of my plan). At some point in the mid-1980s, a close friend and dance student of one of my own dance students actually expired while performing

There have been a couple of times in my life when I felt stagnated and bored with my dancing. I felt frustrated with a lack of substance, technical complexity, and artistic vision. I had been a successful dancer and company director for 5 years, I had managed to make a living through performing and teaching in Los Angeles. By the end of 2012, I reached a point where the gigs were no longer feeding me, the excitement and drive to continue pursuing such a

Anyone who has surfed the Internet, joined discussion groups, or researched belly dance in any depth, will have seen the horror and fury that can be induced by posting a video of “Gypsy belly dancing”, asking for the best vendors for “Gypsy skirts” or (deep breath) offering to teach a “Gypsy workshop.” I have read many times that “Gypsy” is a bad word because they prefer to be called “Rom.” Therefore, it is disrespectful to use the word in any form. I beg to differ. You see,

All of us want our dance to be beautiful and captivating. Yet often, especially when we are new, we see a great distance between our own movements and the expressive power of our teachers or the favorites whom we watch on YouTube clips and DVDs. Is there a way to accelerate the process of becoming better? If so, what are the secrets? We typically impose limiting expectations on ourselves. We may think that we’re at a disadvantage, compared to those whom we admire, because frequently, we have begun

There has been more interaction recently between the dancers in my current home of Augusta, Georgia, and in Columbia, the state capitol and largest city in South Carolina, which is approximately an hour and a half away. Some of the Columbia dancers have come down to dance with us at haflas and at our First Friday celebrations. A few Augusta dancers make the drive to study American Tribal Style with Maria Palacio. Maria owns Columbia’s only FatChance BellyDance sister studio, and she teaches both traditional and tribal dance.

This is the second in a series of articles on graphic design for dancers. In the first article we considered the impact of design on the public’s perception of the dance and on the success of bellydance as a business, then explored crucial typography guidelines. Now we’ll delve into applying colors in marketing materials, returning to the ever-present concepts of hierarchy and legibility introduced previously. In design, color is used to: Convey a mood or feeling Draw attention to certain elements Group and structure related elements Enhance the message Establish brand identity While color

We’ve been the house dancers in a Greek restaurant for a number of years and have also done more than our share of family parties, corporate parties, etc. We’ve truly been blessed and have enjoyed every opportunity to dance. During that time, we have gotten numerous calls from local up and coming dancers wanting to know about how to get professional gigs or even asking about auditioning for an opportunity to dance. We’ve been to a lot of performances, haflas, and workshop shows over

Author’s Note: Before we even discuss styles like Egyptian, Lebanese, Turkish, Greek, Armenian, Persian, Tribal, Fusion, and everything else that is currently out there, let’s just assume that all movement between the knees to top of your head defines Belly Dance, just for the sake of this article and within this genre. I believe firmly still that belly dance is comprised of movements such as Figure 8s (rib and hips) as well as all vertical and horizontal directions, etc. that define the foundation of the dance; everything else–such

In my family there is a cocktail of culture: Native American (various tribes to varying degrees), Samoan, Mexican, God knows what kind of European, English and now Egyptian. Racial jokes fly around the table at our family gatherings – we are impossible to offend. My cousin’s blond, blue-eyed kids get dirty looks at the Indian Health Center and my sister’s family blend when they go on vacation in Hawaii. People speak Spanish to my half Egyptian kids when we visit my mom on the

Scientifically speaking, there is no science to the development and unfolding of an art form. If this one single philosophy could be your shield against the small line of despoiling bullies who emerge with incredible regularity from the depths of some apparent human need, Belly dance or Middle Eastern Dance or Raqs Sharqi would be free to continue being what it once was and should have remained: the different dance form, the rogue dance form, “the back door to show business”, our entertainment, inspiration, source of joy,