I wish that I was a bit like my friend Sierra, who HAS to write every single day. She doesn’t go anywhere without a notebook and a pen. Alas, I am a dancer first and a writer second, so I have to kick myself in the ass a bit to get myself to write regularly.
Here’s what’s new in my neck of the woods:
1) ASHARAH WORKSHOP!
Hands down one of my favorite workshops that I’ve ever attended. Consider this: Asharah was never in the Bellydance Superstars or some famous troupe (certainly not because lack of talent!) to project her career — she is now a full-time dancer because she absolutely worked her butt off to get there, and it shows. Her workshops managed to combine the Suhaila format with new and innovative twists that really broadened my view about how the format can be applied. I loved her “Dancing your Demons” workshop and it really opened up some new challenges for myself in expressing a message through dance. The show was great, Ve did a wonderful job running everything without completely losing it (which I definitely would have, between running three workshops, organizing the vendors, corraling us workshop folk and sorting out who owed what, running a full show and managing private lessons schedule with Asharah. I strongly believe that Ve should work in a Wonder Woman cape into her next costume). I was fortunate enough to take a private lesson with Asharah, and she had a lot of great ideas for me. Moreover she actually listened and you can tell she is one of those rare dancers who genuinely selfless. I was very impressed — 5 stars! The show was great as well, it was great to see Amy and Exotic Rhythms Belly Dance and Frank Farinaro. Definitely check Asharah out at bdpaladin.com or at asharah.com.
2) I GOT A JOB!
I am a paid fundraiser for primarily Democratic committees and groups. What does that mean? … well, I guess that means I’m a telemarketer. ONLY TEMPORARILY, mind you… but yeah, calling people and nagging them for money is calling people and nagging them for money, no matter what cute euphemism you give it. I’m hoping to get a part-time position sewing costumes for the Stephen’s theater department in August.
3) I’M BACK WITH THE DRAGONFLIES!
Not that I ever really “quit” or “left,” but after a long talk with Kandi and a rather creepy medicine card reading in which I pulled the “Dragonfly” card out of a deck of 70 or some cards, I’m excited to say that I will be dancing with them again now that I’m here in Columbia.
4) REFOCUSING MY PRACTICE
I am trying to restructure how I train since I feel like I’m a huge artistic and skill rut when it comes to bellydance. I started reading “The Artist’s Way” and focus on the mental and emotional aspects of dance. I also took a modern dance class this summer and loved it, so I’m hoping to cross-train a bit more. I’ve also been in contact with a wonderful Odissi Indian dance teacher about taking lessons in the fall.
5) SOME EXCITING PROJECTS
— I’ve been working and dancing with a wonderful latin/blues/rock band called Los Desterrados, and we’re hoping to organize a larger bellydance show together.
— I’m hoping to start a Improvisation/Following class at Moon Belly in the spring. My goal is to start a new ITS format and also teach dancers to be stronger at improvising on their own and following their fellow dancers.
— I’m hoping to start teaching some workshops in the St. Louis area soon.
— I’ve been in talks with the Artisan and Kayotea about more shows in the CoMo area.
6) TIME FOR A CHANGE
On a more personal note, I have been quite negative and depressed about things recently, and I am making a vow to be more positive, work out more, and keep myself positive about the turn of events recently. Life’s too short to be sad or mad all the time.