Sunday, February 28, 2010

Dance & art

I doodle for fun.

My favorite to date:

I took an intro to watercolor class and was assigned "shaped painting in guache" shortly after a New Mexico camping trip.:

Halloween 2009:

The gal on the left has a sword visible in daylight.

Belly Love

A rockin' article I found online:

Fire in the Belly: Self-Love and Navel Gazing
February 08, 2010

Excerpt: My lover made up a modern proverb: “A woman who loves her belly loves her body.” I don’t think it will catch on. It’s true that women, particularly modern women in Western culture, have a love-hate (or even a hate-hate) relationship with their bellies. Why? What did that sweet bump of skin (located as it is under the two much glamorized and beloved fat-bags) do to deserve such scorn?
...An important part of self-love is surrounding myself with good mirrors. Love is the best mirror. I don’t accept lovers who don’t love me big and delicious as I am. It’s impossible to watch your lover trace your scars or wide curves with pleasure and fascination and not catch some of his/her enthusiasm. How can you scorn something someone you love worships?
Read the full story here.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Things I want to learn

And learn to do well:

~Belly rolls
~A good back bend
~Tribal fusion style
~Floor work
~Layered shimmies

I'm off to YouTube to get myself started.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Tribal cutey

Super cute tribal belly dancer whose style I'm really diggin'.

Belly Dance Evolution Asia 2010

Sunday night I went to the Belly Dance Evolution show. It's an international show and competition featuring the best performers from around the world.

(No filming allowed, so I had to hide my LCD screen. Sorry for the poor quality.)

Aside from the little kid occupying the $60 seat in front of me flashing his Nintendo DS screen in my face throughout the performance, and despite having to pinch my nose against the kimchi halitosis FROM HELL sitting next to me for a 3 hour show, my seat was really great- about 7 rows back and maybe 10 seats left of center.

The dancers and choreography were also great.

The production values were worse than a high school talent show. I think they let the special kids run sound and lighting. It's not a fucking rock concert; spare my ear drums please. The music was unnecessarily, even painfully loud. Seriously, when I enjoy your show better with earplugs in, someone is a little "deet-de-dee." And the spotlight consistently missed performers' entrances. My friends who worked in the Collin County Community College theater department would be appalled.

Let me repeat, the dancers and the choreography were really good. Like, my jaw on the floor throughout the tribal parts, good.

And I got to meet and chat with other dancers. So I'm not too disappointed in what I paid for the show. In the future, I'd rather see the production in another country that has its act together.

Swingin' these hips like nunchuks

Because I know you're wondering.

"Shakira swing them hips like nunchuks."

5/13 addition: That's all; I just liked the lyric a lot. And no matter how many new skills I learn, my hips remain my favorite skill toys. Even if that makes me the only gal among the circus crowd without a prop. I can shimmy and hoop a little, but I kinda hate hooping.

When did you start dancing?

I took ballet and tap when I was 3 or 4, ice skating at 8, jazz at 11, ballet at 12, did colorguard in high school, and tore up the dance floor at every school dance while my peers stood self-consciously to the side.

In the summer of 2005, after my freshman year of college, I saw my first belly dancer at a campfire in New Mexico. The people all around me whispered disparagements regarding her weight and body, but I was enthralled by her skill and presence and made a point of complimenting her when she finished. I thought to myself, "I wanna do that!"

About six months later, I heard about belly dance classes available across the street from campus. Immediately I signed up. I was reeling from a breakup, and this class gave me back a sense of happiness and confidence in myself and my desirability. Cathy Barton taught the class and was a delight to learn from. She taught all her classes choreography, (the amazing Shakira in mine) and even we beginners got to perform at the end of semester hafla!

After that, a tight class schedule and limited income kept me from lessons for four years, but I performed at every campfire I could find a drummer and a few arts competitions hosted by the local medieval recreation group, Amtgard.

In November 2009, I packed up my life to move to South Korea to teach English and put my costumes and scarves into storage, figuring I'd have to wait a year to belly dance. But I was so wrong! On a lark, I Googled "belly dance korea" and found a thriving belly dance community and multitude of teachers in and near Seoul.

My first lesson was with Belynda Azhaar, a darling redhead with an incredible gift for teaching. I learned more about different belly dance styles in my one hour class with her than I ever could have imagined. This was the first class that ever challenged me (Holy crap, zills are hard!) and made my body sore after (because I simply lack any veil experience and arm muscles). And finally, a teacher who would correct me and help me become a better dancer!

I later took an oriental belly dance class at The Well Being Studio in Itaewon but didn't care much for the choreography. I saw the tail end of the tribal class, though, and am dying to go back and give it a shot.

For now, I'm just waiting to sign a contract with a new school and get my first paycheck before I commit to regularly attending lessons. I can't wait!