What Will You Wear?

A popular style for modest family style dancing and private parties at restaurants...

A popular style for modest family style dancing and private parties at restaurants…

We’re discussing this costume on AskMissBellydance this week. After a weekend of shows and events we’re looking at what outfits work best and which venues. We found that this particular style works best for restaurants and birthday parties and family style events where a more modest, elegant look is required or desired.

We want to hear your thoughts. When dancing for families, conservative audiences and places where there are teens and children, what costumes do you feel best wearing, what is your style?

*All participants in the discussion will be entered to win accessories next week from MissBellydance.com. You will be notified here in the thread. Enjoy!

Bellydance Bedluhs and Summer Raqs Wardrobes

Tassels on Tribal Bellydance Basic Bra and Belt

Tassels on Tribal Bellydance Basic Bra and Belt

The summer will be here before you know it. That means it’s time to plan your raqs wardrobe now. Last year’s summer was hot worldwide…one of the hottest on record. This summer might now be much cooler. So plan for anything. We suggest cool breezy, bright tops that allow your arms to move freely. Bellydance blouses and lot of billowing fabrics are a plus for the months to come.

For dance class we recommend thin, sheer harem pants and fringed scarves. Dancers doing double duty with workshops followed by shows will want keep it light but luxurious. Pack all of your jewelry with the costume. If you’re wearing a red bedluh and rhinestones, place them in plastic bags attached to the hanger of the dress bedluh you’re wearing so they don’t get lost. As soon as you’re out of costume put that jewelry right back where it was instead of stuffing it in a pocket or purse pouch. It’s easier to keep up with it when it’s all together.

Of course if you need something sent overnight, send us an email or catch us on our Facebook page so we can make sure you get what you need. Let’s plan ahead to make this one of the best bellydance summers ever!Beladi Dress

For the Love of Live Music & Dance

We love to attend shows and do fun things with our local dance community in Atlanta. Our pal and resident Raissa Andye Andinha attends several bellydance conferences a year and reports back to us and the Atlanta Bellydance community all that is going on in the world. We love to sit back and hear about the beautiful costumes and the awesome stars she met. Recently she went blogged an entry for Gilded Serpent, commenting on the awesomeness of Black Orchid Danse.

And this month, she blogged about Live Music and Dance! Here’s a snippet from her review. She writes:

*as always, these are simply my opinions…
An interesting and diverse crowd came out last night for the Tribal Carnival. The highlight of the evening was the awesome musical talents of the Day Late and a Dollar Shortkestra featuring Majda, Dave Machek, Natalie Brown and a ton of other notable names from the Southeast Bellydance community and the band Wasted Wine. Their collaboration was outstanding and they played very well for each dancer making little to no obvious mistakes. It should have been recorded and sold.

The show started off with Wasted Wine playing several songs. They are a diverse band with 3 talented men up front, a beautiful lady who looks to be Asian/Asian American on drums-percussion and a female backup singer and guitarist. They have, what I would call, a very vaudeville, roadshow style that works for that genre. I found their sound to be very beautiful though I didn’t get the lyrics of much of what was sung. Could be a language barrier…sometimes I just don’t understand without background and previously studied lyric pages.

My favourites of the night were certainly the very tight performances by Jahara Phoenix, Majda and Awalim as a whole. The pieces looked well rehearsed even if it was perhaps improv…you could just see that they didn’t just get up there and play. Not that there’s anything wrong with playing around but when presenting anything it should look clean and their performances were the cleanest of the night.

Jahara Phoenix on Zills is just something to behold. The way they interacted on stage and the play on within the song they chose (Hadouni
Instrumental??…that’s what it sounded like to me) was just excellent. It felt even fresher than before. I loved their spirit, their smiling faces and the transitions that they chose. Very nice performance that wrapped up the first half of the program.

Opening the second half was Majda’s solo. It was very beautiful as is she. And I think that’s half why it was so good. Majda is just a really good looking lady and everyone in the audience near me was whispering that to each other…”she’s really beautiful…and really good.” As always it was a spirited solo that got a lot of reaction from the crowd for all of the right reasons… (for more of her writings you can begin following her through the upcoming African Asian Business and Cultural Exchange Blog which goes live on Facebook in the coming weeks)

Enjoying a live music and dance is a treasure. Most of what you’ll find in Eastern countries and cultures is a live band with one or two dancers being highlighted for the evening. You’ll want to get to the venue early to get a good seat and see the show. Live music happens all over the eastern world including most parts of southeast Asia. You’ll see shows don’t always happen on the weekends but week nights. Some of our favourite local shows take place at a restaurant titled “Fanoos Persian Cuisine” on Roswell Rd in Sandy Springs Georgia. There are live shows weekly featuring local dancers and a great band once a month specializing in Flamenco.

Do you have fun places you like to go and hear great music? Tell us about it! Send us a link to your photo album or respond to us with the fun things you do at live music shows with your friends! We’d love to hear from you!

Did you enjoy this blog? We thank you for reading. Please also enjoy this couponcode: JulyRaqs this week only and save 10% on your bellydance purchase of $100 or more at www.missbellydance.com  Send us a #bellytweet on Twitter! (@missbellydance)

Going Solo as a Bellydancer

So, you’ve been with your troupe for let’s say…a year. You’ve got 5 years of bellydance experience total and remember when ATS was the only different genre of bellydance in the western world. You’ve traveled to bellydance conferences, you’ve got an album full of photos with you in class learning from the greats. Your passport has a stamp from Egypt, Canada and Stockholm Sweden. You’ve been around and you’ve paid your learning dues to the point you’re not fooled by just any old dance. You are a bellydancer. A true Raissa who appreciates the culture. But your troupe (for whatever reason) isn’t giving you the opportunities you seek in your personal growth. Is it time to move on? In many cases, yes.

The good the bad and the ugly
The issues that many dancers have about breaking off from a troupe is the fear of exclusion. You’re raqing the boat…pun intended. You’re not going along with the team. Maybe you’re the one with the awesome solos that crowds come to see when you’re troupe is booked. This could lead to a loss in revenue for the team and might lead to gigs going away for good. That is the risk. You may even get chosen to take the shows that your team once did because you were the star. Then there’s the opposite. Maybe your troupe has a ton of great members that all hold their own. Maybe you leaving is better for them as they’ll get a larger cut at the end of the night. And for whatever reason you might have to work harder to get solo gigs at restaurants where your troupe is already established. For those in small towns where Middle Eastern and African restaurants are few this can be a painful reality. The solution is be ready to travel and get out of your zone.

New Grounds
When you’ve decided to go on your own you will hopefully have maintained the contacts that you’ve made in your travels as a dancer. Find out where their conferences and weekly shows are, etc, and see if you can sign up to perform at a Saturday night Gala Show. As a seasoned dancer or one who has been around you know that most conferences offer performance spots for participants…usually on a Friday night or in the main show of the weekend. Speak to the teachers and instructors of the towns you were once in for a raqs holiday. Look into going back for a visit and working with them on shows and projects. Be honest, up front and forthcoming in that you want to do more as a solo artist and are looking at new options. If you’re not honest about it people can lose trust or become suspicious of your interest. So go with a dance resume, photos and connect with people who are showcasing solo artists or have places where you can shine as an individual.

Going alone as a solo bellydancer…a Raissa…is what you make of it. Make sure you are willing to work hard and fair to get your name and special talent out in a friendly manner. Leave on amicable terms with your former troupe. Perhaps post a few photos of you with them prior if they are okay with that. Show where you came from and your growth in this art to assist with credibility. Do not bad mouth your former troupe even if you leave on unfriendly terms. If it was an ugly break, then be sure to put on your website that you wanted to be a soloist for 2-3 reasons that support your positive traits. Do not focus on the negative.

We wish all dancers the best as they get through this summer and the upcoming bellydance season. Fall has a lot in store stateside with several conventions coming up. Be sure to register early.

Coming Up in 2011
Najim Danse Orientale Presents Hayat el Helowa and Nath Keo in Peacthree City Georgia (October 2011)

Mahmoud Reda returns to Atlanta Georgia ( September 2011)

Raqia Hassan Goes to New York with Nourhan Sharif

Tito Seif and Yousry Sharif appear in New York (July) and Miami (October)