MissBellydance.com at Essence of Bellydance 2017

Big thanks to the dancers that wore our skirts, accessories and more during the Essence of Bellydance Festival! We appreciate it! Our archivist wrote her review about the show and here are some highlights from her report.

Is Essence Worth Attending? YES!

Essence is always exciting. No question. This year was my favourite year of all the EOB events I’ve attended. Having Suhaila Salimpour sitting with us, Jacques al Asmar, Mohammed Shahin and the core raqs community plus a plethora of international guests that flew in from as far as Germany and Northern Asia was the icing on the cake. It’s not that it’s not an international conference to begin with…but it’s hella awesome to see so many from around the world go through the trouble of travelling alllll the way from the far corners of the globe to spend 4 days with us in Atlanta. We’re a cool crowd, I have to give us credit for that. A lot of people WANT to be here and perform in this community. We love art and are obsessed with many of the artists…and it shows!

Studio Jaki
Be sure to check out Studio Jaki and see about getting some prints

Mohammed Shahin was one of the headliners and presented his signature Tanoura Masri with the colour lights – I’d seen him present this in Vegas and was again just crying like a wailing superfan by the time it was over. Again, that is just a religious moment for me and a full circle moment given I used to sit for hours in my teens reading about what the café guys were doing – thank you distant relatives in the region for all those great entertainment updates that introduced me to this style of whirling. Now, thanks to EOB17, I was able to see it live again – this being a fourth time for me. I just wanted to go stand backstage and hug him for an hour as if he were a living doll just waiting for love from a new doll keeper. I could talk about him all day but I’ll stop now or I might end up writing a book about the experience as I’m known to do.

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Atlanta’s own Amani Jabril performed a real Iraqi raqs set to Mohamed al Salem’s “Galb Galb” and it was so perfect she “Came up out of her jewelry” as the MC said. This piece was one of the three most important pieces of the raqs presentations of the night. When you visit the region, THAT is the level of energy and emotion that you will see. If you’re expecting to witness rapid head slinging and people looking as if their necks are going to snap from the over the top hair spinning you will be disappointed. That is just simply over the top interpretation of Iraqi dance. There are many dances of Iraq and they do include lot of hair and beautiful movements with the hips and shoulders but few look anything like what’s been going around in the video circles of the many dance boards. If you stick to what Amani presented and those like her from the region, you’re going to grasp a grace that is unique to that specific area and the ethnic groups that inhabit it…and it will be appreciated by locals and original people of the area.

Amani’s suave demeanor and regional hair tosses followed by a variety of footwork and travelling steps were executed perfectly. Of all the dancers I’ve known on the circuit these past 11 years (her career is longer than that), she has always stayed a few steps ahead of the times introducing more than just bedluhs and beladi rhythms to her community, students and followers. She is certainly a force and will remain one as it’s just her nature to work hard at staying true to the region that she also calls home. Amani isn’t someone you call as a filler to a show she is a MUST HAVE when you want to make a statement that your production is committed to greatness! Remember that!

For more information on Essence of Bellydance and how to get involved and possibly win one of our cool prize packs if you enter the dance competition visit our Facebook page and theirs to see all of the links and amazing opportunities to be a part of this community dance picture!

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Speaking of photos, be sure to reach out to Studio Jaki and explore the amazing photos she captured for the event. Both Amani and Jaki will be in our studio this October and we’ll take along on the fun of a MissBellydance.com fashion photo shoot!

Fancy and Fine!

We’re excited about the great shows coming up this weekend at Essence of Bellydance. We try to go to as many conferences and bellydance shows near and far as possible. This year’s program features Egyptian icons like Mohamed Shahin! Also taking the stage and teaching workshops is Andrus Ramir of Miami! Suhaila Salimpour will be in town as will Colleen Shakti and dance greats from around the globe.

Each night are big shows and gala events that warrant a fancy dress or two. We’ve got some fun things you can wear for your night on the town at Essence of Bellydance. Sorraiah’s Star and Lycra Pants Set.

 

Tickets are still available if you want to grab a few for you and your friends! Click here or show up at the Twelve Atlantic Station starting the 15th to get your tickets in person. Downtown and Midtown Atlanta are quite cool and comfortable at this time of year! We look forward to seeing you there!

Back to Classic Basics that are Bold

We’re excited about dance class this fall as highly skilled instructors take their place at the head of the classroom. They are ready to give it their all imparting what often feels like sacred knowledge to their students. You want to make sure you’re at your very best and ready to take your skills to the next level. Nothing better than a really comfortable yet personalized dance class set to get you going.

For kids, we recommend this great unitard that stretches and fits well, giving them room to move comfortably. It’s a basic design that can be modified with a hip scarf or accessory according to the dance genre of their choice. It is available in black and is long lasting so you can throw it in the washer wear after wear.

Basic Leotard

For the modern dancer who is taking several courses, try this great top and bottom set with the word dance embossed on the side. You can go from class to class in this one and represent every part of the art you love.

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For our raqs fanatics, a cool set of pantaloons with a choli top will always be in. Try this with one of our many veils or coin belts to suit the style of your choice.

Basic Ensemble
Send us photos of you in your raqswear and we’ll enter you to win one of our fun MissBellydance.com prize packs in September! We can’t wait to see you soar to the next level in your dance career!
-Team MBD

How to Pack for Fall Bellydance Conferences

In just two weeks we begin getting ready to jet off to another dance conference! We’re excited. But as we’ve mentioned, there’s a smart way and a wrong way to pack. Our archivist is sharing three key things in her advice on how to pack for raqs sharqi and related events.

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Awesome conferences like Tribal Con and Essence of Bellydance take place in Atlanta

One thing I’ve learned is to roll the clothes gently and lay them down as if they were eggplant rayy in the suitcase. It keeps them from wrinkling for some reason. Also, because the suitcases can get really stale (especially if it’s your favourite one), lay dryer sheets on top of the clothes and in between. About five or six will do.

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Most important, if you are performing or have a bag you need to check and also if you are changing flights, keep at least one important costume, outfit or article of clothing with you in a substantial carry-on bag. Recently, best friend went to Europe and his bag was gone for three days. That’s miserable. Some conferences last three days so how do you function if your costumes and gala dinner attire is a suitcase elsewhere trying to get to you? Airlines aren’t perfect and things get delayed.

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Pack shoes in a thin towel and put them in a plastic bag. Lay them at the bottom of the suitcase and not on top of the clothes. This is to keep them from snagging or getting any unknown articles on your clothes.

This and more tips will be featured on our social pages in the coming months. Please leave us your favourite travel trip tips in the comments section! Safe travels and see you at the show!

-Team MBD

Perfect Pair of Pants – The Haili

Every year we gloat over the perfect pair of pants because we seriously cherish our pantaloons. They are incredible! Roomy and comfortable, coming in a ton of different colours we can’t deny they are some of the best out there. Of recent we’ve been toying with the idea of changing them up, still offering our signature sequined sets but giving others a bit of a boost.
Haili

One of the sets we liked the most from a line we created some years ago are these. They are the Haili pant! They cross over in the front giving you a full leg and a really neat sequined, elegant shape from the hip down. They flow, flutter and are a lot of fun! We’ll be focusing a few cool ones in the coming weeks. But try these on for now!

Summer Shows Continue!

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Photos by Studio Jaki

It’s time for the Summer Show Photos! Send us a photo you attending a festival or show this summer while wearing a costume or dance attire from MissBellydance.com! You’ll be entered to win a $50 gift certificate to our online store. We’ve been to quite a few shows this season and they’ve all been quite exciting. From dance classes, to lectures and a night of fantastic debuts for new troupes; we loved them all!

Post your photos from the events on our Facebook page or tag us on Twitter or Instagram @missbellydance! We’re giving out discount codes and putting your name in the drawing. If you’re submitting a troupe picture, the person who submits the photo will be given the gift card if they win, but all of the troupe will be allowed to use the coupon code.
Can’t wait to see your photos!

-Team MBD

Getting Ready for Festival Season

In just a few weeks we’ll start what is known as Festival Season. During this time we honour ceremonies and celebrations from a variety of cultures that are close to us. From religious to the secular we’re looking forward to recognizing every single one of them. It’s crucial during this time to remember to do research and translations on some of the songs we’re either asked or expecting to perform to for audiences.

Spiritual Dance attire in the west often consists of long skirts and robes (and sometimes thobes) replicating the ensembles that are actually worn in the east today. If you’re looking for the basics of spiritual and modern dance adaptations let us know. You can find an ensemble for men in our new arrivals sectionmen in our new arrivals section.

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We’re always excited to know where our fans and followers will go and celebrate their favourite fall festivals and ceremonies. Send us photos of your journeys through cultural dance and more. We’ll be giving away prizes once a month to those who send us photos with the hashtag #FallFestival starting September 21st until the 21st of December. Let us know how we can help you prepare!

-Team MBD

Advice for New Troupes & Dance Teams

MissBellydance.com would like to say Mabrook to all troupes that had their debut at Attack of the Bellydancers 2017. Our archivist sent us photos and information about the show that left us very excited about the new dance teams in Atlanta. Just some advice from inside the sewing halls of our store as we want to see you continue and thrive in Atlanta! We’re here to support you!

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Sabia, Maiea and Hasna dancing together! 🙂 We love this!

1. Don’t give up. It’s easy to start something and then let it fall because you got busy

2. Set goals for the group. Aim to perform at x conference or something by x date

3. Be friends first. Do not take yourselves too seriously…encourage each other and call each other out when you see one falling. Be pillars for each other in the most kind and supportive way

4. Stay creative! Don’t get to comfortable in any stage of our work, always think of what you can do differently but with respect to the cultures you represent in every way

5. Remember your roots and the roots of the art/dance – needs no explanation

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Persica! 

Congratulations and let us know what we can do to assist. Reach out to us here on our blog or on social media to get coupon codes for dance. All those who attended the show may remember that we are giving you a 20% discount on orders of $50 or more now until the first day of Fall. We can’t wait to see what else you bring to life for our beloved international town, community and raqs world! We’re also happy to hear that  money for SEEDs Atlanta was raised! The Atlanta Culture Club will be making a donation as well this year! Very happy to be involved in that! More info and praise coming from our way!

Thanks for reading
-Team MBD

The Fabulous Forums of the Raqs World

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IBCC 2008

Right now, all across the social sphere are chats and conversations about raqs sharqi, global dances from the region and music conversations. We want to say thank you for continuing the conversations because they are truly important. Getting to the root of a dance and learning the whys and hows of the region is essential for growth. We believe that no matter what your level in this art, lectures and forums are a key component to being a good dancer and a great fan.
In 2007, 2008 and onward, we had several dancers, enthusiasts and instructors from our dance community in Atlanta join an amazing group of people from around the world in Toronto, Canada. Our resident archivist was there and still marvels at the amazing information and experience of the International Bellydance Conference of Canada. Here her words about the good ole days!

It was a great conference and just about everyone I had ever loved in the dance world was there minus some of the legends from the 50s. Nath Keo, Tito Seif, Mark Balahadia, Shira of Shira.net, the group formerly known as Arabesque and a million others it seemed were there. People I had only had the opportunity to read about online or see when a relative from back home was raving over “this guy named Tito is amazing!” were there…it was a dream come true. I fell head over heels for this conference. My favourite parts w, aside from the incredible shows, were the lectures. We talked about everything from men in dance to the stigma of being ibn raissa… I mean, the presenters held nothing back. I’m happy that these conversations continue. If you ignore it, your presentations suffer. You have to be a part of the talks to really understand what you’re presenting. A class is the first step but take that conversation to the next level at a forum. Dance education is key! -Andinha

Houston Oriental and Folklore Dance Festival is another great conference to attend that features great shows and competitions!
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What forums do you attend? What classes do you take to get more than technique? We’d love to hear from you! And if you’re headed to shows this summer or have been to plenty, reach out to us here on our blog or send us an email on our Facebook page so we can give you a coupon code to save on your next purchase with MissBellydance.com

Thanks for reading!

-Team MBD

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