Top Egyptian Star Returns to the City
Last year Sorraiah Saied came into our personal lives and stole our hearts. She is by far one of the most amazing instructors we’ve ever encountered and we are overjoyed at her return to Essence of Bellydance 2016. We hope she continues to be a featured star and sister to this outstanding Raqs Conference. Get the schedule here
We hear so many stars, fans and conference attendees rave about Essence and how they can’t wait to return. We agree. It is one of the top notch stops on the dance calendar that we prepare long in advance to attend. The hotel is incredible with modern condo style luxury suites at phenomenal prices. It’s situated in the heart of a very happening and upbeat city that is diverse and easy to navigate thanks to local transit and car services. Most restaurants close around 2am-3am and really famous southern spots stay open all night with 24/7 menus like The Diner franchise located at pulsepoints around the city and deep into the suburbs. Atlanta is one of the best places to host an event and it is home to our favourite annual dance events.
Atlanta is also home to our main HQ, MissBellydance.com. For over 13 years we’ve been raqin’ out with fellow Atlantans and keeping our prices low because we make a lot of our costumes ourselves. Come say hi to members of our team at Essence of Bellydance. We’d love to meet you in person. We’ll be doing trivia and other fun things online that weekend. Those who are present will be able to pick up prize packs and discounts on their favourite costumes. So much to look forward to this September. We can’t wait to spend it with Sorraiah Saied, Team Essence and YOU!
Saturday Nights are for dancing with DJ Amix.Taverna Plaka is the place to be this weekend as our favourite turns it up with the best mix of international music. DJ Amix is an Atlanta icon who has been delighting audiences for years with his amazing parties and events. We’re happy to support him in his work.
Mix and mingle with many of the city’s international crowd along with other dancers and friends. This is a party everyone looks forward to! Don’t just take our word for it. See for yourself on Saturday.
DJ Amix International Music Mix and Party
Taverna Plaka – 2196 Cheshire Bridge Rd
Atlanta Ga 30324 RSVP and more info
We’ve seen some of our fans there sporting MissBellydance.com on many occasions. We thank you! Have a great time!
If you’ve never seen Diana dance you haven’t lived. Charm, grace, talent and more for days. It’s really an impressive moment in our dance on a global scale. Her students often embody that same spirit and seeing them together is a joy. Therefore we’re bringing Diana to Bellydance Fashion Week for one of her spectacular Flamenco instructional workshops.
This course will focus on combining the strength and power of Flamenco with its sister dance Raqs Sharqi and Middle Eastern Dance as a whole. It will include footwork, Rroma stylings and emphasize handwork that compliment the dance. It’s going to be a truly special occasion that you don’t want to miss.
Course is $25 per person and takes place on Wednesday the 20th of April at Atlanta Fusion Bellydance, the studio within MissBellydance.com’s facility. Feel free to tell your friends and neighbours who are interested in this art. It is guaranteed to feel inclusive and empowering. Sign up for this class and or the full week of events using this link.
As mentioned last week, it takes a lot to put on a great show. It’s fantastic when you have a great team of people to support you and that’s one of the plusses with Essence of Bellydance 2015. One of the highlights of the event are the shows. These are front and center ceremonies of the conference’s events where not just workshop attendees are delighted with incredible dances, fashion and a chance to see some of the world’s top artists perform but also the city of Atlanta as a whole. Everyone is invited! What a task the stage managers have to make sure it all runs smooth.
The two behind this gargantuan task are Rana and Na’ilah of Team Essence. Their job/to-do list is entirely too heavy to compile. The heart of the work is liaising with all of the different moving parts. There’s the coordination of the music with the fashion show coordinator, making sure the fashion show team knows when to go on, coordinating the ALL-STAR line up with the Exective Producer, the competitions’ stage strategies, keeping the show team alerted when it’s time to get on stage. Over 30 different people, from the models to the dancers, will enter and leave the stage on each night. Making their entry and exit an art is an art in itself…and these two ladies orchestrate that.
All year round Team Essence is fast at work making sure these Bellydance Conferences are the most amazing, memorable events the town has seen. It boosts tourism in Atlanta and adds to the cities vibrant music and dance scene. Who wouldn’t want to be huge part of that?! This is legendary!
Thank you Team Essence for your outstanding efforts! We love highlighting your work and will continue to do so! MissBellydance.com happily stands behind this type of outstanding effort. We are offering Team Essence 15% off their raqs sharqi and bellydance needs now til November. We’ll also give the same to our readers in honour of the hard work that goes on pre and post show. Readers, just send us a photo of your Essence of Bellydance ticket or registration via Facebook and we’ll send you a code to use at our online store. We’re thrilled and excited to help you all remain at the top of the industry!
Have you ever attended a workshop or cultural dance conference and wondered how on earth did they pull that off? I know I have. I marvel at an organization’s kind volunteers greeting us as we walk into their raqs homes and conference convention centers. I’ve been to plenty within the states and outside, most if not all have been nothing shy of amazing. My favourite was the International Bellydance Conference of Canada hosted by Yasmina Ramzy of the prestigious Arabesque. That magnificent event stays in my heart, it’s tattoed on my soul. It was just THAT good. The teams behind these events are what make them so absolutely awesome. There’s so much work that goes into each of these conferences and festivals and those in charge of it go completely unseen or unheard of until the end when the credits roll in the program. I think it’s time we start shining a light on the behind-the-scenes stars of the events and highlighting them throughout the process. One group that certainly needs to be recognized is Team Essence of the prestigious Essence of Bellydance series that takes place annually in Atlanta, Georgia.
Team Essence is led by Faaridah of Atlanta Fusion Bellydance and is made up of a network of local Atlanta raissat/dancers who are dedicated to the art of Raqs Sharqi. Essence is not this group’s first rodeo, they’ve been in this industry quite a long time and have seen the ups and downs, the good and the bad. In other words, they KNOW what works and what does not. That’s what makes them such experienced and successful event hosts. This year they are again, teaming up with Faaridah, the event’s producer, to continue the tradition of outstanding customer service as well as incredible workshops and heartstopping shows.
Last year’s event featured Bellydance Evolution and forever changed the game of raqs sharqi in America. Since then, shows that many of us have attended have taken on a whole new level of skill and talent. It helped solidify Atlanta’s reputuation as a hub for Middle Eastern and Cultural Art. Kudos to them.
Some of the tasks these fine ladies take on can be seen in their bios on the Team Essence homepage. I encourage all to visit the site, read about this great group and say hi when you see them at this highly praised event. They are as important to this production as the stars who are flying in from around the globe to present the art we love so much. One person I want to mention in particular is Kendaly. Aside from always being so well-dressed one has to stop and admire her, she is very approachable and manages her tasks with grace and kindness. She is the co-producer of the event and helps keep the team focused on the various tasks. Be sure to find her and say hi when you arrive!
Fashion at Its Finest
One of the awesome additions to this conference is the Fashion show. This year it is headed by Dahne and Francesqua. The fashion show offers vendors an opportunity to show off their amazing couture for the upcoming year. Much like global fashion weeks, an emphasis is put on the current styles in the industry. Top designers and boutiques bring their best garments for display. This requires numerous models, coaching and coordination. The Fashion show team is an integral part to making this eye catching portion of the event such a success. Many designers’ clothes have been purchased immediately after the show because of the excellent execution of the fashion show team. The coordinators and leads help sell these items via the catwalk and have done a great job doing so. As Tim Gunn would say, they “Make It Work!” #TeamWerkIt
Ahh, the joys of seeing a good show on a beautiful stage! That’s where Rana and Deance come in, two long time dancers in the Atlanta Bellydance community that have remained dedicated to the art. Be sure to check-in with us next week when we discuss the ins and outs of stage managing. You’ll want to hug these two ladies when you see the long list of things for which they are responsible.
If you’re ready for a raqin’ good time, be sure to get registered. Join in the fun of Essence of Bellydance 2015 where a good time is not an option, it is a requirement and is guaranteed. You will be dazzled and delighted from the time you walk in the door and days after when you’re stepping off the plane to your next destination. It is a conference that will stay with you, a wonderful Raqs memory that you’ll never forget! Join us!
We’ve been discussing competitions and opportunities to showcase the cultural art that you’ve learned. We are thrilled that so many appreciate it enough to invest in it by going to classes, perfecting the craft and absorbing cultural aspects. Essence of Bellydance, as mentioned before, is working hard to make sure your hard work will have a prominent stage on which to show your passion for Raqs Sharqi. Their Essence of Bellydance Competition takes place this coming September in Atlanta Georgia. All details are listed on their website as well as instructions on registering. To better understand the environment and staging for EOB2015, have a look at past event videos we’ve included.
Why Compete/Should You Compete?
This is a chance to not just show your appreciation for the art but also to network and get feedback from those working in the Raqs industry globally. There are two competitions, one titled “Oriental Competition” and the other “Fusion Competition.” Judges include Luna of Cairo, Soraia Zaied, Petite Jamilla and other notable names. There will also be an audience choice winner who will earn a trophy as well. The prizes range from gift bags and tiaras to $1000 in cold hard cash – not a check…but actual cash. MissBellydance.com will also be giving away quite a few grand prize packs for several winners. It’s certainly going to be worth one’s while to showcase their love and talent for the dance.
Be sure to read the competition page carefully and understand that there will be preliminaries for the soloists. Troupes will be officially registered once all participating competition performers in their group have paid in full. So keep that in mind and make sure your fellow raissat know that so you don’t miss out. This is a great opportunity to meet the stars, gain new fans and interact on the conference circuit which is one of the best ways to be successful and continue in the art stateside. We want you to feel encouraged and excited about it so reach out to Team Essence or even us here at MissBellydance.com with your questions.
We’re very excited to be a part of the Essence of Bellydance celebration of Raqs Sharqi and we look forward to seeing you there!
Annual attendees, remember how much fun we had in 2013 & 2014? You’re gonna have fits of joy at 2015!
Press Release – For Immediate Release
1pm EST – Atlanta Georgia
MissBellydance.com will be at DragonCon 2014 this year! We’re thrilled to meet up with fans and friends in person. We’ve spoken to many of you online and on the phone. This is an exciting and convenient time to grab your favourite MissBellydance costumes and accessories in person! We’ll have our most popular items in the upstairs showroom of the America’s Mart – section 444 & 445.
New Dance Fashions
We have a lot of new styles, new costumes, modern dance wear and lifestyle fashions from which to choose. Buy your favourite costumes right away or you can try on items, get measured and have them custom made to your frame right there at our booth. You’ll also have a wide range of fan veils, bracelets and jewelry from which to pick.
It’s Your Choice
Do you have a favourite item, a costume you’ve had your eye on and you really want to buy it? Email us via FB and send us your personal email plus the name of the costume so we can arrange a fitting for you there at the con. Like certain rings and necklaces? Let us know, we’ll bring them to this show!
We’re more than excited to see everyone again and can’t wait to share our costumes with you at great prices! Get your membership and come on over! Need a place to show off your fashion? Get over to the DragonCon Silk Road show on Saturday afternoon – 4pm – for a showcase of Eastern and Modern Silk Road dancing. This is an annual show directed by Kira Lang, teacher, choreographer, performer and friend to the Atlanta Bellydance Community. It’s a can’t miss event!