Olympics are on in Brasil, home to some of the greatest raissat in the world. We all know Brasil has some truly dedicated Bellydancers like Sorraiah Zaied, who also resides in Egypt, and will be here with us at Essence of Bellydance 2016 in a few weeks. The focus on the nation has brought in a flood of focus to arts and culture of the region. Shows like O Clone nearly 15years ago also come to mind for us. Their gorgeous costumes and salute to raqs culture and Morocco are unmatched. Take a moment to remember it with us…or buy the DVD!
Cultures live online of late. No longer do we have to fly half way across the world to be a part of events. Olympic viewing parties are happening all around us. And looking at some of the categories featured we see that there are new sports that have been added, things that some said would never be included. We want to ask you, given all of the competitions that have become so much a part of Bellydance culture, do you think it’ll ever be considered a sport? Let’s face it, you have to train for this art to get to competition level. It takes a lot of dedication and work much like many athletes go through. What makes raqs sharqi, as we know it today, different from an athletic sport? Floor dancing through gymnastics is there and includes rhythms and dance art from various cultures and principals. How long before Raqs Sharqi will be included? And what would the Olympic committees call it? We are eager to discuss it. Let us know on Facebook.
Shout out to our Brazillian bellydance and Samba pros in our city like Andrea and Kalinka. We wish their home country well in the games as well the many nations of our staff, volunteers and fans!
There’s so much going on in dance! In particular, there are opportunities to enter competitions in dance this fall. From coast to coast dancers have the opportunity to make a name for themselves through presenting their best of bellydance and raqs sharqi. Showing off your top skills is best done in a great costume.
Some competitions require dancers to submit one video where they are wearing regular dance clothes and not a costume. We have understood that this is for judges to see the bare skills at the preliminary level before narrowing it down to the top 10 for competition. We suggest wearing something that still makes you look and feel good like frilly cute things. Be sure to check all of the requirements. You may have to wear something very plain but if you don’t have to then go all out with some awesome casual and cute raqswear.
For men in preliminaries, a great shirt, a vest and or cool harem pants will do you fine. Pair it with a great hipscarf and a comfortable t-shirt. You can raqs ’em and flatter ’em with cute styles and still stay within the rules. We wish everyone the best as they compete this summer and fall!
Hope to see you all at upcoming shows and more!
Summer is the season of Raqs Sharqi (Bellydance) conferences. It’s the perfect time to hit the beach between shows and workshops in bright colours and pretty prints. Below are some of our summer sensation picks.
Some of our fans said they wear these ensembles out and about for everyday wear. This one is one of the more popular ones. It comes in seafoam green, pink grapefruit and white sands.
Lovely lace ensembles are soaring in popularity and these are actual 25yrd skirts that you can enjoy as you stroll on the beach. Note that you can also wear a neat top underneath that you can switch out with a solid colour swim suit or wear as is.
And of course, when you’re ready to hit the town you can doll it up in this cute ruffle black and white skirt . Loved for the stretchy waist and that it can be paired with a cute black top. Currently on clearance for $19.99
If you and your friends are out and about in MBD, snap a selfie! Send it in and we’ll enter you in to win one of many big prizes from MissBellydance.com. You could also win a gift basket of products from HairLaVie!
A troupe or sololist’s overall presentation should not only demonstrate their best skills but also their best selves. It’s one of the reasons we’re striving to provide a diverse offering of raqs wear and bellydance costumes to our fans. We want everyone to have a wide variety of options that fit their individual “Bellydance Presentation” needs. This now extends to hair and make-up.
Earlier this year we teamed up with HairLaVie haircare, testing out what products worked best. Some of you all know our product manager, Judith. She is championing these great hair products because of the amazing results she has seen after using them on her own hair. In the coming days we’ll be talking about specific differences in this hair care line as compared to what we’ve been using ourselves.
A great costume deserves the best hair and make-up to compliment it and we know you’ll benefit from combining these great products in your routine. We’ve shared with you our costume and hair care suggestions. We want to hear from you about your favourite make-up and feature many of you in your MissBellydance.com costumes while wearing your favourite brand of eye shadow, lipstick and more. Also if you’re looking to try HairLaVie let us know. We’re giving away HairLaVie gifts to some of our fans.
Send us your pictures via facebook or tweet us @missbellydance.com. Tell us your hair, make-up and overall bellydance presentation goals. One of you will be the lucky recipient of a basket of hair products from HairLaVie ! Looking forward to hearing from you!
There are several types of bellydance skirts. The ones we’ll focus on are long traditional ones used in performance and short ones that are often for fashion. Recently one of our favourite dancers, Aziza Nawal wore this skirt during the Atlanta Fusion Bellydance Show. It was incredible. She matched it with a lovely red wrap top and her students followed suit in gorgeous combinations, many in MBD.
It may be common sense to some but for new people to the art it’s hard to know exactly what types of skirts look best. If you’re doing a solo show, a skirt with a slit in the side is quite dramatic and accentuates your moves as a soloist. In group numbers and to give a cohesive look you’ll want to do long skirts that flow and spin as you all move. The synchronicity of it all is absolutely beautiful.
Short skirts , we suggest, are best used in a variety of art. Modern Dance, some Latin choreography, some parts of Rroma adaptations and the list goes on and on. We want to know where and how you’re wearing your skirts. Send us photos!
We love it when you send us pictures of you in your MissBellydance.com attire. We’ve made so many new friends and we want to feature as many as we can in costume. The creative ways you make MissBellydance.com a part of your performances has been outstanding. We love to show off your hard work and dedication to the art.
This week we feature Kate H. who wore MissBellydance.com to her recent performance for their new fans. A hipscarf, skirt and top were part of her ensemble. She looks great! We’ll be sending Kate an additional complimenting hipscarf and a pair of zills. Wishing her a great future in the art.
Did you wear MissBellydance to a recent show? Let us know!
*You can also save 15% on purchases of $75 or more by using the code “treat2015” this month.
Classes have started and our new website is adorning great deals all this week to those in need of stocking their studios. We’re getting ready for shows, conferences and an entire semester so to speak of Raqs Sharqi. Of late, we finished off a great summer with Andrus Ramir. The Raqs Weekend was a hit for Atlanta fans. Ebony Quails was in Atlanta with Atlanta Fusion Bellydance and the calendar continues to fill up with even more events in the city’s interntional communuity. There are live music shows and so much more on the way. We’re excited to say the least and want to help you look great for these upcoming raqs dates.
If you’re performing, making a guest appearance or there as a supportive fan, let us know. We’ll get you draped in the cutest of clothes. We’ve got dancewear, fanwear and jewelry that is perfect for more than just the stage. If you’re on our Facebook page you’ve seen the numerous discounts and opportunities to save on your raqs wardrobe. They’ll continue all this week. Be sure to like our page and follow us on Instagram and Twitter to keep up with the cool deals.
And we want to hear from you! Let us know what raqs fun you’re getting into this fall. Are you coming to Essence of Bellydance? Will you be hosting a show or student recital? Are you taking classes at your University? Let us know about any of these and we’ll enter you to win the September prize pack at MissBellydance.com to be announced during #EOB2016. We can’t wait to hear from you! Raqs on!
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!