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!
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!
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
We’re happy to begin announcing some cool things to look forward to enjoying in 2017. After quite a rocky year in the raqs and rock world, we’re certainly planning to attend not only tribute events but seasonal and exciting ones featuring top names in our industry and those that we touch. We’ll be dressed to the nine’s in MBD fashions and zaghareeting from the first three rows til we pass out!
Check out what’s coming up (more to come):
Suhaila Salimpour in Atlanta – 14 Jan
Flamenco Arabe – 25 Feb
Bellydance Fashion Weekend TBD March 2017
NYC Cairo – 20 to 23rd April
Houston Oriental Dance – 5 to 7 May
Jendayi School of Bellydance Production Summer 2017
Essence of Bellydance 14 to 17 September
…and let us not forget The Luxor Show featuring the Raqs Awards in 2018.
There is no time like now to plan the biggest and brightest events! Let us know if you need any assistance with registration or costuming for events. We’re here to help!
We’ve said it before some years ago that the role of a dancer in the Middle Eastern Arts community is one of an ambassador. With the rampant fear that runs through world, particularly the fear we see from people who literally refuse to go to a bellydance show, it’s important to be a very good ambassador and one that is inclusive and caring to your audience. Not only is it important to get the actual dance represented correctly, it’s crucial that we inform the audiences about the nature of the dance. It is a family past time for many and is done by everyone including men and women.
Restaurants and festivals who are looking to get the crowd involved can hand out hipscarves to the crowd. This is a fun way to get everyone up and excited about a little shimmy. It’s exciting to see the look on people’s faces when they start wiggling and the coins and fringes are jingling around. So many great dancers include a set where they get wrapped up in a dancer’s veil.
Another thing is to have plenty of great music. Teach your audience a song, the refrain from a chorus. Do something to break the ice and the fear of the many cultures around the globe. When people are afraid, they don’t come to your events or festivals. This just creates a negative domino. It’s up to us as dance ambassadors to show the joy of loving each other. Middle Eastern Dance is a great way to initiate inclusion and support. Gather with your fellow dancers, grab some hipscarves and great music. Bring your community into the dance circle. Let’s be the beginning of the bridge.
Model: Karma Karmelita Photog: Studio Jaki – Atlanta GA