The State of (My) Bellydance

It seems like since I moved I’ve been updating my blog approximately every 1-2 years. I enjoy writing, so I think I’m going to try to write more frequent but shorter posts.

At the moment I’m mostly solo. My dance partner and I are kind of on hiatus due to life in general, and that’s OK. But as I try to plan new solos I find that I have a hard time deciding on what I want to do, and then do little to nothing as a result. A couple weeks ago I danced at the Taj Palace performance salon (courtesy Farfesha and NMBD), and it was good because I was had a deadline and a theme (Mardi Gras). I seem to work best with limits. If I can choose to do anything in the world without parameters I get a bad case of indecision. I still had some choreo indecision problems, but I decided to embrace improvisation.

Taj Palace Performance Salon

Photo Courtesy Johanna James

It was about a year ago at this time that I was sitting in front of an application form thinking I might try to join a student troupe. I started to fill it out, and then didn’t. My gut kept reminding me how I hate being too busy so I finally decided it was not a good time for me. Back in Fargo when I was part of Bad Weather Burlesque, and for a while simultaneously Vixen Variety Shows, and teaching dance (and working my regular civilian job 40hrs a week), I was SO BUSY all the time. I was tired. I missed my hubs.

I’ve decided I’m going to focus on self-improvement and finding my personal style. I’m still going to classes at Sirena, and I am also cross-training with Star Barre and Pound classes. This does leave me very busy, but I’m enjoying it all.

I’m also progressing with my plans as an advisory board member with New Mexico Bellydance. I love it. My current project is mini-photoshoots for members. I’ve realized that finding a photographer is a lot like finding a building contractor. It’s so hard to get anyone to call you back! I’m very pleased that is coming to fruition, and that NMBD is doing a lot of cool things.

My other goals this year involves costumes. I really enjoy sewing and have so many things on the docket. I want to complete what I have started and use up the fabric I have already bought. That’s a lot. I also need to clean out my closet of what no longer fits or suits me.

So many goals for the year! If I get half of them done I’ll be thrilled. I’m going to be gentle with myself though.

Yaa Halla Y’all 2021

Ranee Alexandria and I took third place in the duet/trio category! Unfortunately, there were only trophies for first and second. But I’m still claiming it! I have witnesses! Here’s our performance, in case you missed it.

Raqs Alba 2019: A Belly Dance Extravaganza

Hello lovelies! I just had to share this video from Raqs Alba, which is Sirena World Dance Studio’s student and troupe showcase. This choreography is by Adriana Sandoval, and I think it looks pretty amazing. Not just because I’m in it. 😀 But seriously, we had such a great time learning it and performing! ❤

Mystery in Morocco

morocco cast

Mystery in Morocco full cast

Hey peeps! I’ve been pretty bad about updating my blog lately, so I’m going to make more of an effort from here on out. We just got done with Ranee Lovato’s fabulous original production Mystery in Morocco. It was amazing fun and a wonderful showcase of local talent (there is SO MUCH TALENT around here!). I’m always astonished, and very grateful to be here. It has only been a couple days so not all of the video is available but here is one of the pieces I worked on with Sara’s choreo class. I also worked with Dani’s group on a tray balancing piece, that video should be coming soon. Enjoy!

Hello ABQ!


ABQ HS STEAM Fundraiser featuring students from Isalang Studio

It’s been a while! We’re getting settled down in New Mexico. I’m actually a student for the first time in years (apart from workshops), and it has been wonderful. There’s such a great community down here, and so many things to do! I can’t even decide which events to go and what I have to miss! I started out with one of Mahin‘s workshops when we first arrived, and then signed up for classes with Sirena Studio. They rock, and I’m learning a lot. I’m also taking classes at Isalang Studios – so fun and challenging!

I’ve started performing at haflas too. If you’re in the area I’m performing at events on March 24 AND 25. It’s nice to sit back and let someone else do the organizing for a change. 😀

At the Taaj on March 24

At Anasazi Fields Winery on March 25

I continue to collect makeup so my next blog will probably be on this topic. Until then my lovelies…

Later, Tater!

Shimmy Mob 2015

Fortuitous Photo!

Some of you may know, and some of you may not know, that my husband and I will be moving to New Mexico this summer. Saturday, April 2, 2016 will be the last class I teach at the Spirit Room in Fargo. It makes me very sad to be leaving my students and friends, especially since there are very limited options in our area.

To my students who may be seeking a new teacher, my advice is this: If you can’t make Danika‘s class, or if ATS® just isn’t your bag look for these qualities in your next instructor.

Your teacher should:

  • be able to tell you what style of belly dance he/she teaches (Raks Sharki, AmCab, ATS®, etc – “belly dance” isn’t a style, per se)
  • display a good sense of ethics
  • recognize that this is a cultural art form and be respectful of that
  • be mindful of posture and movement, making sure to keep you safe and free of injury
  • be patient and encouraging, never belittling
  • encourage you to go to workshops and try out other classes
  • encourage you to be part of a larger community
  • continue her/his education too through workshops and higher level classes

If you are a belly dancer in the Red River Valley and you are on Facebook, go to the Red River Raks group and say “hi.” There may be a bunch of lone dancers who want to meet up and form a troupe. (Dancers only, sorry!)

I’m not gone yet, I still have my last show with Bad Weather Burlesque on April 28, the hafla and Shimmy Mob on May 14, the Daughters of Atlas stage show in Grand Forks on May 21, and Mistryl Shimmy Guard at CoreCon the weekend of June 9-12. Hope to see you there!

My sincerest hope is that all my dance sisters and brothers will keep the community alive and love and support each other. All my best to you!

EDIT: I am deeply saddened to have to update this post due to the Danika’s untimely death.

Saidi Workshop

Pure Raks Saidi Workshop 2015

Pure Raks Saidi Workshop 2015

We had such a great time this weekend learning about Saidi from Jasmin Jahal. Thanks everyone who joined us on Friday and Saturday!

New Session Fall 2015

Sept. 2015

Sept. 2015

Greetings, Lovelies! September is here and our next class session is starting on the 12th. I have moved to a 7 week format to allow for more opportunities for people to start a new session, and so we can wrap up by May as summers are always busy. See my FAQ tab above for more info.

Also Jasmin Jahal is coming back to teach us a bit about Saidi style dance! Kismet is really excited to be able to present this workshop. Please see the WORKSHOP tab above for more info. The early bird gets the discount, so don’t delay, whether it is just the Friday intro or both days. It is worth your time to check it out.

On Oct 3-4 I will be traveling to Minneapolis to participate in Karim Nagi’s workshops presented by Jawaahir. Check it out!

Hope to see you all soon!

Shimmy Mob Thanks

Fargo Shimmy Mob Team 2015

Fargo Shimmy Mob Team 2015

We did it! In spite of the cold weather we performed during the Fargo Marathon – we kept warm with our shimmies, but the hats, scarves and gloves helped too. Thank you to the whole team for braving the weather! Top row from left: Enchanting Erica, Ezma Siddiqah, Lisa, Yarah Rasheeda, Danika, Nixie, Amaya, Aremi, Annette; bottom row from left: Narda, Annakiya Seher, Karen.

Also special thank you to my assistant TL’s Ezma and Yarah, who helped so much with writing letters and rehearsing. You ladies rock! And thanks to Kevin for coming out to take pics of us as we perform!

Thanks also to the Fargo Marathon and Happy Joe’s for giving us a place to dance, and the Spirit Room for giving us a place to practice!

We raised $550 $750 for the YWCA of Cass Clay during the total campaign. If you missed out on Shimmy Mob please still donate to them – they do important work!

Video courtesy Nixie – thanks a million!

Shimmy Mob is Imminent!

Shimmy Mob 2015

Shimmy Mob 2015

Mark your calendars and come out early to support your local bellydancers and marathon runners! Shimmy Mob will be at mile 2 of the Fargo Marathon at Happy Joe’s Pizza in the parking lot, north location, as part of Bands On The Run. We’ve been practicing hard and we’re pumped to be performing at this great community event!

What: Shimmy Mob performance, and troupe and solo performances from local dancers

Where: Happy Joe’s Parking Lot, 3132 North Broadway & 32nd Ave N., Fargo, ND

When: Saturday, May 9, 7:30am and 8:30am

Why: Raising awareness of the awesomeness of bellydance, and raising funds for the YWCA of Cass Clay

On Facebook, check out our event here.

Please check out more details on the tabs in the menu at the top of the screen, and please donate to YWCA in honor of the event. You might even win something for your donation!

Special thanks to:

The Spirit Room for giving us practice space

The Fargo Marathon and Happy Joe’s for giving us a place to dance

The dancers who have volunteered their time and effort!

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