World Bellydance Day

Wow, did we have a blast last weekend! First we had a little hafla on Friday night (OK, I was late but I still caught some good stuff).

Improv drumming with Gaia, Lauren Boldt, Natasha, Kelly and Amanda

Improv drumming with Gaia, Lauren Boldt, Natasha, Kelly and Amanda

On Saturday morning we did body conditioning for bellydancers with Lauren Boldt – it was hard, but fun!

Then Shimmy Mob at the Grand Cities Mall!

Then after lunch back to work as we practiced drumming and dancing during the “Insane in the Membrane” workshop. I pooped out after a while because I was not feeling well. But the rest of the class were real troopers.

Drumming and Dancing!

Drumming and Dancing!

And finally in the evening we performed at the UND Burtness Theatre – so many super talented ladies!

Kismet!

Kismet!

And after we all went out to eat I collapsed because my head cold finally got to me. But, as quick as the weekend went it was a great time! Special thanks to Lauren Boldt, who is a fabulous dancer and teacher, and just a delightful person; Natasha and the Lovely Dozen for hosting and doing most of the heavy lifting (especially Natasha for her Shimmy Mob organizational help!); my Kismet ladies who get me through each week; and everyone who participated in the show and contributed to CVIC. Love you all!

A Letter To Miles Copeland

ED NOTE: I may not have made it clear in my original posting that I did in fact get resolution from BDSS accounting 4 months after the show. I had chosen to publish this letter as an expression of my concern about BDSS business practices, and as information to other potential sponsors. Please see the full story at the Gilded Serpent.

As some readers of this blog may know, in February of 2013 I sponsored Club Bellydance in Fargo/Moorhead. It was a pretty fantastic time, I must say, but there were some rough spots, particularly after the actual performance was said and done. The Gilded Serpent has kindly published my account of the entire experience which you can read here. As indicated in that article, on June 14, 2013 I sent the following email to Miles Copeland and I am publishing it here as information for anyone considering being a local Club Bellydance sponsor. As of publication I have not received a reply from Mr. Copeland, but this email was the impetus to finally get some resolution from accounting.

Dear Mr. Copeland and associates,

My name is Erica Franklin and I was the Fargo sponsor for Club Bellydance in February of this year. I am writing directly to you because I am having some rather serious problems with follow-up after the show and I have not been able to get any sort of useful response. It has been 4 months since the show and I have still not been paid. That also means my dancers have not been paid, so that is not reflecting well on me. After consulting with some colleagues I have decided to appeal to you directly for assistance. Please be aware that since my inquiry for advice resulted in a great deal of debate and interest, I will be sharing your reply with others.

I was initially contacted by Stevo Glendinning of course, but he never did give me a payment timeline. The day after the show my door volunteer informed me that Stevo asked him for the cash admissions, and when they were relinquished, Stevo did not count the money, but just wadded it up and put it in his pocket. Obviously this was a bit troubling. I had emailed Stevo but he has not replied to me. Since then I have been in contact with Roxanne Goon, who has made efforts to assist in resolving this, but accounting isn’t really her department so I felt I should not bother her with this issue any further. I would like to mention here that she has been very helpful and a genuine pleasure to work with.

But I digress. After 4 months and no resolution I appealed to some of my dance colleagues for advice. The replies I received were quite surprising. It appears that my issue with BDSS was not at all isolated, and in fact delayed payment and non-payment appears to be a rather serious and widespread problem amongst your sponsors and vendors. BDSS appears to be generating a bad reputation in this area. Some other sponsors have suggested that they would not produce Club Bellydance on future tours. Vendors had similar attitudes.

BDSS has done so much to promote Middle Eastern Dance in the years since it began, it is really heartbreaking to see that the company has developed such a poor reputation. I would like to see BDSS recover from this situation and that is why I am taking the time to inform you of how bad things have become. I hope you realize that because of the internet and workshops all over the country, we all know each other and talk to each other all the time. It’s just like any other profession or serious hobby. I hope you will take this to heart.

Because I do not believe Stevo has any receipt of payment I will give this info to you:

20 pre-sale tickets @ $20 ea = $400
67 door admissions @ $25 ea = $1675
Total ticket sales = $2075
$2075 x .20 = $415 due to me

Please let me know if you have any questions. I anxiously await your reply.

Summer Is Heating Up!

The Boys of Bad Weather Burlesque with Special Guest Paco Fish (poster courtesy Bender !Flames!)

The Boys of Bad Weather Burlesque with Special Guest Paco Fish

Hey lads and ladies, summer is a busy time of year and there are no signs of it slowing down! Mark your calendars for these awesome shows:

Friday, July 26Bad Weather BOYlesque All-Male Review with Special Guest Paco Fish on his Vanguard tour! Bender !Flames! made the poster above – isn’t it gorgeous? I just want to look at it all day.

Thursday, August 1 Bad Weather Burlesque, Cruisin’ Broadway – at the Aquarium in Fargo, 10pm  Cancelled

Friday, August 9 – FM Entertainers Pride Showcase – proceeds to benefit FM Pride – at Big D’s in Fargo, 8pm

Sunday, August 11 – FM Pride Parade – downtown Fargo, 2pm

Saturday, August 24 Vixen Variety Shows performing with Tripwire – at Big D’s in Fargo, 9pm Cancelled

Wednesday, August 29 – Bad Weather Burlesque – debut performance at the Windbreak in Fargo, 8pm

Thursday, September 5 – Bad Weather Burlesque, Cruisin’ Broadway – at the Aquarium in Fargo, 10pm

Saturday, September 21 – Hip Raks (Shimmy Sisters & Oasis Dancers) – Reineke Fine Arts, NDSU, Fargo, 7pm

That should keep you entertained for the summer! Keep an eye on my calendar page for more fun throughout the year, and “LIKE” Bad Weather Burlesque, Vixen Variety Shows and Bellydance With Erica on Facebook for up-to-date info. Hope you can make it to some of these events!

Upcoming Events in the Fargo-Moorhead Area – get off your butt!

Le Belle de Trois

Le Belle de Trois

Hey everyone! Spring (LOL! Whatevs) is upon us and there is so much happening. I thought I’d keep you all in the loop. Make sure to check out my calendar page too.

Friday, April 19:

Vixen Variety Shows at Big D’s with 24/7 – If VV is there it’s totally worth it, right?

Saturday, April 20:

Edge Life Holistic Expo, Fargo Civic Center, both Saturday and Sunday

Blue Elephant Bazaar at the Spirit Room. Sale starts at 2pm, followed by a performance, meal, and book launch. This is an all-day celebration.

Superhappyfuntime returns to FM. Legacy Ballroom, 9pm

Saturday, April 27:

Le Belle de Trois at The Winery: 3 course meal and 3 course entertainment featuring Enchanting Erica, Ladyking Cole, The Alabaster Disaster, and Jarica Jordan.

Friday, May 3-Sunday, May 5:

CoreCon – fan convention extraordinaire at the Days Inn Moorhead. Visit the KEEP for Kaiju goodness and an in-depth look at nudist films, and see the Mistryl Shimmy Guard debut at the Death Star Visitors’ Lounge. There will be other stuff too. 😉

Saturday, May 4:

Vixen Variety Shows at the Legacy Ballroom, 10pm

Tuesday, May 7:

Chippendales at the Garage Bar, Moorhead, 8pm

Saturday, May 11:

World Bellydance Day Stage Show, Firehall Theater 415 2nd Ave N, Grand Forks, ND, 8pm

Friday, May 31:

Naughty Novice Night with Bad Weather Burlesque – check out the new talent and vote for the best Burlesque! More info TBA.

Obviously as the F-M area is pretty happenin’ there is much, much more going on, but this list is the best of the best. I’m not at all biased, really. 😉

Weekend Watch – Le Poisson de Trois at The Winery

Le Poisson de Trois

Le Poisson de Trois

Nothing to do Saturday? Need a romantic night out? Check out The Winery‘s event Le Poisson de Trois: a three-course meal and a three-course show featuring me, of course, and my super sexy cohorts Ladyking Cole and The Alabaster Disaster, and hosted by the fabulous Jarica Jordan. 10% of the proceeds will go toward Bros on Broadway. You can’t loose, especially if you love seafood like I do! Seating is at 6:45pm, tickets are $60 and are available in advance – a great deal for the lovely food and the lovely ladies.

UPDATE: Advance ticket sales are only available until noon Saturday, hurry to reserve your seat!

Club Bellydance – So Awesome!

CurtainCall

The big event has happened! If you missed it you may not see the likes of this spectacle again for a very long time. Bellydance Superstars’ Club Bellydance came to the Garage Bar in Moorhead, MN and it was AMAZING! We had so many different styles of dance, it was a wonderfully diverse showcase of talent. I can’t say enough good things!

I want to take the opportunity to thank everyone who made this thing happen:

Bellydance Superstars Nathalie, Rebecca, Sabrina,Victoria, Sabah and Moria for coming to sunny Fargo/Moorhead to share their talents with us all. We love you!

The Lovely Dozen: Ana Ari, Amaya, Aremi, Saphira, Thura and Briste Aen, with solos by Ana Ari, Aremi and Saphira. They traveled from Grand Forks to participate in this great event.

Aremi

Aremi

Ana Ari

Ana Ari

Saphira

Saphira

Local favorites, The Shimmy Sisters: Annakiya Seher, Talea Jajel, Mystique, Ezra, Ella Za Beth and Kelebek Aslan, with solo by Ezra.

Shimmy Sisters

Shimmy Sisters

Ezra

Ezra

Gaia Sophia (Partner Joan was not able to join us unfortunately) traveled 3 hours from Pine River, and Ashley Throw came all the way from Minot. Cherish did not have as far to drive; Her tribal stylings have long been known in Fargo through her teaching at NDSU and work with Amber Waves.

Gaia Sophia

Gaia Sophia

And especially Ezma Siddiqah, my friend and dance partner who co-produced the show. She researched media, spent hours typing and re-typing info in community calendars, helped sort out the lineup, made the programs, came to meetings at the Garage Bar and generally kept me sane. All that and she dances beautifully!

Enchanting Erica and Ezma Siddiqah

Enchanting Erica and Ezma Siddiqah

Stevo Glendinning and Roxanne Goon from BDSS for contacting us in the first place and making sure we had everything we needed along the way.

Al and Tamara at the Garage Bar for hosting the event, and Ladyking Cole for introducing us.

Jarica Jordan and Jack Fantom for volunteering their time at the door and merch – your friendship and support mean a lot!

Our wonderful audience for showing up and cheering us on!

My parents for providing photos and my brother-in-law and sister who provided video that will be forthcoming.

And my husband Paul for also taking pictures and putting up with me and my glitter.

Me and Mikayla

Me and Mikayla

Victoria, me, and Moria

Victoria, me, and Moria

Every time I try to wrap up this post I think of someone else who contributed to this event. It takes a village to raise the roof! Let’s do it again real soon!

Apologies: Many photos, especially of soloists Gaia Sophia, Ashley Throw and Cherish and group number by The Lovely Dozen did not turn out because of the harsh stage lights. If you have any good ones please send them my way!

UPDATE: Thanks to Annette for getting a great pic of Gaia Sophia (above).

Fabulous February

Chocolate Veil

Chocolat du Trois at the Winery

Hi everyone! January is quickly coming to a close and there is so much going on in the next month! Let’s take a look:

NOW: Dance class at the Spirit Room just completed week 2 of 10 – having fun with veils! Read the interview with Enchanting Erica on their blog.

Feb. 2, 10pm: Uni-T Ball at the Legacy Ballroom, above the Pickled Parrot, 505 3rd Ave. N in Fargo. The best drag and burlesque in town!

Feb. 12, 7:30pm: Club Bellydance featuring me, of course, and my partner Ezma Siddiqah, Saphira, Cherish, Ana Ari, The Shimmy Sisters, Aremi, Ashley Throw, Gaia Sophia & Joan Anderl-Schaefer, Ezra, and The Lovely Dozen, and of course BELLYDANCE SUPERSTARS Sabah, Moria, Nathalie, Sabrina and Victoria! Get your tickets HERE. $20 advance, $25 at the door. This is going to be EPIC! The Garage Bar, 3108 9th St. S., Moorhead, MN (next to the Safari Theater).

Feb. 14 & 15, 9 pm: Erotic Art Show, DK Custom Framing @ Gallery 14, performance downstairs at New Direction. Sexy art, saucy new acts from Bad Weather Burlesque and some yummy erotic poetry. Not to be missed! Art show starts at 7pm, live performances start at 9pm.

Feb. 16, 4-7pm: (note correction to time) Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School, DK Custom Framing @ Gallery 14. Show off your artistic skills drawing Bad Weather Burlesque‘s gorgeous performers. Dry media only, no photography.

Feb 23, 7pm: Special show at The Winery, theme to be announced.

I don’t think I could possibly pack any more in! Will March be more restful? NO! I’ll be attending a week-long belly dance intensive at Jawaahir! I am so excited – I can’t wait!

Photo courtesy Shaun Johnson

Club Bellydance Update!

ClubBellydanceGreetings Friends and Fans! We’ve been able to flesh out some more info for you because I know you are dying to get your tickets and make your plans to see Bellydance Superstars and our awesome regional belly dancers! Here’s the haps:

When: Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 7:30pm

Where: The Garage Bar 3108 9th Street South Moorhead, MN 56560

How much: $20 in advance and $25 at the door (plus tax/fees) GET YOUR TICKETS HERE!

Who:Enchanting Erica and Ezma Siddiqah
The Lovely Dozen
The Shimmy Sisters
Gaia Sophia of Nebu Ka’ Tribal and Joan Schaefer of Sofia Tribal
Featured solos from:
Ezra, Cherish, Ashley Throw, Aremi, Ana Ari, and Saphira
And best of all, Bellydance Superstars Sabah, Moria, Sabrina, Rebecca, Nathalie and Victoria!

Join us on Facebook for additional updates, photos, etc. This is going to be amazing!

Here’s a preview for you!

BELLYDANCE SUPERSTARS ARE COMING TO FARGO/MOORHEAD!!!

More details as they become available. Mark your calendars for February 12, 2013 at the Garage Bar 3801 9th St. South in Moorhead, MN. This will be a 21+ show.

AWESOME!

Fun Times With Friends!

Improv to live drums!

We had a super Saturday! Class field trip with Karen, Cheryl, Mikayla and Bonnie to Gaia Sophia’s ATS workshop with 12 Houses Bellydance in Grand Forks. Loved it! Gaia Sophia is a great teacher and all around super lady, so if you have a chance to go to one of her workshops do it! In the evening there was a hafla and live drumming at the end. The Lovely Dozen were performing acts from their Halloween show, so I ultimately decided not to worry about the red eye too much – it adds to the atmosphere. Here are some highlights.

Gaia Sophia – check out that sweet costume!

Jennifer’s awesome solo

Amanda is a dangerous beauty!

Natasha is possibly the best zombie belly dancer ever

Love Sharon’s costume and moves!

Jenna has perfect balance, poise and grace with a hookah on her head

Yours truly ❤

Rockin’ out for the big finale

Bernie, Natasha and Gaia Sophia jammin’

The one thing I am constantly amazed by is the generous and supportive nature of the dance community. I am so grateful to know you all!

Special Thanks to:

  • Mikayla for taking many of these pictures for me!
  • Bonnie for having a veil in her car that just happened to match my outfit – you are officially hard core just for carrying that around with you!
  • Gaia Sophia for putting on some great workshops and performances!
  • Lisa and 12 Houses for hosting the hafla!
  • The Lovely Dozen for making this thing happen!

I apologize if I missed any thanks or if I was not able to get a picture of some of the dancers. You were all wonderful and I look forward to seeing you again!

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