New Class Session Starts Sept. 6!

Are you ready?

Are you ready?

Fall session is upon us in ONE MONTH! Are you ready to shimmy? I think we will be doing some veil work this time around so bring ’em if you got ’em! I will have spares for students who do not have veils.

Remember: Saturday, Sept. 6, 10am-11am; The Spirit Room, 111 Broadway, Fargo, ND.

If you miss the first class you can easily catch up in week 2 or 3. Contact me if you have any questions at all. Hope to see you all soon!

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!



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!

Makeup Review: Stila Magnificent Metals Foil Finish Eye Shadow

Stila Magnificent Metals Foil Finish Eye Shadow

Stila Magnificent Metals Foil Finish Eye Shadow

As a belly dancer I have a ridiculous amount of makeup. My “goddess” size Caboodle is full to the brim, and I don’t even keep my everyday makeup in there. So I have decided that I shouldn’t let this resource go to waste. I am going to share with you reviews of some of the stuff I buy so that you can decide for yourself if you want to give it a whirl. Just in time for your big New Year’s Eve party!

DISCLAIMER: I do not receive kickbacks or free samples from any cosmetic manufacturer or distributor. I buy these products with my own money. I am not subject to pressures to write positive reviews.

When Stila Magnificent Metals Foil Finish Eye Shadow came out I just had to try it. It looks so gorgeous in the jar, the colors are very attractive. I chose Comex Gold of the 12 colors available as I figured it would be more versatile for the stage. If I am limiting myself I will get either silver or gold to coordinate with costuming. And I am limiting myself, because the product costs $32! The kit comes in a small box that includes the color (which is a bit of a coarse creme shadow), a liquid primer, and a little metal pan to mix the two together in. The idea is you put a drop of the primer into the pan, dip your finger in the pot of color and then mix them together to create a slightly thinner cream. This is really, really messy. Stila did come out with a silicon fiber brush especially designed for this product, but it costs $18. I feel that if you are paying $32 for a jar of shadow that they should include an applicator. Your finger probably is the best applicator anyway. I tried this with a regular brush and it just does not work as well – there is not enough control. Although the application is messy the product does rinse off of the pan and your fingers pretty easily.

Since this is a creme shadow, and you really have no way to set it and maintain the intense color, it will crease slightly. I have tried this both with and without the primer and I have found that while using the primer makes the product go on smoother, it does crease less when you just put it on straight (with a regular eyeshadow primer base). Also, the coarse texture of the shadow makes the creasing easy to touch up as necessary. You won’t see any flaws in the application.

What it looks like for real

What it looks like for real

You can see above what it really looks like. It is freakin’ gorgeous. I actually really love this stuff. This is only one color, but you can get multiple colors and combine them. It is so sparkly and shiny! I would like to try another but I am not sure I want to make the investment. I would only be able to wear this to gigs. I couldn’t pull it off for every day. There are more subtle colors available, but for $32 I would stick with a regular shadow if you want subtle.

So, in conclusion:


  • Gorgeous color
  • Easy to correct creasing (for a creme shadow)


  • Expensive
  • Messy

I hope this review has been helpful to some of you when making decisions about your makeup purchases. Feel free to comment below.

Fall 2013 Class Session Begins Sept. 7!

Fall 2013 Starts Sept. 7

Fall 2013 Starts Sept. 7

Is the summer almost over already?! I can hardly believe it. So tie on your hip scarf and let’s get our shimmy on! First class starts Sept. 7, 10am-11am at the Spirit Room in the Lotus Studio.  There will be a couple of weeks when I have obligations so I will give students due notice if a particular week is postponed.

One weekend for sure we won’t have class is Oct. 19, when I will be attending the Lovely Dozen’s workshop in Grand Forks, featuring Mahin, of Bellydance Quickies fame. I’m really excited about this opportunity, and I recommend all area dancers consider making the trip up North.

Check out my Class FAQ if you have questions, or email me, or message me on Facebook. Hope to see you all soon!

Fall Classes Start Sept. 8!

Fall 2012 starts Sept. 8!

Wow, the summer sure has flown by! I can hardly believe class starts up in just a few weeks. I’ve got my music all picked out and choreo is ready to go. Are you ready? If you have any questions at all please contact me or check out my FAQ. Also check out the calendar on this blog for upcoming events.

Even though we haven’t had class it sure has been a busy summer! Bad Weather Burlesque has been causing a heat wave downtown with Cruisin’ Broadway and Uni-T events. Come see our new friends Super Happy Fun Time Burlesque on August 24th, and our performance with more new friends, Black Hearts Burlesque at JT Cigarro on August 30. And if you can’t get enough, come see us at the Uni-T Ball on Sept. 1, and for our last Cruisin’ Broadway of the season on Sept. 6. I told you we were busy!

In more bellydance news, we had a fantastic hafla with our friends from The Lovely Dozen just last weekend. And they are busy too! Performing at the Grand Forks Art and Wine Walk on Saturday August 18, hosting workshops and haflas with Gaia Sophia, and teaching some of us a move or two. Check out their web site and Facebook for more info.

I’m especially excited that I’ve had a chance to meet some wonderful dancers through Red River Raks on Facebook. If you are looking for classes or workshops in the region; if you are a musician looking for a dancer, or vice versa; if you have an event and need someone to perform; or if you are just interested in finding out about local performances please join us!

See you all soon!

PS – I have been negligent with my credits. I have been using PS brushes from Obsidian Dawn for most of my posters. If you do graphics check out their stuff!

Workshop announcement

Just a quick note if anyone is interested: Shira is doing a workshop in Sioux City, IA on March 24. It is nice to have something within a decent driving distance – I wish I didn’t already have plans! Here is the info:

Shira’s American Oriental Workshop

Or follow her on Facebook for upcoming events.

How to find new music

We are about half-way through winter session now and I have revealed our choreography music: Simarik by Tarkan (the radio edit version 3:11 – available for single download). I’ve had one or two people ask me where I find my music. The answer is: everywhere. But where to start?

  • Ask your teacher for her/his favorites. That’s how I got to know Eddie “The Sheik” Kochak and George Abdo.
  • Look for compilations like Desert Roses, Bellydance Superstars, Rough Guide or Putumayo Presents. That is a good introduction to musicians you might want to get to know better.
  • Go exploring online. Many dancers post on YouTube and their personal blogs. What are they dancing to? If you are shopping online take a look at the suggestions made. “People who liked this also liked that.” Maybe you will to!
  • Make a playlist on Pandora Radio of an artist you like. See what the Music Genome Project plays for you.
  • Keep your ears open at shops, on the radio, etc. I first heard Shantel and Rodrigo y Gabriela on Fresh Air. I discovered The Buena Vista Social Club at a video store. I just asked the clerk what he was listening to.
  • Think outside the box. You can dance to anything you want. It doesn’t all have to be Middle Eastern pop. Try out Lady Gaga or Rammstein sometime.

I recently went exploring online for some Creative Commons music for an upcoming event and discovered There are some pretty talented people who are sharing their music for free. Special thanks to Damscray for giving me permission to use their music for the Erotic Art Show at the Red Raven. Which song? You’ll have to show up to find out.

Here are some of my faves, in no particular order:

  • Shantel
  • Mile Kitic
  • Eddie “The Sheik” Kochak
  • Issam Houshan
  • Oojami
  • Rodrigo y Gabriela
  • Hakim
  • Tarkan
  • Niyaz

What’s your favorite dance music? Feel free to share in the comments.

Bellydance With Erica FAQ

The purpose of this class is to get your body moving, feel good, and learn something fun. Big or small, short or tall, we’re all beautiful and we should show it! You may have more questions outside of my pep talks, so here are the most common ones:

When/Where/How Long?
Fall 2011 session will last 10 weeks and will start Saturday, Sept. 10. I will have a couple Saturdays off in those weeks so it will probably go right up to Thanksgiving, when we will take a holiday break and reconvene December 3 for Winter session. Class goes from 10am-11am and is held at The Spirit Room at 111 Broadway in Fargo, ND. We are in the Lotus Studio.

How much does it cost?
Because this is a 10 week session I have 10 week punch cards for $70. The card is not exclusive to this session, so if you only come every-other week it will last 2 sessions, or however long you draw it out. There are also 7 week punch cards available for $49 if you prefer. I will not be able to take payment on a class-by-class basis, but if you are a visiting teacher or you have a relative from out of town who wants to come with you to class talk to me.

Do you accept drop-ins?
As mentioned under cost, punch cards are typically required with few exceptions. Also, we learn choreography progressively through the 10 weeks, so you may feel lost if you show up on week 5. You can catch up easily at week 2 or 3.

What style do you teach?
My background is primarily Egyptian/Cabaret, so that is what I teach. Fall 2011 session I will also be going over veil work, but other sessions have included zills (finger cymbals). I will also touch upon costuming and any other recommendations as they come up. I will teach a full choreography during the 10 weeks. This class is aimed at beginning level students, but even if you know your shimmies you are welcome – you may learn something new!
If you are interested in ATS, please check out Cassandra’s class at 3:30pm on Saturdays.

Who can attend?
Ladies ages 16-106, provided you are able to stretch and do low-impact aerobic exercise. Students younger than 16 must be accompanied by a parent who is also taking the class. I have had some students bring their daughters who are also in ballet and that seems to work out OK. I do not teach male bellydance at this time. Because of the difference in body structure the moves are often different and I don’t feel I can do as good a job without further study. If you are a guy who is interested in bellydance let me know and I’ll see if a second class is viable. If you are neither or both, talk to me.

What should I wear?
Top: Should be form-fitting and stretchy so you can see how you move.
Pants: Yoga pants, sweats, leotard – something stretchy you can move around in.
Feet: Ballet slippers, Foot Undeez, or socks are best. If you wear socks they will get very dirty. Some people prefer to dance barefoot, but it can ruin your day to step on a stray bead or piece of gravel that may have been tracked on the floor. Best to have some protection.
Additional: A hip scarf is helpful for being able to see how your hips are moving and I strongly recommend getting one. I will have additional scarves for anyone who does not have one. I will be emphasizing veils rather than zills this session. For a veil you really just need about 3 yards of light, sheer fabric with good “hand.” I will go over this the first day of class, and have a couple spares available as necessary.

If I have missed anything, please post your question. Otherwise you can email me at

Shopping Win! Belly dance gear at Applause!


Harem pants, skirts, coin belts

On Tuesday I stopped by Applause to pick up some tights and had a very pleasant surprise! The first person I saw working there was a bellydancer (Amy – I hope I’m spelling your name right – with Oasis and also Bad Weather Burlesque. She’s fantastic!). Then I found that their selection of belly dance wear had expanded since the last time I was there. Unfortunately, for the last couple of years the hours of my day job kept me from being able to stop by, so things have changed a little bit. They have some really pretty stuff in stock, and will do special orders. Just ask to see the catalog.


New 10 week class session starts Sept. 10 at 10am at the Spirit Room. Email me if you have any questions at

Shimmy Sisters, Oasis Dancers, Middle Eastern Dance students and special guests will be performing Saturday September 17th at the Beckwith Auditorium on NDSU Campus. Show begins at 7:30 pm.

New fall session and upcoming event in Fargo

Fall 2011 Poster

Greetings all! We’re just over a month away from the new fall session and I’m really excited to get back into dancing. As before, class will be from 10:00-11:00 Saturday mornings, and this session will start Sept. 10. We’re at the Spirit Room in Fargo. This is a beginning class and all skill levels are welcome.

In other news, I will be doing a teen/tween program at the Lake Agassiz Regional Library in Barnesville on October 1 from 12:30-1:30pm. Since this is a one-off class and not a full session I plan to teach a few basic moves and then use them freestyle to some fun music. This is a totally new thing for me, so wish me luck!

For your viewing pleasure, The Shimmy Sisters, Oasis Dancers and students thereof will be performing at NDSU Beckwith Auditorium in September. I’m trying to get clarification on the date – either the 10th or 12th, so I’ll post about that as soon as I know. I’ve seen them perform before and they are delightful! I look forward to seeing their show this year.

That’s all for now. I hope to have choreography video up after the new class session starts so everyone can practice at home, but I’ll keep you updated on that. Hope to see you all soon!


UPDATE: Shimmy Sisters and Oasis will perform Saturday, Sept. 17.

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