September 8, 2010

green skirt
wrap around
From my 101in1001 list:

  1. attend belly dance class (or do the videos once a week) for a month
  1. make a new bellydance costume

I’ve always loved bellydance. I first saw belly dancers, and yogi’s, on television. I don’t remember when, but I was very young. I don’t even know if I saw them both on the same TV show, but the memories are strongly linked together. I just recall that the yogi did a head stand, which I immediately taught myself, and that the woman were sparkling and spinning with beautiful veils. I used to run around the house with my blankie doing “veil dances.” I still do, come to think of it…

I’m drawn to American Tribal Style (ATS) bellydance, because I like the costuming. American Tribal Style is paced rather slowly and danced to pre-recorded music to allow for what they call “group improvisation,” which is that the woman in the front is actually improvising and using a language of gestures that allow the other women dancing with her to follow along. I do think that is very impressive, but I don’t feel that it compares to dancing with a live musician who is using their skill to make the music dance with you. ATS is a fusion dance, mixing costuming and steps from many influences, including flamenco! Also check out the founders of ATS, Fat Chance Belly Dance.

I’m also fascinated with raks sharqi or more modern Eqyptian Dance, but while I love the sparkly costumes on other people, I’m not drawn to them as I am the more gypsy or tribal style costume. I was at a Persian birthday party, and a few of the ladies thought I danced very well. I don’t think I can hope for a better compliment! I don’t plan to perform for anyone but myself, but I’d still like my technique to be correct, and just like any other form of dance, there is a set of steps and shapes that need to be done correctly. I’ve looked into a few local instructors, and when I get my yoga going in the direction I’d like, I hope to take a few classes. The ladies at these classes are always super-nice, too.

Along the side are three of my bellydance costumes. The black one at the top is my favorite. Someday I need to make or buy myself a coin bra and perhaps a coordinating belt and I’ll consider that one “done.” The purple and green costume I made for one of my birthday parties. The last picture is actually just for the pants I made out of a sari I found at a thrift store

By levanah