Tempest in Town!!

Sometimes good things happen on very short notice. In November, Lacy found that Laura Zakroff, aka Tempest, would be in town for a few days with The Ghost Project. Well, let’s not let THAT opportunity go to waste! Time was short and money was tight for many people right before the holidays, though, so two days of workshops was condensed down into one out at Amani Jabril’s little home studio. It turned out to be just the right venue for an intimate and fun workshop. The morning was devoted to THE FABULOUS FORBIDDEN ART OF FLOORWORK. Floorwork is never, ever …

“Work That Skirt” Workshop

When I found out that my new friend from ATS GS, Lara Baker Whelan, was giving a workshop up in Chattanooga, I immediately went to the website to sign up, even before telling Margali. Skirts and Romany 9/8 rhythms, what’s not to love?? Luckily Margali was all for the road trip with me (again, skirts and Romany 9/8, what’s not to love?). So early Saturday morning we met at my place for the not quite two hour drive to Chattanooga. After getting only a little turned around in the unfamiliar environs, we pulled into the parking lot of Barking Legs …

Raks Geek

I was checking my Facebook feed at lunchtime and found that Mary had found and shared an incredibly geeky bellydance video from the Chicago Raks Geek event last month. After giggling through watching the first one, I had to find the rest of the videos from the event, put them into a playlist, and share them with you:

MidSummer in Athens Part III — ATS® Basket Dance

(Read Part 1 and Part 2 if you haven’t already) Ah, ATS®, familiar territory after four months of classes with Lacy & the intensive General Skills workshop. But what is this? Baskets with it?? Yes, baskets. Jaki Hawthorne, director of Jahara Phoenix Dance Company in Lawrenceville, has adapted some of the traditional moves and added a couple of new ones to allow you to create improvisational choreography with a basket on and off your head, and she was in Athens to share it with us. First, you have to have the right kind of basket, wide and shallow. Jaki recommended a basket around …

MidSummer in Athens Part II — 9/8 Romany Workshop

(continued from Part I) After a quick break, Christy Fricks introduced the 9/8 musical rhythm, a staple of Turkish Romany dancing, to us. To a Westerner brought up on the standard 4/4 time signature and its variants, 9/8 seems a little, well, odd! If you were counting it out, you would literally count from one to nine at a steady tempo, and then start over immediately. As a drummer, you would most likely play the basic Karsilama (the most familiar of the 9/8 rhythms) as: Dum (rest) Tek (rest) Dum (rest) Tek Tek Tek If this doesn’t quite make sense, …

MidSummer in Athens Part I — Drumming

Christy Fricks of Sulukule in Athens hosted a mid-July, day-long trio of workshops to celebrate the middle of summer. Andrea & I found out about it via Facebook, and said to each other “why not?” After all, Athens is less than 1.5 hours on good highway from Andrea’s house, we had the weekend free, and we were both in a “get-outta-town” mood. Plus the workshops themselves looked wonderful and were affordable! After an easy drive, a U-turn for some Starbuck’s, and some fumbling around in the Chase Street Warehouse District, we arrived at Floorspace Studio — the OLD Floorspace studio. …

An Impromptu Performance

The weekend after July 4th my nanobusiness, Copper Dancer Designs, was at the Sandy Springs Artsapalooza to sell our jewelry. The AFFPS shows generally not only have an artist market, they have entertainment as well. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s not so good, and sometimes, well… Sunday at noon the stage hosted Aviva and the Flying Penguins, along with our friend and bellydance teacher Jenny Nichols. Andrea- & I agreed we would take turns going up to the stage to watch, because Jenny is definitely worth watching! So there’s the band playing, and Jenny dancing on this postage-stamp area of …

A Few Words of Wisdom From ATS® GS

I thought I’d share with you some of the more notable words of wisdom I picked up during the General Skills Certification. Mostly they are paraphrased because I was writing too fast to write down exact quotes. Your brain lives in an ivory tower, and would prefer you not move at all. It wants you to just sit in a comfy chair and eat carbs instead. When you turn, blink. But you can’t make it happen, you have to let it happen. “The lead makes the suggestion and the follower confirms it.” “Happy Hour ends at 9 o’clock.” Duets do …

ATS® General Skills Day 4 — The Finale

Day 4 opened at the usual time with a very welcome yoga mini-session to get everyone good and stretched out for the morning’s rather strenuous agenda of laybacks and floorwork. We were all cautioned that working on these moves was strictly optional and that anyone with Issues should NOT attempt anything that might hurt them! The ensuing discussion of anatomy convinced me that I MIGHT be able to do a layback with plenty of work on my hip flexors first, assuming my vertebrae are rounded rather than squared. However, there is going to be very little floorwork in my future …