10 Signs You Should Start Belly Dance Classes Now

Guest post by Amy Danielson of The Eye Atelier, reprinted by permission This list was compiled from the comments of lots and lots of belly dancers, and from the life experiences of Alexandra Moehagen and Amy Danielson. 1. You already wear all your jewelry at once. 2. When you listen to *any* music, you secretly want to dance. Or you just do. In the living room. In the grocery store. Wherever. 3. You have body issues, and are SO READY to face them. 4. You’re going through a major change. 5. You need a bigger social life. A lot bigger. …

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 …

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 …

ATS® General Skills Day 3

By the end of Day 2 my brain was full to the point of exploding, but we were only halfway done!! Fortunately, Day 3 started with some familiar steps, the head slide and rib rotation (which I know from earlier classes as chest circle). To that we added the beautiful and graceful camel walk step, which to my amusement is nothing like the classical cabaret camel — just to show how nomenclature can really confuse one! Following that we learned about belly rolls and flutters. I had a prior workshop on just those, but this day the light bulb actually …

ATS® General Skills Day 2

On Day 2 we jumped right in to zills, ATS® style. Hmmm. Zills I can handle, if that’s ALL I have to handle. I can play the ATS® R-L-R pattern all day long, or at least until my wrists drop off. I can even walk with it. But with ATS®, whenever you are doing a “fast” move, you are zilling. At least there is ONE primary zill pattern, triplets (R-L-R or Dum-tek-tek) played with most moves, and one supplemental pattern, Military, (R-L-R R-L-R R-L-R-L-R-L-R) played with two specific moves. Then rarely there is the Moroccan 6/8 pattern of R-l-r-L-r-l played …

Alicia of BellyCraft Workshop

Back in January Alicia Sparaco of BellyCraft came to Pera Dance Studio here in Atlanta for two days of workshops. I wasn’t able to do the whole weekend, but since my son had been at a loss as to what to give me for my birthday, he gave me the two Saturday workshops as my birthday gift! I had missed Alicia when she came to Atlanta in August of 2009, just after I started taking bellydance classes, because I felt way too intimidated to jump into a workshop with a “big-name” teacher that soon. This time, I was ready. The …

TribalCon 2012

TribalCon — what can I say? My first one was both what I expected & completely surreal. I alternately felt inspired, amazed, spastically clumsy, awestruck, overwhelmed, peaceful, lonely, discouraged, determined…sometimes changing from one emotion to its polar opposite in an eyeblink. It was my first encounter with all of the teachers there: Tamalyn Dallal — a living legend in our presence! I missed her keynote address Thursday night, and the majority of both her lunchtime lectures, sadly. Her Friday afternoon workshop just didn’t quite catch and hold my attention, but her Saturday class was somehow just what I needed. No …

ATS I Comes to an End

Tonight was the last night of our six-week ATS (American Tribal Style) Level I class. It turned out I was the only one who made it to class! Andrea had to teach; it was Kat’s daughter’s birthday; I have no clue where Jeannette was. Well, when you’re the only one in class, you get challenged. After reviewing and drilling all the moves we’d learned, Lacy threw me in the deep end, so to speak. She put on a couple of songs, a “slow” one and a “fast” one, and we just danced, with me leading much of the time. It’s …