The monster within…

The monster within…

I am just back from the 2013 Miami Bellydance Convention. This is my second year participating in this large scale event, and this is the second year that I return home feeling incredibly inspired, completely overwhelmed, amazingly awed, depressed, and basically completely jumbled!

Why the contradicting emotions you ask?

The workshops (with Saida, Jillina, and Zoe) and shows were amazing, and the competition was intense. The entire event was extremely well organized and ran without a noticeable hitch. I learned so much in such a short time. However, with all of these amazing things happening around me, I still let the negative voices run rampant through my head.

Voices: You aren’t good enough to be here. You aren’t the right look. You haven’t practiced enough.

Rational me: Shut up voices.

Voices: No.

and back and forth and back and forth…

So I came across this quote,

Slide2And I am going to choose to live by it for today. I am going to revel in the fact that I can teach what I learned to my amazing students. I am going to revel in the knowledge that this event will make me work harder for next year. I am going to revel in the understanding that with training and dedication, I can and will raise the caliber of my dance while still loving the journey!

What are you going to revel in?

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Recap: A March weekend with Lisa Zahiya!

I know this is a month or two late, but I definitely wanted to recap our amazing weekend with Lisa Zahiya of Asheville on her return trip to Pittsburgh!

Lisa was in town to teach 3 incredible workshops that were not only fun and entertaining, but challenging and rewarding. Lisa’s first workshop, Hips of Fire: Technique, redefined hip work as I know it. I always find it fascinating to see how teachers break down movements into bite size pieces for students. Good communication is a gift, and in this area, Lisa is a gifted teacher.

In her second workshop, Hips of Fire: Choreography, Lisa introduced us to a choreography to a Nancy Ajram tune, El Dounya Helwa. The song is sickeningly sweet yet undeniably catchy. The movements and the combinations fit the tune perfectly. We did our best to emote saccharine! All joking aside, the choreography was fun to learn and practice.

Lisa’s final workshop, Pop, Lock, & Undulate helped us to learn how to fuse elements from a different style of dance into bellydance and what a fusion piece really entails. In this instance, we worked with bringing traditional hip hop movements into our bellydance repertoire. The waving exercise towards the end was absolutely mesmerizing!

As a host for the weekend, I was honored to have the line-up of talented dancers who not only participated in the workshops but then performed their hearts out at the Saturday night gala show. We had our local favorites, Mehira, Unsuk, Nawal, Berna, Kari, Hakan, and our very own ISHTAR! From out of town, I was honored to have Athena Nile, Khalisay, Aya of Virginia, and Lisa Zahiya herself performing!