Hey all. I just wanted to share something with you, as I know we all have our own moments at times of "I wish." ;)

Yesterday I took my second stab at heading our university bellydance club practice, and thinking on a moment from last night, I just had to laugh. (We're all beginners there ftmp, but some are MUCH newer than others. So the Pres. and I kind of head things up, as we have no real dance teacher to speak of. :)):

We were doing seated squats (just sittin' in the middle of the air squatted, as if on a very icky, invisible thundermug), and lots of the girls were having real trouble w/posture, staying down far enough, balance, stamina & the like. (I was trying to show them how immobilizing the legs might help w/isolating the upper body, and how eventually you could turn a squat into a variety of cool moves.) But for some reason they kept balking so laughingly I teased "c'mon ladies, if a big fluffy girl like me can do it, all you skinny wimmins have GOT this!" (All the girls in my club but me are very, very little- which can be kind of hard on the confidence levels at times.) So a few tried briefly again, but everyone just kept breaking out of it and getting frustrated, distracted, etc.

So I just sat in the squat, let 'em go on w/their conversations for a bit, and while waiting for them to finish, put my hands down on my legs, just chillin' out. That's when I realized it. "C'mon girls! This works your upper thighs like crazy!" A few people looked around, chuckled for a sec, but didn't do much. So I went on. "Some of you may not believe it, but I've actually got a bit a' muscle up under alla this fluff!" -to which we all laughed, buuut they all still kept standing around; so I tried again. "No really! Come feel!" And that's when I totally invited them to come take a poke at the fronts of my thighs, while I still just sat in the squatting pose.

Nervously, a few of them walked over, poked, and the looks on their faces were so hysterically shocked, I just couldn't help but laugh. :) Here I was, the biggest girl of all of them by a mile, and in this pose my legs were all muscle, and for once I wasn't having any trouble w/stamina or needing to modify a move. You couldn't feel hardly any fluff at all on that top thigh muscle, and a couple of girls even said "oh my god!! She really IS all muscle under there!!" *lol*

I'm not saying anyone should ever compare themselves to others (although I know it still happens), or that one should belittle others for something that one can or cannot do. (I dearly hope this is not coming off that way.) My goal was to inspire these awesome ladies to keep trying, and I -think- in some, it might have actually worked. :) But also, as one who's always worried about "being The Big Girl.." the undesirable that everyone just puts up with, (in class as well as in life), not to mention as someone w/a disability, it was great to have a "yes I can!!" moment. ^_^

I guess it's just that the look on these girls' faces, when they realized that I actually -could- be strong, and somehow withstand something they in their younger, tinier physiques could not (YET) really helped me remember: Although I wish I were littler and more fit, I've also got my OWN strengths & assets too. :) That doesn't mean I'm gonna stop striving to be mre healthy, but it does remind me that I am not JUST weakness.

And that, no matter who you are or what you struggle with, is a really, really nice thing to be reminded of. *beams*

Anyway.. I hope you all have lots of similarly great moments soon to come, and always. ^_^ ♥

Love and Light,
CC
For all of my lovely kindred spirits out there, I thought I'd put together a little something on Etsy-- just in time for faire season. ^_^  I've been racking up Favorites over there for ages, n' could have sworn I'd already made one of these long ago- but low and behold, no!  So here's a bunch of great items (nearly all of which are plus-size friendly) to help you celebrate yourself and your love of dance!  (Great for pro. dancers and non-dancers alike- whether you rock a full Tribal look, or just want one piece to adorn your faire costume. :))  Plus, lots of these shops have variations on stuff which suit faerie tastes, so go get 'em, girls! :D

L&L,
Nae


I've been thinking about a few things regarding my art bizniss, Alternate Visions.  First off, a name change!  What do you think of "Ethereal Arts?" The ".com" is available, and it will easily encompass my crafting, vocal and acting work. :)  Plus it illustrates the mystical bent most of my work takes (light as well as dark) and doesn't just allude to visual art.   (At this point in my life, I'm okay w/it not alluding to the visual impairment.  That's part of what I am, not all of who I am. :))

Next up, I'm thinking of dropping Etsy entirely as a marketplace for my work.  ArtFire's cheaper (it asks a low monthly fee, instead of charging per listing and taking a cut from each sale), it's more complete, more customizable, and seems to be working harder to get creators' works seen.  It's still not as well-known as Etsy, but I'm hoping that that'll soon change, given all the lengths AF is going to to support their artists & promote their work. :)  Again, thoughts?

Also, because of the bus system newly operational in this area, I'm eager to get more active in the local bellydance community. (I might finally be able to get to Blacksburg classes & haflas! :D)  Inspired by the prospect, I put a little AF collection together.  :)
Whatcha think?



Lastly, things are finally starting to calm down here a bit, so I'm excited to get my house back together and back into creating more- and more often. ^_^ (Now that I know that I'm staying here for a bit, and can pull my stuff back out of boxes. ;))  -And I mean that where singing and crafting is involved. ^_^  Let me know if you want to see/hear anything specific, and.. thanks for readin'.  It's hard to express, but I really appreciate it. :)  I'll be stoppin' over to many others' journals more often now too, since I'm no longer using my computer on top of a pile of bins n' can sit at it for more than a few minutes at a time. ;)

L&L,
Nae
Bellydance and Confidence Starters

What is bellydance?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belly_dance

Gothic Bellydance (Not included in the above)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gothic_bellydance

"Fat Rant" Videos by Joy Nash
(Helpful for people of size as well as everyone who feels they might have issues that could be holding them back from living life to the fullest.)

1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yUTJQIBI1oA&feature=relmfu
2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8dm5VpYGH4&feature=relmfu
3. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PyQ_IKkAM9I&feature=youtu.be



Places to Shop

http://www.moondancebellydance.com/

http://www.etsy.com/shop/CreationsByangelia?ref=top_trail

http://www.etsy.com/shop/earthmothercreations?ref=top_trail&order=price_asc&page=1

http://www.etsy.com/shop/dramaticposs?ref=top_trail

http://www.fabulousbellydance.com/index.php?cPath=23

http://www.shimmysista.com/


A Little Bit of Video:

Kelly/Galena:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQ6MUcCVQdw&feature=player_embedded#at=110

Nisha of Las Vegas
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0UNugcPikNc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MdvU-oCqyFw

Pavlov's Hips
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRk4brali6s

Aurora
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFWUdaVhxRw

Rachel and Badra Du Noir
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rHnG7zYqC7Y

Male Bellydancers
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPQbDxI0E_I



Online Resources for Plus-Sized Dancers

Am I Too Fat to Bellydance?
http://hubpages.com/hub/Plus-Size-Belly-Dance

HUGE compendium of bellydance related links on Hub, by the author of "too fat" and

"disabled bellydance"
http://hubpages.com/hub/Belly-Dancing-on-HubPages

Bellydance for people with disabilities and special needs:
http://hubpages.com/hub/Neena-Nour

http://www.bellydanceplus.com/

Bellydancing for Men and Beyond
http://www.ozgen.co.uk/turkishbellydancer/index.php?
Read more... )
thewaterling: (Spotlight Girl!)
( Jan. 13th, 2011 03:13 pm)
I just came across a great celebrity blog entry.  Normally I'm not into these things, but for one it happens to answer a question I've been wondering about her for the past few years.  And most importantly, for another.. well, if you've ever wondered why I'm so into bellydance, Ms. Margaret Cho illustrates the reason(s) beautifully- and very, very poignantly. :)

http://tinyurl.com/bellybeauty

Baila mis amigas.  It's good for your soul. ^_^
 
thewaterling: (Do a Li'l Daaance!)
( Jan. 6th, 2011 03:11 am)
Bellydancers: If you could be any of these archetypes, which would you choose? Do you happen to already have a costume and/or a routine in your repertoire (or in your mind) of one or more of these..?

The Fool
The Magician
The High Priestess
The Empress
The Emperor
The Hierophant
The Lovers
The Chariot
Strength
The Hermit
Wheel of Fortune
Justice
The Hanged Man
Death
Temperance
The Devil
The Tower
The Star
The Moon
The Sun
Judgement
The World

Also, do you have a favorite suit? Cups/Chalices, Swords, Staves or Pentacles/Coins? Do you find you gravitate toward one or more of these? (If so, feel free to choose more than one option. That way no matter what, you're more likely to get a suit or archetype you're happy with. :))

I'm thinking that coins (from costumes, bras, jewelry, hipscarves & the like) will be used for the Coins suit. Scimitars and dance swords will be used for Swords (a' korse), The Cups suit will represented using balancing chalices and tankards, and the Staves will either be cane assayas or stick tahtibs. (Though I'm leaning more toward sticks, as A; they simply look more like trad. staves, B; because they lend a slightly more masculine feel- not to mention a more tribal vibe, and c; I don't really get the association w/Saidi dancing and little shepherd sticks. On the other hand, they -are- more widely known as being pretty representative of the Dance.. so.. that's something to ponder. :) (..Hmmm.. maybe for the ill-omened swords or staves cards I should use red light sabers, in a nod to DDP..? ;D)

As for suit numbers (3 of cups, or 6 of swords for instance), we'll simply feature the objects themselves, in whatever formations best represent the meaning of the card. (Though another idea might also be to feature "action shots" of the correct number of items from the suit, actively being used as part of a performance. (Say.. 4 coins on a hip scarf, or a group of dancers' hands holding the correct number of sticks, for example.) But I'm not quiiite sure how I wanna handle that aspect of it yet.

If you have any thoughts, requests, ideas or suggestions, please feel free to shoot 'em my way. I may be the creative-y type doing these, but I'm only a beginner in the Dance, so I'm open to anything you guys might have to offer. :)

Vielen Dank!
Yours Always in Song,
Nae
I started taking my first bellydance courses ever a few weeks back w/Galena (or Kelly, as some of you may know her), and have been loving every minute ot it.  I want to take more, ('cause I'm lovin' Kelly's classes and want to learn as much as I can.), so at this past Palace of Wonders event (called Danse du Ventre, celebrating all types of bellydance), when I took a mini, on-stage crash course from Belladonna (formerly of the Romka dance troupe), I got a real, quickie look at her teaching style.  -And even up onstage for a wee 15 minutes, this girl is intense!! :D  

So now that she's about to have a Beginner Level Tribal Fusion Techniques 1 class opening up in Vienna VA starting 4 days after my birthday (Wednesday, September 9th, 2009), and I've got both the time and little bit of money it's gonna cost, I've decided to say "happy birthday to me!" & jump in and take my first set of courses from her! :D:D  

She offers this particular class on Wednesdays, but she's got others spread throughout the week @ the same location.  (I'm hoping that maybe I'll be good enough to advance to the next set of classes pretty quickly-- but as Tribal is different- and in many ways MUCH more exacting and physically taxing than other styles of dance, I have -no- idea how that'll go...  *keeping fingers crossed*)  

As one of the best performers in the area, I've been hoping to take lessons from Bella for a while now.  But for various reasons, couldn't.   However, now I -can,- and I'm looking forward to the exacting eye, precision skill and expert nature of this amazing lady and demanding teacher. ^_^  (And I say demanding in -good- way.  I'm not spending a ton of money and time going to classes just to waste my time.  I want to learn how to be the best I can be:  To -really absorb- how to be as precise and correct in my dance techniques as I can get.   I look forward to the workout it'll give me, the refinement it'll instill, and the critical eye and level of mastry that will hopefully help eek those things out of me; thus taking me further along the road to getting to being a really good, capable dancer. :):D) 
-I would say "like her," but I ain't five eight, have the same background, body makeup, lifestyle or experience she does, (nor am I made of gorgeous), so I can't exactly hope for that one. ;D

But I think I got really a good, (if quick) flavor of how she keeps a sharp eye on her pupils, asks a lot of her students and demands attention to detail and quality from them; something which I really like, appreciate- and in some, small, wee sense of the word, fear- just a little bit.  As a big girl (let alone being a VI one), I don't wanna disappoint her, or myself, in not being able to carry off the moves, drills, or precision that may be required to get really good results from this class.   I'm just hoping I have the stamina, insight, ability, talent and wearwithall, to not only do what's necessary in the class, but also to shine- even if it is just in my own quirky, jumbled-up and spacy kind of way. ;)

Anyhoo- this was my present to myself for making it through yet another year.  $150 and 10 weeks' worth of lessons from one of the best teachers this area has to offer.  (And we've got some GOOD'ns!!! :D)  I'm just hoping I'll be able to perform up to her standards, as well as mine. ^_=

Wish me Luck!!!
♥♥♥
Nae



P.S.  For more info, you should totally check out www.born2dancestudio.com.  Belladonna seems like she'll be a totally rockin' teacher, and I know both onstage as well as off she's incredibly nice. :):)  (Even if she may be kickin' yer but w/drills and painful dance moves. ;D)   Maybe we'll get to take classes together- and Id love having friends & familiar faces there along w/me! :D:D
*hugs*

 Just did a bit of research to help out a friend, (as well as his b-dance teacher, who also happens to be my friend and teacher as well :D), stumbled upon a few really neato links.  Check it out!

Okie, first we'll start w/some pretty rockin' fun video: *beams*

Next, another guy who's decent, but whose costume I think (on the top half, at least) looks a lit-tle silly... Not much masculinity to this one.. but hey- whatever creams yer twinkie. ;D:
And lastly, the whole reason I ever even knew that male bellydancers existed to begin with: The rather fun, very silly "fans only" video for Shakira's "Hips Don't Lie." :D:D
(To the pros in my 'audience' as well as the newbies, beware: There is some -very- bad dancing in this, but also some pretty okay wiggling as well. ^_^)
In reference to the decent wiggling and the male bellydancing alike, I'm referring directly to the tall, lanky lad w/the markings down the middle and the shiny pants- who's outside. :D:D
And for those of you who're into it enough to "read all about it;" here are some wordstuffs on male bellydance in general:

Some fun bits concerning the topic:

And dassit!
Hope you like, and that I'm not pointing folks in some wrong, wonky direction! *lol*
:D Nae
 
thewaterling: (Spotlight Girl!)
( Jan. 26th, 2009 08:23 am)
I may not have much money, but it only cost a little to go out to the DC Tribal Café, have a nummy li'l cheeseburger n' sit and kibbitz with a good, old friend that I haven't seen in many, many ages.  (It's been FOUR YEARS, can you believe it??)  It was great to see her, and although it was a teensy bit awkward at first, we soon quicky warmed right back up to each other, and it was like hardly any time had passed by at all. :):)  [personal profile] galena , if you're reading this, it was a pleasure to see you last night. ^_^

I had fun seeing her and meeting most of her dance troupe-mates (from a group called "Sestraluna"), and encountered Joe H. again; a man who (very artfully and beautifully) photographs many bellydancing events in the area- among other things. :)  You can find his wicked work here.

Along with that, I got to see some fantastic bellydancing.  A lovely swirling maiden with skirts to die for, an elegant, smiling beauty who entranced us all by her renditions of an ancient, Indian style of dance, and always lovely Mavi, whose sweet off-stage demeanor is matched only in beauty by the grace, personality and artfulness with which she dances. ^_^  There was a LOT of great music spun through the night too- both on-stage and off- by the talented DJ Melly-Mel.  (I kept finding myself doing the same thing I tend to do whenever DJ Solaries plays- saying "oh geez, I LOVE this song!!" ;D)  

Great fun was had by all, and in the bargain I got some pretty neat photographs to boot. 
Peoples' Exhibit A:

A veiled dancer whose routines were taken from the ancient, Northern Indian  mujra style- where most of Bollywood gets its styles from today..

I'm thinking of editing this by doing the normal clarifying and brightness/contrast adjustments, but I'm reticent to.  I think I like it just the way it is. :)  (Although, I'll have to see this on a monitor that's not dark and on it's last legs to make the final judgement for sure.)  I really hope that those of you who like bellydance will like it, and that perhaps w/getting to know more of the members in our surprisingly active & thriving bellydancing community in DC, I'll have the chance to get active not only in the dance arena, but also in the vocal performance, photography & podcasting realms as well. ^_^

Anyway, that's it for me.  I hope you all have a tremendous day/evening, and that no matter what you're doing, you're smiling about it. :)

♥ Always,
Nae

thewaterling: (iGypsy)
( Jan. 16th, 2009 10:47 pm)
I madesded zem. ^_^


If you would like to snatcho these (-the wee icons I mean- please don't snatcho el biggin]!) which I invite- feel free!  Just please make sure to let me know, and properly credit if/when ya do. :) 
Thanks!

.

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