Tuesday, December 29, 2015

it only takes a moment

I'm spending the holidays sitting on my butt when I'm not using crutches to get around the house. 
Recently I started jumping in my riding lessons which made me want to "step up" (pun intended!) my exercise routine. I started using a plastic garden bench about 15" high for stepping up and down to strengthen both legs. That's been going really well and I was enjoying how much stronger my legs felt, when this interminable rain began here this winter in Virginia. I didn't want to bring the grimy bench inside so instead tried using my husband's space heater, which was about the same height. That was a mistake, since it's actually on wheels. While exercising a few days ago, I was on my last step-up, and wasn't paying enough attention. I placed my foot too close to the edge, and the space heater tipped over. 

So I fell, my knee got jammed and went sideways, and now I'm on crutches with what I hope is just a sprained knee. Of course it happened JUST during the holiday break when I was getting ready to film a short "down shimmy" video tip, as well as start on the Tribal Fan Veils video tutorial. The studio was set with lights and ready to go the next day. I'm so disappointed. 
Accidents happen so quickly! But to look on the bright side, at least I already had a set of crutches from my previous accident. And both my hips are doing great! 

Here's to a better holiday and new year for you and me. In fact I'm busting into this tasty little gift set right now. Cheers!
small boxed set of wine
Vinho do Porto
Yours in dance, 
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Friday, September 11, 2015

lotsa dancing going on

Dancing gives you wings!

Dancing, teaching, farm work, and horseriding have been my workouts lately, they're all strenuous but fun, and they're helping me get strong again.
Of course, immediately AFTER these exertions I'm pretty tired, and the next day my muscles might be sore, but the payoff of feeling stronger is worth it.

I'm still working on my Oriental solos, and dancing a lot with my group. Last month just after my annual camping trip (Pennsic) my dancers and I performed in Richmond, Virginia at Tribal Cafe where I was able to do my Layali pop solo again. Here's a short clip, courtesy of Siyala:

I love this number, it's not only strenuous but repeats a lot so it's really a good workout! Tribal Cafe features a mini-class too, so before performing I was able to share some of these combinations and travel steps with the dancers in the audience. It was a really great time and produced very well by the Madame Onca and the Bandit Queens. 

A couple of weeks later we were in Richmond again for a monthly Hafla called Tummy Tuesday, where I performed my "Al Saiidi" Cane Dance - for the first time since 2007. The last time I performed it my right hip was so bad I could barely use it, which is obvious in the YouTube video. That's why it thrills me so much to be able to perform it again. And talk about a workout! That folkloric stuff will really get your heart pumping. 
This event is heavily attended by the greater RVA bellydance community, not just new but old-school dancers, many of whom I've known for my entire career. Seeing them again and being able to dance for them was such a blessing, I was on Cloud Nine! 
Here's to more of the same as we go into fall: dancing, friends, and community. 
Yours in dance, 
Anthea Kawakib
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Monday, July 20, 2015

the "Fifi" is back!

The return of those moves... 

Our "all veil dance" show this past weekend went pretty well, with loads of merchandise at the bellydance Flea Market and a good turnout from local folks and far-away friends!
This show marked my return to "real dancing" - not just class material or my Layali pop number; but a real Sharki solo. Not that I have this number completely down yet - it was a lot of improv for sure.
But the reason I'm excited about it is because this dance DOES include the two moves I haven't been able to do for years: the Side-Step with Shimmy, and of course, the very delicious "Fifi move"! The former does need more refining as my outer leg muscles are still weak; but I felt it was okay enough to do in performance.
These two moves were ones I couldn't "fake" when first my right then my left hip went out of order; they're too intense and intricate. There were lots of moves I could "sort of" do while my hips were deteriorating, but not these two. So I'm pretty excited about it!
I have to laugh about this one, the "Side-Step with Shimmy" because I think I overdid it, just because I could! It still looks a little awkward to me. I'm working on it!

And I'm so happy to have this one back, the lovely and delicious "Fifi move".

Please share with anyone who's wondering about dancing after hip surgery!
Anthea Kawakib
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Thursday, July 9, 2015

into the HIP SWING of things!

So now I'm over a year with the newest hip! It's doing well - though this leg is a bit shorter now; it's noticable to me but doesn't seem to cause any problems so far.
After the rehab stage, and getting my feet wet in public performances with my group, I've continued getting back into shape on my own by teaching dance classes, and doing odd jobs (mostly outside) in the realm of "farm maintenance" for a nearby horse riding facility. This is really my favorite work, though I can't do more than a couple of hours at a time.
horse and rider
horse shows are fun too! 
Stamina disappears when your hip hurts too much to do anything, and I had years of limping and suffering. So now those years of muscle atrophy are being remedied with exercising, dancing, and riding lessons. Mounting continues to be the hardest thing to do with the new hip so I'm motivated to get my leg strong enough to mount with ease. What's my plan? Well, I have a dance for that! Inshallah, we'll be working on that number soon in class.
Of course, my PRISM Dancers' scheduled shows give me an extra reason to rehearse and keep my skills improving. The side-step with shimmy continues to be a challenge so of course I included it in a couple of new numbers for good measure!
Next week I'm returning to the downtown Fredericksburg stage with a new solo! How freaking exciting is that! It's almost too exciting at this point - but somehow I'll get through it and be happy while I'm doing it too.
This particular show, "Reflections On The Veil" is going to be outstanding - all veil numbers - even just entering with veil a la Egyptian style counts! Definitely a show to remember; plus a flea market to start the evening, so that's extra fun. We are SO looking forward to it! I hope to see many local F'burgians in the crowd.
Anthea Kawakib

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