Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I'm back!

I'm SO looking forward to December! A couple of really fun shows are in store. THAT's what it's all about: sharing the love of this dance with our besties!

Some of my super fans in Richmond invited me down to dance at their Belly Dance School's holiday party... and it'll be my first real "solo gig" since I retired prior to my THR.
This is another milestone in my recovery; solo gigs are something I said "Goodbye" to when my hip went bad. I'll never forget that emotional ride home after what I knew had to be my last restaurant show. Dancing had become too painful, and because of that my movements just weren't good enough anymore. At least I left on my own decision rather than be "let go", but that's small comfort when you're looking at the end of what you love.

I found that though I hated leaving the dance world as a performer, I didn't miss the restaurant gig scene much at all. So much time spent in dressing rooms, kitchens, cars... HAVING to perform no matter what... well, it was great experience but I'm glad it's behind me.

Now coming back, it's one step at a time, but such an enjoyable journey. Performing is something that's fun again because it's not a demand. And it's so exciting to be working up a solo Oriental piece again! Now I'm trying to figure out how long I can effectively perform solo as my stamina isn't what it was, but maybe I'm being too cautious! We'll see...

And - funny thing: the other night while I was doing my exercises I realized that my right leg is now STRONGER than my left one, since I've been concentrating on it so much! Oops!

- Anthea / Kawakib
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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Getting my Dance on!

The last couple of weekends were filled with Belly Dance! I'm so enjoying getting my costumes out and planning performances again...

dancing at Zafira Daima's show (A. Savedge photo)
One Saturday evening I went to Richmond to a friend's (and fellow teacher) student recital and shared my Layali pop number. That's really my first out-of-town solo in a couple of years (and the first since my THR) - it felt great seeing and dancing for old friends again!

The next day I instigated a Drum & Dance Hafla - outside - to take advantage of the last nice Fall weather. Thank goodness it was sunny and in the mid-50's. We set up in the downtown park for some tribal improv, drumming, and a few special solos by friends.
(l-r) J.Bob, Pixie, Pat, Galiyah, Uzume join me at Hurkamp Park!
The next weekend I hosted a bellydance party at Aladin, one of the few remaining local Middle Eastern restaurants. Aladin was actually the last place I worked as a soloist before my degenerated hip joint ended that for me. I'll never forget driving home after my last performance there when I realized I could no longer continue.
Anyway, now in happier times, Aladin no longer has Oriental Dancers perform there regularly; they've decided to accommodate sports fans and hookah fans. So at this time, Fredericksburg has NO regular dancing - and just a few years ago, there were three places to dance!
During the Hafla, the other patrons enjoyed our dancing when they weren't watching football (with the sound turned down).
I LOVE bellydance parties! 

It's really good to be able to enjoy these events by DANCING again, and not just watching. I feel renewed as a dancer!

by Anthea (Kawakib)