Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Sisters of the Moon Workshop featuring Zivah Serpentina

Maharet and Naima - for serious

Now playing: Counting Crows – August and Everything After
Mood: coughing til I throw up

So yeah, I’m sick AGAIN. My husband caught it from his sister at the Mother’s Day brunch we all went to. I was doing great. No hugging, kissing, drinking after each other, etc. when I started getting a sore throat on Thursday. Best we can figure, I had been exclusively using the laptop and then used the desktop, sharing the key board and mouse, and now I am sick again. Not as sick as my hubby, but sick. =(

The workshop in Buffalo was a lot of fun. Harika, Alia, Dani, and I headed out for the workshop Saturday morning together. Maharet had rented the local community center and there was a rep from Judy’s Creative Costuming as well as a couple of local ladies selling their wares. Zivah had a table with some cute tribal wear and jewelry. Zivah was also sick. During her workshop last fall, which I was at, I was nasty sick then too. We determined that she and I are just doomed if we are at the same workshop together.

The majority of the dancers there were beginners from the Buffalo area, the Springfield crew, and a troupe from Springdale, AR. (can’t remember their name currently, have to look it up.) The newbies were bright-eyed and eager in their secondhand and homemade skirts with their shiny new hip scarves and pretty jewelry. Me on the other hand, being an old heel, was wearing sweat pants, an old sweat stained tee shirt, some ballet slippers, and a sweater 3 sizes too big (which I’m wearing right now.) I have determined the difference between a new dancer and an old dancer is this: new dancers treasure their cholis and hip scarves wearing them every chance they get, picking up the loose coins and beads that unravel and fall on the floor, even going so far as to walking around the room trying to match the coins/beads to another hip scarf so it can be rightfully returned to its owner. Older dancers can’t remember where they put their hip scarves and are more pleased that their “dance clothes” are only slightly musty as opposed to right out smelly…forget the matching jewelry.

Zivah taught basic American Tribal Style (ATS) moves and transition cues the first half of the day and a skirt choreography the second half. Yeah, I know ATS and choreography aren’t really supposed to go together, but in a workshop situation with newbies and non-ATS dancers (such as myself), it was good practice using the moves, transitions, and so forth. Unfortunately, I didn’t make it very far into the choreography before my cold took over and I sat outside with Harika on a picnic bench with my tissues.

After the workshop, we caravanned to Maharet’s house to change for the show. Zivah had pretty much lost her voice by this time. And at some point there were slushy cold pina coladas to be had. We also successfully talked Dani into dancing her first performance doing improv to “Dragula,” which had her in a nervous tizzy for a bit, but she made it through quite nicely (see video previous post.) Much better than my first time that’s for sure. All I can tell you about my first performance is what the carpet looked like. I was too scared to look out at the crowd. And here Dani is doing Turkish drop stuff and dancing out into the audience.

What you can’t see in the video is the gang of Red Hat Ladies sitting in the front row. I call them a gang because they came in wearing their red and purple “gang colors” and their neck scarves and hats with poofy flowers and bows, all frowning and making everyone nervous. Just like a real gang. When I danced, I did notice one of them was smiling out of the corner of her mouth, but I don’t think she meant too. (She probably gets in trouble for it.) The rest of them were stone cold frowners. I heard a small town rumor once that Red Hat Ladies have to steal something as part of their “initiation,” LOL! No joke, I really heard that, along with a he said, she said “true” story to go along with it.

Pic: Zivah with Meira Nawal

Oh yeah! I almost forgot. About 95% of the time, when you dance in a workshop show, you are given a blank note card when you arrive that morning to registar. They ask you to write something about yourself and/or dance and give it to the MC by the end of the day. So...I loathe "the card." I never know what to write. Everything I ever write always seems to sound dumb. I go so far as to hand it to one of my dance buddies and try to coerce them into writing it for me. They know me best right? I mean, there are only so many ways I can write, "Hi, my name is Naima. I've been dancing X amount of years. Tonight I will be preforming to a song I pulled out of my rear and hope not to step on my skirt and fall on my face...please clap for me." etc. This time I said to hell with it and wrote the following:

"Naima is from Springfield, Missouri. She has been dancing over 7 years.

Please feel free to go make a sandwhich if you get bored during her set.

It's ok. Naima likes food too."

And then I drew a stick figure of myself in bellydance attire on the back with a big arrow that said "see picture->" And bless his heart, Bill the MC, read it. I heard a few chuckles out of the audience but I'm not sure they knew what to think about it. But REALLY, I hate filling out the card.

At the end of the show, Maharet called all the performers on stage, thanked them, and gave everyone flowers. Afterward, a man stopped me and said, “Thanks for what you did…” and something else in there like, good job or something. I said thank you and went on my way. Still wondering what I “did.” After which, Jabez asked if I would sign his boob. But when I put him to it, he couldn’t produce a sharpie. So, still no go on signing autographs. Meanwhile, Dani was complaining that her kuchi* smelled bad, at which we all did the Beavis and Butthead laughs, “huh, huh, huhuhuh…” (*type of Afghani jewelry)

Pic: Dani, Naima, and Zivah. I was gonna crop this but I got a kick out of the "Winged Bison Composite Squadron" plaque.

Over all, the workshop was nice. Low key and cheap, just the way I like them. I enjoyed all of the dances, particularly the newbies. Mostly because I was still in reminisce mode and feeding off of their nervous enthusiasm. I’ve gone through the, “OMG! This is awesome!” stage, to the jaded stage, and now the, “It’s all good” stage. I’ve given myself actual stomach aches from the BD politics and personality conflicts to the point I don’t care anymore. I dance for me and I dance for fun. Now, when I see others doing the same, I don’t really mind if I don’t like the style of dance or choice of costume, or what troupe they are from, or any of that nonsense. I can honestly share in the happiness BD gives the other dancer regardless of her skill or style. And hopefully, she can do the same with me. (I think I just vomited a Hallmark moment all over this post.)

Moral of the story: Bellydance = Happiness

On a side note, I did miss a crazy-go-nuts weekend in Dallas at the Fifi Abdo workshop. Zahava and Shiara went, and I have to say, Zahava’s email about her adventure had me rolling. I wanted her to post it but she said I’d have to wait until her memoirs come out where all the names are changed, LOL!

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