Monday, June 21, 2010

And the June Contest winner is...

Thank you to the 200-plus people who entered the contest for the new, jingly yellow hip scarf. As always, the winner was selected by my highly official and incorruptable assistant. It was tricky this time -- Sesame Street was on and she just can't get enough of Elmo.

And the winner is:

Dana Packer


Congratulations, Dana! I'll be sending you an email message in the next couple of minutes to get your mailing address.

To everyone else, thank you for playing! I'll be posting a new contest soon, so please check back to to see what's up for grabs.

Happy Monday!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Introducing: Orange County Tribal Bellydance Jams in Fullerton

One of the beautiful things about American Tribal Style dance is that once you learn the moves, you can dance with anyone else who knows the moves. It's a terrific concept, but in reality the opportunities to come together and dance with others outside of a classroom have been pretty limited in Orange County.

But local dancers IrinaXara and Tribal Cyn have a solution. They're holding Orange County Tribal Bellydance Jams for ATS dancers from 8:45 to 10 every Monday night at American Martial Arts Academy (says "Karate and Fitness Academy" on the sign and it's at 1027 N. Harbor Blvd., Fullerton).

"It's different from a class because although there is something of a 'movement review' for the first 15-20 minutes of each jam, the objective here is to simply dance ATS and to bring together tribal style dancers from different areas, not to teach or drill moves, necessarily," says IrinaXara. "It's also to expand the O.C. tribal scene. We do hope to at some point offer full classes, but right now we are more interested in establishing a space for formative tribal dancers to get some more dance experience, network, interact with each other and just get extra practice."

Anyone who has completed at least one session of Level 1 FCBD ATS is invited, and the price is just $10 per jam, per student.

Here's what they say about clothing: "Please wear comfortable dance pants and a form-fitting top or choli. Ethnic skirts and tassel belts are encouraged but please steer clear of hipwear that may shed or drop beads/coins on the floor. Please, no coin scarves. Dance shoes are optional. Water and energy bars are ok, but please no messy food items. Bring your zills/sagat/finger cymbals!"

For more information, email IrinaXara at or Tribal Cyn at

Photo: Azuluna's set at the O.C. Belly Dance Festival in October 2008.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Cairo Caravan 2010 Recap

Oh, Saturday at Cairo Caravan was awesome. So much shopping, so many great performances. Wow. There were so many stairs, too -- but there's no getting around that when you have an event in the three-story event space at the Queen Mary in Long Beach. Here were some of the highlights for me:

The main floor

Oh-so pretty costumes at the Turquoise International table

This year MECDA introduced this film & lecture space. I wish I could've spent more time here -- it's such great idea.

The lovely lady in red is Joni and she runs An Added Touch, a belly dancing supplies company based in San Diego. I found some pretty-pretties here. :-)

The Left Coast Trading booth -- found a great pair of pants here (same ones worn by the hanging mannequin)

And here's Alane buying her own pair of pants (yes, we'll match!) from Herb of Left Coast Trading.

Aren't these gloves from Calamitous Costuming pretty? I'm saving up for a pair.

How cool is this outfit? It's from Firefly (see the banner in the background?)

A very cool sign at the Melodia booth.

And another one.

And another one.

Tribal Bazar -- oh I've spent so much time browsing (and buying) from this wonderful retailer.

The young dancerd and drummers from Roz & Dancing Sands of Ontario.

Tracy opened the Mandala Danceworks set with a solo that was amazing.
The 11 dancers who performed for Mandala Danceworks are a very talented bunch. They really rocked the whole Gothic fusion belly dance thing.

Sabrina of La Habra always puts on a great show.
And speaking of show -- this was how Valentina and the Hoop Unit's performance began.
And this is why they're called the "hoop" unit!
It was such a great show and a very tough act to follow, but then...
Troupe Zaghareet came out to perform this crazy good belly dance adaptation of "Through the Looking Glass." The belly dancing was really good, but judging by the roar of the crowd, the street dancing by the Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum (the guys in purple and black striped shirts) stole the show.
The lovely Leela with Alane, who is modeling her new purchase -- the fabulous fairy Leela tank.
And let me tell you, Leela knows how to entertain a crowd. Check this out: She and her troupe -- Salome Jihad -- started with this Bollywood-inspired number, did a quick costume change for...
this fun-fun-fun version Michael Jackson's "Thriller." Did another costume change for...
This snazzy number to Black Eyed Peas "Boom Boom Pow" (I think that's the name of it anyway...)
Then, another costume change for ...
This number set to "Chicago's" thoroughly entertaining "He Had It Coming."
And then, yup, another costume change for ...
this number from the Chorus Line. Wow. How did they end, you ask? By pouring bubbly into Dixie cups for the audience. I think the bubbly was sparkling apple cider, but I didn't have any so you can think what you like ;)
So that would be a very tough act to follow, wouldn't it? But these ladies -- Troupe Amara of Midnight Mirage from Farmington Utah -- did an excellent job. But then, would you expect anything less from this award-winning group?
And then, as if you needed more proof that these performances were hot, they set off the fire alarm! Everyone had to evacuate so officials could figure out what set off the fire alarm. Crazy huh?
Some of my lovely finds...
And one more. I love this necklace! I even wore it to dance class the next day.
For much better event photos, check out these sites.

(They aren't up yet, but they will be soon!)

Friday, June 4, 2010

Cairo Caravan 2010

Oooooh, it's almost here.... :-)

For more info, visit

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Celebrating 117 years of American belly dance with a giveaway

The summer of 1893 was an important one for American belly dance. While the Egyptian belly dancers were scandalizing the crowds at the Chicago World's Fair with their shimmies and hip drops, they were also introducing a generation of women to this exciting dance form.

And it seems belly dance has never been more popular than it is today. Not only can you find festivals dedicated to its art, history and practice in most major cities, belly dance classes can now be found alongside ballet, tap and jazz in many colleges and community dance programs. Imagine what those prim and proper Board of Lady Managers would say about that!

So, in honor of that momentous occasion 117 years ago, I'm giving away a cheery yellow hip scarf that's perfect for summertime!

To enter the contest, visit my website at and follow the contest link.

I'll be choosing a name at random on Monday, June 21. There are more details on the contest page.

Good luck!