Sunday, March 27, 2011

Groovy dance moves inspired by spring in the desert

Belly in the USA tour continues ... even though i am missing out on 'cues and tattoos' in Seattle, I am inspired by the wildlife at Joshua Tree National Park.

Here's the sphinx stretch performed by a chipmunk.

and this colourful fellow performed a nice variation on snake arms, very smooth transitions ...

The Joshua trees represent length and elegance, reaching for the sky...

Even when i am on holidays, i am still thinking about dance...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Dance class with Amy from Unmata, Sacramento, US

I walked up to the address and found Hot Pot studios and walked in the door to find an amazing array of tribal decorations covering the walls and the warmth of welcoming faces ... i was definitely in a tribal studio amongst friends.
After basic introductions, we got straight into it ( i guess i was supposed to warm up beforehand).  Amy led the tribe and we followed.  Music was fantastic, really full and solid.  I tried to follow, recognising some moves quickly (takseem, arabic with twist), not having a clue what the others were (camel - what was that!)
Then the tempo lifted and it was straight into turning the wheel and i then saw the whiteboard with moves written on that they had been following (oh shit, now i am really behind the eight ball - and what move is that?).  Amy gave me an out by allowing me to pass the lead - phew.  The moves were all a little familiar, but i was not confident of my setup and cues and didn't want to throw her tribe into any bad habits. After some practice, we moved onto fast moves.
Now that i had a vague idea of what was going on, i grabbed a front row in the staggered position and tried to keep up.  Fast moves were a little more familiar, however Amy picked up that i was counting the off beat with my egyptians (which are used regularly to move and hold position), so i kept landing on the wrong foot.
Amy was strong with an amazing presence and relentless with the dance content, we covered about 14 moves, stealing the lead, transitioning into a circle, transitioning out into staggered positions again.  I was so impressed with these girls i was wondering what their advanced class must look like.  Amy would throw a challenge out their and her class would gobble it up - so impressed!
My devoted husband was waiting for me outside, so i only stayed a little longer, but was pleased i did, because i got to see the fusion moves.  They were so hip and very cool - sort of a blend of hip hop and tribal.  i wish i could learn some of the names and take them back home as an authored Unmata move.  There was this groovy move with a right snake arm, left snake arm, over both arms, shoulder lift (with grin) and shoulder drop.  I couldn't stop laughing as we practiced, let alone hold a straight face.
As i reached my time to leave, Amy passed me an advertisement to the cues and tattoos event coming up this weekend in seattle (OMG!) and gave me a huge warm tribal sister hug and a big hello to Paulette. Then i tore myself away.  But not without a photo first.  This is Corinne, me, Amy and Colleen at Hot Pot Studios, home of Unmata dance company in Sacramento.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Dress-ups are a part of dance too!

Had a ball with my sister and her husband, son and their beautiful little daughter over the last week. Mia (pictured below) slept in my dance room, which i am sure gave her the most wonderful dreams.  It must have been wonderful waking up to all the gorgeous smiling faces of my dance sisters which cover the walls.  Each morning, after asking for Mummy she would call out for Sisa ...
I opened up my bellydance waldrobe on the last day so we could have some fun with dress-ups, she was a bit mesmerised by the swishy skirts and the jingly belts.  The rajasthan belts got a lot of attention.  The flowers were a big hit too.  Can't wait for her next visit, perhaps i can teach her a few moves next time...