Excited!

Sep. 6th, 2016 03:22 pm
mekyria: (2013 indonesie 2)
Open class yesterday was a blast, had fourteen ladies who enjoyed the class and wanted to sign up. Except they couldn't because both my classes are full. And I even extended the capacity, from 10 people per class to 13 for the beginners and 12 for the intermediates/advanced.

Now I have twenty five people every week that expect me to teach a good class. Eep!! The good thing is that during this open class, I noticed how I improved in structuring my classes, cueing, connecting with the students and making sure the class contains enough material to feel like they worked without being overwhelming. It's hard for me because I am an unstructured person who likes to add stuff every ten minutes. Because I am so excited! And this other thing is also really cool! Notice!

My plan is to totally rock this semester. Beginners are getting a beledi with assaya for starters and a Turkish classical song to give them a feel for Egyptian versus Turkish. The intermediates/advanced are getting a drum solo with lots of layering (that's what we're doing the first 7 weeks) and a fan veil choreography that is fun and flashy last. First bellydance hafla is set on October 5th, that's one month away. I am doing Kermit arms right now on account of having so much to do.

It's all good though.
mekyria: (Default)
With all the serious stuff going on like burials and talks about taxes, prenupts and testaments, I haven't written about the vellydance events in the past couple if weeks.

June 5th: annual student recital at the cultural center. We presented our performances in the theater room, which added a lot to the overall atmosphere and intensity of the performance. Super proud that my internediates pulled off a classic ATS improvisation after ten classes of ATS technique. The beginners were adorable with a short veil performance and our group dance blew people away. Next semester I want to do a group dance together as well: having many people on the stage looks good and really brings out the formation changes. I was inspired this semester and four of the beginners are now hooked. Weehee! I also noticed how I am teaching differently towards beginners compared to the intermediates. It might be beneficial if I treated my intermediates like I treat my beginners on account of keeping a fresh perspective.

On June 11th, Gerie threw a bellydance party at the cultural center where she teaches. It was so nice, lovely line up and my students did well with the group performance. It was a very intense day, with me running from a bachelorette party of a friend to the hafla and then back home. All by train and bus, while holding a whipped cream pie in one hand and lugging my suitcase with me, and pumping milk during the day.
mekyria: (2013 indonesie 2)



It seems that there suddenly are plenty of performance opportunities for my students and for me, on student recital/hafla like events. Part of this is because Parnassos, the center where I teach, has to make more money to keep afloat. Throwing bellydance nights draws in extra people who buy drinks. Drinks are ridiculous cheap though, like 1 euro for non alchoholic beverages and 2 euro for wine/beer.

I am getting paid to throw these halfa's, prepare and teach a public workshop for who ever shows up (so... both beginners and advanced should appreciate the workshop). I program a short performance slot (three performances) and I create the playlist for bopping around afterwards. I probably make more money this way compared to throwing a hafla myself. The basic reason being that I don't have to rent a venue, I don't have to promote the event, I don't have to sell tickets (admission is free) and I don't have to dress up the bar.

This leaves me running around the house packing stuff during the day, trying to fit into a costume (My multicolor Bella bra cups are too small now! Noooooo!!!!), creating playlists and doing various other stuff. My students trickled in one by one and we got down to practicing. They did the choreo to Teggi Ezzay, which looks good now on the students that practiced and showed up on time.

The hafla was a success: roughly 40 people showed up for the workshop, everyone participated and had fun. Even the group of young guys who started out giggling. One of the performances was cancelled last minute because Roos has an injury but three was a good number. I faffed around with a veil (seriously, nothing of my prepared chore stuck), Brenda did a fusion piece to Evanescence and my students closed with the group performance.

Dancing afterwards was fun, but around 22.00 people started pouring in from other events, killing the bellydance buzz. Something our event scheduler should have been aware of, but I didn't put the blame on her. She'll probably check twice next time, it's a bit odd to advertise bellydance party and having 'regular' customers coming in half way.

mekyria: (2013 indonesie 2)
Last weekend was our annual hafla in Zeist, also known as the coziest ('meest gezellige') bellydance party in the Netherlands. Two years ago the theme was 'red', last year the theme was 'blue', so what would this year's theme be? Well, 'Rainbow', ofcourse! Because we all enjoy dressing up and this allowed us to get everything out of the closet and swap and switch between us. We all got to wear something that felt new to us without breaking the bank.

The first part of the show was a series of performances that showed the different phases in the life of a woman. I was 'birth', to the music of celtic harpplayer Marieke Lesparre.


I'm not sure if I classify this as fusion wankery or heartfelt oriental improv. I feel good about the first half of the performance, then I lost it for a bit. I got some really nice feedback on this piece so the audience overall liked it.

Our group, Sense of Bellydance, did 'Habibi I love you' together. They performed this song at our wedding in 2014 and have since improved and build on the first version. I like how this performance evolved and Germaine's daughter Veerle is super cute. Veerle danced the song about childhood, with wings, to a Tinkerbell song. It doesn't get much cuter and I am pretty sure that all moms were silently crying while watching her.


Overall the first part went well and I am proud that we got this far in the past six years. I am still a little bit frustrated that the only way to get decent video footage of our events is for me to bring a camera, position it correctly, make sure someone checks in every now and then to see if it's still pointed in the right direction, and then I have to edit the video and send it to everyone. So I just edited out the songs I wanted to show and sent the raw footage to Marjan, who promised to make a promo video this weekend.

The second half was separate performances of student groups and a couple of solo performances. I loved Gerie's performance and Nansi's performance, they've gotten more emotional and earthy. Last year they followed the 'Tarab' course from dancer Sena in Rotterdam, which worked with getting more in touch with their emotions and how to translate those emotions on stage. Good for them! My students and I did our pop song choreography that we started this semester. I a pretty pleased with it overall.


Some messing up here and there, but that's okay. We all picked it up rather quickly after screwing up and that's what matters! That, and we kept on smiling. Yay! I missed part of the event because I needed to pump (three times, so that's 1,5 hours) plus I had to attend our table where we were selling second hand stuff. Despite our best efforts, not much sold. The bellydance market is really saturated right now and flooded by cheap Chinese import, making it impossible to sell the more expensive older stuff like Egyptian hipscarves bought for 25-50 usd and oldskool bedlah and skirts. Even so, the stuff from Dunya's inheritance and from Laudie's closet sold, so I have money to give to Dunya's children and to Laudie. Every item that sells is an item that doesn't have to go back home.

I think I'll host a bellydance swap at my place in the summer, so we can all have some new stuff and move items we no longer like or use. After the Zeist hafla, we're now counting down towards Roos's student recital, plus I have a small hafla on May 18th and a student recital on June 5th. During the summer we're hoping for a second edition of Bellydance on the Beach in Wijk aan Zee, with excellent weather and a sleepover of Sense of Bellydance in the cottage at the coast. Lot's of fun things to look forward to!
mekyria: (2013 indonesie 2)


this is the choreography that my group is working on this semester, with me taking a couple of artistic liberties because it is a solo performance. The structure is pretty obvious as it's supposed to :-)

What can I say? I can see that I have given birth recently as here is more tummy. Maybe I should lay off the chocolate for a bit and move around a bit more, but when I start work again I will also be riding my bike, taking stairs and running for trains so that should also help. I love, love, love to dance and my smile and relaxed attitude make it look good, and I can have that at any size!
mekyria: (belly dance floorwork)
1. My left foot had an unfortunatel meeting with the side of the door. My ringtoe looks like a huge purple blueberry and I am sort of hopping instead of walking/dancing. I made it through yesterday's dance rehearsal and will adjust my lesson plan tonight to upper body movement.

2. We had a meeting for the laundry project (the belly dance theater project) on Saturday which we spent telling eachother personal stories. Tears were shed, bonds were made. We'll see where we go from here, next rehearsal is next saurday. Also, we decided to not share any full length clips on youtube because laudie is afraid someone might steal our choreography and Y. and J. are still afraid of having a video out there. Nobody else offered to do the video taping or editing and I am not planning on doing any more editing for FaKyMa for the next year or so. Screw them. Maybe I won't do any video taping either, what's the use of gathering material if everyone else doesn't want to use it?

3. We went to a 60th birthday with a 'Dutch' theme. It was okay, according to my standards of hiding out with the people I like until we left. Big parties are so not my thing. I feel like a mature, smart woman with a good sense of humor when I am in a small company, and an awkward teenager with no stories to tell when I am in a bigger company.

4. Dance rehearsal on Sunday was good, our group number for the hafla on the 12th of april is coming together nicely, within the boundaries of our group. By that I mean that we ain't no BDSS but it's a good hafla performance. Our costuming is consistent and looks good on stage, which also adds up. I just realized that I have not golden era costume for my golden era performance. Cue frantic costuming frenzy in the next ten days.

5. We got our dance agenda's out and June is going to be full.
June 1th: fakyma performs in hellevoetsluis (hafla)
June 2th-14th: E. and I are on holiday!
June 15th: student recital at parnassos
June 22th: Asli Sharqi dans dag, Fakyma performes the first try outs of the laundry project
June 29th: student recital of Roos, I  am invited to perform a solo
I discussed it with E. and since I am taking days off in april to work on the garden, he is okay with me running off every weekend in June. We will have July and August as two months without extra rehearsals, or as E. pointedly remarked:'getting married in august is a very good reason to no plan any rehearsals'.

6. I am very excited that swas, her husband and their adorable son are coming over to our place on Thursday night. She is a dear friend and I miss her. She lives in Germany and we talk through gmail, Telegram and such, but it is not the same as real life catching up.
mekyria: (Default)
It was a rather relaxed day, starting off with Zumba taught by Fatima. I asked Fatima about teaching Zumba and she told me that if I wasn't planning on teaching it right away, doing the teacher training would not make sense. Her class was fun and included more dance combinations then most Zumba classes.

Aziza and Issam ran us through the drum solo chore, that started to sound pretty familiar by now. The clsses ended at 12.30 so we had time to prepare for the hafla. What we actually did was walk to the shops and do some serious shoe shopping at a store called Tamaris. I bought two sets of shoes: black and brown sandalettes* and blue pumps. They are adorable! We went back to the hotel with Sandy and did the make-up routine and try-outs of eighties outfits. The theme of DBC was eighties and I made good use of my panther print leggins, neon leg warmers and sweatbands. I wore a lot of fluorescent colors combined that do nothing for my complexion but it sure was fun!

The hafla was very nice, a mixed program hitting of with our drum solo, several performances of Aziza, Issam, Khalida, Queeny. We had a couple of drum fanatics in the audience who were mesmerized by Issam playing the drums. A good time was had by all, though we noticed that the french speaking participants tended to not interact much with the others on account of only speaking french. Most of us spoke English with a heavy accent from our own language. It was a really good party.

*Sandalettes: sandals, but with heels! Not to be confused with pumps (heels, but less to no straps)
mekyria: (2004 rood kostuum)

Brwosing back through my journal I noticed that I haven't written about belly dance for a while. Being a bellydancer is like having a lifelong partner: at times I remember the first time we met and how I madly fell in love with belly dance. At other times, we don't get to spend quality time together, or I wonder if I am still interested and in love after thirteen years. In the past couple of weeks, I was having a resurging feeling of love for the dance, which is good!

here's a longish update, with pictures and video material.

Read more... )


They did well and had fun! I am very proud of them and I look forward to teaching next semester. I wonder how long the cultural center will continue to hire their teachers: I suspect somewhere in the next two years they might change their business model to teachers hiring roms insted, in which case I am screwed. I'll worry about it when I get there.

Happy post

Mar. 27th, 2012 01:39 pm
mekyria: (Kyria met theepot)
With everything that's going on at my work, there is also fun stuff happening that I'd like to share. Otherwise I'll read my journal in a couple of years, thinking everything was about my work and such. The good thing is that there is still dance to be enjoyed, friends to hang out with and new stuff to learn and discover.

diving, Amsterdam, Oum Kolthoum, horse back riding... )
And in general news, people are happy with me at my work, so I expect that my contract will be prolonged in June. Right now I need the distraction of learning new things to keep me going. I notice that I don't have the energy to invest extra time in dance, next to the commitments that I already made. There are several festivals in the summer but the program made me go meh. I expect that my dance drive will return at the end of this year or at the start of 2013 but for now I'm more into exploring and learning other things.
mekyria: (blue dress with veil)
The hafla in Bussum wan;t a hafla, but a student showcase in a real theatre. Pictures/video will follow when I receive them!

It was a lot of fun to be part of a belly dance performance, to be around anxious housewifes who will be on stage for the first time. I enjoyed watching all the performances, beginners and professionals alike. Maybe I even liked the students better, because the professionals are my friends and I'm biased towards them. My own performance started as a good baladi, then somewhere I went all classic Egyptian. I felt it happen, but couldn't stop because it felt so good to be performing on stage! Have to work on that, later.

The blue dress rocked.
mekyria: (blue dress with veil)
This weekend we performed several groupdances on Gunesh's hafla in Amersfoort. The candle dance went okay, though I felt is was better received at the hafla in Zeist. Melaya was fun, though my melaya didn't cooperate as it should after all this practicing. The slow 9/8 song impressed the audiencce with flourishing skirts (note to self: create choreo with skirt moves for myself) and the drum solo worked really well because the audience was spread throughout the room and the six of us did a good job at the floorpatterns and changing sides.

Talked with Roos about her hafla on june 14th. I promised to do a performance and I'm torn between a nice baladi on a song by Fatme Serhan or a dramatic piece to msafer by Abdel Wahab. Baladi is the easy way out (improvisation!) but Wahab would be nice because it's a staged show. Have to think about it: four weeks to go and already running out of time. 
mekyria: (Default)
I'm uploading three cd's into iTunes before returning them to the public library. I'm going Balkan-y, with the gypsyfestival in a couple of weeks I can do with a bit of balkan music! Got Balkan beats vol 3 (how did I ever live without Opa Cupa?!) and Orkestina (Transilvanian Express. I like to be suprised :) As for suprises, I also borrowed Värtinnä 25 because it caught my fancy, though I have no clue what kind of music they make. Packing my suitcase for our groupperformance in Amersfoort this night, a shorter version of our groupdances that we preformed during the hafla. Fun!!!

edited to ad: Värtinä makes folk music from Helsinki. Nice music, interesting arrangements.
mekyria: (Default)
The Dutch site is updated with an article about hotfix stones, the interview with Tribal Fusion group the Uzume is also online.

I also would like to congratulate the five dancers who graduated the 'pro bellydancer/teacher course' by Jamila in Eindhoven. Their theater piece 'Cascade' kept me on the edge of my seat and showed that all of them are excellent stage performers. One note: in the advertising the organiser claimed that the show would 'come to the public on a tour in several small theaters in Netherland and Belgium'. In reality, we had to travel over 2 hours to get to the nearest show (we started in Utrecht). If the organiser wants to expand her horizon and includes a venue somewhere in the center of the Netherlands, it would generate a lot of publicity and maybe more enrollments from dancers further away.

June 2017

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