Monthly Archives: March 2004

the value of community

this deserves a tip-o-the-blog…

I don’t know if you are aware, but I am organizing a contingent of belly dancers to attend and dance in the April 25th March for Choice in Washington DC. More info about our delegation can be found here: Belly Bus

As part of encouraging people to show up to the march and dance with us, Simoon and I have had to contact (read as spam) about 1000 dancers in all 50 states.

Without exception, every dancer, regardless of their views on the abortion issue, have responded positively and with an outpouring of support. We have had several women tell us that they would not be attending because they do not agree with our cause, but in each case the women have wished us love, luck and good dancing. We have not had one flame. Not one.

I am so humbled by the professional, respectful response of the belly dance community that I am near tears as I write this. I don’t know of another group of people who would have responded as politely as you have all done to a subject that has been so divisive to the rest of the country. It makes me believe that dance and art truly can heal the world.

I feel honored to be a member of this community and of the greater belly dance community.

Happy Hips to you all

dervishspin is one of the prime movers behind the bellybus (previously mentioned here).

one of the things that makes this community of dancers such a pleasure to spend time with… is their amazing sense of support for each other. Continue reading

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Yachiyo Inoue

[from The Yomiuri Shimbun] Continue reading

Posted in In memoriam | Leave a comment

Sofia Golovkina

(from the associated press) Continue reading

Posted in Ballet, In memoriam | Leave a comment

about the dance calendar

as many of the loyal readers are aware, this system also hosts the regional dance calendar for events throughout virginia, maryland, pennsylvania, delaware, new jersey, west virginia, new york city, and washington dc.

since putting that together (and it is a bit of a hack job, but… always room for improvement), i’ve had several people get in touch and ask me to add events to the calendar, so let me explain some of the motivation for doing this thing…

the general idea behind the dance calendar comes from a frustration with dozens (ok, hundreds) of individual calendars (like this one) on websites that are generally up-to-date, but only represent one or a few dancers… and a few group calendars (like this one) that cover a large number of performers, but get hopelessly out-of-date quickly because one (or a very few) person(s) is (are) responsible for maintaining everything on the list.

to (hopefully) fix this… i’m inviting people i know (and some i know by proxy) to include their events on the dance calendar. the idea is that if there isn’t a single person (for example… me), that has to make all the additions and changes, and if i can coax the computer into keeping the most-relevant stuff at the top (which it does), then the regional calendar can be the best of both worlds – both current and regional.

i don’t want to stay “in the loop” – if i’m not available to make last-minute changes to an event listing, i don’t want that to mean that the changes can’t be made.

if you’ve got events coming up, let me know and i’ll get you set up so you can add (and update!) those events. the more people we have spending a few minutes on this, the better it is for everyone.

update: trying a new approach to the calendar (more recurring-event friendly, and it looks like a calendar rather than a list). you can play with that version here: new dance calendar. Continue reading

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how do you dance with a dancer?

it’s a question i’ve been meaning to ask, in some form or another – these are generally performances, but sometimes, a fortunate soul is hooked by a veil or a hand and dragged into the spotlight…. and then….?

how do you dance with a dancer? Continue reading

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finding instructors

inspired by deserts without dancers, and with an ulterior motive in mind (i really needed to do something like this for an entirely different reason), i give you a map that represents the geographic availability of instructors in any middle eastern/oriental dance form that i could find.


on this map, the circles represent about 45-60 minutes of travel (a figure chosen for compatibility with the deserts without dancers effort – depends a lot on the kind of road in your particular direction). also, no precision here – i just eyeballed the cities.

i eventually decided to include the bhuz list of almost 1000 instructors (973 as i write this). there is some duplication within the bhuz list, but in the interest of the broadest possible coverage, i’ve mapped everything i could find quickly. there’s also an issue of out-of-date material, so some of these points may be locations of former-instructors, or former locations of instructors that have moved.

a couple notes: this is just people who claim to be instructors, only a few of these have comments or references from students. the bhuz data set is also full of errors (los angeles, colorado got my attention).

update (2004.03.25): a couple people have asked about the map – this isn’t the same as the deserts without dancers list – what i’ve mapped is “positive space” – the circles represent places where dance instructors do (or did…) exist. christine is making a list of places where instructors need to exist (“negative space”) because someone’s looking (she might correct me on that). anyway, they are complimentary (positive space vs. negative space).

update (2004.03.26): another question came up regarding the instructor map – someone asked about how many instructors were represented. i didn’t keep a list, but what i can do is provide a general idea. the bhuz list was almost 1000 instructors, and i made no effort to map density – once i found an instructor in a city, i dropped a circle there and moved on (this was a quick effort, not a research project! :) ). anyway, if you are interested in density, i’ve included the “hits” from the bhuz list below the cut here for you. no real surprise, california takes the… lead.

update (2004.03.28): this post has been linked from the deserts without dancers page – just a note, the map represents something like 1100 to 1200 instructors – the vast majority come from the bhuz data set, but it also includes instructors i know personally (a dozen or so), and several more-formal lists from around the web.

(just the state density data below…) Continue reading

Posted in Belly Dance, Education, Help | 1 Comment

deserts without dancers

an effort to reach out to those spaces that don’t have easy access to instructors or a functional “local scene,” the deserts without dancers directory (you’ll have to dig into the site a bit to get there). Continue reading

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in memoriam….

Ludmila Tcherina, dancing star and choreographer of the Grands Ballets of Monte Carlo, became at the age of 15 under the stage name ?Tcherzina? the youngest star in the history of dance.

more Continue reading

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the dessert roses

something i just had to share with everyone, from the baltimore superstars show…


i can only imagine a dark-chocolate-dipped dancer… Continue reading

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thank you, superstars

for this tour, i managed to mangle my schedule enough to pick up three performances (philadelphia, baltimore and cleveland) with the superstars. late winter is always a strange time for my schedule, so that’s probably pretty good. i’ve been known to caravan with performers for a week or more, but usually a bit later in the year once things have settled down a bit…

i’ve learned a lot (call all those tickets “tuition” :) ), had some assumptions challenged, had some thoughts develop, and generally had a great time sharing space and time with some wonderful people.

the tour is still on, dondi has shared some perspective from the performers’ side of the stage, and it is, truly, an amazing collection of talent.

just for fun (and in a particular order….), thanks for what you do, sonia (who seems to be unlinkable), petite jamilla, rachel brice, dondi, yasmine, ansuya, kaeshi, amar gamal, bozenka, colleen, and glamazons sharon kihara and melodia (did i miss anyone?) also, thanks to the local superstars, and a special nod to issam (who might not look great in a coin-studded bra, but plays a mean drum…)

for now, i’ll leave it at that. pester me for deep thoughts someday…

have a great tour, ladies (and gentleman)… you rawk. Continue reading

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