Archive for February, 2012

Video review: Nourhan Sharif: An Introduction to Bellydance Technique

by on Feb.05, 2012, under Reviews

Nourhan Sharif, wife of dance master, Yousry Sharif, was an excellent instructor in her 2001 Saskatoon workshop.nourhanTechnically precise, serious-minded, and disciplined, she demanded much of dancers in the workshop setting. (The same was true of Yousry.) (continue reading…)

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Looking the Part: General Costuming Guidelines for Performance of Middle Eastern Dance

by on Feb.05, 2012, under Costumes, Professionalism

Students of Middle Eastern dance find out very soon into their studies that this is a costly dance form, with a world of deliciously sparkly, beautiful choices of costuming, both homemadeheartandstroke and imported. The average student of the dance is in it as a hobby, and would be best advised to keep her spending modest and her costume basic. You can put together an affordable, lovely, flattering costume for use in class and recitals, by making it yourself, buying pieces new or second-hand, or purchasing a full costume ready-made. (continue reading…)

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Protocols and Expectations of Performing as a Professional Dancer, or, How To Avoid Stepping on Toes

by on Feb.05, 2012, under For Dancers, Professionalism

This is an opinion piece. I won’t hide behind a pseudonym or pen name and pretend that the opinions belong to someone else. I also won’t apologize for the opinions. The opinions expressed below are done so very candidly for the intent of informing intermediate level dancers who may be interested or intent upon performing publicly. I write and share this knowing full well that the reader does not have to agree with me, nor take what I write to heart. Take it or leave it. (continue reading…)

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Ideas for Blessing Ways: Honouring the Expectant Mother Through Gathering and Ritual

by on Feb.03, 2012, under Class Resources

A Blessing Way does not have to take on spiritual connotations, nor involve “ritual” if that idea may make the mother uncomfortable. Ritual is simply a series of actions combined with spoken or written words that are focused around a common intent or purpose. No deity need be invoked or prayed to, your “prayers” or “blessings” may be directed in general to the mother, or the Universe, or to whatever you choose. (continue reading…)

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Blessing Ways

by on Feb.03, 2012, under Class Resources

The Blessing Way is a ceremony that prepares and celebrates the passage a pregnant woman and her child experience in birth. It may also be a time to prepare an adoptive mother (or both parents) for their journey into parenthood. The term “Blessing way” is borrowed from the Navajo, who practiced this kind of ritual within their own time-honoured traditions.   (continue reading…)

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Reflection on the Dance Manitoba Dance Festival, May 15 – April 2, 2005 (and beyond)

by on Feb.03, 2012, under For Dancers, Reviews

I had the pleasure of once again competing in the 25th annual provincial festival this year, my fifth time competing in my dance career. This festival is open to Dance MB members of any age who submit their names (and fees) to dance in the genres of Tap, Musical Theatre, Hip Hop, Modern, Jazz, National and Ballet. I competed in the category of National dance, a genre which is widely diverse, and can include everything from Middle Eastern to Ukrainian to Irish to Indian. (continue reading…)

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Interview with Nicola in VOXAIR, CFB 17th Wing Base’s Newspaper

by on Feb.03, 2012, under Reviews

airbase article red (9)Belly dancing

By Avery Wolaniuk

“Things are going to jiggle today, and that’s okay” are not words normally heard at 17W’s gym. But on 14 Jan 06, 11 women took advantage of a free workshop offered during Community Recreation’s Customer Appreciation Week. These women crossed cultural boundaries, rolled their hips and learned a foreign art form that embraces all your curves, softness and wobbly parts. It’s called raks sharqi, or “dance of the East.” Most people call it belly dancing. (continue reading…)

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Review: Advanced Workshop and Show with Dina of Cairo

by on Feb.03, 2012, under For Dancers, Reviews

dina (2)Dina is the current reigning Queen of Raks Sharqi in Egypt. Known for her tight, tiny movements, saucy and unusual costumes, elaborate footwork, graceful sways, complex pulls, pops and undulations of the torso, and an all-around unique interpretation, she has developed a style that is unconventional, and very difficult to imitate. (continue reading…)

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What You Need to Know Prior to Booking

by on Feb.03, 2012, under For Dancers, Patrons & Audience, Professionalism

What I Will Need From You, the Host:

  • a private place to change and prepare, preferably with a mirror
  • a safe, secure place for my belongings
  • clear directions to the location, entrance, time, and any other event details (see “Questions”, below)
  • payment upon arrival, in cash ( I will only accept cheques from organizations) (continue reading…)
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How to Tip a Dancer

by on Feb.03, 2012, under For Dancers, Patrons & Audience

resturant (4)Tips are a traditional part of the dance show, but many Westerners do not know how to do it tastefully and respectfully. Some dancers will not accept tips directly, which is their choice. I accept tips. Most dancers feel appreciated by the giving of tips, as it shows you really enjoy what she is doing. (continue reading…)

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Dance Costume Checklist for Performers

by on Feb.03, 2012, under Costumes, For Dancers

  • Costume type should be appropriate to music, style of dance, and venue. Layer sheer fabrics for modesty and be careful of skirt slits in front, back or sides as too much may show when spinning, bending, jumping, doing floor-work, or if up high on a stage. Tight costumes may also impede movement, so check comfort and style to match the criteria above. (continue reading…)
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About Busking & Street Festivals

by on Feb.03, 2012, under For Dancers

  • your audience is the most variable of any venue–in size, age, gender, class, background, intent, attitude, sobriety, response, focus/attention… the weather will play a strong part in your dancing–you should try to treat it as a dance partner rather than an enemy (with some exceptions) and dress for it   (continue reading…)
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Pointers & Info for Students in Recitals

by on Feb.03, 2012, under Costumes, For Dancers, Information

by Nicola, 2007, updated February 2010

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This is a generalized checklist of reminders that I provide to all my students as we are entering into recital time. Other teachers are welcome to use it and adapt it, with credit. I have compiled these based on the protocols issued by various dance festivals and studios for participants of all ages and dance styles. These are expectations and suggestions, clearly stated, that lead to preparedness, may help prevent problems onstage and off, and cue students ahead of time for what is involved in successful performance, whatever their level of experience. (continue reading…)

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The Bellydance Problem Solver: A Compendium of Practical Advice

by on Feb.03, 2012, under Costumes, For Dancers

PROBLEM: Your hip belt or skirt begins to slide down while your are performing.

Possible Solutions:

  • Try to lift it up discretely. If it falls just step over it and move on. Hopefully you are wearing another layer of costuming!
  • While pulling it up distract with a dance movement.
  • Be careful not to step on the belt or skirt if they are sliding and you cannot fix this problem immediately. (continue reading…)
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About Restaurant Dancing

by on Feb.03, 2012, under About Bellydance, For Dancers

Ah, the restaurant gig.

Fun, unpredictable, often ill-paying, it’s regular, bread-and-butter work, yet is often also tiring and tedious. It tends to be the last bastion of bad dancing. On occasion, it is the secret stomping (shimmying?) grounds of diamonds-in-the-rough. I know I cut my performance teeth and learned the hardest way possible the year I danced 2-4 times a month alongside other dancers at an upscale bistro. (continue reading…)

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Contact Nicola

204-957-7520
nicolaraks@mymts.net
Located in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.