A Present!

Welcome to the end of summer. GAH!To ease the stress a bit, here’s a present for you…A one-hour fun class you can download and keep (worth $15)!  “I loved the class. I felt so happy dancing with you on the video. I felt really relaxed and joyful. Looking forward to more.” Annya Ishtara, NM AND a…

Why the feeling is vital

Why the feeling is vital—and how to find it People love belly dance all over the world. Yet many dancers see only the shiny costumes and sensual movement. They often dismiss—or never discover—the dance’s ethnic roots, its core values. There is much more to the dance than steps and bling! Traditionally, the feeling is more important…

Rote Movement

Here’s a new sample from my forthcoming book, Midnight at the Crossroads: Has belly dance sold its soul?   Rote Movement: Why it’s not your friend How do we bring this ancient heart into modern times? The reality of the day is that we often perform on large stages in front of many people with recorded music….

Why meaning creates emotion

Here’s a new sample from my forthcoming book, Midnight at the Crossroads: Has belly dance sold its soul? Why meaning creates emotion (and how functional movement creates meaning) Imagine a real smile, crinkly eyes and all.  Those crinkles are so remarkable, they even have a name—and they are very difficult to fake. You must mean that smile…

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Why belly dance is like Rodney Dangerfield

Here’s another excerpt from Midnight at the Crossroads!   Why belly dance is like Rodney Dangerfield Rodney Dangerfield, the garrulous, pop-eyed comedian from the 80s, couldn’t get no respect, and neither can belly dance. Because of its outré associations with burlesque, stripping, and other louche pastimes, because it looks so easy and doesn’t conform to…

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Walk the Line

Walk the Line: How do you represent the dance and give the people what they want?   When I started teaching, my students wanted choreographies, something they could take home and show off. So I made them. Because the students were beginners, I needed simple, repetitious music. Do you know how hard this was to…

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Got Jitters? (and how to cure them–quickly!)

Getting on stage is always a thrill–but sometimes it’s a bit scary, too. Whether as dancers, public speakers, or just getting up to recite nursery rhymes for friends, some days can be harder than others. Whether you have stage fright, some nerves, or just want to go into the performance mindspace, here some things to…