Zorba, Male Belly Dancer

Henna Design A Belly Dance Diary 2012 Henna Design

Zorba dancing in Damascus Dress
Zorba dancing at Carnival of Stars 2011 (08/06/11).
Photo by Carl Sermon

2001-2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024, 2025

Herein is chronicled Zorba's on-going voyage of discovery into the magical realm of Belly Dancing. Sometimes major events, more often just baby steps along the way. Presented here in reverse chronological order.

16 December 2012

One more entry!

Its the little things. One of the frustrations of being a male in a predominately female activity is the lack of things that FIT! I've wanted to wear beautiful bangles for years, I finally found some three inchers that I can actually get into - albeit barely and only on my left hand:

Bangles on a male!
Bangles that fit!

I wore them to Aruba's "Santa Cruz Raks", at "Michael's on Main" in Soquel tonite - just as a spectator. Its really nice to be able to sit, relax, and enjoy a Belly Dance show without all the attendant anxieties of being ready to perform yourself. Lana, and Janelle were among the performers tonite. Great show!

My belly; although still sore, swollen, and lumpy; is improving quite nicely. It has gone down quite a bit, I've lost some weight as I lose the water that accumulated in the area, and my waist is "coming in". Three more months of recovery time!

Lastly, I can't close without mentioning my wife's accomplishment today. She "embraced the horror" of a sewing machine, and sewed her very first (since 8th grade) machine seam today! She hemmed one leg of a pair of jeans (I had done the other) - it was QUITE an accomplishment for her. I'm so very proud!

15 November 2012

This will most likely be the last entry for 2012. Three days ago, I had "work done". The "Work" was a procedure known as "Liquid Liposuction", removing 3-¼ litres of fat from my belly and waist. The hope is to enhance my beauty for my dance!

So far, so good. My lifelong fat belly is greatly diminished, and will continue to improve over the four month healing period. Although I always had a slight waist definition, I now have considerably more - without being outside the norm for a male body (impossible to do anyway).

As for the procedure itself, it wasn't fun. The total amount of pain during the procedure was actually far less than when I got my "Tramp Stamp" tattoo, but what pain there was wasn't "exquisite" like it was with that, it was just bad. The non pain sensations weren't fun either. But it only took about an hour - thank Goddess - but left me feeling like I'd gone 12 rounds with George Foreman or Muhammed Ali!

I have to wear a corset like "garment" for several days - tomorrow is the last day for it. It supports the skin during initial healing, but is a PAIN to get on. It hooks in front with the same kind of hook/eye closures as a bra, and takes all my strength to stretch it to get it on. It would have been far easier and less painful if it were a true lace-up in the back corset, although this "garment" doesn't have "boning" like a real corset would.

I had to take Vicodan for the first 24 hours post op - I *hate* Vocodan - but then I've been on extra strength Tylenol since. I think I can DC the Tylenol when I stop wearing the "garment" the day after tomorrow, I'm feeling much better.

I "lost" my navel piercing as a result - they made me take it out, and just as I expected, it grew shut in 24 hours. I'll get it re-done in a couple of months...

3 November 2012

Performance with "Dancers of the Crescent Moon" for a Breast Cancer benefit. We danced our Sa'idi and Drum Solo dances to a very warm reception. The wonderful gal who first taught me double veil, Alyne Hazard graced the stage as well as the fabulous Dunia (of DDF fame) who essentially "came out of retirement" to perform - and was well worth watching! A goofball picture of her and myself (Zorba) is on page 4 of the 2012 Gallery - as well as some very nice pix from the Santa Cruz Raks performance of 28 October!

28 October 2012

A reprise of the HaflAdira performance at Aruba's "Santa Cruz Raks", at "Michael's on Main" in Soquel. Same costume, same veil, same dance. Both of these performances were kind of last minute "squeeze-ins", so I needed something short - Mary Jane's Dance was just the ticket, especially since it had never been seen at either venue before! It went well, good energy in the room, a lot of fun! Happy Oxi Day!

20 October 2012

HaflAdira in San Jose. Solo 4/"Mary Jane's Dance". They've never seen it in San Jose! Danced it in my latest costume that I wore to Carnival of Stars - but with a brand new matching veil that I just made last week! I purchased matching fabric to the "floating sleeves" and skirt flounce, and made a 3 yard veil with sequined trim. Its my very first rectangular veil with trim - I wouldn't want to do "serious" veil work with it, but it great for something like the brief veil section in this dance.

Several of my instructors were there, either to dance or to watch: Didi, Firefly, Janelle, and Bibi.

My performance went well, despite a momentary hiccup in my music - I received lots of compliments on my dance, my costume, my makeup (from Firefly!), my jewelry, and not least: My veil. Several dance sisters wanted to steal it!

Pictures should be coming soon.

14 October 2012

Two pictures from yesterday's performance added to page 4 of the 2012 Gallery.

13 October 2012

Performance at Santa Cruz's Crepe Place restaurant - this time with Siwa's troupe "Damascus". It was a fun, FUN, performance. We wore our "Majida Dresses", and danced our signature Tambourine dance, "RB,BB", and "Orville's Dance". Siwa and I also did 2 solos each; mine were "Solo-3/Raks Afrika" with Zildjian Zills, and then a slow veil number to Light Rain's "Dark Fire". Dark Fire is a favorite of mine, a very beautiful, introspective piece. I used my varicolored pink/blue organza veil - which I don't use often because it is very wide.

It was a very good performance, even though I had to take a new position in the Tambourine dance as we've lost "Madame Nuit" for the next year or so. Pictures soon...

9 October 2012

Several pix from DDF added to page 3 of the 2012 Gallery.

6 October 2012

A short Tribal Fusion performance with Didi's "Nahaash Raks". We danced the "Penetrate" choreography at Santa Cruz's Crepe Place restaurant. It was a bunch of fun, had a huge audience, and new TF costuming just for this piece.

30 September 2012

A second performance at DDF, this time with my wife Zarah, as "Mirage". We did a shortened version of the Tribal set we did at HaflAdira on 8 September - "Highly Experimental" and "Shiraz". This also went well, we received many compliments, and are looking forward to the video and pix!

I got to wear my Tribal "hair" (orange yarn dreadlocks with several orange hairflowers) for this performance - always fun, but always somewhat painful. For those who haven't had the pleasure of wearing these things - you first put your hair up in the tightest topknot ponytail possible, then strap the dreadlocks onto the base of the topknot - again as tight as possible. Then you anchor the whole affair with a pair of hairsticks - these latter are pointed sticks that you push down through the junction of the topknot and the dreads - till the sticks poke you in the scalp. Then you tilt the sticks 45 degrees to the side, and push them in further, point scraping your scalp until it clears the curve of your skull. Once on, not too awfully uncomfortable, but you know its there, and are glad when it finally comes off! The price for beauty must always be paid. But to put it in perspective, its a price I'll gladly pay - it beats the humiliation and discomfort of a necktie! frown! Looks far better too! Smile!

29 September 2012

Link opens in new window Desert Dance Festival. Performance with Siwa's "Dancers of the Crescent Moon". We performed our 9/8 Zill dance (Zildjian Zills), our Basket Dance (which, like the "Mirage" skirt dance, is derived from a choreography learned from Mahalia), and finished with our Drum Solo choreography.

It went very well - and we bid a sad farewell to "Madame Nuit", who is taking a sabbatical from the troupe for health reasons. We hope to have her back within 2 years.

27 September 2012

New (regular) teacher!

Nikki Traylor-Knowles kind of fell in my lap - so to speak. Turns out a salon near my workplace was advertising yoga classes. I stopped in to inquire, both about the classes and possibly renting the space that they obviously had for troupe rehearsals. The owner told me they were planning to have Belly Dance classes there. One thing led to another, and now my wife, myself, and several other dance sisters - both old and new - are in Nikki's newly formed class!

16 September 2012

Performed at the Santa Cruz county faire, on their big outdoor stage with The Mighty Siwa's troupe Damascus. This was a joyful performance! As the troupe, we opened with our time honored Tambourine Dance, then our veil number - based on teachings of Cory Zamora, then "RB,BB" (Red Bird, Blue Bird - don't ask me; I haven't a clue!) with lots of spinning and flying skirts!

Then three Solos: Madame Nuit with Isis Wings, Siwa with a sword, and then myself performing "Mary Jane's Dance" - which no-one in the troupe had seen before (4 yard polyester "Army Green" veil for both the group veil number, as well as the very beginning of this.).

Lastly, we finished up with the choreography we dedicated to my late father: "Orville's Dance".

It was joyful - not only because it was just a dance performance - but because after quite a number of attempts, I FINALLY nailed that darn veil routine! I've managed to dance it correctly numerous times in class, but EVERY time I attempt to perform it, something or other goes wrong. This type of veilwork - although very beautiful - isn't what I was "raised" with, so its taken me quite a bit of effort to be able to perform it! I'd been trying - the first performance incident was on 10 October 2009 at Carnival of Stars, where my tassel belt literally exploded off of my hips right at the beginning of this veil piece (see the 2009 diary for details)! Subsequent attempts weren't much better - Cory went over it with me when I went to visit her in Fresno, that probably contributed to today's success!

"Orville's Dance" was also a joy - bittersweet, but a joy. This dance involves some simple skirtwork. I'm normally very good at skirtwork - but these particular "Harlequin" tulip skirts we wear are very heavy, slick, and tighter than I'm used to. This peculiar combination makes this dance a challenge. I won't say I had no problems, but I did better than ever with it!

Lastly, TMS and I went to the faire's midway after the performance for a cinnamon roll. The gal at the cinnamon roll booth was very interested in our being Belly Dancers, and said that she'd like to take a class. Further conversation revealed that she wasn't a local - she lives in Fresno! Siwa and I both said "Cory Zamora!" at the same time! Maybe Cory will get a new student soon. Smile!

8 September 2012

HaflAdira in San Jose. Danced under the Aegis of "Mirage".

Its a bit of a long story, but Mirage has taken a hit - we're now down to 3 members, and one of those is on the "injured list". So it was just my wife Zarah, and myself.

It was magical - if not perfect. We did "Highly Experimental", which was choreographed by Didi, who put in a TOTALLY unexpected appearance in the audience! We nailed it!

Then we did "Flock of Seagulls", and that went off pretty well also.

We finished up with Firefly's "Shiraz" choreography. Firefly, who was also present in the audience (and performed too!), told us we did well. In my opinion, we did "Ok" - it was "mostly" good, but with my ever continuing problems in the part where we do "Gooshies", it could have been better. Still, we had a woman come up to us after the performance wanting to know how we "got that electrical connection" during that number. "We're Married", Zarah told her to her delite. Looking back, the energy was very good - especially in "Shiraz".

I'm thinking we need to try Maias instead of Gooshies in that particular part of that particular dance - Maias are one of my strongest moves, whereas Gooshies (The opposite movement) are one of my weakest. Go figure!

Not that I would ever be one to take advantage of a SALE - but I also came home with a pair of multi-colored gossamer Isis Wings!

1 September 2012

A solo performance at Santa Cruz's "Crepe Place" restaurant.

I had started to put together a new "full length" routine ("Routine-3") a couple of years ago - then abandoned it as it was too long for most venues. I had all but forgotten about it until I went to get my music together for this day's performance- took one listen to it and was SO feeling it, "I've just got to do this"

The music is very different from my usual. Its a 4 part routine, the introduction is from one of Fahtiem's albums - very powerful, kind of New Agey - but backed by alternating Balady and Sa'idi drums - Zill heaven! I played my Zildjian Zills with this - but it was a bit rough as my routines tend to be the first time or two I perform them.

Then there is an achingly beautiful Taxim/veil number - (eastern) Indian music. As I was playing Zills throughout the entire number, I was not able to take my Zills off for the veil section, DARN IT! Some dancer in Fresno would be mighty pleased... Grin! Overall, the veil section (Ginny's ultra-light "Stars" veil) went well.

I've had problems in the past with Drum solos - but the DS in this one just "clicks", it is very predictable - just like Janette taught me. I'm finally GETTING it here, although an online discussion immediately prior to the performance with Cory Zamora put a brand new idea into my thick head: Play Zills with the drum solo! I had never thought to Zill with a drum solo; but because this DS was working so well for me, I gave it a try! It ended up working so well, that I did it in the performance as well!

The exit number is another New Age Fahtiem piece - also very powerful. Unlike the first one, this one has no drum patterning whatsoever except a driving 4/4 beat. What I found out is that I can layer Zills over this, improv style. A revelation for me; although like the intro, execution was a bit rough. Not only because it was a "new" routine, but also because of the new style of music and the Zill style it required.

Cory had told me (regarding Zilling): "Turkish picks along with the melody, Egyptian just hits on accents, not really carrying a pattern, & AMCAB follows the Arab, and Zills with the drum. ...freestyle on drum solo..."

That last sentence fragment is what put the idea of Zilling in the drum solo into my head - but as for the rest, the Zill "style" varied. I tend to play Turkish style (along with the melody), but not exclusively. I played with the drum in the intro, but I'm not sure what you call it when you add rhythm to music that doesn't have it in the first place. Maybe "Bad idea", but it was fun!

Some pictures were taken, I hope to have some up soon.

26 August 2012

The ancient Chinese curse: "May you live in interesting times.", certainly applied to today's events.

First, I took two workshops from Hassan Yousef Deeb, a double veil workshop, and one on his choreography.

Ordinarily, I pretty much skip double veil workshops these days- as it is my speciality, but Hassan is a fish of a different stripe. He's been doing double veil for decades - his style and mine are very different, almost diametrically opposed! As a result, I wanted to learn what he does, so I can adapt it to my own style. It was very educational, and as double veil classes tend to be, also very nauseating (from the constant spinning)! He showed us something like 13 different moves - and only one of them was something that I was familiar with and do (barrel turns with the veils). So now I have a whole new array of double veil moves to draw from, and merge some of them with my style.

The choreography workshop was fun, but similar to the collapse at the 2011 ANAS cruise, I collapsed into a dizzy, nauseated heap about 2/3rds through the class. I think it was a combination of the spinning of the first workshop, and dehydration. I was able to continue on after a bit - intermittently. I'd go through the choreography once, then sit out for 2 or 3 times, then do it again.

Lastly, there was a show in the evening at a local restaurant. I, along with dance sister Qamarah, performed a short Tribal set consisting of "Highly Experimental" and "Flock of Seagulls" under the aegis of "Mirage". The performance went well - very well - plenty of pix and some video were taken, I hope to have some of them soon.

I'm gratified that the performance went well, as I had QUITE the thrash getting ready - its a long story, but I was dressed Tribal on the bottom (Cake Tower pants and a "7 veil skirt"), but Cabaret on top (one of my vests) because I couldn't get the darn Tribal vest "do-dah" to cooperate, and I was overheated and running out of time. My makeup was a bit hurried and "creative" - but not too bad I don't think. I'm often asked by Mundanes to pose for pix with them (even when I'm in civvies myself), but I must have had five requests this evening. Maybe it was my navel piercing. Smile!

It was a magical evening, a lot of old friends - such as the fabled Marie - performed; some of which I hadn't seen in years.

18 August 2012

Performance with Dancers of the Crescent Moon ("DCM") at Santa Cruz's "Crepe Place" restaurant. We performed the set that we've been working on for "DDF" (Desert Dance Festival), that being the 9/8 Zill dance (Zildjian Zills), our Basket dance, and our drum solo. It went "well enough", although "they" need to prune back the bamboo that is overhanging the upstage area. I also performed a solo, to some music Siwa had on hand. I'd never heard the tune before, but I apparently did "well enough" - it ALWAYS helps to be playing Zills under these circumstances. A couple of pix from this performance added to the end of the 2012 Gallery.

17 August 2012

Pix from Carnival of Stars, plus a couple of others added to the 2012 Gallery.

9 August 2012

Just did what every red blooded American male does when his wife leaves town. I got my nails done!

blue fingernails!
Blue Fingernails!

4 August 2012

Carnival of Stars!

Zorba's new costume
A willing dance sister took this quick snappy
in the dressing room. More pix coming soon!

One word describes what happened this day: "Mercury Retrograde". It was a bit of an adventure. My solo performance was scheduled for 11:29 in the morning. Not a particularly good time - but I'm a "scheduling challenge" as I also work a 2 hour volunteer shift and perform with DCM as well. Besides, I'm willing to take the early slot - someone has to!

So - I'm backstage awaiting my turn. There were 2 or 3 dancers scheduled ahead of me. Suddenly, I hear my name being announced, and my music starting! I did not have time to turn on the electric candles in my Shemadan (no live fire this venue), nor did I have time to put my finger cymbals on (Zildjans). I had just enough time to clap the Shemadan on my head, and scoot on out there!

So there I am, trying to do a Zill dance with no Zills; as well as a Shemadan with dark candles. I console myself that the "candles" probably wouldn't have shown up particularly well under the stage lights anyway (although I'm annoyed too - I spent $45 for new batteries for these things! frown! ) - but I'm also trying to project Zill energy without Zills!

"I'm a professional, I can do this!" - and so I did! In some ways, it may have even been a better performance that what I had rehearsed as I was TOTALLY "in the moment". Dunia told me afterwards that I did good - she could tell there was something wrong, and was wondering about the Zills - but said I handled it well. I received many compliments afterward - a Shemadan will hide a lot of evil! Grin! We'll see what the video looks like when it comes in. My new costume behaved itself, and I got lots of compliments on it as well; although there are a couple of minor tweaks I want to do.

However, Dunia, The Mighty Siwa, and Cory Zamora all told me "next time" to be a Diva and get the music stopped. It wasn't my fault that I was called early due to no-shows. The MC *did* apologize profusely afterward though - she knew she blew it.

Next up on my schedule was to perform a duette with Siwa as Dancers of the Crescent Moon. More Mercury Retrograde happiness. I had done the music mix for the 3 dances we were to perform. I put the wrong music for the first dance. It was a Zill dance, but the WRONG Zill dance! So we did the "wrong" Zill dance - that we hadn't practiced in AT LEAST 3 months. It wasn't a total train wreck I don't think, but it wasn't good. OTOH, the remaining two dances - the Basket Dance and the DCM Drum Solo - we were told that we NAILED both of them! Video will tell!

Then I had a two hour volunteer shift as stage manager (always fun!). I had it easy this year as half my shift was during the (annual) costume contest! I'm thinking of participating in that too next year if I can get a costume together. Brolita anyone?

Then I finally had some "floor time", and was able to go around the main floor, do some shopping, etc. I went to watch another dancer, "Jhoney Goddess" on the "sideshow stage", and saw yet another male dancer, "Habibi" on the main (makings of a good dancer here, although I'm not fond of the topless look on male dancers even though that's all the rage in Greece and Turkey right now). Had a good jaw with several, including Cory Zamora, Shira (of Link opens in new window shira.net), Eufemia (ex-coworker who now dances with Suhaila), and others too numerous to list here. Purchased a pair of cotton black pantaloons to wear under the skirt of my aforementioned new costume (I had pressed a pair of dark greens into that role this day), as well as for casual class wear.

As the evening wore on, I saw several favorites perform: Helena Vlahos, Princess Farhana, and of course - Cory Zamora who did what was probably the best performance I've ever seen her do!

Cory Zamora told me that she was "Passing the Torch", and presented me with this Sacred Artifact:

Miniature Coffee Table
Miniature Coffee Table!

Originally given to Cory by Maria of "Boulder BellyGrams", this was to commemorate a certain performance at a certain festival a number of years ago that involved a coffee table. "Coffee Table" has been synonymous with tasteless and skanky Belly Dancing ever since! So now's my turn to have and hold it - but I think we have a tradition here and it will eventually need to be passed on to a deserving recipient who will also cherish and understand it.

Interestingly, I find it was made by "Melissa and Doug" - a company who also makes toy pianos!

9 July 2012

Working pell mell on a costume for the upcoming Carnival of Stars performance. Its two separate projects - an un-finished skirt from a dance sister, and a vest & belt set I purchased last year from male Belly Dancer Hassan Deeb.

I received the skirt finished except for the waistband and the bottom trim. The beginnings of a waistband that was half pinned, half basted onto the skirt was way too small for me - so off it came. An elastic casing went on, then a sequin-edged flounce went on the bottom.

During the flouncing process, I managed to break 3 of the 4 threads on my serger by stupidly forgetting to raise the telescoping thread guide above the thread cones before I started serging. The serger got in about 4 stitches, then grenaded. Usually, when I do this, it breaks one or two - this time it was 3, and OF COURSE one of those was the ever fun-to-thread lower looper! Grin!

So now the skirt is done, but the vest needs lining and the not-quite-finished belt needs to be lengthened. I'm running out of time; I've farmed the vest lining out to TMS so I can concentrate on the belt - and maybe a set of "floating" sleeves as well.

30 June 2012

A DCM performance at the Link opens in new window Litha Faire. We danced Halay, our really cool Sa'idi dance, then finished with the basket dance. Cool audience (Pagan audiences almost always are!); and a bit of a comedy of errors on our part. I arrived at The Mighty Siwa's house without my basket, so she loaned me one, then promptly forgot to bring hers! We managed to find her one to borrow at the festival, but in the middle of the basket dance, a wind came up and would not leave my borrowed basket alone. I ended up discarding it! Then I ended up bringing the one I borrowed from TMS home with me...

This version of the Litha faire was held at a local Quaker meeting hall. My Mother always had good things to say about the Society of Friends - and their willingness to allow a Pagan festival at their facility bears that out. I don't think there'd be many other Christian sects this open minded and ecumenical. Hurray for them!

12 May 2012

A performance with Dancers of the Crescent Moon ("DCM") at Santa Cruz's "Crepe Place" restaurant. This was a slightly different performance, due to there only being three of us; (The Mighty) Siwa, dance sister Nonah, and myself. We started with Nonah and myself dancing the ever popular "Halay" as a duette. Then "TMS" performed a solo, followed by Herself and Nonah dancing the basket dance as a Duette. Then I performed a solo (to "I Put a Spell on You"), then all three of us danced the DCM Drum Solo.

10 May 2012

A wonderful article about masculine beauty appeared in the blogosphere: Link opens in new window Unconventional Beauty of Man. It would seem I was somewhat of an inspiration for this researcher. In any event, she GETS IT! I am very honored. Another, very slightly different version: Link opens in new window Unconventional Beauty of Man, second copy.

5 May 2012

Here's the touched up Lotus flower - all healed up. Final picture. Looks more 3 dimensional than it did originally.

Lotus Flower Tattoo

15 April 2012

A solo performance at Aruba's "Santa Cruz Raks", at "Michael's on Main" in Soquel. This was a "banner performance" - not because of what I danced ("Solo-11/Cabaret"), but because of what I danced it in! A brand new caramel/black colored costume - that was self made! It isn't perfect, but it isn't bad either. I started it just before my father's passing last year. Lots of mistakes were made (and "mostly" corrected) - definitely a learning experience. It has a fringed triangle "Raffa" top (like my blue costume), and a matching fringed triangle "Turkish" skirt. The bell bottomed dance pants - which are optional - are supplied by my favorite dance-wear vendor, Recommended by Zorba! Link opens in new window L. Rose Designs. I hope to have a video soon - I'm not so sure that anyone was taking stills.

For the curious, the costume was mostly made on my 1976 White 690 sewing machine, with able help from my 1992 Pfaff 776 serger. However, the fringe was all sewn on with my 1953 "American Beauty" Reversew.

29 April 2012

Happy 100th "Titanic Day" - interestingly, the same day as income taxes are due. There's a real message here... frown!

Six weeks to the day found me returning to Link opens in new window Purple Dragon Tattoos for a touchup of Dad's memorial Lotus flower tattoo. Pix coming soon - but Suzi reworked the whole thing. It looks great - and my neck feels "sunburnt".

12 April 2012

Pictures from last weekend's Mirage performance added to the 2012 Gallery

7 April 2012

A performance with "Mirage" at Santa Cruz's "Crepe Place" restaurant, on their garden stage. We did "Flock of Seagulls", several solos, and finished with the ever-faithful skirt dance. I was *FINALLY* able to perform the skirt dance in something besides that darned yellow skirt! I'm sick to death of always dancing in that thing. I'm sure I'll return eventually to loving it, but for now I'm glad to be able to dance in a brick red "Flying Skirt" purchased from a Bhuz dance sister - I now also have a bright orange one that I'll be performing in soon.

As for my solo, I did "Solo-11/Cabaret". My dance brother Hassan Deeb has given me the key to improving my stage presence. I've been telling him for years that he needs to bottle and sell his stage presence - he has it in spades! I have had 2 or 3 experienced dancers, including Cory Zamora, tell me that I still "hold back" when performing. I didn't totally understand. However, in conversation with Hassan - he told me that when I first come on stage, I "have it", I'm "larger than life"; yet "lose it" further in.

Aha! That was the clue that let me glue together what Cory and others have told me - because I know how I *FEEL* when I first hit the stage. I had my wife give me surreptitious signals while I was doing my solo. When she indicated I was starting to "fade", I'd throw more energy into my dancing, more "mean it" as Janette would say. This impromptu signaling method worked - I could feel the difference! So could the audience, one dance sister told my wife that I was really "in the groove" today.

Its going to take me awhile to master this, but I now have the tools I need.

25 March 2012

Happy Greek Independence Day!

Added a couple of pix to the 2012 Gallery. More on the way!

Also, The Mighty Siwa had 3 pix of a 2010 performance still in her camera! They are now in the 2010 Gallery (starting with the last picture on the 3rd index page).

Lastly, here is a shot of my second tattoo at 3 weeks - all healed up. This tattoo is a bearcat to photograph well. This shot is a bit soft, but the tatt isn't stretched as badly this time. Another few weeks, and I'll go for a touch up...

Lotus Flower Tattoo

18 March 2012

Rakkasah! Mirage performed our Gypsy Shawl Dance, followed by our Gypsy Skirt Dance. Seeing the video later this nite revealed that we were VERY "tight", the performance looked really good!

As is usual with Rakkasah - ran into lots of people I know, including Janette, Fahtiem, The Mighty Siwa, Bibi, and Masha; the latter of which did a heartbreakingly beautiful performance in a wonderful costume made by her mother, Lana, who was also there. Fahtiem also confirmed that there will be no ANAS cruise this year - which kind of sucks - but this will enable me to perform at DDF, which is always the same weekend.

Besides Masha's performance, there were - of course - tons of dancers on two stages all day long, from the sublime to the disastrous. There was one poor troupe who were just a train wreck. From flailing veils around with listless arms, to totally lost dancers, to one dancer wandering on and off stage, it was truly bad. I really felt sorry for them.

Did some shopping - my main acquisition this year was a new Gypsy skirt. I'm tired - SICK and tired - of doing every Mirage performance in the yellow costume with the yellow skirt (when skirts are needed). The only other Gypsy skirt I had was the white one that goes with the white "sacrificial virgin" costume - which just doesn't work with the troupe. So now I have an orange one - AND a recently acquired dark red one (a "Flying Skirt" from a dance sister on Bhuz), so now I can wear my red costume - OR - my orange one in addition to the yellow one. Variety!

10 March 2012

A performance with "Damascus" at Santa Cruz's "Crepe Place" restaurant, on their garden stage. We did three dances: Tambourine, RB-BB, and "Orville's Dance" which is dedicated to my late father. In addition, I did a solo - this one was one of my fave songs, Light Rain's "City of Dreams" (Playing my Zildjian Zills). A good time - which I needed as I've been a bit down about my Dad.

4 March 2012

Its been exactly one year since my father passed away...

So, as discussed with him prior to his passing, I got a memorial tattoo:

Lotus Flower Tattoo

Not the best picture as I stretched it to the right and up while holding my hair out of the way. It also looks a bit shiny as new tattoos tend to do. Placed here by Suzi of Link opens in new window Purple Dragon Tattoos. More pictures as they become available after the ink settles down a bit...

26 February 2012

A DCM performance at the Link opens in new window Litha Faire. We danced Halay, a Zill dance I'd never performed before (Used my "King Tut" Zills), our really cool Sa'idi dance, and finished up with a drum solo routine that I'd never performed either! The performance went well, and we were well received by the Pagans in the audience. I'm always much more comfortable in an environment like this; not so much more comfortable as a dancer - but more comfortable as a person.

25 February 2012

A performance at Salinas instructor Mariama's "Salinas Raks" venue at the Pajaro Street Grill! First it was performing with Mirage - our Gypsy Shawl Dance, followed by our ever-favorte Gypsy Skirt Dance. Both went very well - we received many compliments. There is a picture of us in the 2012 Gallery.

Then, late in the show, I performed a long-disused number, "Solo-11/Cabaret" which is an adaptation of a choreography I learned several years ago from Janette. As I use Isis wings in the very beginning, it was a bit of a challenge in the small venue, but it worked out well. People really like the Kaleegi portion of this number!

27 January 2012

The first picture for 2012 is in the new 2012 Gallery, all by its little lonesome right now! Smile!

7 January 2012

First performance of the new year! This was at Santa Cruz's Link opens in new window Back Stage Lounge. I opened the show with an old chestnut, "Routine-2 Uber short", with my trusty "Dragon's Blood" 4 yard veil and Zildjian Zills. I kept my Zills on while doing the veil portion - using what Cory Zamora showed me last November when I went to visit her.

Although the veil portion wasn't perfect, it was my best experience trying Zills-with-veil thanx to Cory. Its been a long time since I've even tried this, much less had much luck with it.

Anyway, this venue is a tiny, tiny, Cabaret. Probably about 3/4 the size of the old Kalisa's, with a stage to match (The picture on their website shows about 1/2 the total space!)! The place was packed to the point of having people waiting to get in watching through the windows. The energy was fantastic, even as an opening act. This is the first true Cabaret setting I've danced in since Kalisa's closed - and I sure do miss it, although a couple of other venues have come close!

Both Janette (who complimented me on my Zill playing) and Janelle were present in the audience - no pressure or anything! Smile!

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