A Belly Dance Diary 2015
Zorba dancing at Carnival of Stars 2014. 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.
28 December 2015
Concluded the veil workshop. The regular teacher, Jenn was kind enough to send me some pix she took of an impromptu Double Veil performance I did for the gals which are now posted in the 2015 Gallery. This is a real fun group!
23 December 2015
Workshop! Taught my "When Good Veils Go Bad, Overcoming Veil-Phobia" workshop to a group of very eager, and very fun gals in Melbourne, Florida. As this is normally a 2 hour workshop, it will be concluded next week!
Regular teacher Jenn takes a picture of everyone in the Veil Workshop!
7 November 2015
A few pix from the 12 September HaflAdira performance are now in the 2015 Gallery. Yea, it took long enough to get them posted - life happened...
16 October 2015
A private performance for a dance sister's 50th wedding anniversary - with DCM! We performed for "Madame Nuit", a former troupe member who left a couple of years ago for health reasons. We're hoping she can return to us soon. We danced Halay - after we got her up to dance it with us! Then we went on to dance our Sa'idi and basket dances. This was one of those magic performances where everyone was just "in the groove", both audience and performers. We all felt it - lotsa fun!
10 October 2015
An impromptu performance at the Crepe Place. I had taken my sister, who was visting from out of town, to watch the weekly dance show. It just happened to be Janette and some of her students. I got "Janetted" again - first she drags me up to dance with her, turning her solo into a duette. THEN a bit later, she and her troupe are going to do the "Story Dance", and she dragged me up to dance that too! I told her that "Arguing with Janette is like teaching a pig to sing. You get absolutely nowhere, and it annoys the pig.". As I had zero choice in the matter, I got up there and danced it with her and her gals. I will say that I got it almost perfect because of my "practice" on 19 September, but I wasn't in any kind of costume, and the mundane skirt I was wearing wasn't suitable for a skirt dance by any stretch of the imagination - so I used the "air skirt" moves that we use for such occasions. Sigh!
19 September 2015
Performance at "Salinas Raks" at the Pajaro Street Grill, now being run by my dance sister Navah. Performed "Mary Jane's Dance" with my sequin edged black/gold veil; the first time I've done this old favorite since mid-2013 - and got several very heartfelt compliments on it. The energy was high, so I was really "feeling it"! Tried a little different style with my makeup tonite - I've been watching the classic 1963 movie "Cleopatra" on DVD - so I tried a vague imitation of Elizabeth Taylor's spectacular eye makeup. While it was nowhere near as good as her's, it wasn't half bad!
In addition, Janette drafted me to dance "The Story Dance", which is a cool skirt dance, with her troupe. However, I hadn't danced, much less performed, this piece since the first half of 2008! All things considered, I didn't do too bad at it, had my hands and hips mixed up at the beginning, but managed to get that straightened out and follow along without looking like a TOTAL idiot.
Only one problem with doing the skirt dance - "I dinna ken you were going to take her into battle, Captain." Although I was wearing a perfectly good skirt, I hadn't planned on doing skirtwork in it - I didn't have my normal pantaloons on underneath as it had been HOT all day! So I had to be very careful with the skirtwork involved, and keep it low to hide my hairy legs from the audience! I think the sound guy got a shot of my undies! Artemis, Hassan, and Lana graced us with their presence and performances as well.
I also won a door prize. Navah had me pick a name out of the "hat" - and it was mine! Then, just to make the whole thing even stranger, the next draw was done by a dance sister who picked her name! I'm going to blame it on the Mercury Retrograde that is currently in progress. I won an absolutely STUNNING bangle - that I'm not sure what I'm going to do with. Like 99% of the bangles out there, its too small for my big male wrists - but its too pretty not to wear somehow, although I'll probably pass on Janette's suggestion to use it as a nose ring!
12 September 2015
HaflAdira. San Jose dance event put on by Adira - I performed my current fave routine, "Mambo/Veil/Kiss" with my Zildjian zills and my sequin edged black/gold veil. Performance went QUITE well if I say so myself! Had lotsa fun!
4 September 2015
More pictures! LOTS more pictures! An entire boat load of pictures from the DCM Carnival of Stars performance, as well as the DCM "Santa Cruz Raks" performance have all been aded to the 2015 Gallery!
30 August 2015
Pictures! A load of pictures from Carnival of Stars have been aded to the 2015 Gallery!
24 August 2015
A new teacher in Florida!
I've been dropping in on Turkish dancer Tambil's class on occasion when I'm in the Space Coast region of Florida. For "whatever" reason, I was unable to link up with her this time, so I cast my net a bit wider and found Jenn, who had taken over for Mindy when the latter had to stop teaching for family reasons.
What a NICE group of women to dance with! The camaraderie is just great, they're obviously having fun, and I had fun right along with them!
2 August 2015
Day 2 at Carnival of Stars. A DCM performance with Jamilo, 9/8ths, and Bint Al Schek. Other than forgetting part of my costume (Siwa wasn't too happy with me, rightfully so.), it went well enough, my lack of contacts didn't cause any problems.
Immediately afterwards, I was in the costume contest in a manner similar to last year with the Elegant Gothic Brolita outfit - this year with the addition of a corset and bustle pillow. Placed again too, it was a bunch of fun. My wife helped with the corset - sure beats lacing it up myself - and Siwa did my hair like last year.
Pictures should be coming of the DCM performance.
1 August 2015
An "interesting" performance at this year's Carnival of Stars. I closed the show at 9:48 PM with a brand new routine - a 2 parter with Double Veil and a "fast zilly part", both danced to Light Rain tunes, "Dark Fire" and "Chase The Wind" respectively. I've danced to "Dark Fire" before - in fact I did Double Veil to this tune played live on one of the ANAS cruises. "Chase The Wind" is a new performance piece for me.
Anyway, the bad news is that I forgot my "eyeballs" (contacts) at home, so I couldn't see worth a darn. Long story short, this resulted in my abandoning the veils about 2/3rds the way through the veil portion and continuing without them. It happens. "Chase The Wind" went well methinks, I just lost myself in the music and had fun! Played my Zildjians Zills as the elastics have been fixed!
26 July 2015
A "Santa Cruz Raks" at Bruno's BBQ. Performed with DCM dancing Jamilo, 9/8ths, and Bint Al Shek. Played my Saroyan Grecians like I did last time I performed here and for the same reason (broken elastic on the Zildjians AGAIN! ). The performance went well, but I lost my Amethyst Goddess pendant which upset me greatly.
25 May 2015
A solo performance for Memorial day, at the Santa Cruz Vet's hall, for our veterans! Yet another performance of the 2014 Carnival of Stars routine, using 4 yard "Dragon's Blood" veil and my Zildjian zills. I had never performed veil wearing zills with as lightweight a veil as this - I had some minor problems finding the edge, but overall it went well. The vets all seemed to enjoy my performance, under the auspices of Helené who runs all the Crepe Place shows. For me, its both a joy and an honor to perform for veterans!
16 May 2015
Performance at Mariama's "Salinas Raks" at the Pajaro Street Grill. This is, unfortunately, farewell to Mariama - she is moving to Pennsylvania and she will be missed. Making it worse, she had a bad case of the Flu and wasn't able to attend!
Fortunately, my dance sister Navah will be taking over this venue/event - she did an excellent job of running it tonite!
I performed "Solo-11/Cabaret" - the first time in a VERY long time. This dance was choreographed by Janette, who was in the audience and also performed. Much to my joy, Artemis graced us with her presence as well, as did Hassan.
2 May 2015
Solo performance at Santa Cruz's "Crepe Place" - same routine I did last week. I piggybacked with Didi's "Nahaash Raks" who were using this as a rehearsal for Tribal Fest. The performance was interesting - overall it went very well, but I had problems getting out of my veil wrap! I suspect that a certain dance sister - who shall remain nameless incase I'm wrong - thought she was helping by tucking my veil in more securely. In any event, I haven't had veil problems this bad in years! Darn thing would NOT come un-tucked - I had to play it up to the audience and "scold" the misbehaving veil, get it pulled off/out, and make a big deal out of straightening it up in front of everyone. It was the black chiffon veil with the gold moons and stars. With that said, once I got it fixed, it flew spectacularly well, even with my wearing my Grecian Zills whilst dancing with it. I'm content.
Oh, and I had no less than 3 of my teachers present; besides Didi, there was Dunia, and Hassan. I was actually able to incorporate one of the combinations that I've learned in Dunia's class!
Pictures should be coming soon.
26 April 2015
A "Santa Cruz Raks" performance - but in an all new venue! Scott's Valley's Bruno's BBQ. Nice venue, good food, good service and good prices. Great show too! I had intended to perform double veil - but for a variety of reasons, that didn't happen. Instead, I did my Carnival of Stars routine with my floaty four yard fuchsia veil - and played my Saroyan Grecian zills for a change (Actually, my Zildjians were out of action due to a broken elastic!). Janelle was there and did a stellar performance, as was Lana - whom I had to follow! Yikes! Aside from the terror of following a dancer of Lana's stellar abilities, my performance went pretty well. I'm getting more and more used to veil dancing while wearing Zills - I'm still not as secure in this as I'd like to be, but there's only one way to "get there"! Onward and upward!
25 April 2015
Several new pix in the 2015 Gallery from the 15 March Rakkasah performance.
27 March 2015
Several new pix in the 2015 Gallery from the 17 January Crepe Place performance.
15 March 2015
Performance with DCM at Rakkasah! We performed "Jamilo", "Bint Al Shek" and our 9/8ths Zill dance. Opening with "Jamilo", Siwa discovered that she needed to change key with her singing as her voice wouldn't project well in the key we had been singing in. A musical third higher worked better for everyone - but it answers the question that had been raised with a previous performance of "Bint Al Shek" (where we also sing) as to just why we were suddenly singing in a different key!
In any event, the performance went well!
14 March 2015
Happy "Pi" day (03.14.15)!! Several new pix in the 2015 Gallery of the 28 February Kalisa memorial.
5 March 2015
New teacher! Dunia, of DDF fame, has come out of retirement to teach an intermediate/advanced class! She is very "Old Skool" AmCab, and I feel like I've "come home". She's going to take me to the next level!
28 February 2015
Lana put together a "Tribute to Kalisa" showcase at Monterey's PaperWing Theatre. All dancers were limited to 5 minutes, so I danced my "Mambo" routine. It came off very well (Personal issues much better). As this was my first performance in Monterey in several years, I saw several dancers that I hadn't seen in awhile, including Jamaica! The old magic of Kalisa's was there, everybody felt it!
26 February 2015
Performance with DCM at Felton's "Don Quixote's". Did a new dance originally choreographed by the late John Compton, "Jamilo" to live music by "Helm" - followed by our 9/8s Zill dance a capella. I'm not sure how well the whole thing went off, I know that I made several mistakes as I had overwhelming personal issues on my mind...
15 February 2015
Created the 2015 Gallery with all of 2 pictures in it. Enjoy!
24 January 2015
Performance at Mariama's "Salinas Raks" at the Pajaro Street Grill. I performed a reprise of my DDF 2014 solo in my white/gold "Sacrificial Virgin" costume with white veil and Zildjian Zills. This is one of my numbers which requires veilwork whilst wearing Zills. I'm slowly becoming better and more confident with this technique, still kind of "at the edge" for me, but not quite "hanging off the cliff" like it was this time last year!
Janette was in the audience, and Artemis danced with us! I hadn't seen Artemis in several years since she sold off "Artemis Imports" - she now lives part time in Argentina.
17 January 2015
First performance of 2015 with Didi's "Nahaash Raks" at Santa Cruz's "Crepe Place"; dancing our "Poison Vine" and "Highly Experimental" routines. Huge crowd, who were in a tipping mood - made more than enough in tips to pay for my meal! As for my cabaret solo, it was "Routine 3". I just wasn't feeling the Zills in the first part - probably because I couldn't hear the music over them, so I set them aside and finished without them. Got LOTS of compliments (and tips!), especially about my veil routine (3 yard "star cluster" veil).