New functionality added: Calendar!

I realised early on that keeping the blog up to date with events was going to be a bit of a pain, particularly since it would be difficult to track it all down. We normally have our local events (Shiraz’ Orient Expressions, parties and performances, carnivals, processions, etc), our group related events (mostly events organised by Khaled), but now that I’ve started ATS and started making friends with other dancers outside of our group, there’s a new influx of information, plenty of it in different styles… While before I would probably just find out about Egyptian or Cabaret style events, now I’m getting details for ATS, tribal fusion, and everything in between. It’s also quite difficult to keep track of multiple mailing lists all the time.

There *had* to be an easier way. So I checked for an events organiser for WordPress, installed and customised it (mostly, there’s still a couple of things to do), and now I’m listing workshops, classes, performances, shows, festivals, haflas and whatever else I find out might be coming our way, that is belly dance related.

You can access the calendar from the link in the horizontal menu above, or from here, and there is now a section on the side bar that lists upcoming events too. The calendar will be updated when I receive information, and of course there’s the blog updates, which should come roughly once a week or more often.

ATS Belly Dance Flash Mob in Brighton

The premise was simple enough, and one that caught my eye:

One Dance
One Song
One World United

All over the world, American Tribal Style groups would be doing flash mobs, all to the same song -Bay City Shimmy, FCBD mix, by Phil Thornton-, all on the same day. Having had only 3 classes of ATS , some might say that participating in it was a bit nuts. But then again nobody that really knows me thinks I am anything but completely nuts anyway, so it sounded like a good idea. As hubby kept reminding me that day, it was almost amusing.

What I didn’t count on was that, with my limited experience, I would obviously miss half the cues, and not be familiar with some of the movements used. And I forgot the zills, and I didn’t position myself properly so I couldn’t really see much of the leader so everything was half a guess. I also didn’t count on the rain and hail we had while waiting to assemble, which soaked me quite thoroughly. But you know what? I didn’t care. It was fun, the sun came out and held for as long as we needed it to finish, and people that watched seemed to enjoy it. And after we were done, we all headed towards a warm place with a delicious Italian coffee that more than made up for the cold.

And for the record, even after 2 years of dancing (different style, I know!) and almost as long of participating in Carnivals and public performances, this is the most scared I’ve been yet. Having a routine to fall into and being familiar with the style and material should never be overestimated when it comes to soothe nerves. For those unfamiliar with ATS, the dance below was 100% improvised on the spot, there’s no established choreography!

Yes, on its own this looks just like a pretty thing. Until you take a look at the playlist on YouTube. There’s groups, there’s solos, there’s people that stayed home and did it and filmed it anyway, there’s people in malls and airports, in their own studios, there’s even one in front of the Colosseum in Rome! But only one group had Phil Thornton himself with them, and that was the Brighton group.

And special kuddos for hubby, who not only thoughtfully drove to Brighton, but got thoroughly soaked in the process.

You can view the full playlist I managed to compile on YouTube (opens a new window), or just check out ours below.

(before anybody asks, I’m there, just hiding in the background)

Inspiration: Hiba Drum Solo

A friend of mine showed me this video, and I loved it. The costume works great for her figure, she’s energetic and engaging. Lovely! I am looking forwards to seeing more of her.


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