I may go back and edit this post later to add a pic or two, but the pics from the workshops haven't been posted yet.
My dance weekend in Tempe was both invigorating and exhausting at the same time. There's nothing quite like a great show and 6 hours of workshops to really inspire a dancer, but by the same token there's nothing like excitement-fueled insomnia and 6 hours of workshops to wear a dancer out!
After my usual two hours of tribal class with Anaya Tribal, I went home with my awesome friend and classmate Meghan, who has generously offered up her sofa as my home-away-from-home for belly dance weekends (I say generous because I'm going to be up there for 3 weekends out of 5!). We had fun times talking about dance, costumes, jewelry, and all the things that make tribal dancers happy.
Friday was shopping with Meghan and Jen. We went to Beads Galore, where I picked up some great tribal beads. I guess I could have photographed those and used them on this post! We also went clothes shopping, where I picked up a couple of scarves, because being a dancer makes you a scarf addict. It's true.
Friday night was the super cool and amazing show! Many of Plaza de Anaya's teachers and the workshop instructors took to the stage, each doing what they do best. There was Egyptian style belly dance, ATS, ITS, Tribal Fusion, Bollywood, and fire-spinning-without-the-fire. I even got to see Helena Vlahos, who you may be familiar with even if you're not a dancer -- she holds the world record for flipping coins on her belly, and can do crazy things like line up a row of quarters on her abs and flip every other one. But for this show, she focused on good old fashioned belly dance.
And Saturday was workshops! Dance Therapeutics with Deb Rubin, focusing on the upper body, gave us some great yoga and stretches for warming up and taking good care of the spine and shoulder girdle. It reminded me how badly I really need to get back into yoga on a regular basis. Supah Saucy Spins and Kicks with Zafira featured Spanish-inspired choreography and lots of fun belly dance roleplay exercises, including a belly dance gang fight. Ooey-Gooey, Slow and Slinky with Jill Parker wasn't nearly as slow as I expected, but Jill taught us some great traveling moves inspired by vintage belly dance, two fun combos, and gave us some time to just play with gliding around the room with whatever traveling steps we wanted and then dropping into the combos.
Because I'm really used to workshops that cram too much info into my head, causing me to forget all the combos, I loved that Zafira and Jill both gave us the chance to take what we had physically learned and apply it creatively, and explore our personalities as dancers. All of the teachers and their assistants did a great job, and I'd happily take workshops with any of them again.
Now it's back to normal life as we know it... of course, there's a three hour Turkish Romany dance workshop I'm considering this weekend!