Rockin’ the Casbah Finale (finally!)

One by one, I’m finally getting all of the show cuts up here for your viewing pleasure. 🙂

Visiting this show has really made me miss my troupe. This was one butt-kicking dance troupe, let me tell ya! Talk about a talented, fun group of gals. I sure wish they could have stayed together. Anyway, here is the finale to our best show ever – Rockin’ the Casbah. I choreographed the finale to  New York New York, live by The Big Band. Well, the show was a fusion of Big Band and Bellydance, after all! What better way to end it?  Enjoy!

 

Baba Mama

I first heard this song at a show in Saint John New Brunswick in late 2000.

I was sitting in the audience, having finished both of my performances, all settled in and enjoying the show when this fabulously energetic music boomed out of the speakers, and in bounced this little dance troupe from Maine.  They were 4 or 5 young women wearing yoga pants with matching fringe skirts and choli tops, and I was completely mesmerized.  So mesmerized, in fact, that I actually still remember it, 13 years later! 🙂 They were beginner dancers, their choreography was simple and teetered on being over their heads, and yet they outshone many of the performances that I saw that night in sheer joy and enthusiasm. What they lacked in crispness and accuracy was more than made up for in the energy and excitement that they shared both amongst each other and with us in the audience. I no longer remember their choreography, with the exception of two movements: a cute little chest drop while pulling the hands down the front of the body, followed by pelvic drops with the same hand movement, which I changed around a bit and incorporated into my own repertoire.

Fast forward to 2010. I bought a CD at a workshop I was attending in Calgary, and just about fell off my chair when I heard that song start to play!  According to the CD, the song was called Baba Mama. I was so excited that started to choreograph it right in that very moment.

Here it is, performed by Saba Middle Eastern Dance Ensemble. Choreography by yours truly. Watch for that little chest and pelvic drop with the pinch pull-down: I incorporated it into the choreography as little tribute to those lovely young dancers from Maine.

 

A little bellydance for you!

Dance has been on my mind a lot these past several days, so I thought I would dig something out of the archives to share with you today.

This is a piece called Habibity that I choreographed for my dance troupe, Saba Middle Eastern Dance Ensemble a couple of years ago. Here it is in it’s debut performance, March 11th, 2011. Enjoy!

Classes this fall?

I’ve been wondering if you’ve been wondering about classes and troupe now that we are into the month of October!

I’ve been giving it a lot of thought. In fact, I’ve thought of almost nothing else.

I’ve decided to retire from teaching and from the dance troupe for awhile while I recharge my batteries and nurture some of my other interests. Teachers and artists are just like good gardeners: they know that they must occasionally rotate crops and/or let the soil lie fallow in order to rejuvenate and replenish for a new growing season. It’s like I always told you in class: “ya gotta know where your center of gravity is. Ya gotta have balance!”

So, what other interests am I nurturing? Well, if you’ve been following this blog, you’ll all be chiming out in unison right about now: “quilting!” LOL, yes. Creativity comes in all forms, and I’ve been spending time getting reacquainted with an old love. But that’s not all! I am also taking a class through Yukon College and the University of the Arctic called Introduction to the Circumpolar North. I may post a homework assignment on the blog now and again, just because the material is so darned interesting (to me, anyway!)

Anyway, back to the topic of my dance life!

Regarding Saba: while I am very sad to let the dance troupe go, I also have a wonderful feeling of joy and accomplishment at what we were able to do together. When I originally created the troupe it was to give my students a vehicle to perform in professional venues – to take their dancing beyond the classroom and beyond student-level performances and into the realm of true performance art. I believed that setting the bar high (and holding to it!) would not only bring the art of Middle Eastern dance to the Yukon stage as a beautiful art form to be respected and admired, but would also bring great personal reward to all of us. I am certain that we succeeded! Not only that, but we had a blast doing it, and we formed some great friendships! I hope that Saba will either stay together as they are or else find a new vision and re-form into something just as wonderful. I wish them all my best from the bottom of my heart. I feel like a momma…I gave them all I could and now it is time for them to go out on their own without me.

As far as classroom teaching goes, you may have heard that Kelly and I have managed to swing an early retirement, and will be moving to Salmon Arm at the end of 2013. This means that my time with the Whitehorse dance school will be coming to an inevitable end anyway.

I know that I will teach again. It is too much in my blood to retire forever! I just can’t see it, can you? LOL! However, I think that teaching will probably be a “retirement” job. I can definitely see myself offering a class or two in Salmon Arm some day with a brand new batch of newbies. For sure!

I’d like to say thank you to all of the students who crossed the studio floor over the 10+ years that I taught in Whitehorse. I figure over 600 different sets of feet stood in the classroom and learned to trace a hip circle in front of me over the years. That’s an awful lot of joy!

Thank you all so much for following my dream and sticking with me through thick and thin. I truly admire, respect and love each and every one of you, and I am so darn proud of you all.

I’m still available for private lessons & performance coaching. I’d like to offer workshops or go out on the workshop circuit a bit.  I’m not leaving dance, I’m just…taking a huge chunk of it off of my plate.And on the performance end…well, that will never change. I love to perform. I love interacting with the audience. It’s magical! I plan to continue my personal development as an Egyptian Oriental dance artist. I have a reputation to keep up, after all! So keep your ears and eyes open and you may see me on the stage or on the workshop circuit now and again. 

For me, the last show we did, Rockin’ the Casbah in 2011 was the highlight of my career. I can’t think of a better note to go out on than that.