Like a Record, Baby

“Right round, round round.”

Tomorrow is NYE and every year I have different resolutions.  I usually keep most of them too.  Not all.  I fall off the wagon sometimes but I do well.  I thought I would post them here so if I do fall off the wagon, I have it publicly posted for shame reasons.  So my whole two readers, you have my permission to shame me.  🙂

Jezolutions for 2015 (I just created that word right now!!):

1.  I want to travel more for dance.  I would love to do some more shows outside the tri-state area!!

2.  I want a handful of solos in different styles.  There is no reason I shouldn’t have this already since I don’t need to depend on ANYONE to make this happen.

3.  I want flat abs!!  I have never in my dance career had flat abs.  I want to see what it’s like.  I bet it’s cool!! I’m going to do some serious ab work daily and see where it takes me.  🙂

And that’s my list.  What is yours??  Post it in comments and let’s do it together!!


He’s in the Army Now, A-blowing Reveille

“He’s the Boogy Woogy Bugle Boy of Company B.”

There’s a point.  I bet you can guess.  Just kidding.  No one would guess this.

I entered the Blackwater Cabaret’s Miss USO pageant and WON!!  I am the reigning Blackwater Miss USO complete with sash and crown and commitments to make appearances throughout this year until I pass down the crown to the next Miss USO next year.  How fun!!

I love it since I’m kind of obsessed with the 40s and gypsy jazz etc.  And my polka dot dress has more opportunities now.  :). Always a bonus.

My first appearance as the reigning Miss USO is next weekend.  Let’s do it!!



“Is it me you’re looking for??”

I know I keep saying this but this time it’s true. I’m going to blog more than once a year. Even if it’s just a gig haiku. That sounds fun. Let me try that:

Last gig of the year
Oddmall was our final show
‘Til email today

Yes we got an email asking us to dance this weekend. I will probably say yes because I always do.

I have different goals for next year. I don’t even want to write them down yet because I don’t want to set myself up but they are really bold!!

I also have a Qaina announcement that will surprise people a little bit. I will have that by the end of this week. Stay tuned!!

Highest Potential

Oh By Golly

“Have a Holly Jolly Christmas this year.”

I just needed an excuse to use the word golly.

As the end of the year approaches, I realize I basically took a year off from blogging.  I did my 365 days of practice and then I unconsciously said to myself, “No need to blog.  Ignore it for a year.”

We are two weeks from 2013 so I need to quit that.  I don’t want to blog about practice though.  That’s been done.  By me.  You all get it.  I practice.  🙂  I want to blog about more exciting bellydance stuff and my sarcastic views on said stuff.  I put at the top of my blog that every gig has a story.  I guess I should probably share those.

Like this year:  We had a car pull up onto our stage area.  Yes, a car.  Why didn’t I think to park next to the stage.  I parked in a parking spot and walked like I was a commoner.

I choreographed a routine to honor a dead man.  It was touching and a good routine that lots of people learned and performed at the memorial.

I learned how important tiny snippets of music between songs are at gigs.  I love telling the sound person to just start the music and let it play. 

I relearned that sound people cannot be relied on.  (Shout out to Dark Lady!!)  Take it from me, and take it from them–bring a back-up speaker if you want to be assured that you will perform.

I performed at a place called the White Rabbit Cabaret.  (Shout out to Melly!!!)  It will go down as a favorite.  We had our pictures taken in one of those old photo booths that give you a strip of four in black and white.  I need more cabarets in my life.

I performed at a Guitar Shop/Bar in Massachusetts.  It was the absolute coolest place.  There were guitars and banjos on the all the walls including behind us on stage.  We are going there again!!  (Bobbie Shout out!!)

I performed to musicians that I met five minutes before the show started and didn’t suck!!  (Another shout out to Melly.  JezeMel!!!)

I performed a SOLO at the Holocaust Museum.  I will forever remember all the survivors that remembered who I was from my first performance a year before!!!  They knew who I was!!!  (Shout out to Brett!!)  I have gained so much from you!!

I whipped a dancer that dressed like a tiger just so I could whip her!!  (Shout out to Sophie!!)

I saw a dance troupe grow so much so fast that I am giddy about what is in store for them.  (Shout out to Maevyn!!)

I also had some things happen that I will hold the shout outs for:  I saw dancers lose dance skill in favor of being difficult, I saw a dancer lose opportunities because of ego, I saw laziness beat out integrity in a priority war, I saw a personality change before my eyes,  I had to kick people out of routines for not knowing them (so hard for me), I had to deal with the whole there is no sitter so my children came with me to the gig issue, and the bellydance opportunity I was eagerly planning for and looking the most forward to was pulled out from under me.

Sounds like a typical year of an artist, doesn’t it??  Good or bad, they all have a story.  It is an adventurous life I have chosen.  I can’t wait to see what the next year holds!!!

(I wrote this in December and forgot to put it up.)

Highest Potential

Get Up Get up

“Get busy do it!!”

So as I wrote in my last post, I want to work on my solo skills.  Any time I have said that in th past, I haven’t had much follow through.  I always work on one thing and then back into the group stuff for one of my many troupes

I have a good report though. I  got back from practice tonight and then went onto the Internet.  I spent so much time on there that it was 11:45 PM when I got off and I still hadn’t  worked on my solo stuff.  Thoughts went through my head like they do every day.  I am tired from practice.  I can start tomorrow.  I already practiced with a troupe.  I did plenty.  These are the same things I have said to myself for years.  All of these phrases are things that go against what I tell others.  Just do it.  Can I put that excuse in the show program??  Suck it up –also a favorite.

So you know what comes next.  With my lazy pajama wearing ass in the recliner, I felt guilty enough to get up, put on appropriate practice attire (at least appropriate enough to wear in my  own home) and I started working on my solo stuff. I took an advanced online dance class.

I love what I learned.  I love that I got up and did it when the easier thing was to stay in my comfy chair and my jammies.  And let me give you one piece of unasked for wisdom–you will never be sorry that you didn’t choose laziness!!

Highest Potential

If You Don’t Like What You See Here

“Nobody wants to take you prisoner.”

So this has been the busiest year in my history of bellydancing.  I love it!!  And I am tired.  And I injured myself.  But I love it.  The only thing I would change is that I want more.  I will never complain about being busy because this is what I want.

This is actually my first weekend off in months and I feel lazy.  I really would rather just be dancing all the time.  And traveling.  I love to travel outside of Ohio where everyone knows me and perform and/or teach in other states where no one knows me.  I love when those who have never seen me and don’t know me personally see what I do and love me based solely on my workshops and performance.  It makes me feel like I am doing something right.

I do wonder what exactly has made me so busy.  Is it my work??  Is it my personality??  Is it a mix of many things??  Just wondering so I can keep doing it!!  I welcome any suggestions on what I am doing right.  Keep the what you don’t like about me to yourselves because I cry a lot.  😉

I have also come to another decision.  I am going to really work on solo skills this year.  I have worked so hard for so long on group choreographies and what makes a group look good.  I like my group stuff so much more than my solo stuff.  Of course, I do.  That is where a majority of my time is spent.  I am going to spend equal time on my solo stuff for the next year and build that up because I have clearly realized one thing this year–you can’t depend on anyone.  You can’t breathe easy with anyone.  If I say, “she’s always reliable.”  That is the year she becomes unreliable.  If I say “she is always nice to me.”  That is the time she starts being difficult and telling people my secrets.  If I say, “she’s got my back.”  That’s the time she starts insulting me to others and taking credit for my work.  I have lived it over and over!!  I hope to never live it again but if I do–solo skills!!  That is my new plan!!

Highest Potential

Dance Dance

“And these are the lives you’d love to lead.”

I quickly got out of the habit of blogging, didn’t I??  Nearly every day was a habit but it was also overkill.  I probably won’t blog daily again but I would love to pick up the pace a little now that I have had a break from it.

I did the same thing in college.  I was an English major and I had to read so many books.  In my last semester, I read four in a week sometimes and some were huge novels.  Once I graduated, I didn’t read another book for about a year.  Now I read regularly again and have my kindle with me most of the time.  I just needed that break.  First book I read after a year??  Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.  That J.K. Rowling doesn’t even know the good she does!!  😉

Anyway, onto my obsession:  Dance!!  I saw the movie Pina last week.  Such a beautiful film!!  So inspiring for a choreographer.  For a dancer too but I think creation is something that is thought of in a new way after seeing this film.  You can do anything you want to so when you are creating.  The choreographer Pina was inspired by so much and inspired so much in her dancers.  So much so that they hate life without her.

She died during the pre-production of this film in 2009.  She was diagnosed with cancer and died five days later.  Pretty abrupt but the film went on.  The producer was originally not planning to do it after her death but instead it turned into a beautiful tribute to her.  A tribute that introduced her wonderful choreography to those of us who had not had the pleasure of seeing it before.

I am going to see it again tonight.  It is still at the theatres here and I want to catch it one more time before it goes.  I am obsessed I realize but I prefer to think of it differently:  I am lucky enough to have found my passion in this world!!  I am very blessed!!

Highest Potential

The Heart is a Bloom

“It’s a beautiful day!!”

Something so nice happened today.  I got a Christmas gift from my students.  They all put their money together to buy me a sterling silver necklace that has my name on it.  It is lovely.  And how nice of them to do that for me.  I am moved.

They were supposed to get it so they could give it to me at the studio Christmas party but the company did not send it to them on time even though they confirmed they would do just that.  Bad business!!!  Be reliable.  People remember that stuff!!!

Back to the positive–if you want to see my necklace just ask me.  I’ll be wearing it all the time!!

It’s so weird not to put numbers here.

Highest Potential

A New Day Has Come

“I was waiting so long for a miracle.”

(I changed the look of my blog now that I have completed the 2011 goals.)

It really does seem like yesterday that I was typing the first page of my new blog with a big goal in front of me.  I had zero hours done and hundreds to go and now it is all done and behind me.  The blog had become a part of my routine.  I still want to blog but my goals have changed.  Practice hours was a good goal but as I think back on how it went, I can only think of about three times that I had to force myself to practice simply because it was my goal on here.  I can think of New Year’s Day last year– I didn’t want to practice but I did to start off the new year and new blog right.  And then there was the last two days of 2011 when I hadn’t made it to 365 hours yet.  I completed the last 6 hours on those days, more than I would have if I didn’t have the blog going.  My guess is, if I had not made it my goal to practice 365 hours in a year, I probably would have practiced about 358 hours this year instead of 365.  Not bad at all and it is nice to know that I do practice my art that much.  The blog accomplished many realizations.

I seem to have control over my practice hours and my body is stronger than it has ever been at this time of year.  I accomplished what I needed to in these two areas to keep going this year too.  I am going to continue weight lifting and see how strong I become and I want to keep growing as a dancer and be better and better.

At the beginning of the year I said I was going to go to Paris, France as my reward for reaching my goals but I changed my mind about that for a few reasons.  I will not list them here but instead of that reward, I choose a much cheaper option–I bought myself a Django Reinhardt t-shirt on the internet yesterday.  🙂  I still want to go to France but I will save that for a better time.  Hopefully I will dance there!!

I put this blog entry into a new category I called “Highest Potential.”  I was inspired by a blog called The Daily Love.  I get their tweets and here are the quotes from that blog that got me thinking:

“If you want to be successful, model your life after those who have excelled at whatever you dream to do.”

“Surround yourself with other visionaries, allies, and friends who support your highest potential.”

“Practice and hard work creates luck.”

“You’re not crazy for wanting to be happy. but it’s crazy to put up with people who don’t want you to be happy.”

These are wonderful quotes to really think about.  I want to change my attitude towards myself and my art and my talent in that art.  This year I am going to change the way I think about what I do and see if that creates a change in what I do.  One thing never changes whether I am talking about physical or mental things I am doing–I always want to be better at what I do.  So my goal is different but it is exactly the same.

The Count Down

We Are The Champions, My Friend

“And we’ll keep on fighting to the end.”

I would have used the theme to Chariots of Fire if it had lyrics!!  Yes, it is official.  In the PM hours of New Year’s Eve 2011 I reached my goal of practicing 365 hours this year.  I choreographed routines for an hour this morning.  I took at 90 minute Suhaila class this afternoon, and then drilled choreography for 30 minutes not that long ago to complete the time I needed.  I thought I would feel more accomplished but I seem more focused on what I want to do next.

The 365 was fairly easy for me to do so I need to take it up a notch.  I am definitely not going to blog about how much practice I am doing again.  I think one year is enough of that!!  I am going to keep blogging and change the name of it.  I will tell the tales of dancers instead.  We bring back many good stories from the crazy life of dance so I will focus on that.

I will increase my practice but keep the blogging about that to almost none.  Just know I am practicing.  But not tonight!!  The Barefoot Bubbly is about to be opened in celebration of two goals met this year.  Tomorrow I think I will make new ones!!  We must constantly grow just to keep up!!  “Dance, dance, otherwise we are lost.”–The movie Pina.

365 hours practiced this year,   0 to go!!  Thanks for sticking with me!!