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JoY [Apr. 24th, 2008|04:13 pm]
[Current Mood |sicksick]

Well, it's been a while coming, but here's a brief(ish) run-down of the Spring 2008 Jewel of Yorkshire weekend:

JoYCollapse )

Now I am having a minor strop, because I missed class last Thursday as my knee was still bothering me and I didn't get home from work until 3 minutes before class was due to start. Yet it looks like I might have to miss class again as I've been steadily coming down with something thoroughly unpleasant since mid-morning and now I ache worse than the morning after Leyla's veil workshop, I feel weak and I feel dizzy. *sulks*
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Phew, made it! [Feb. 24th, 2008|02:04 pm]
[Current Mood |cheerfulcheerful]

Didn't think I'd make it to class today as Cis was stuck in Manchester and unavailable to give me a lift and Erica's car is broken. However, the lovely Dave came to the rescue at the very last minute and drove us to class! We arrived a little late and had to sneak into the warm-up, but at least we made it!

1st hourCollapse )

Khaleegi choreographyCollapse )
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Veils! [Feb. 20th, 2008|11:32 pm]
[Current Mood |pleasedpleased]

My veils arrived!

I am now the proud owner of 7 semi-circular chiffon veils in varying shades of purple :) They are ideal for what I want, light enough to float, but heavy enough that you don't have to fight with them to make them move, wide enough to drape nicely, but short enough that you don't trip over them.

The lovely lady at India Bazaar.net also sent me a full colour chart in case I want to order more, and a set of 3 fancy bindi for free!
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Waaah! [Feb. 16th, 2008|10:23 pm]
[Current Mood |distresseddistressed]

Bookings have opened for Gothla and I am too poor to book myself a slot!

I probably have a couple of months before I really need to worry about not getting a place on any workshops, but I really wanted to book places on all the Ariellah, Sashi and Tempest workshops. If I want to get on all of them and go to the hafla on Friday night then I'll need to book the Friday off work and find £200 from somewhere. Also, that's not counting the cost of accommodation, the meal on Saturday night and the club night on Saturday night too.

I need to win the lottery next week! I don't need the jackpot, just 5 numbers maybe, enough to pay ofr workshops and a bit of shopping? Is that really too much to ask?
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Glee!!! [Feb. 8th, 2008|01:13 pm]
[Current Mood |calmcalm]

My JoY registration confirmation just arrived in the post! I got all of my first choice workshops, so I'll be doing Tunisian with jacqueline Jamal, Baladi with Caroline Afifi, Khaliegi Tabla with Khaled and 2-7 veils with Leyla Jouvana. There's a note on my form saying 'Bring lots of veils'!!! They tried to deliver the veils that I ordered a couple of days ago, but we were at work. Kelly has asked for them to be re-directed to his work, so hopefully I'll have those next week!

MagencyCollapse )

ThursdayCollapse )

family reactionsCollapse )
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Khaleegi [Jan. 27th, 2008|03:52 pm]
[Current Mood |tiredtired]

Just back from the Barnsley Arabic Dance Association annual workshop and AGM. This year Vashti came to teach us about Khaleegi Dance.

WorkshopCollapse )

Vashti's danceCollapse )

BADA AGMCollapse )
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Dance of the 7 veils [Jan. 21st, 2008|10:33 pm]
[Current Mood |anxiousApprehensive]

I've signed myself up for a workshop on "2-7 veils" with Leyla Jouvana at Jewel of Yorkshire in April. It includes taking a look at the Dance of Ishtar, reputed to be the origin of the 'dance of the 7 veils'.

Obviously this means I'm going to need 7 matching veils! So I've ordered 7 semi-circular chiffon veils in various shades of purple. I did manage to find a site where they are not too expensive, which is good because I had to pay with paypal and I don't have a paypal account, so I now owe my other half! Now I just need to hope that they arrive in time for me to familiarise myself with the way that they move, and also that they are good enough quality.
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Sunday class [Jan. 20th, 2008|08:24 pm]
[Current Mood |cheerfulcheerful]

Another long day of dancing, only just fit to be dancing again after a pretty nasty cold this week, so 3 classes in one day was quite ambitious, but I managed it!

First class this morning had me wondering if I was going to make it all the way through as I was feeling weak after about half an hour, but I pushed through it and kept going. Candi pushed us quite hard in the first class. We did a fair bit of work on the haggela (still don't know how you're supposed to spell that! I've seen it written in about 5 different ways on various sites!)we also covered quite a lot on other types of shimmy. There was a new girl there and this was a really hard class for a complete newbie! She seemed to enjoy it though and she's signed up for the workshop next week.

The second class was more finger cymbal work, starting with the patterns we learned last week and progressing onto improving tone and creating different sounds from the cymbals as well as keeping the arms and hands in a natural dancing position while playing. Following this we went on to the debke dance that we began work on last week. It seemed to come a lot easier this week, we had no real problems following Candi's lead and turning the basic steps into a potential opening sequence. Next time we're going to work on some more variations.

Candi brought some khaleegi dresses that she bought in Cairo to class today too. We're planning on developing a khaleegi dance to perform later this year, and the workshop next week is on khaleegi technique too. So I thought I'd better get myself one of the dresses (and that decision had noting to do with the fact that there was a gorgeous burgundy one among those Candi had brought, oh no!) So I'm now the proud owner of a gorgeous khaleegi dress :)

The third class this afternoon worked largely on accents. Starting with technique we went over the bum-squeeze accents from last week and added a few more, particularly upper body accents using stomach pops and chest lifts. Next we started using these accents while dancing. Candi encourages us all to develop our own dance style and stage personality, but she also shows us how to dance in the current 'fashion'. In this case we were learning how to use accents not just in the obvious places, but also to add interest to melodic sections of the music. We danced through a fun shaabi piece a few times, practising the accents (as well as trying to remember all the arm positioning from last week!) it was fun to actually turn all of the things that we've been learning into my own dance, but I still think I've got a long way to go before my solo dancing goes beyond a hafla dance-floor!
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Back with a vengeance! [Jan. 13th, 2008|09:13 pm]
[Current Mood |cheerfulcheerful]

Back to Sunday classes today, also a second set of advanced classes run by Candi on Sunday afternoons, so today was quite full of dancing!

First session this morning was the usual practice session, going over a lot of basic moves and travelling moves. It's amazing how much Candi can squeeze into 1 hour! We covered hip hits, double hip hits, hip circles, chest circles, figure eights, hip-drops, shimmies and forward & back all in the first session! I love these sessions, Candi just has a way of making everything seem easy, and turning even the warm-up into a dance, so you can't tell when the warm-up ends and the dance instruction begins!

Second session was in 2 parts - the first half hour was spent working on finger cymbals. I'm dreadful with cymbals, but I love playing them and would really love to improve. The problem is that when I practice at home I try to play the standard longa rhythm along to a song, and I get lost so many times that I get frustrated and give up! And that's even before I try dancing and playing at the same time! Today though, Candi took us through it at a really gentle pace, starting with playing only on the beat, then dancing a basic movement at the same time. Next we played twice as fast, then added a basic dance move in time with the beat, then we began playing in short bursts of 3, 5 or 7 at double speed, then doing that whilest keeping up a basic dance move. Eventually we moved onto the longa rhythm, and I found it a little easier to 'dance' and play this time, although I still find that I lose the beat after a little while and have to stop for a second and find it again, but I'm definately getting better. Now I have a structure to follow in my cymbal practice at home :)

The second part was a new type of dance to me - debke. It's sort of oriental line-dancing and it involves standing in a line holding hands and all dancing in time. The particular dance step that we were learning today also involves learning to dance to a count of 6, even though the music is playing to a count of 8, so every other step combination feels a little weird as you don't finish on the accented beat. I think we managed quite well though, and I can see that it would be a fun dance for a troupe to do.

This afternoon we started with arms. My arms are awful, I tend to forget that I have them, so the more practice I have with concentrating on them, then better! We were practising 'making shapes' by always being concious of the shape your entire body makes as you dance, so although the movement is in your hips, your hands and arms need to be in a suitable position to either frame the move (showing arms), complement the move (balancing arms) or stay out of the way of the move (posing arms). We also did a little work on actually dancing with your arms. Then your hips should be still, but you should still make sure that you're standing in a definate pose, and haven't just stopped however you were standing in order to wave your arms about a bit!

After that we moved onto accents, largely of the type that involve a lot of buttock clenching! We've also been set homework! We must practice the buttock clenching, preferably by doing an 'accented walk' to ensure that we clench both sides equally and don't end up with one super-buff bum cheek and one wobbly one because we've only drilled one side! I can see this leading to a few embarassing moments when I think I'm alone in the lab but it turns out I'm not...

In other news, I've finally dug out my cheque book and filled out my Jewel of Yorkshire workshop request form. Tomorrow I will buy a stamp and post it :)
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First classes of the year [Jan. 11th, 2008|12:26 am]
[Current Mood |goodgood]

Today saw my first dance sessions of 2008. I entirely failed to practise over xmas and new year, and I could really feel that today!

Cis took us through a fairly gentle session, partly the 'ease us back in', and partly because she was struggling with a really bad cold.

We did a fair bit of shimmying to get us properly warmed up as it was freezing in the hall today! Also spent a bit of time checking posture, going over hip-circles and a bit of free-dancing. I felt stiff and my body didn't appear to want to do things that I know it's capable of, I had to keep conciously checking my posture because it's gone totally after a 2 week break (feels like so much longer!) Felt much better for having gone and started back on the road to finding my flexibility and isolation again!

Afterwards we went to the Boomshanka practise where we spent the whole session practising cues. I think this will take a lot more work, it really does show up the differences in how people dance, everyone needs to dance in time, and you really need to keep you hands still when you're not signalling something! Had a lot of fun though, I look forward to doing more work on this.

Now I just need to get my JOY form sent off and get practising again!
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