on Thu, 01 Jun, 2023
The best instruction is always in person so that a student can get the feedback they need from a teacher to know if they are doing moves correctly. When a student is in a class, they get reminders to stretch, to take water breaks, and there is human interaction between dancers. When we are in a class with others, we can transition into formations, practice following and leading, and benefit from positive social interactions with human beings.
That said, sometimes people want to take a class, but they are unable to travel to the class location, women have childcare issues that interfere with their desire to attend a class, or we get sick and need to quarantine ourselves. I sometimes have students who already take classes but have asked for videos to practice these moves at home. Videos are a tool that can enhance our learning.
Belly Dance Eugene has the following videos available for download for $15 per video. For those who want unlimited access to all videos I post, this will be a $60 yearly subscription. I will make the links available on YouTube and grant access to my Google Drive storage so that you can watch or download these videos. Be aware, some of these are giant files, so computers might not like to download them. That is why I am also going to grant access to the private links via YouTube.
on Tue, 30 May, 2023
I am listing some videos that are offered for free on YouTube of the same belly dance moves we do. Some are mine, but a lot of the moves I do have a cross over with Fat Chance Belly Dance because I studied at studios that taught American Tribal Style. I also studied Fusion, which stems from Rachel Brice, who now teaches Datura in Portland. I have included Rachel Brice’s free videos and mine. If I find a good maya and toxim video out there that is the same as our version, I will some day add it to the list.
on Tue, 23 May, 2023
Enjoy these fusion videos that really capture the essence of fusion belly dance.
on Mon, 01 May, 2023
Dancing, live music if we have musicians, enjoying each other's company (potluck and costume swap welcome)
Join us playing music and dancing
Event Timing: 12 noon-2:30 pm on the First Saturday of the Month (starting Saturday, June 3)
on Sat, 29 Apr, 2023
A while back I had the pleasure of interviewing Hanan Elsherif, Arabic coordinator at U of O who is Egyptian. She was kind enough to allow me to interview her for an article I was writing for the Chronicle about cultural appropriation, particularly with emphasis in belly dance. (I will provide a link when available.)
Hanan Elsherif shared a few videos of belly dance in her culture.
on Mon, 26 Dec, 2022
Back when the MEDGE (the Middle Eastern Dance Guild of Eugene) was still around, one of their guidelines for performers was that they couldn’t wear a “bra” on stage. If a dancer created a coin bra or bustier as part of their costume, it had to be embellished enough that it no longer would be considered an undergarment. It is a good guideline to go by.
I also recognize that for someone new to belly dancing they might not realize what that actually means—which is why I have some examples made by students and myself below.
Another guideline that I can fully appreciate is that the bra should provide enough coverage for modesty and does not fall off. Years ago one of my teachers told us that the way to ensure there are no embarrassing accidents (and to give us a little more cleavage) is to wear a bra that creates a nice shape under our coin bra. I tell all my students to do this to ensure we don’t accidentally pop out of our coin bras. MEDGE used to ban a dancer for a year if she exposed herself during a family friendly show. As if the humiliation of popping out of a costume wasn’t embarrassing enough!
I was careful not to let this happen to me.
Here are some guidelines and suggestions for making a pretty and professional bra in an ATS or fusion style:
on Mon, 12 Dec, 2022
Some of the music I play is so old, it isn't available on CD anymore. And when it is, it is a "vintage" CD from over twenty years ago, so it is more expensive.
In the past I have gotten music from the library system. I often looked for world music. Some of my favorite finds were Balkan and Eastern European music more than the selection of Middle Eastern music. Even though it is not considered culturally sensitive, many of the CD titles and bands will have the world "gypsy," whether it is Amazon or another music store.
Belong are songs, CDs, and artists you might recognize from class. Even if you don't shop on Amazon, you can get the information about the CDs so you can shop for them elsewhere.
on Mon, 28 Nov, 2022
Every session is slightly different and our focus is different. We cannot get to every single move in a 6 week session. Some of these moves are not going to make sense if you haven't done them yet.
I bet I am missing some moves. Feel free to let me know which ones I have forgotten.
on Sun, 20 Nov, 2022
In the 26 years I have been dancing, I have studied many styles and performed with troupes in different styles. When you are performing with a troupe, your costume is like a uniform. It shows you are professional and are dancing a certain style with others in the group. But each style has subdivisions within that style. I will go over three basics here: cabaret, ATS (American transcultural style--what used to be called tribal), and fusion.
on Thu, 27 Oct, 2022
I love costuming. It is one of my favorite parts of belly dance. But for someone just getting started making their first coin bra, they might have no idea where to start. I wanted to create this post to show examples that I have made and my students have made to help inspire ideas, show a range from simple to complex, and give examples that look professional. I am specifically showing off pieces that look fusion and ATS (which I will call American transcontinental style) because ATS and fusion are the styles I am teaching in my classes. If you want to see a full range of styles that include cabaret, that is a separate post with suggestions of what to include in the creation of a coin bra or bustier.
Although I might be calling these pieces “coin” bras in this post, not all of them have coins. They might use metal in other ways. And even though I like websites like the Red Camel website (see the posts on sources to purchase items for belly dance) where belly dancers can find pieces to embellish their ATS costumes, some of my bras use upcycled projects like broken necklaces and thrift store items. You don’t have to break the bank purchasing pieces to add—but you can if you want to.
As you peruse these artistic masterpieces, look for the embellishments that give these a fusion or ATS style: silver, dull or tarnished metal, chains, coins, metal bobbles, tassels, embroidered folk fabric, shisha mirrors, sea shells, folkloric beadwork, or other things I might have forgotten.
on Sun, 23 Oct, 2022
Bellydancers like coin belts because they make us feel like bellydancers when we are first learning. They are percussive and you can hear the coins jingle as we shimmy. The audio and tactile feedback of feeling the coins move help us know when we are moving correctly. It can also tell us we are moving our hips when we shouldn't be. It is a great learning tool.
Bellydancers often ask where to purchase a coin belt locally. There used to be many local shops before Covid but they closed down. There used to be events where venders sold belts, but alas, events have been few and far between.
I have taken some time to compile belts on Amazon based on the belts I see students wear in class or my own. If you don't like shopping on the evil corporation of Amazon, you can try Etsy or Ebay.
on Fri, 07 Oct, 2022
Belly dance make up varies depending on whether dancers want a Middle Eastern, Indian, Eastern European, cabaret, fusion, or an ATS look. Some fusion styles are very experimental with blue streaks on the face that look like Celtic warriors or color themes that are alien. I see many fusion troupes wear lip gloss and no lipstick while I was taught in ATS that red lipstick is a must.
One thing is certain, this is STAGE makeup. It doesn't need to be realistic. The point of stage makeup is to be seen under bright lights. No matter how much makeup a dancer puts on in the beginning, it probably won't be enough. You'll find out when you see photos of yourself later.
Cat eyes are very common in belly dance make up. I was told recently by a group of folk dancers that even the boys use eyeliner to make cat eyes because it defines their eyes from far away and the little tail makes it look like they are smiling. So it isn't just belly dancers!
on Sun, 02 Oct, 2022
A "hair garden" is the term some belly dancers call all the flowers and pretty accessories in their hair. ATS (American transcultural style--formerly called American Tribal Style) and fusion styles of belly dance often adorn our hair with flowers, headbands, feathers, and other accessories. One quick and easy way to accessorize to give a fusion/ATS look is to start with a pretty headband/headpiece/headress and clip flowers to the sides.
Enjoy some inspiration below for ideas on how to create your own. Some of my favorite places to find pieces to add to my headband and costume are
The Red Camel
You can also buy coins, fringe, and decorative elements at Joanne Fabric, Michaels, or second hand stores.
on Mon, 19 Sep, 2022
Fusion Fascination will be performing at a show in October. We will be dancing to a Halloween-inspired set. I have attached my princess crown that I have been working on. It cost less than $5 to create with parts from Dollar Tree. Below is a list of items we will need for this show as well as optional items. If you find any fun Halloween items you want to share with the group, you are welcome to do so.
on Sun, 18 Sep, 2022
So far, I have tried to keep Fusion Fascinations costumes simple, uniform, and professional. In order to do this, we need to use color to create unity and wear some of the same items, whether it is the same style or variations so that we look cohesive. The moves I teach are primarily ATS with some fusion mixed in. (In case you are wondering, ATS is what many call American Tribal Style, which I am calling American Transcontinental Style). Cabaret style favors gold and gold coins. ATS and fusion favors silver or tarnished metal. But it is fine if this is your first show and you are collecting items. Some people only have gold.
In case you are interested in performing, here is your basic costume we have been using as well as the most inexpensive deals I could find. Prices are always changing, and old sellers go away and new ones pop up. If a link doesn't work, let me know and I will correct it when I have a chance.
on Mon, 04 Jul, 2022
I have been saving my favorite videos of belly dance on Youtube and wanted to share some of my favorite pieces.
Golden Buzzer: Mayyas
This is masterful choreography. If you start the video at 2:45 you get to hear them say their goal is to hypnotize--and they do just that. Their shiva line and the formations they do are breathtaking.
Temple Tribal (Fusion)
I've chosen this video to show off this incredible choreography. The shiva line in this is different from others as well in that you can see almost everyone. There are many transitions and formations in this and that is what makes it so interesting.
This is a great example of fusion costuming and a pleasure to watch a performer doing a triple sword performance. All those reasons I tell students why it is important to have good posture, it is so you can do something like this someday and balance a sword on your head (or anything else) as you dance.
ATS American Tribal Style
One reason I chose this video is the closeups of the costume, jewelry, hair, and makeup. You can see how the dancers express their individual style while remaining uniform. It is also a well executed video and fun to see their formations and transitions. Dancers in my classes will probably recognize some of the moves we do with a slightly different style.
This dance also makes me remember how much I like Turkish shimmies.
Inspiring belly dance makeup looks
This isn't a dance video but I included it anyway. I love all the closeups in this video. It really shows off the ATS and fusion styles of costuming and make up well.
I love this Celtic-inspired belly dance. The costume is a fun fusion that fits the music. I feel like I am part of a pagan ceremony watching this.
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on Mon, 03 Dec, 2018
Self care, which is a way of ensuring one’s overall mental and physical health, has gotten an increasing amount of coverage in the media over the past few years. However, what basic self-care and self-help guides frequently forget to indicate is how our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health are tightly linked and dependent on one another. This is why people who only pursue a diet without adjusting their exercise habits or exercise while subsisting solely on packaged foods often remain unfulfilled at heart.
The good thing is that some small adjustments in each part of your life can have great effects, particularly when you are focused on bringing your entire body in sync with itself. With that in mind, here are some ways you can improve your overall spiritual wellness by making adjustments to your physical and mental health habits.
on Tue, 26 Jun, 2018
Thirty percent of middle-aged women in the U.S. are considered incontinent. In Canada, Korea and Taiwan, the number of women with incontinence ranges from 50%-55%.
Back in 2016, a paper was published in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science Journal showing the results of a study done on women with incontinence. Due to age and a decrease in strength in urethral muscles from pregnancy and delivery, many women are affected by incontinence. According to the study, the traditional ways to treat incontinence can be surgery, medication, and behavior therapy. Some of the muscle training and strengthening involving dumbbells or weight machines hinder older women with decreased physical ability and mobility. Also, these methods of physical therapy often are not interesting enough to keep continued participation.
Then something interesting happened. They studied the effects of belly dance on pelvic and urinary tract muscles and found it mitigated and prevented urinary incontinence. How is this possible?
on Sat, 10 Feb, 2018
I came across this SNL video that explains exactly how one feels when getting up on a stage and wondering if maybe it was all a big mistake.
on Sun, 10 Sep, 2017
What does Bollywood, ballet, breakdance and acroyoga have in common? In this case it is some pretty awesome music videos that incorporate incredible dancing. As a belly dancer, I love belly dance. But I also enjoy all forms of dance done artistically and skillfully. I want to see incredible dancing with beautiful choreography. I want to be wowed by color and costuming so that I feel like I am looking at a moving painting. All these videos touch these aspects that bring me to say wow. I wanted to share my awe with you in these recent fun finds.
on Wed, 17 May, 2017
As a fusion belly dancer, I love to combine multicultural dance moves into my dances when appropriate to fit the music. Below are a few fun videos any dancer can appreciate for the skill, choreography and stage presence. Some of these videos incorporate techniques similar to what belly dancers use. Some are so different, it is the contrast from what I do that makes me appreciate it.
on Thu, 13 Apr, 2017
I enjoy humor and dance and so it would be natural I would enjoy a combination of the two. Every once in a while, a funny dance video pops up in someone’s Facebook feed and I save it for later. I got a kick out of these. I hope you also will get a kick out of these videos as much as I did.
on Sun, 26 Mar, 2017
Tribal and Tribal Fusion Belly Dance Bras and Belts for Performances
People sometimes ask me what the difference is between Tribal and Tribal Fusion. There are different dance moves, styling and music that might differentiate the two divisions of belly dance. The easiest and quickest difference to spot is visually in the costumes. Tribal will have more tassels, cowrie shells, little mirrors, ethnic jewelry and ethnic fabric patterns. Tribal fusion will probably have more grommets, studs, spikes, and chains. Both will probably have coins and metal and there is some overlap in the materials used. One of the things that I really like about tribal and tribal fusion costumes is the upcycled materials and the relative thriftiness of cost in making a tribal fusion costume as opposed to a cabaret costume.
Over the years I have made many belly dance costumes. In this post I am featuring the bras and belts I have made for tribal and tribal fusion performances. Some of these I wore in Portland when I was a student at Gypsy Caravan Studio and Euphoria Studio, some when I lived in Hokkaido, Japan and some I still wear in Eugene when I have performed at Medge (the Middle Eastern Dance Guild of Eugene), Fusion Friendly Events, No Shame Eugene or other belly dance performances.
1. First Bra—Eastern European/Roma
My mother knew I was experimenting with belly dance fashion and sewing costumes. She found a dress at the thrift store with pretty trim and bought it for me. I removed all the trim and sewed it onto a black bra. It looked unfinished for a long time. Then I added the pearls and it looked done. I like to wear this bra with the pearl belt I made to match
on Mon, 27 Feb, 2017
Part of dancing with a sword that makes it impressive is balancing it well enough that it doesn’t drop off your head. It also is far more impressive if that sword doesn’t fall on your foot while you are performing. I’ve balanced my sword on the top of my head, on my chin, chest and hip depending on what moves I am doing. Below are some basic tips before you even start dancing to keep the sword from sliding around.
If you are purchasing in person it is something you can check but if you are ordering from the internet it is important you read the details carefully and you know what you are getting. I’ve written about my belly dance woes in a previous post: 5 Important Details You Need to Know for Selecting a Belly Dance Sword.
on Mon, 13 Feb, 2017
First, I want to clarify, we don’t actually want to dance with sharp objects. It’s like running with scissors—an accident waiting to happen. We want our props as dull as possible which is why belly dancer don’t dance with battle ready swords. But we also want the illusion they are lethal and sharp to create a sense of power and danger as we dance. Dancing with a sword is so beautiful because of the contrast of grace and lithe beauty with a dangerous object.
Below are three very simple tricks you can do that will make your sword look lethal. None of these are actual techniques or belly dance moves; they are little steps to do before you even start dancing!
on Mon, 23 Jan, 2017
As convenient as an excuse as it might sound to say, “It was an accident, officer, I swear. I was performing and I tripped and my hands were sweaty. My sword slipped right out of my hands and cleaved my ex’s head right off,” that probably isn’t going to work. Here are some tips on sword safety to prevent yourself from stabbing yourself in the leg while practicing (Been there, done that.), accidentally impaling furniture (Really, it was only the couch. And the television.), and people in restaurants and performances (Fortunately for that one guy at Mississippi Pizza in Portland, it was my dull sword.).
Don’t use a battle ready sword when dancing. You can still get pretty, shiny, sharp enough swords online.
on Mon, 19 Dec, 2016
I am a tribal fusion dancer, however, I sometimes dance “Tribaret” a combination of tribal and cabaret that I learned from my former teacher, Severina from when I took lessons at Gypsy Caravan studio. Cabaret costumes are expensive but very glamourous. I have bought second hand belly dance costumes from other dancers. When I do this, I end up modifying them to fit my body. These costumes are beautiful, but they are still expensive even second hand and a lot of work to modify. It is almost as much work starting from scratch. I also have found that it is possible to make a cabaret bra by starting with a bra that is already pretty, using strings of pearls, rhinestones and sequins and adding appliques. Below are some of the bras that I made. I would stay that I probably spent less than $20 on most of these and sometimes another $20 on the belts. However, if I was getting paid for the amount of labor that went into creating them, they would be worth a million dollars! Or maybe a thousand anyway.
I made this bra when I first came to Eugene. It is a pretty bra I got on sale, probably at Kohls or Target. I added some beads, lace and velvet trim. It gives it a Victorian or maybe even a burlesque look to it. All that turquoise needed to be balanced with a belt that was equally bright and impressive. I purchased a strip of stretchy sequins from the Mill End Store in Eugene. Then I sewed similar matching lace and beads onto the belt and matching necklace. It was pretty but still not fancy enough for me. Over the course of three years I sewed black beads to the belt. Every time I performed with this belt I had sewed a few more on. Because the thread was white, I covered the ends that showed against the black beads by coloring it with a Sharpie. That mean I was always getting Sharpie on my fingers. One day when my sister, who is an avid crafter and beader, saw me doing this, she told me they sell black beading thread!
on Mon, 05 Dec, 2016
5 Things You Need to Know for Selecting A Belly Dance Veil
The most important thing about selecting a veil is to try out different veils to see what you like. If you take class with other dancers, you can ask friends will let you try their veils. Sometimes in a class setting you can switch veils to feel the weight and flow of others. I was lucky I had a teacher that allowed students to select from her box of veils to try them out in class. Severina insisted you had to switch them around. I found what worked for me that way. Below are some things I have learned about dancing with a veil.
on Mon, 14 Nov, 2016
I own two swords. My first sword was free; I noticed it in a lost and found bin and coveted it for months. When I asked the manager of the dance studio if I could have it, she said if no one claimed it within a certain amount of time I could. I probably waited for another month. No one claimed it, so I got it. I loved this sword, I reupholstered the sheath. I used my mom’s Brasso to make it shiny. But then there were problems with it and I didn’t know what to do to make “my precious” better.
Below are some things I learned in the process of fixing up one sword and purchasing another.
1. Don’t use a battle ready sword.
This is the most important detail, so I am listing it first. Basically this means you shouldn’t buy a sword that is sharp. Even the “dull” swords you buy online are going to have a point. Don’t I know it from stabbing my couch accidentally while practicing! And my leg. And that time I dropped it on my foot. Accidents happen. Don’t buy something meant to cut watermelon because you might end up cutting others or your dog while practicing, or someone’s child when performing in a crowded restaurant.
on Mon, 17 Oct, 2016
Recently I performed a Harry Potter Themed Belly Dance Performance. You can learn more about the performance and see more details in my post: How You Can make a Lord Voldemort Mask that Looks Better than A Store Bought Mask here.
In this post I would like to show the death eater masks I made for the same performance.
First I started with a photo reference. It was good that I did because I couldn’t tell in the movies that there were designs on the masks. It was always too dark in the scenes with death eaters. I didn’t realize much of the time their mouths were partially covered in a very creepy way and it looked like there were eyelids and face underneath the mask but it was actually part of the mask. They are strange and beautiful and scary at the same time. In my performance at Medge’s Summer Alternative show, my two death eaters touched their wands to their dark marks and summoned me to the stage.
These are the steps I did to make the masks:
on Mon, 03 Oct, 2016
Two things you should know about me as you read this post: I am crafty and I like Harry Potter. Okay, I don’t like Harry Potter, I love Harry Potter. Recently I had two Harry Potter Themed Belly Dance Performance. The first one was at No Shame Eugene. I danced to some fun music, including “Dark Lord Funk” which you can find a post and link to a video the artist made here:
During my second performance, I had more time to work on my costume and make it more Harry Potter themed. I remembered to put the scar on my forehead, wore big black glasses, had death eaters on stage, dark marks and the whole shebang. I also revealed “my little friend” in a Professor Quirrell-like moment.
One of the things that made me decide to make my own Lord Voldemort mask was that the ones sold online didn’t look like him and it was for the whole head and upper body. I just wanted a head growing out of the back of my head. In hindsight I wish I had used a full mask instead of one that was flat. Though it was time consuming, it also was less expensive. Most of these store bought masks cost around $50. In any case, I think my mask looked way better than the ones I looked at online.
Below are the steps I used to make my a Dark Lord’s mask.
on Mon, 19 Sep, 2016
During the year I work as a school teacher, which means that my pile of sewing grows from a mole hill to the size of a mountain. A lot of what I sew becomes belly dance costumes or clothes that doubles for both my normal life and my belly dance life. Below are ten projects I worked on this summer.
Do I really need another pair of bloomers? The answer is “Yes!” In order to save myself some time, I combined a pair of pajama pants and curtains from Value Villages’ Memorial Day sale. Their clothes and household items are half off on holidays. I have gotten a lot of use out of these pants this summer—for belly dance and elegantly bumming around the house.
on Mon, 05 Sep, 2016
I’m a Star Trek fan. How about you? In honor Star Trek’s 50th anniversary, Trek Theatre of Eugene is putting on Star Trek Episodes in the park. I will be joining them again as the Orion Slave Dancer as entertainment during intermission. To celebrate fifty Trek-tastic years, I have included 10 funny Star Trek memes.
on Tue, 23 Aug, 2016
For the last couple of years I have performed belly dance as the Orion Slave Dancer for Trek Theatre’s productions here in Eugene, Oregon. This year is Star Trek’s 50th anniversary. I am going to be dancing again during the intermission of their show. In honor of the anniversary, I thought I would do an alien make up tutorial. Stage makeup is different to put on compared to regular make up, whether it is green or flesh tone. During a normal belly dance performance, you need make up so you aren’t washed out in the bright lights. Of course, I need the green makeup because I’m an alien.
Below is my step by step transformation using stage makeup to turn myself into an alien.
on Thu, 02 Jun, 2016
As a tribal fusion belly dancer, I have a lot more freedom in of music, movement and costume because I have a broader selection to choose from. As a result, I sometimes select unusual music.
Often times when I perform, I choose music that has a good beat, that inspires me and often times, themes that makes me laugh. Sometimes I match my music and the nuances of my belly dance style to the costume, sometimes I do the reverse and match the costume and style to the music. In this post, I share three songs that have recently inspired me. I have practiced these in my classes at Willamalane Community Center in Springfield and my students have performed to these in Eugene at performances.
I share these videos in the hope that you, too, will be inspired and will laugh.
on Tue, 29 Sep, 2015
People often ask me what steampunk is. I have steampunk belly dance performances. I create steampunk jewelry and costumes. I write steampunk stories and novels. It is something that transcends my hobbies and carries itself into my day to day clothes as well.
on Mon, 29 Jun, 2015
You have heard of Shakespeare in the Park, but what about Star Trek in the park? There is a local theatre group in Eugene who puts on Star Trek episodes in the park and sometimes small theatres to share the joy of science fiction. After these productions or between shows, Sarina can be found enjoying local cuisine at nearby establishments such as Papa’s Soul Food Kitchen and Barbeque where they serve human and aliens alike. Sometimes she gets some strange looks from people, is asked if she is playing the witch from Wicked and hears no end to the jokes about how it isn’t easy being green. One might wonder WHY she would want to take hours to put on that green make up—and nearly as long to take it off—for a belly dance performance. Here is why:
on Mon, 27 Apr, 2015
Whether you go to see a belly dance performance in Eugene, Oregon or a performance in New York City or somewhere in the Middle East, there are certain sounds and cues you will commonly see. When belly dancers interact with each other during a performance, they use non-verbal cues to encourage each other, signal they are about to transition to a different move and get each other’s attention. To someone who has practiced Middle Eastern dance and belly dance, this is nothing new. But for a novice or outsider, it looks like this is a secret language. Below are some of the signals used by dancers.
on Mon, 06 Apr, 2015
How is it possible that a tribal belly dancer in Eugene, Oregon can join in a performance with a dancer up in Portland and down in San Fransisco and dance so well together that it looks choreographed? There are secrets in the belly dance community that someone from outside the belly dance world might not know. Some of those secrets aren’t really that secret once involved in the world of belly dance and the biggest method of secret commuincation between performers include the non-verbal language of belly dance
on Mon, 16 Mar, 2015
Fusion Friendly Events is a collective of experimental, avant-garde performers who fuse belly dance with other styles such as flamenco, breakdance, modern dance, jazz, burlesque, theatrical and poi. They currently host 4 events a year, usually at Cozmic Pizza in Eugene, Oregon.
on Mon, 09 Mar, 2015
Groups like Fusion Friendly Events or the Middle Eastern Dance Guild of Eugene have guidelines for performers who are auditioning to participate in their shows. These are great guidelines for belly dance try-outs, but also for performances in general. If someone is new to performing, these are some great things to take into consideration. The list below is what Fusion Friendly sends to performers interested in participating in our events. Although a lot of it is catered to the fusion venue, many suggestions are relevant to any performance or audition.
on Mon, 02 Mar, 2015
Why do people confuse Belly Dance, Burlesque, Stripping and Exotic Dances and what do they have in common? If you are a belly dancer and someone calls you a Hoochie Coochie dancer, is it an insult? See a list of explanations and descriptions of each dance below. Some of the answers might surprise you!
on Mon, 23 Feb, 2015
Many belly dance moves have roots in the Middle East and Africa, but breakdance and hip hop do as well. Many moves look very similar. What one culture calls twerking, another calls the Suhaila technique. The biggest difference is the posture which gives the muscle isolation technique used in both a completely different look.
on Mon, 16 Feb, 2015
Aren’t all belly dance art forms performed in America a “fusion” of styles and regions? Yes and no. there are differences between ATS (American Tribal Style), Cabaret and tribal fusion. Read on to understand the complexity of the ancient art of belly dance in modern times.
on Mon, 02 Feb, 2015
People often use the terms Middle Eastern dance, folk dance and belly dance interchangebly but there actually are differences between them. Learn a quick and easy to understand explanation here.
on Mon, 19 Jan, 2015
Belly dance is thought to have originated in the Middle East, though contemporary belly dance uses music, costuming and moves from many folkloric traditions. There are several ideas about belly dance’s origins and functions. Whether familiar with belly dance because you saw it at a show in Eugene and are about curious what it is, or you are a seasoned dancer wanting to know more, this post briefly describes the origins of the dance.
on Fri, 09 Jan, 2015
Most of you know me as a belly dance teacher and performer. In addition to my day job teaching, my evening job teaching dance and my in between job as a local fashion designer, I am also a published author. Recently my two worlds of belly dance and writing collided when I sold a story about a male belly dancer to an online magazine. Although I have written another story with a belly dancer in it, this is the first one that sold.
Below is an excerpt from the beginning of the story. To read the story in its entirety, please visit the link below.
on Mon, 05 Jan, 2015
Belly dance is as diverse an art form in Eugene as it is in the rest of the world. There are cabaret styles, tribal styles and fusion belly dance. Fusion belly dance is characterized as Middle Eastern Dance combined with another forms of dance, such as salsa, bhangra, hip hop or burlesque. Although there are cabaret dancers who combine two styles such as Egyptian and Indian bhangra styling, and it would be accurate to call this form of dance fusion, often fusion refers to tribal fusion.
When the belly dance style “tribal fusion” is said . . .
on Sun, 04 Jan, 2015
In the last post I gave examples of cabaret and fusion dancers who are men. Though male belly dancers are rarer in this country than female belly dancers, belly dance is an art form practiced more commonly in other countries. One detail about belly dance is that it isn’t called belly dance in other countries. It is called Middle Eastern Dance or folkloric dance or African dance. The moves from many cultures make up belly dance. Back in the 1800’s when Middle Eastern dance came to America, it was labeled as a “dance of the belly” and became a sexy form of entertainment by women for men.
Check out some of these folkloric dances from around the world and see which moves you recognize as being “belly dance.” Some of them aren't belly dance but can definately be combined into fusion belly dance.
on Sat, 03 Jan, 2015
Contrary to popular belief, there are male belly dancers. Ten years ago when I was studying in Portland, I met a man named Skylar who danced tribal fusion. Here in Eugene we have Alfredo who dances classical cabaret. A few years ago Jim Boz came to town and performed at a MEDGE show.
There is something incredibly attractive about a man who can dance. Perhaps that is why having a male belly dancer in a crowd of women outweighs the response to any female performer I have seen. Sometimes it is embarrassing how women scream as though these men are Chip’n Dale dancers. Then again, sometimes the general public treat female belly dancers as though they are strippers, too, so maybe we are equal on that account.
on Sat, 27 Dec, 2014
As a tribal fusion belly dance teacher in Eugene and Springfield, I am often asked how to prepare for a dance class. Whether you've never taken a belly dance dance class before or it's been awhile, students often ask what they should wear and what they should bring to class. Below is a list of common items you might want to bring with you to a class:
Improve fitness and core strength while working out to great world music and learning the basics of belly dancing. Class emphasizes posture and stretching to avoid injury, muscle isolation for improving strength and repetition for a balanced workout. Sarina teaches classes at Willamalane in Springfield and the Reach Center in Eugene.
Sarina performs her alternative tribal fusion belly dance style at many venues in Eugene and sometimes Portland, Oregon. Whether she is steampunk belly dancing to neo-Victorian music, using her flamenco/burseque fusion fans with a 1920's flair, Andalusian skirt twirling, clowning it up at Cirque du Eugene, or fusing break dance and belly dance to a Star Trek remixed music, she brings creativity and fun to the dance.
When she performs with Fusion Fascination, it is a fusion style influenced by world music.