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The Community: Share your stories!

Jan 11, 2017 9:00:00 AM

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This Edition: Share Your Stories!


“One of the marvelous things about community is that it enables us to welcome and help people in a way we couldn't as individuals. When we pool our strength and share the work and responsibility, we can welcome many people, even those in deep distress, and perhaps help them find self-confidence and inner healing.” -Jean Vanier

The Community -

Community is a big part of what makes Datura Online so special. Supporting one another and providing resources for each other makes us all stronger as artists and humans. With that in mind we want to hear your voices!

Once a month we'll be asking the Datura Online community a question both here on the Datura Online blog and on the Datura Online Facebook and Instagram pages and we want to know your thoughts.

Q: This month's question: What is your costume creating process?

We'll feature responses from the Datura Online community right here in our blog. We look forward to hearing from you all!

Thanks for reading. Please post your stories about belly dance and the dance making process in the comments below or on our Facebook or Instagram pages.

25 Comments | Posted in News Practice Tips The Community By Datura Online Staff

New Workshop: 1/4/17

Steady Shimmies!

Let's shimmy in the new year! Build strength, flexibility, and stamina for Egyptian shimmies in this new workshop from Sedona.

 Steady Shimmies!Steady Shimmies!

In this workshop we will be focusing on getting a strong and vivacious shimmy! Sedona will be sharing exercises and drills designed to strengthen, stretch and open the muscles around the knee joints in order to support the Egyptian Knee Shimmy. You will be shimmying through different timing manipulations and traveling movements that will help you to increase the stamina and mobility of your shimmy.

2 Comments | Posted in News New Classes By Datura Online Staff

The Process: Studying The Arts

Dec 28, 2016 11:00:00 AM

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This Edition: How expanding our studies to other forms of art can help us as belly dancers...


“Once you understand passion is a part of all great art, you will start to unlock your unique voice and bring it to your dance.” -Henna

The Process -

Q: What other art forms (besides dance) do you think would be helpful to study to enhance one's belly dance technique?

 Whatever appeals to you. If it interests you and you are thoughtful about it, it will serve your dance - and vice versa. My background is in literature, so I often find parallels to dance and music in poetry. Technique, for me, is not only the movement itself, but it is also the emotional connection and expression of life. All art is a combination of technique and having something to say. Once you understand passion is a part of all great art, you will start to unlock your unique voice and bring it to your dance. So, my advice is not to study one kind of art over another, but rather to study any and all art, and especially the masters in those fields.

ColetteI think ANY art form can help enhance one's belly dance technique, primarily in the approach to practice and the process of creativity. There are similarities in learning anything new. Being open to letting yourself struggle in order to develop a skill, whether it's writing, painting, or dancing, is an important concept that I think other art forms help develop. While being able to knit a sweater perfectly may not directly make your...

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3 Comments | Posted in News Practice Tips The Process By Datura Online Staff

New Workshop: 12/21/16

Clever Combinations

Ready for some awesome combinations designed to challenge both mind and body? Ashley is here to train with you!

 Clever CombinationsClever Combinations

Ready for a challenge? In this class we will practice combinations designed for the advanced dancer, layering isolations and shapes, sequencing movements, learning tricky footwork and drilling different kinds of spins. You will work on increasing your endurance through long drills and learning combos quickly. At the end of class you will learn one long master combination to be practiced on both sides, first slowly and then super fast! Remember to have fun with this; the video is meant to be repeatable so we hope you find it challenging enough to return to over and over again.

2 Comments | Posted in News New Classes By Datura Online Staff

When it comes to choosing what to include in your personal practice, belly dancers have a lot of options.  You could drill your basic shapes (locks, circles and eights); incorporate those shapes into more complex layers; practice fancy footwork with traveling, levels, and turns; incorporate smooth and controlled arm pattern cycles; or you could spend the hour powering through the biggest, juiciest shimmy you can muster. 

And that’s not all! A well balanced routine also includes conditioning, strength training, flexibility, expression, musicality, improvisation, and choreography.  You may be wondering: "How can I possibly make time for everything?". We’ve got 5 short, and very effective tips to help you organize your practice and track your progress.

you can do anything,organizing your dance practice, belly dance motivation

Quick Tip #1: Set Goals at Regular Intervals (and revisit those goals)

Ask yourself what skills you wish to learn or improve on.  For many of us, our initial response might be “I want to master all of it!”, but what would truly give you that triumphant sense of accomplishment?  As David Allen so aptly put it, "You can do anything, but not everything". Choose a few items to really focus on and then determine concrete goals and a realistic time frame in which to achieve them.  It’s helpful to set weekly goals as intentions to keep at the forefront of your mind throughout your practice (“This week I will maintain energy and intention throughout my arms”) and longer term goals as deadlines for progress (“In 3 months, I will be strong en...

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6 Comments | Posted in News Practice Tips By Datura Online Staff

New Workshop: 12/7/16

Intermediate ATS Drill Game 1 - 4

Want to practice your ATS® skills right at home with some friends? Colette is here to dance with you!

 Intermediate ATS Drill Game 1 - 4Intermediate ATS® Drill Game: Classes 1 - 4

Step right into an ATS® improvisation with a virtual experience of what it's like to be in an ATS® duet, trio, and quartet. Get ready to flex your improv skills by practicing both slow and fast movements from classes 1, 2, 3 and 4 of Colette's Intermediate ATS® series, including levels, slow turns, Arabic Shimmy with Arms and Turns (ASWAT), Spins and more. You'll get a chance to take the lead and practice some basic transitions with your fellow dancers. Don't forget to wear your zils for the fast songs. Jump in and be part of the game!

0 Comments | Posted in News New Classes By Datura Online Staff

New Workshop: 11/30/16

Drum Solo Expressions #2 - Saidi

Improve your musicality with drum solos through more essential technique and theory in “Drum Solo Expressions # 2 : Saidi” with Sedona.

 Drum Solo Expressions #2 - SaidiDrum Solo Expressions # 2 : Saidi

In this second workshop in Sedona's "Drum Solo Expressions" series we will continue to nourish our musicality skills, working on Drum Solo techniques and identifying Arabic rhythms. Sedona will explain her basic drum solo theory, the main goal in dancing a drum solo, and her process in preparing a drum solo. She will also explore fundamental sounds that comprise a well executed drum solo. Sedona will drill several movements and combinations to familiarize us with the sounds of the drum, with a focus on the energetic and earthy Saidi rhythm. Make sure to be properly warmed up before attempting this class.

0 Comments | Posted in News New Classes By Datura Online Staff

Our Mission & Shimmy Bliss Gifts!

Nov 23, 2016 9:45:00 AM

Gift Membership Special


"Datura Online was born out of a radical idea: To make dance classes accessible anywhere while supporting a global dance culture that nurtures inclusivity, sustainability, and excellence. We are a group of self-determining dancers, with no investors or advertisers, who are pioneering the website we want to use." - Rachel Brice & The Datura Online Team

Give the Gift of Shimmy Bliss!- 

We are so proud of our all belly dance owned, small business here at Datura Online! (Did you know we have a staff of only 5 women here at Datura HQ, alongside all of our excellent DO teachers?)

And our success is all because of you, the awesome people that dance with us every day on Datura Online!

We want to celebrate you this weekend by offering a $5 discount off of the monthly recurring membership for non-members starting on Small Business Saturday (November 26th, 2016) and lasting throughout Cyber Monday (November 28th, 2016). Offer ends November 29th, 2016. Just use the code smallbizdo16 to get your $5 discount: http://daturaonline.com/subscribe

And for our current Datura Online members, don't forget about our Hi-Five program: http://daturaonline.com/hifive/! Invite your friends to join Datura Online and both you and they get a $5 discount off of your memberships!

We are also offering a $5 discount off of our gift memberships! Looking for the perfect gift to give to your belly dance friends? Check out our gift memberships and use the code SHIMMYBLISSGM16 to get $5 off. Offer ends November 29th, 20...

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1 Comments | Posted in News Special Offers By Datura Online Staff

New Workshop: 11/16/16

Egyptian Finger Cymbals - Raqs Sharki Stylization

Ready to up your finger cymbal game? Practice multiple sounds and work on musical interpretation with Henna's brand new workshop!

 Egyptian Finger Cymbals - Raqs Sharki StylizationEgyptian Finger Cymbals: Raqs Sharki Stylization

This workshop is an exercise in playing multiple sounds on the finger cymbals as well as listening closely to the music. Henna will teach several Raqs Sharki style combinations, each using a different sound or basic pattern to compliment the character of the music. Basic foot patterns lay a foundation for movement in the body that can be changed to accommodate different levels of dancers, or different sounds in the music. We build each combination from the ground up so that dancers can layer on complexity as his/her ability improves.

0 Comments | Posted in News New Classes By Datura Online Staff

The Process: Detours and Taking Breaks

Nov 9, 2016 11:13:00 AM

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This Edition: Diversions and side roads, rest stops and refueling...


"All of it is applicable to your dance, whether or not you are dancing.” - Henna

The Process -

Q:  Do you feel there is value in taking breaks or detours from one's chosen dance path? Have you ever taken a break from belly dance? Why, how did you feel, and how did you know it was "time to come back”?

  There are no detours. All of it is applicable to your dance, whether or not you are dancing. I took a break from dancing after I had my son, but only for a few months. I missed it terribly, and the studio became my sanctuary in a way that it hadn't been before. Dancing with a slightly different body was hard at first, but I felt like my dance was much more meaningful after that break. I suppose you just know if and when it's time to come back - and in what capacity.

Colette There is tremendous value in taking breaks or detours in your dance path! Stepping back to gain perspective on your situation and re-evaluate your goals and desires is completely worthwhile. Things change, people change, interests change and there is SO much good stuff out there to study or be involved with. I've been consistently involved with belly dance for 18 years but the amount of time and effort has fluctuated over the years. When something, or someone, sparks a fire in me, I know it's time to ramp things up and get back in the studio.

Ashley:  For every dancer, of course, this is going to be personal...

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4 Comments | Posted in News Practice Tips The Process By Datura Online Staff

New Workshop: 11/02/16

Hip Up Study - Datura Style™ Technique

We are so excited to present the second of Rachel's Datura Style™ Studies: the Hip Up Study!

 Hip Up Study - Datura Style™ TechniqueHip Up Study: Datura Style™ Technique

Learning new movement takes lots of repetition, but keeping what you've earned in your body also takes frequent check ins. Datura's technique "studies" are a way to effectively practice a lot of material in a short amount of time to keep your technique clean, strong, and at your fingertips. This workshop covers all the component parts of the Hip Up study so you can learn at your own pace and review as necessary. Rachel will detail Datura Style™ fundamental hip work including hip lifts, hip bumps, swings, and more. You will learn all of these hip movements alongside essential foot patterns and arm pathways. Everything will be combined into a 10 minute Hip Up study practice to create an efficient and strong technique drill.

2 Comments | Posted in News New Classes By Datura Online Staff

You’ve heard it time and again: Practice makes perfect.  The adage has withstood the test of time and throughout the years many of us have experienced first hand the improved performance of an action after consistent practice, but have you ever wondered what exactly is happening at the super-cellular level?  What chemical changes are occurring in your biological make up that enable you to be faster, stronger, and sharper?   

Every action you perform can be biomechanically observed as a minute electrical impulse.  The action begins in the brain, which sends electrical commands down the spinal cord and through the vast network of nerves, located throughout your entire body.  When the neural unit is fired, the surrounding muscle fibers contract.  Myelin is a fatty tissue that wraps around the wires of our brain like electrical tape, forming an insulating sheath.  

 bellydance, practice, myelin,

We have learned a great deal about myelin and how it can benefit your dance practice from Daniel Coyle (avid researcher of skill building and author of “The Talent Code” & “The Little Book of Talent”).  It goes like this:  Each time we complete an action, a new layer of myelin is created, making the electrical command stronger and faster.  There are a few ground rules, but with this knowledge, one can harness the powerful potential of myelin and apply it to his/her dance practice to learn faster and build stronger, more efficient neurological pathways.

So we’ve established that with each repetition of an action, myelin w...

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3 Comments | Posted in Practice Tips By Datura Online Staff

New Workshop: 10/19/16

Viaje - An Original Choreography with Ashley Lopez

Proudly presenting a new original double veil choreography with Ashley Lopez: "Viaje".

 Viaje - An Original Choreography by Ashley Lopez"Viaje" - An Original Choreography by Ashley Lopez

In this workshop Ashley will teach a sweeping, spinning, expressive choreography set to the beautiful song "Viaje" by Ivan Tucakov and Tambura Rasa. This choreography includes double veil work, a short floorwork section with modification options, and many different types of spins. Offering challenges for all levels, you may choose to perform this piece with either a double or single veil, or modify the choreography to be for duets or larger groups. Have a great time making it your own!

0 Comments | Posted in News New Classes By Datura Online Staff

Datura Online Office Hours with Sedona

Oct 19, 2016 9:00:00 AM

Office Hours with Sedona

Throughout September and October our Datura Online teachers were available to answer all your belly dance questions on the Datura Online Facebook page!

This week Sedona answered your questions on Facebook Live. Check out her livestream below.

That's it for Datura Online Office hours for 2016!

It was great to hear everyone's questions and come together as a community! Let us know if you'd like more office hours with your teachers in the future and in the meantime, happy dancing!

1 Comments | Posted in News Practice Tips By Datura Online Staff

The Process: Well Rounded Dancers

Oct 12, 2016 11:26:00 AM

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This Edition: Notes on versatility and a wholistic approach to dance...


“A well rounded dancer would have great body awareness, to self correct technique and self monitor for health and injury.” -Colette Todorov

The Process -

Q: In your opinion, what are some of the ideal characteristics of a well rounded dancer?

 Unique voice / style. Technique and physical stamina and strength. Musical understanding. Cultural understanding (for bellydance).

ColetteA well rounded dancer would have great body awareness, to self correct technique and self monitor for health and injury. They would understand musicality to know a song's structure, rhythm, and emotion in order to add movement that strengthens and supports the music. This dancer would be knowledgeable about costuming and makeup, and have a clear understanding of the time and effort required for quality costuming. They would know the strengths and weaknesses of the stage and be able to modify and adjust their performance to suit the performance space at hand.

Ashley: Solid technique - a plethora of movements that have been mastered along with good posture. Physical fitness - of course their body needs to meet the demands of the dance. Stage presence - we are not just our technique. An eye for aesthetics - bellydancing is so much about the costume! Charisma - the ability to command an audience, to electrify the room. Kindness - because we should be well-rounded humans too.

Rachel: I'm not sure about we...

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0 Comments | Posted in News Practice Tips The Process By Datura Online Staff

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