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This Edition: What drew you to belly dance?

 How did you start belly dancing?

“Dance when you're broken open. Dance, if you've torn the bandage off. Dance in the middle of fighting. Dance in your blood. Dance when you're perfectly free.” - Rumi

The Community -

Welcome to the Datura Online Community, where we share our thoughts, tips, and resources together in one place!

Each month we ask the DO community a question here on the Datura Online blog and we want to hear your thoughts.

Q: This month's question: Why belly dance? What drew you to this art form and how did you get started?

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.

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

Friday with Friends - June Round Up

Jun 30, 2017 7:13:00 AM

Friday with Friends

Friday with Friends - Our featured Friends in June!

Every Friday we share video/photos of our dance friends on our instagram page who are using DO in their dance journey! We are so proud of all of you and it warms our heart to see you all expressing your individuality and personality in this dance form we all love. 

Check out our featured friends below! And if you ever want to show us what you've been working on, just tag #daturaonline in your videos and pictures on instagram and you might be featured on our page!


Draconis Dances


 Lisova Mavka


Maya Felipe


 Jennifer Lynn Warren


Davina Kelm

0 Comments | Posted in News Special Offers Practice Tools By Datura Online Staff

New Workshop: 6/14/17

Ashley Drill Bits: Pop It!

Who's got half an hour and wants to get some good upper body drills in? Then Ashley's got the perfect class for you!

Drill Bits: Pop It!

Get ready to move your upper body! This quick 30 minute drill class is fully focused on the chest and ribcage movement. We'll explore chest lifts, drops, slides, shapes and experiment with speed, size, and layering arms and footwork!

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

New Feature: Share your Playlists!

Apr 26, 2017 10:38:00 AM

Share your Playlists!

New Feature : Share Playlists

We're happy to introduce a new feature that we are super excited about: the ability to share playlists! With this awesome new feature you can now share your belly dance practice with friends, fellow dancers, AND, if you are a teacher, your students!

To share your playlists, visit your Playlists page on your My Practice Profile. You can share playlists directly from the Playlists page, or you can click on the particular playlist you want to share. Click the "Share" button, copy the link, and paste it into your social media, website, or wherever you want to share your practice. Get inspired and motivate others to practice!

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

New Workshop: 4/12/17

Knee Love!

Treat yourself to a new Pilates and yoga routine from Ashley Lopez that focuses on strength and functionality of the knee joint!

 Knee Love!Knee Love

This workshop focuses on the health and functionality of one of our most precious assets...our knees! This workshop includes two concise practices: a mat practice which focuses on activating and strengthening the quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes as well as practicing larger range of motion exercises using a chair. As with any exercise routine, be sure you consult with your physician before beginning, especially if you have had any past injuries or surgeries. Take care of your knees and they will be the bee's knees!

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

New Workshop: 3/29/17

Cynthia's Tears: An Original Choreography

We are excited to present this new original choreography from April Rose, "Cynthia's Tears". This choreography is all about growth and change: how we can start at a place of self doubt and restriction and through intention cultivate ease and expansion.

 Cynthia's Tears: An Original ChoreographyCynthia's Tears: An Original Choreography

This workshop from April Rose is a chronological breakdown of an intermediate/advanced level choreography that features belly dance roots and contemporary embellishments. Set to the Arabic Jazz song, "Cynthia's Tears" the movement in this dance interprets the melody and inspired by the idea of growth. Techniques include rounded hipwork, spiraling arm pathways, leg extensions, choo choo shimmies, chaîné turns, and a complex layering sequence.

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

New Workshop: 2/1/17

Cardio Blast: Work It Out!

Get ready to work it out in this power packed, super fast cardio workshop with Ashley Lopez!

 Cardio Blast: Work It Out!Cardio Blast: Work It Out!

Get ready to work it out! This quick 30 minute cardiovascular interval training routine will give you the fantastic work out you need, without any equipment, without needing to get out and run a million miles. All exercises are body-weight based, so you can make them high or low-impact and you can go as easy or difficult as you like. Feeling tired? Slow it down. Want to get into a higher heart rate zone? Push faster and jump higher! Be sure you are thoroughly warmed up before beginning this workout so your joints and muscles are ready to fly!.

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

Musician Spotlight: Elsie Jaiar

Jan 23, 2017 11:00:00 AM

Elsie Jaiar - Lauren Checchio & Jay Reynolds

David Reihs by Pheobus PhotoTogether Lauren Checchio (Divahn, Solar Falcon) and Jay Reynolds (Bootsy Collins, Freekbass) are Elsie Jaiar, a band that creates belly dance-inspired music that looks to the future. Elsie Jaiar's music is featured in many Datura Online classes with April Rose. Here are some of their insights into creating music.

5 Q's with Elsie Jaiar:

DO: How did you both get interested in music?

Lauren: My interest in music sparked at a very young age when I started playing cello in school. On my 21st birthday I was fortunate enough to attend the Oregon Country Fair, which presented a tribal style of belly dance. To that point I had no experience outside of the traditional style. At the fair I saw Sharon Kihara perform and she was such an inspiration to me that it changed my life path. I focused on the drums from that point forward. The whole thing came full circle for me at 3rd Coast Tribal Festival when Sharon asked me to improv for her at the show the following night.

Jay: I started on piano when I was ten then switched to flute a year or two after that. When I got to middle school band, I took up the saxophone. On my 15th birthday, my grandfather bought me a copy of Cannonball Adderly's greatest hits. Halfway through "Jive Samba" I was absolutely floored. I had not really heard modern jazz before, and I no idea you could just make up stuff as you went in music, much less with that degree of prowess.

DO: What brought you to the belly dance scene?


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1 Comments | Posted in News Music 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

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

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

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

New Workshop: 9/7/16

Rib Up Study with Rachel Brice

Proudly presenting the next workshop in Rachel's Datura Style Technique Series, the "Rib Up Study"!

 Rib Up Study with Rachel BriceRib Up Study: Datura Style Technique

We all know that learning new movements takes lots of repetition, but keeping what you've learned in your body also takes frequent check ins, albeit with less repetition. 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. The Rib Cage Up study is only 10 minutes long but packs a punch with all the material it contains. This workshop covers all the components of the Rib Cage Up study so you can learn at your own pace and review as necessary.

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

belly dance, balance, technique tips,

We all know skill building takes time and effort.  Dancers with a regular practice generally reap the rewards of their labors in the form of improved dexterity, poise, and grace.  However there are a few aspects of dance that are not as predictable and regardless of the number of years under one’s belt, or the fastidiousness of their regimen, they seem to fluctuate on a daily basis. 

Balance is notorious for being one of the more tricky and mercurial of the dancerly traits.  Yesterday you may have bounded effortlessly across the earth, whereas today you’re having trouble tackling the stairs.  If this sounds familiar, you may be wondering how you can better train this tricky beast. We’ve got a few tips for you to try but first, a biology lesson (Yay science!):

There are three systems within the body that contribute to one’s equilibrium: The vestibular system (located in the inner ear), the motor system (made of sensory nerves in the muscles, tendons, and joints), and the visual system (communication between the eyes and the brain to determine the body’s position in space).  

Maintaining one’s balance is achieved when these three systems work synergetically and we’ve got some tips to train the body and the mind to do just that.

1. Redefine your perception of balance:

Many people think that balance involves standing rigidly in one spot. Frozen in time, as eternal and immobile as a marble statue.  In reality, balancing is more fluid than that.  It has a breath to it - an even and perp...

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6 Comments | Posted in Practice Tips By Datura Online Staff

Do you ever finish your dance practice wishing you had accomplished more within your allotted practice time? We all value our time so when we dedicate ourselves to something, we expect that time and effort to yield results.  At Datura Online, we love reading about the latest research on learning, creativity, and skill building which has led us to discover new ways to train faster and smarter.  Today, we’d like to share some of these tips with you so you can get the most out of your dance practice.

Find the Sweet Spotthe sweet spot, daniel coyle, building skill, belly dance practice, the talent code,

One of the best ways to take your practice to the next level, is to find what Daniel Coyle (avid researcher of skill building and author of “The Talent Code” & “The Little Book of Talent”) calls ‘the Sweet Spot’.  Learning a new skill takes repetition, and as with any perpetual task, it is easy to go on auto-pilot; to allow our minds to wander as we repeat chest locks into oblivion. 

The Sweet Spot is located just beyond your current abilities.  In order to find it, you must remain mentally vigilant and push beyond your comfort zone.  This is where you learn the best and fastest, your mind becomes hyper-aware of errors and you are engaged in an intense struggle, constantly reaching for your goal.

Target Hard Skills and Soft Skills

Another great tip we’ve learned from Daniel Coyle, is how to categorize our practice items into hard skills and soft skills, and adjust our practice methods accordingly.  Hard skills are about exactitude; each repetition of the action is pe...

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5 Comments | Posted in Practice Tips Practice Tools By Datura Online Staff

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