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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

Who's Who?: Umm Kalthoum

Jun 30, 2017 9:00:00 AM

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Who's Who Challenge! -


It's time again for another Who's Who Challenge! Members: if you answer our questions in the DO blog AND cite your sources, you'll get $5 off your next month of membership!

The Rules:

1. We give you a historical figure or event to research and you have a few questions to answer about the historical figure or event in order to complete your challenge.

2. You can use the internet, books, DVDs, magazines and journals, etc. to do your research. In order to win the challenge and get $5 off your membership, you must already have a membership to Datura Online and you MUST cite your sources using MLA citations (Brush up on your citation skills here: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/ or use this handy dandy tool: http://www.easybib.com/). To participate in this challenge we must refrain from embedded opinion: supported and cited facts only, fellow scholars!

3. You don’t have to write a paper (unless you are super nerdy like we are and enjoy that sort of thing), just answer the questions we give you in at least three sentences per question. Of course, you are more than welcome to share any fascinating tidbits you find in your quest for knowledge. If others share the same information as you, that’s ok! But let’s do our best to share different resources and knowledge so we can all grow together.

4. We’ll compile several of the juiciest Who's Who? challenge winners’ answers in a separate blog post, along with all the resources you find so they’re all ea...

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4 Comments | Posted in News History Who's Who? By Datura Online Staff

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This Edition: Who Inspires you to dance?

 It's time to inspire

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched - they must be felt with the heart.” - Helen Keller

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 has two parts: Who ispires you to dance? And do you have favorite dancers and dance videos that you like to watch for inspiration?

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.

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

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This Edition: Music that gets you up and dancing...

 Music

“The songs and rhythms make my body move before I know what is going on.” - Colette

The Process -

Q: What music is inspiring you to dance right now?


Tamalyn:
 The latest CD by Ilahun, a young band from Salta, Argentina is gorgeous! Unfortunately, they aren't on itunes, Spotify, etc. Instead, they sell the CDs at their shows around South America, as does one of the band members sister, Lujan. Somehow, this CD is making the rounds in China, copy by copy and many people don't know where it is from nor who created it. The Lakhdar Hanou Ensemble has an amazing Andalusian- Arabic music CD with a Chinese instrumentalist. Really great. It's called "Ne Fut-ce Qu'en Chine".


Colette:
 I have found myself returning to the music I was introduced to when I began belly dancing. Specifically, Aisha Ali's field recording of The Music of the Fellahin, and the Music of the Oulid Nail. The Music of the Fellahin has songs I routinely use in class and this album gave me some of my first tastes of Middle Eastern instruments (argul, mizmar, and doumbec) and rhythms. One song that always mesmerized me when I watched FatChanceBellyDance perform to it was Saidi Dance. I have also been listening to Music of the Oulid Nail for inspiration. The songs and rhythms make my body move before I know what is going on. After taking Journey Through Egypt, I was able to place the music to a specific location, and being able to visualize who was creating the music has re...

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

Who's Who?: Badia Masabni History Buffs

May 24, 2017 9:00:00 AM

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Who's Who Challenge! -


Congratulations to our history buffs in May: Laura, Kennedey, Milica, and Nicole! They did research into the life of Badia Masabni and investigated how she impacted our dance form. We'll include their research and their sources below so you can learn more about Badia as well! And if you didn't participate this month, join us for the next Who's Who challenge and you might get $5 off your next month of membership to Datura Online!

Find out more about Badia Masabni!

1. Who was Badia Masabni? (Milica) "Badia Masabni (born Wadiha Masabni) was an actress and a dancer. She is one of the most important figures in history of belly dance. She is often cited as the matron or the godmother of modern day belly dance. Badia was the owner of several influential night clubs in Egypt in 1920s. She was also working at theaters and a movie cinema which was part of her nightclub."

2. What did she do to impact our dance? (Laura) "In 1926 she opened her first dance hall “Sala Badia”, often referred to as “Casino Badia” where 'casino' at the time meant a music hall with entertainment provided by actors, singers and musicians. 

Casino Badia was very successful. The performances appealed to the local audience as well as to the many Europeans who lived in Cairo. Madame Masabny – as she was known at the time – added some new elements to the traditional Egyptian-style dance in order to make it more palatable to a foreign audience as well. She was inspired by European classical dance an...

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2 Comments | Posted in News History Who's Who? By Datura Online Staff

The Community: Scheduling your practice

May 17, 2017 9:00:00 AM

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This Edition: Scheduling your practice

 Schedule your practice

Target and celebrate small wins. Amid the clumsiness of the start, there are moments of figuring out fundamentals, of making small improvements. Find them, name them, and highlight them.” - Daniel Coyle

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 is: How do you schedule your practice?

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.

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

Who's Who?: Badia Masabni

Apr 28, 2017 9:00:00 AM

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Who's Who Challenge! -


We love love love to learn here at DO! And we know you do too. That’s why we’re introducing this brand new series where we all take a look at some important figures and events in belly dance history and share our resources to find out more. And, check it out members: if you do the research, follow our guidelines, and share it on our Facebook page or the DO blog, you get $5 off your membership! Think of it as a research challenge to supplement your dance practice. Knowledge is power!

Here’s how it works:

1. We’ll give you a historical figure or event to research and you have five questions to answer about the historical figure or event in order to complete your challenge.

2. You can use the internet, books, DVDs, magazines and journals, etc. to do your research. In order to win the challenge and get $5 off your membership, you must already have a membership to Datura Online and you MUST cite your sources using MLA citations (Brush up on your citation skills here: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/ or use this handy dandy tool: http://www.easybib.com/). To participate in this challenge we must refrain from embedded opinion: supported and cited facts only, fellow scholars!

3. You don’t have to write a paper (unless you are super nerdy like we are and enjoy that sort of thing), just answer the five questions we give you in at least three sentences per question. Of course, you are more than welcome to share any fascinating tidbits you find in yo...

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11 Comments | Posted in News History Who's Who? By Datura Online Staff

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This Edition: Facing challenge in dance

 challenge

“It is not in the still calm of life, or the repose of a pacific station, that great characters are formed. The habits of a vigorous mind are formed in contending with difficulties.” -Abigail Adams

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 is: What challenges have you experienced in dance and how did you face them?

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.

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

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This Edition: What music inspires you to dance and where do you go to search for new music?

 Mary Pickford guitar

“Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.” -Victor Hugo

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 has two parts: 1) What music is inspiring you to dance right now? And 2) where do you go to search for new music?

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.

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

The Process: Book Worms Part 1

Feb 22, 2017 7:05:00 AM

Insights from Our Teachers about Dance and Dance Making

Something we really love about our D.O. instructors is their endless quest for knowledge. Reading provides endless inspiration and helps balance active bodies with active minds! Here are a few recent "favorite reads" from some of our teachers.

The Process: Book Worms Part 1 -

Q: What is the most influental book you've read recently?

Rachel Brice: "The Talent Code" and "The Little Book Of Talent" by Daniel Coyle. The Little Book Of Talent has revolutionized the way that I not only approach practice for myself, but has completely changed the way I teach. I have never gotten so much positive feedback about teaching in my life as I have since I have been using the techniques in the Little Book Of Talent.

Colette Todorov: The book "The Talent Code" by Daniel Coyle has been at my side since I purchased it last spring. It has influenced me as a dancer and also as a dance instructor, expanding my knowledge of how the brain and our bodies work to increase skill level and optimize performance. We all have busy lives and the time in the studio needs to be productive and not a place to spin your wheels or go through the motions – it needs to be productive and show results. Specifically, Daniel Coyle's idea of “deep practice”, or working in the “uncomfortable terrain located just beyond our current abilities, where our reach exceeds our grasp” hit home for me. After reading this book I made significant, and valuable, changes to my persona...

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

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This Edition: How do you do your makeup for stage?

 Brushes

“Makeup is no different than clothes and accessories - it's embellishments for your face. And it also gives you creative freedom. You get to have that moment in front the mirror every morning and give yourself self-love. You're making yourself up beautiful, which is essentially self-love.” -Michelle Phan

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 has two parts: 1) What are your favorite makeup looks for dance? And 2) how do you do your makeup look for stage??

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.

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

The Community: Share your stories!

Jan 11, 2017 9:00:00 AM

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This Edition: Share Your Stories!

 Book

“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.

30 Comments | Posted in News Practice Tips The Community 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?


Henna:
 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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4 Comments | Posted in News Practice Tips The Process 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”?


Henna:
  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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6 Comments | Posted in News Practice Tips The Process 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?


Henna:
 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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1 Comments | Posted in News Practice Tips The Process By Datura Online Staff

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