Disclaimer: I woke up at 5 to catch the 7:05 train, danced my spangled tuckus off for 5 hours, and demolished three different types of gelato. If this post contains any typos, blame it on the lack of sleep and the inevitable crash from my previous sugar high. But I had a wonderful day enjoying the weather, dancing like a woman possessed, and catching up with some really cool girls from Connecticut that I seldom get to spend time with.
Today, I buzzed into Manhattan for two workshops with the beautiful Aradia from Las Vegas. Aradia is something of a rock star in Vegas – and you can immediately see why. Her style is like some type of bellydance comfort food: totally indulgent, yet also pure and familiar. I love that she doesn’t utilize crazy amounts of ballet, jazz or fusion influence. Just that clean, classic cabaret style that purists like me really long for. And did I mention she’s an absolute doll and a great teacher?
The first workshop was a beautiful drum solo choreography. In belly dance, you’re generally either an “ooey gooey” girl or a shimmy queen. Due to my overall body shape and muscle-to-fat ratio, I tend to rock the slow, snaky, bendy moves. This was the perfect drum solo for me! Lots of locks, Dina butt twists and other non-shimmy moves. Loved it. Aradia suggests using a metronome to help pace your shimmies. Cool idea!
Then, we did some cane. Admittedly, this is an area where I feel rather “challenged,” as I perform in fairly small quarters most of the time and for American crowds, who don’t often eat up folkloric the way belly dancers and Arab audiences do. It was a great mix of masculine tahtib stylings and feminine cute moves. Unfortunately, there seemed to be far too many people swinging canes in such a small studio, so my friends and I spent a decent chunk of time observing and taking notes. Nonetheless, I was amazed by the fact that Aradia makes it all look so effortless!
This was a wonderful day of workshops, and my girl Daniela deserves a round of applause for giving us Northeastern belly dancers an opportunity to study with such a gem. It’s tricky to transcribe a zaghareet over the internet – but here goes: lalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalala!