Book Review – Midnight at the Crossroads: has belly dance sold its soul?

Book Review: Midnight at the Crossroads: Has belly dance sold its soul?   Very rarely are we allowed to enjoy our dance, just for the sake of having fun with it. If we ignore the culture or change our interpretations we are accused of cultural appropriation; if we are not willing to learn, we are labelled as uncaring or shallow; if we take one form of our dance and match it to another, we are even called stupid. So what is to be done? Start crying and realise you will never be good enough? Give up belly dancing? Or become […]

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Interview with Rachel Bond from Inspire Bellydance

Interview with Rachel Bond from Inspire Bellydance   I first met Rachel in Perth in 2013. It was part of the WA Middle Eastern Dance Festival, and she performed a beautiful show with live music. I was instantly struck by her grace (beautiful arm lines especially) and feeling with the music. Rachel lives in Sydney and is passionate about Middle Eastern dance. For this month’s newsletter, I was lucky enough to interview her about her passion, recent trip to Egypt and life as a dancer.   “Performing is another thing that I adore doing, for much the same reasons: it’s […]

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Know the rules. Then break them.

Know the rules. Then break them.   In a recent workshop with Lorna of Cairo, she said it is important to learn the rules of belly dance, but then you can break them.   Teaching many beginner students, I have recently been thinking about this concept and the importance to correct technique and cultural knowledge.   As an example, I think of Picasso. I never liked his work. Cubism. It seemed violent and offensive. But when I saw his earlier classical work, understood his mastery of painting technique and his motivations for seeing and portraying in different ways, and I [...] Read more »

6 Tips to Master Turns and Head Spins

6 Tips to Master Turns and Head Spins   Nothing can put you off  your performance like feeling nauseous mid-spin. Since posting my requested video on how not to get dizzy when turning and spinning,  I have received many more suggestions on how to improve turns and head spins. In this post, we look at 6 new ways to perfect your turns and spins. Are turns a traditional part of Middle Eastern dance? Whilst spins and turns have been popular in Middle Easter dance for centuries, it seems to be becoming more rigourous, more dramatic and even a crucial move for [...] Read more »