Monday, April 4, 2011

Knee shimmy complication

Day 93 of practice.

A while back, Cari showed us an exercise to improve our knee shimmies: sit on the floor and rapidly try to slam the backs of your knees into the ground. Now, I'm pretty happy with my knee shimmy, but there's always room for improvement and it seemed like a fun thing to do while watching DVDs. The only problem was that my corgi Daisy was very excited about me sitting on the floor, and decided she had to help... by flopping across my knees! My legs are pretty strong, but not strong enough to shimmy with 23 lbs of dog muscle draped across them :)

I did manage to chase Daisy off of my lap, but afterwards she sat right next to me and stared deeply into my eyes, as if trying to fathom why belly dance is more important than puppy snuggles. Poor dog, she just doesn't understand my art!

In addition to shimmies, floreos, and belly rolls while watching DVDs, I did a quick run-through of my solo, which is getting better and better. Practicing it would be even nicer if I didn't have to stick to a tiny part of the living room floor so as to avoid the Ceiling Fan of DOOM!

Anyway, since it's only 1:15am instead of 2am, and I've had a mostly relaxing day (other than a short moment of panic when our dogs escaped, luckily unlike cats, they come when they're called), I can tell you all about my fun and exciting trip to Phoenix yesterday!

A while back Mahin announced that she was putting together a Belly Laughs show! Belly dance comedy, something that I've seen videos of on-line and kept wishing someone would do here. It turns out that my friend Dawn also wanted to go, so we agreed to carpool! Then we found out that Aura (a black light party at Plaza de Anaya) was planned for later in the evening, so that was an added bonus -- comedy + party + dance + friends = perfect Saturday night!

Despite getting a late start, we had a smooth drive up to Phoenix and found the Rhythm Room, a blues club that was hosting Belly Laughs. We were even early, so we were able to grab seats right next to the stage, and order some pizza to be delivered during the show, because we were starving! The show was reasonably crowded but not sold out, and sadly I didn't see any of my Phoenix dance friends there -- well, they missed out!

Belly Laughs was hilarious! Lots of talented dancers performing skits about all aspects of belly dance, from crazy customers to over-eager students to ridiculous props. I laughed so hard! In addition to the dancers, there was an all-female improv comedy troupe that did some skits between the dance performances and shared the emcee duties. They were quite funny and had clearly taken the time to learn some of the in-jokes of the belly dance community. Mahin really put together a great show, and if she does it again, I might just have to come up with a funny number to perform, too!

The show ended earlier than we expected and we had an hour and a half to kill before Aura, so we had a pleasant chat over coffee. It was a lovely night up in Phoenix, so it was nice to just sit and talk outside, and get to know Dawn better.

We got over to Plaza just as Aura started, and it's one of those events that starts off slow then gets more crowded as the night owls come out. I was able to introduce Dawn to some of the Plaza crew, and we checked out the retail floor lit only by dim blacklight, which was an adventure of "Is this brown or purple?" And since the dance floor was almost empty, I got to twirl around with my silk veil. Weee!

After a bit, more people showed up and they brought their props, so we alternated our time between dancing, and just sitting back to enjoy the glow poi and LED hoops and staffs. The hooping community is especially always well-represented at Aura and it's so fun to see the amazing moves they can do, and admire the different patterns of LEDs.

All too soon it was time to head home, and it was so nice to have a friend along to chat and keep me company for the long, boring drive through the dark. All in all, our road trip adventure was a blast and I look forward to doing it again... maybe someday soon!

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