D's Blog

August 19, 2011   ♦   Comments Off on Delilah’s Trip to Egypt in 2012 & The Pyramid Code

Delilah at Abu Semble

Our next tour to Egypt is set for April 2012.

We were suppose to go this past  March but given the events of this year, we got derailed because of the Arab Spring and had to re due our itinerary. The events that transpired this year in Egypt were a big surprise and I hope the Egyptian people benefit from it all. I feel it is a positive effort.

Whose going on Delilah’s Egypt Tour? Belly Dancers, family friends and anyone interested in Egypt who wants to see it from a magical point of view. Our new itinerary is  all on line and about half of our group is still on board. We lost a few travelers because they couldn’t get all the time off for 2012. Darn! However 2 new people are signing up because they can get the time off in 2012 so, there you go, never can tell what’s going to work out.

Things are turning around again and tourism is returning slowly. I have talk to friends who have gone and they said they were glad they went at such a historic time. All reports are pretty fantastic because the sights are not at all crowded . That is the preferred way to visit them (especially ifwe want to do some movement meditations in these sacred spots and not bother anyone.

Victoria at Abydos

Victoria at Abydos

We are still a long way out from April 2012.

However If you are thinking you might like to join us Let me know, save your money aside and I will let you know when I will accept new registrations. I may make a few tiny changes to the itinerary before then. Most likely I will accept new registrations in Dec/Jan. That will give you a good 5-6 months to plan. We are not going until April 24 2012

See all current Egypt Tour details

I’m getting inspired these days! I’m starting to see some cosmic energy lining up.

Recently I’ve been totally addicted to all the Egypt documentaries I can watch on net flix on my computer. One set is the 5 part documentary series “Pyramid Code”. OMG! How Fascinating. . . .A bit controversial, but very exciting.

You can The Pyramid Code it on YouTube but it’s best on DVD.

I got some very excited news that Velaria (who came on my last trip to Egypt in 2008). She is signing up to come on the next one in 2012. She’s been visiting me this week in Seattle and I turned her on to the “Pyramid Code” documentaries. We were both taken by a speaker on the program; an Egyptian man named Dr. Abd’el Hakim Awyan. He was noted as a Mystical Wisdom Keeper. He grew up on the Giza plateau and is a descendent from the Awyan tribe that claim to be the indigenous keeper of the ancient Al Khemitian (Egyptian) wisdom tradition. They claim to have been the guardians of area for centuries. Unfortunately he passed on recently. I would love to have met him. I understand his daughter and a son are following in his foot steps.  THUS it is my intention to see if I can add her to our itinerary. Maybe she can come and give us a talk at some point on our journey in 2012. Yes!

Over coffee this morning Veleria and I  have been reminiscing about our last trip and coming up with ideas for this coming trip. She explained she was saddened by the amount of garbage in some of the more remote sacred sites. She said she wished we could help in some sort of way by maybe becoming a volunteer clean up crew. If we had some sort of pool nets we could get the plastic water bottles left (most likely by tourists from all over the world out of the spring at the temple of Abydos. If we had gloves and garbage bags we could cart litter out of and improve the sites. Hmm? I thought for a few moments and 2 things occurred to me. I would hate to make the Egyptians feel insulted by our demonstration. Like we were making a comment on the Egyptians not having a clean house. Hmmm? We cannot hope to make a very big difference really. But then I think for each of us personally it would mean something profound as a ritual of recognizing the sacred value of these sights from the perspective of our global humanity. A ritual of cleansing, humbling and compassion. We leave our footsteps and our breaths there that little by little erode these monuments and the least we can do is make an effort to undue a little of the tourist impact.These monuments are our world human heritage. On a cosmic consciousness scale this would mean a lot energetically. It couldn’t hurt for anyone to  see a few Americans get down and humbly pick up some trash either.

At the temple of Isis

At the temple of Isis

So I am going to have a list of things for Mohammad to have on our bus. A pool scoop, trash bags and I’ll bring a box of plastic gloves. Anyone who feel inclined can fill a bag of garbage and feel they made a difference even if it is very small.

I am going to also have him contact the daughter of Dr Awyan. If she is living in Egypt maybe she can come give us a talk!

I love to hear from those who are Ancient Egypt buffs like me.



OMG! Egypt news;

These incredible discoveries made this month are giving me goose bumps about our Egypt Tour planned for April/May 2012!

You can sign up and join us.



I have been to Egypt 4 times in my life. I feel a familiarity that is uncanny in the pyramids, tombs and ancient cities. I danced in Hathor’s Temple in Denderra, at the temple of Isis at Phile, down the Nile, on the desert, and at lake Nasser, and in local villages. I know the power of this dance in my DNA. It is as old as the power that the ancients knew and cultivated to transform energy and move stone!

I rented the Great Pyramid and lead a private dance class for my tour participants last trip in the Queens chamber inside the Great Pyramid. So amazing. I can’t describe to you the experience of dancing in the Great Pyramid! You have to come with me! We are doing even more on this  coming trip. We will visit the city of Alexandria!



New marking inside Great Pyramid

New marking inside Great Pyramid













OMG! there has been so much in the air about Ancient Egypt these days! Synchronistically it’s falling right into place where my head has been these days. As I have been gearing up for this years 2011 Solstice Parade I have been reminiscing about another parade where we built our 16 foot tall Pyramid in Parade in 2007.   It was our amazing feat! It shows how anything is possible! The ancients understood how things are manifest. It lead to my leading a tour to Egypt in 2008 that was so so very amazing for everyone connected!

I wanted to go one more time to Egypt and see some sites I have never seen so we decided to create a return  Trip of a Life Time tour last year but because of the Arab Spring fell right as we were to depart, we thought it best to delay a year. The good news is; more can join us! It’s not until April and May 2012 (we have a payment plan so you can sign up now.)

We utilizing 200 dancers and musicians and extras in building our pyramid. There were so many synchronistic and magical lessons in that 6 month project. The math, the organization, the rallying to the cause, the fund raising, the community involvement, the mass moving and rehearsing in air plane hangers, the excitement in actualizing our dream. It was big and it was a testament to realizing dreams.

I feel magic brewing a foot again and this time the project is about building up our Dance Temple. (Thats what I personally call VDP Studios). There have been alot of positive energy generated in the past 9 months to build community and a feeling of return to some precious ideals that were getting lost because of the stress involved with trying to run the studio by our selves in a time of economic and technological change.

Belly dance is a magical dance that can teach us so much more than than our limited common views of dance. It’s free formed methods of embodiment unlock the magic in our lives. This important skill needs to be preserved by it’s physical enactment.

Join our Tour.

Your money goes toward an amazing adventure I promise! And it supports our dance temple.

December 31, 2010   ♦   Comments Off on New Years Eve

Hey Everyone!



Today is my Birthday! December 31st.
How about that, I’m an old year baby! Anyways it’s always a time where I reflect on the past year and plan for the future year. What went well, what south and what do I remember the most. This year sure went fast! If you don’t know by now my entire life is always about belly dance pretty much.

We did 2 Hawaii Retreats in 2010. One with the “Neighborhood Temple Priestess” studies and the second one with Amy Sigil and Dahlia with the main focus on “ Tribal Fusion” with a little bit of Egyptian, folkloric and Power Belly thrown in. It was an amazing retreat even though it was small. The airfare remained very high last Easter Time compared with January and so we got lots of regrets. (This January the airfare is reasonable and there is still room because a yoga retreat canceled so some space opened up that we can use. There will not be a late fee changed) .
Dates January 25-30 2011 with RUBY BEH!!!

Last years Summer Solstice Parade threatened to rain but in the end we managed just fine. It was a smooth one. I had made a plan to build a float and have live music for 2011 but I have changed my mind. Because we are leading a tour to EGYPT in March/ April (still room to jump on this amazing journey see details) I think we should not take on too ambitious a project that would take time fund raising as well as building and organizing. So I’ve decided to give you the color theme for 2011 Parade the color for this years parade is RED 85% and 15% BLACK. Probably everyone has stuff in there closets. Joanne’s Fabrics is having sales right now on alot of red fabric!

We did the Power Belly Online Show for 44 weeks last year! A huge achievement but it was too expensive to keep up with. Only a few dancers ever logged on. I think dancing from your lap top isn’t here yet. It sure was a hoot to do every week! We may bring it back again but for now back episodes are up.

Our third FRI CABARET NIGHTS in our studio have been the best shows I’ve seen in my life. House of Tarab playing live with 2 different professional dancers doing full routines! OMG!, Artemisia, Khalida, Elisa Gamal, Princess Farhana, Lisa Yasmeen, Suzanna, Kitiera, Laura Rose , Ruby Beh, Zulaika, Nadira, Dahlia, Aubre, Bella Jovan, Hasani, Sabura, Tito Seif plus a concert featuring Omar Ait Vimoum and Moez M’rabat. . . So very proud to be hosting such amazing artists in an intimate setting. (we will be in Hawaii on 3rd Fri in Jan. so no show).
I was invited to be a special guest presenter at the International Belly Dance Conference of Canada in Toronto. I was representing Belly Dance Pioneer in America. I taught large classes and sat on discussion panels. It was a fabulous event put on by Yasmina Ramzy of Toronto. Erik and I hung out with Cassandra alot so when she came to Seattle to do her camp in the fall we decided to all do a show together. We had an amazing show at the South Seattle Community College with H.O.T. Cassandra and Ava Fleming and myself, Delilah. Very fond memories.
One of my favorite events to attend this year was Suzanna’s Belly Dance Off! Very fun to be a judge and an audience member. Bravo to all who participated and to Suzanna for putting it together!

For the Summer we had Amel Tafsout do a wonderful workshop on Magreb style dance. We also had Moria Chappell of the Belly Dance Super Stars in our studio. (This coming February 2011 we will have Petite Jamilia and drummer Issam in conjunction with the BDSS)

We did some “Student, Staff and Experimental” shows that were very fun and got more of our students performing. Then in the fall we had a “Zombie Belly Dance” troupe for Trolloween. This class was really challenging and thought provoking. We took regular belly dance moves and took the life out of it and created a new vocabulary. It was an amazing exercise in character development . No one was focused on being pretty. It was very cathartic!

Our dear dancing friend Helen Nicholiasen left the planet on October 20th. Bless her soul. She new her time was near. I was in New Mexico doing a dance for her in a desert labyrinth in the middle of fantastic thunderstorm on all horizons when she past. Very spiritual landscape and energy there.

Our annual Thanksgiving morning workshop was awesome! The Winter Solstice Event was really very wonderful. I wished more attended. It really is a moving thing we do every year. Don’t miss it next time!

The Neighborhood Temple Priestess group did some lovely dance labyrinths under the guidance of Christine Hamby. They also worked hard on the Golden Patrons; A Philanthropic group in support of women’s dance. We have 10 members so far. We need 21 and will be still recruiting members in January. It’s a hard thing to explain and we need to ask folks to go to our web pages and take a look so you are informed about our efforts at least. It doesn’t mean you need to become a member. It is important that our idea gets into the cosmos! The more people that are in the know about it the better! What we are trying to do is a bit different for belly dance world. We are trying to take responsibility for supporting this art form “WE” the dancers, KNOW AND LOVE. By taking responsibility we can help it grow and be understood so it continues to grow and develop. This is our big goal for the New Year 2011!!!

Thank You to the GP commitee!

Major restructuring of how we can keep the studio alive and being used by more of the community is my goal. I really want to leave something behind that will benefit community long after my dance is done. Some new teachers are coming to VDP. Tayissa Blue is introducing TRIBAL BASICS on Sunday afternoon, and a Nia class on Fridays.

I have some ideas for some experimental themes shows this year. Plus I’m doing a bit of custom garment manufacturing (details soon to be revealed.I am wearing one in the photo above.)

In the fall I sent out a few grant applications. Didn’t receive any but it was a very good exercise in visualization. So today I am thinking about this question as I walk to the nearest Lottery stand. I hear Mega Millions is over 200 million!

“If I won the lottery what would I do for belly dance world ?
1. I would launch an ad campaign across the nation and beyond of the physical, emotional, spiritual and psychological benefits this dance has for women of all ages. I would even aim this intent at Middle Eastern countries that often do not know what a jew this dance form is for women. If young girls and women universally learned early and practiced it regularly like many of us do, then belly dance would truly be a benefit for things like pregnancy, birth, bone density and staying fit for a life time! Not only that but it gives women a sense of personal control of their own body and person. It provides a means for creativity and expression for wordless things. Tomorrows future depends on women that are whole body, mind and hearts.
2. I would build a bigger studio with fountains, statues and gardens, an indoor and out door theater and a belly dance museum!
3. I would build a belly dance retreat in Hawaii that was all year long and featured different teachers from all over the world of all styles and had scholarships.
4. I would build a Middle Eastern music school.
5. I would put together a Belly Dance Tour group that was diverse in age, weight and style that was fantastic and served to educate the public as well as entertain.
6. I would build an retirement facility for aged belly dancers and musicians that would be funded by another enterprise so it would be free.
7. I would build a school for beaded costume design.
8. I would have a large belly dance grant foundation.
9. I would have the Billion Belly March gather in Washington DC and make  political humanitarian demands for clean air, water, food, education, health care and corporate reform!
10. I would create a magazine that featured my picture on the cover each month in a different color costume  and call it  OPA ! . . . . LOL, well?

Ok I’ll keep dreaming and buying lottery tickets. Mean while a reminder
Tomorrow, New Years Day
We are doing a Zar. See our calendar for info.Come join us!
Get off your computer and come belly dance
Wednesday and Fridays! Noon to 1:15



November 15, 2010   ♦   Comments Off on Internship/Intensive Study.

I have been getting alot of phone calls lately about our Internship so I thought I should blog about it a little more.

A traditional internship is where a student gain experience in an intensive sort of way working along side of professionals. When a dancer signs up to come take part in our offering she will be experiencing this in many ways. However it is not a paid or works exchange situation. We are not seeking interns for any particular project. We are offering our expertise. We cannot guarantee that you will get to perform on a stage somewhere in our concerts. We do our best to create positive situations. Most likely you would if that is your goal but there are standards and situations that apply of course.

What we offer is an opportunity to retreat and study with top professional dancers, masters and musicians.

Thus we should really call it INTENSIVE STUDY however it also has INTERN aspects.


Our programs are where dancers either residents of Seattle or come to Seattle for a while to under go intensive study with us; private or group dance classes, drum, costuming, music appreciation. These are not free or done as work exchanges but are some times sponsored by family, friends, patrons and institutions that recognize the intrinsic value belly dance gives to women or all ages. They could be high school students, college students, writers, professors on sabbatical, dance instructors, or women using this art for therapy as they need to re discover themselves, recover from abuse or other.

This dance teaches them to be involved with their own bodies as expressive instruments. It increases physical awareness for healing, calming and future maternity. It teaches independence because belly dance does not rely on a partner. There is so many skills to challenge and accomplish, With this brings satisfaction, pride and self confidence. It connects women with other women creating lasting friendships and building community. It’s creative and culturally enriching. All this equals a healthy self esteem. We offer our expertise and take you under our wing. We take this very to heart. This is a very valuable opportunity for girls and women of any age.


Averill Obee did some great writing on her experience.

Averill’s Blog

Averills Article in Gilded Serpent

Nichol started dancing with our studio at age 15. her parents were very supportive. She came to 2-3 classes a week and now dances in San Fransisco while attending Mills College. She spent 1 year in Egypt studying business and language.

Lulu lives in Seattle and did a local project for Seattle Academy. She had belly danced with us since her 7th Birthday.

Ramza Ali is a belly dance teacher, mother and performer. She came for 3 week from Londrina Brazil and that was an amazing experience.

Usually when dancers are coming from far away for just a week they hook up with one of our retreats or Tours.

We have had dancers from Korea, Japan, Columbia, Mexico, Sweden, Equator, Italy, Chili, Argentina, South Africa, England,. . . Seattle options are usually thought of as longer projects. However we are open to just about anything.

Each situation is a personally designed contract. The cost depends on budget and other factors like length of study, time of year, live in or out, goals, hours, events that apply . . . . We try to be reasonable and make our exchange very worthy. We have a house across the street with many bedrooms and it makes for a very nice arrangement. There is not always a room available, it takes arranging and it depends on how long you will stay.

If you are interested or want to send someone to us, here are the pages you will want to look at;

Retreats/ Seattle Intensive Study and Internship/ Egypt Tours

Intern Introduction

Accommodation in Seattle

Instructors at VDP STUDIO

• List of Events through out the year to help you plan.

• There of course are more up dates on our VDP Calendar Schedule page

Sample Custom Intern Itinerary

Course Study Offering:

Classic Arab American Techniques

Power Belly and Teachers Training

NTP Ritual and Dance. (Neighborhood Temple Priestess)

Modern Egyptian


Fusion and Folkloric

Veil Dance

Performers Edge


Learn to play Arabic hand drum.

Drummer and a dancer Solo work.

Parade Dance

Dancing in Nature

Beginning Ney

October 26, 2010   ♦   Comments Off on Meet Ruby Beh

Meet Ruby Beh

Introduced to you by Delilah


Ruby Beh

Ruby Beh

As a grand dame in the dance I thoroughly enjoy watching dancers come up the dance pike; it’s a special position that long time instructors occupy as they witness students first shimmies and hip lifts, then see them get hooked and become native speakers in the language of belly dance. Each dancer evolves with her unique constellation of stars and planets. A metamorphic transformation takes place and they unfurl into a beautiful butterfly one way or another; some as super stars of the dance, others as quiet torch bearers to the importance this dance has been in their lives and those around them.


Today I want to talk about Ruby Beh.

My first vivid experience meeting Ruby was at Indigos Emerald Rain Sanctuary Camp held at the end of August 2004 near the Grand Coulee Dam. The topography out there is breath taking. The deep gorge cuts through the earth leaving far reaching cliffs and flat top mesa above the winding river of sausage linked lakes. This annual camp is a three day rustic get together under a really big sky. Everyone cooked their own food in a big camp kitchen. They sleep in barrack style cabins, tents or campers.  Large sized classes were held during the days in the sizable lodge until it gets too hot. Then everyone goes for a swim in a near by lake.

This event is very casual and earthy and I am drawn to describe it here because there is something about that first encounter that is connected to who Ruby is, that is not so obvious on the surface. An ecologist and a sturdy farm girl. So I  have a vision of Ruby in the out back of Gods country in jeans as much as in a Turkish costume.

I came with Erik Brown who was teaching drum classes and he and Stephen Elaimy on oud played for dancers at night on Friday and Saturday. A bit of wine and beer was shared, long talks and singing in the moon light. I love to sing and Ruby indulged me. Not that I have a voice, but I have great enthusiasm for singing chants and songs. We were in tune. So I got to know her pretty well that night. We sang, talked about all sorts of lofty ideals, laughed alot, and I liked her. She lived in Bellingham Washington then. At that point in her life she wasn’t so sure what direction she was going to go. She was in School studying Environmental Chemistry at Huxley. She began belly dancing on the side in 1999. Both Ruby and Indigo started a belly dance club on the campus and began sponsoring events featuring the teachers they were learning from on videos as well as bringing live music ensembles up to the campus to perform. Dahlia Carella Elisa Gamal, Delilah, Brothers of the Balady, Ek Balam, and years later, Ruby would bring House of Tarab, a 6 piece band up to Bellingham all on her own on multiple events. These two young girls were showing the dance off in style, early in their dance experience. I admire that.

As the years went by, my self and the members of the bands I worked with recognized this young woman’s lion sized heart and fortitude. She is genuinely supportive to other artists, and passionate about the dance. She is a very self possessed and independent. She has the ability to keenly focus on her goals once she sees them. Her students hold her in great regard. It is no secret she is an exceptionally talented performer.

But during the summer of 2004 at Emerald Sanctuary Retreat, Ruby was standing the stillest I would ever see her in regard to belly dancing. She had mostly studied with DVD’s for the past couple years. She was working hard as as a waitress and school was taking precedent. Her first performance to live music had only been a few months earlier with Ek Balam. I will always remember this night as a turning point as she was standing at a major cross roads. I could hear in her restless words she was trying to reconcile her discontent with the direction she was heading in school and the insistent siren’s call of the belly dance inside her, asking her to take a different fork. She was striving to find the courage. Soon after she recalls.


“ I was sitting outside the Analytical Chemistry lab at school when I had an amazing epiphany: I didn’t have to be a scientist, I could actually be a belly dancer!  It was then that I started taking things more seriously, going to workshops, taking many private lessons.”

Back to D:

She decided she wanted to focus on Turkish style because at the time, it seemed there were only a few dancers in the US doing it compared to Tribal, Modern Egyptian and Fusion.  She loved the high energy and she felt it fit her body and personality!!!! She graduated from College in fall of 2005 and took off to Istanbul to study.

The Turkish Experience…


“Over all I spent 10 weeks in Turkey, 8 of which were spent in Istanbul studying.  I went on folk tours, run by Tayyar Akdeniz and Artemis Mourat.  Classes were about 7 hours a day. I studied with: Hale Sultan, Semra Su, Artemis, Eva Cernik, Nourhan Sharif, Serpil, Tayyar, Reyhan (roman style), Sema Yildez, Bulent and Sheynaz.

I took lessons, practiced and went out to see bands and dancers almost every day.  I studied Turkish Romani dances as well as other regional folk dances but mostly I studied Turkish Oriental.  I love the dancing of Asena, Didem and Burgul.”

Back to D;

She returned enthusiastic to share everything she had learned, so she started teaching weekly classes.  She practiced by her self, sometimes for even 8 hours in a day!  She really wanted to develop her own style. While many dancers preferred slim cut skirts she went for double layer full skirts. She took more private lessons and workshops, watched lots of performance DVD’s and practiced her finger cymbals religiously.

Now she needed 2 things if she was going to make a career out of dance (and this was her intention). First, she needed to be challenged, so she entered her first contest in 2007 called  Emerald Rain Competition out side Seattle. Second, she needed to show people she could dance. Contests are one way to be noticed plus document ones accomplishments and prowess.


“I didn’t place in pro (didn’t even have a professional costume yet ;0) but I won the “Gypsy” category, I was so excited to be surrounded by all these amazing dancers at once, everyone bringing their best to the stage that I got hooked on competitions.  It was a great way for me to be seen, get feedback and meet tons of amazing dancers.  I entered Bellydancer USA that same year and took a peoples choice award in Professional.  After that I went back to Turkey for another month studied like crazy and bought several custom made costumes.”

Back to D;

Two new elements entered her dance in 2006. Pilates and Celiacs disease. She discovered she had been fighting a debilitating disease all her life that made her battle weight gain, get tired easily and have skin problems. Celiac disease is a genetic disorder that makes it so that you can’t digest gluten containing grains. She has have sub-clinical celiac disease, meaning she’s allergic to Gliaden which is contained in all gluten containing grains plus quinoa, amaranth and oats.  Even a trace amount of this substance she found would through her system way off.  Her life style has changed quite a bit because she has to carry particular food she can eat everywhere she goes now. She is much healthier and happier since discovering this problem. I watched her dance evolve another couple notches. Her present stamina is through the roof!

The other major ingredient in Ruby’s development was discovering pilates. She became a certified pilates instructor. Pilates revolutionized the way she danced. She found it necessary to keep up her pilates practice in conjunction with the fast and hard Turkish style she was developing. Sometimes Ruby moves faster than lightning, and this takes incredible core strength.

When she got back back from Turkey she went to Double Crown Belly Dance contest where she won the “Gypsy” category and made it to finals in the Pro category!  In spring of 2008 she returned to Emerald Rain and won the Professional category followed shortly after with winning the East Coast Belly Dance Classic and then back to Belly Dancer USA again where she placed 1st runner up.  Last year Ruby won Belly Dancer USA 2009.

Growing up….


“ I was born in a small apple farming town in Upstate NY to a family of mechanics and drivers on one side and artists on the other. I’m the youngest of three, with one brother, one sister and 9 nieces and nephews! As a kid I spent a lot of time in the orchards and woods, climbing trees and generally being a tomboy.  I spent a lot of summers with my grandparents who lived on a secluded 80 acre sustainable living farm where I learned how to live off the land and enjoy nature.  Early on I was extremely independent and started working my first jobs when I was 8 years old, as soon as it was legal I got an over the table job and when I reached into my teens worked three jobs at a time so I could get more hours in.  I did everything from food service to gardening, floristry and taking care of the elderly.  I moved out on my own when I was 16 and as soon as I finished high school I drove away and traveled the country, eventually settling on the west coast.”

Back to D;

Her story does not surprise me knowing what I have observed about her in the past 7 years.

Delilah: “What do you like to see in a dancer?””


“When I watch a belly dancer, I want to see belly dance.  I want to see someone dancing from the heart and exposing themselves emotionally to the audience.  I love all of the creative fusions and forms of expression that have been born from this dance but I feel like fusion has become a crutch for so many dancers who are afraid to expose themselves.  When you’re on stage, you can’t hide your true self, you have to be honest.  I also want to see good technique, energy, creativity and I want to see a dancer having a good time! My advise is to practice, spend time dancing by yourself, get feedback at every opportunity and practice some more.”

Delilah: “What do you want to achieve in the next 5 years”.

Ruby: I want to travel everywhere and share what I’ve developed with dancers all over the world.  I want to keep fine tuning my styling and push to learn more about Turkish culture as well as American Classic Belly Dance movement history.  I have a few ideas for more DVD’s that I’d love to do and I intend to spend a lot more time in Turkey.

Delilah: “ Your costumes are always fantastic and different every-time I see you. May I ask, where do you get them?”

Ruby: “ 95% of my costumes come from Bella, a Turkish and Belgian based designer with an amazing gift for creating one of kind and extremely well made costumes.”

List of Awards:

2007 Emerald Rain Gypsy stylist

2007 Double Crown Gypsy stylist

2008 Emerald Rain Champion

2008 East Coast Belly Dance Classic Champion

2009 Belly Dancer USA

Ruby’s Instructional DVD’s:

Flawless Floorwork, by Cheekygirls Productions.

Totally Turkish, by Cheekygirls Productions.

In a few weeks she goes to compete in the Belly Dancer of the World in Germany.

Good Luck Ruby!




Learn more about Ruby at

www.devinebelly.com .

Come study with  her at Delilah’s Belly Dance Retreat in Hawaii January 25-30 2011. www.delilas-belly-dance-retreat.com


Belly Dance into the Sea

Belly Dance into the Sea

Integrity and value

I try very hard my entire career. I am very dedicated to this dance, this art and the women who pursue it. I suppose I am driven by some sort of urge to make a difference and improve our station in life as dancers, as women, as artists . . . . I think we do this by becoming more whole. In belly dance we reclaim all the physical parts of our selves and learn to express our selves though them. I find this magically transformative. I see this dance as offering us more than a folk art or a stage performance. It’s much more meaningful than a borrowed ethnic cultural experience to it’s participants.

It occasionally comes back to me that other dancers I professionally respect and admire make fun and talk down about my Hawaii Retreats to their students and colleagues. The point they choose to poke fun of is our dancing into the sea at sun rise . It’s an event I hosted as an annual ritual belly dance event on Maui for 10 years. LOL . . . even though it kind of hurts a bit to hear dancers dissing on me. If they have been to my retreats, well so be it. But the comments that are made are by dancers who know nothing about my retreats. Simply because they have not been. It’s sad that they choose something so beautiful to stick a wedge to prop them selves up to feel a bit superior.  The only reason has to be jealousy and insecurity.  I hope the novice students they are bending the ear of can see this clearly for what it is.

(Do me a favor and if you do hear a comment from someone like that send them to this blog post.)

If we do any belly dancing in to the sea these days it is rare simply because the Big Island where I do my retreats (these days) doesn’t have a dependable, safe beach for this particular dance where our retreat facility is situated. There is a nice beach across the street but the surf is harder and the black sand more gritty. Dancers have to be very strong and water savvy. We have to drive for hours to do it on white fine sand. If I teach a belly dancing in nature class it’s not for the entire retreat either. It gives such a nice contrast to the studio classes. Hawaii is perfect for this. The class helps people become more aware in their dance as well as their daily life. I have worked hard to plan retreats that delve into many styles and subjects of belly dance. I have hosted so many quality teachers that have made successful achievements in their careers. I have gone past the call of the average event host to sponsor live music again and again. It is also very important to me to walk the talk. “Belly Dance IS for everyone”. Not just the cool people as one person said to me. No just the young, trim, unusually talented and beautiful people but all of us! Our retreats are about furthering our understanding of what true beauty is opposed to our capitalistic commercialized idea we are all fed. This is what gives our retreats the healing women’s self esteem reputation.

If it make you laugh to think we dance into the sea in the early morning at sun rise. My goodness then you aren’t living fully if it makes you nervous, because it’s really a beautiful experience.  It’s not with out a high purpose as well. It teaches you many lessons as an artist. Lessons that are not imbibed by e mail, books or choreography. Do you not see it by example of my dance?  The power, strength and depth of attention to the moment in hand? Well the best way I can show it to you is by experiential lessons, but you got to come to the well to drink. Not just think you already know what I’m doing or talking about, but actually come and learn something new.

Next January I’m feature Ruby at my Belly Dance retreat 2011.

June 29, 2010   ♦   Comments Off on EGYPT 2011

Delilahabydos2Join me in Egypt for the Trip of a Life Time next Spring 2011.

We are registering people early because it insures us all the best accommodations. We have a payment plan for budgeting. I am not going to do this again so now is the time. There are other places I want to go in my life. I really rather go to Egypt with my dancing sisters, family and friends rather than a bunch of unknown tourists. I know you would too. This is going to so amazing.

We will do two trips in one. Ancient Egypt and Modern Day Egypt and if you are really adventurous continue on to Jordan where we will visit Petra and the red sea!

Check out my scrap book from previous adventures in Egypt!

Call me with questions 206 632-2353

Gizainsidequeens 2This photo was taken of us doing a circle dance in the Queens chamber in the Great Pyramid in 2008.

June 9, 2010   ♦   Comments Off on Egypt Tour
Delilah at Isis Temple

Delilah at Isis Temple

I’m dreaming in ancient Egyptian symbols. . .

This week I got a bunch of calls from folks getting excited about coming to Egypt with me. Two gal friends are signed up for my “ Hathor down the Nile”. They are driving their families crazy with excitement. They have many months to wait, so I hope it’s not too hard on their families.

Then a family of 4 called and announced they are ALL are coming with me. The mom is one of our NTP dancers. The young daughter has a romance with ancient Egypt that I find hauntingly familiar. The teen age son I hear is a very good writer. What better to fuel his imagination with than a trip to the land of scribes and the beginning of writing. Where world histories, myths and cultures meet. A fantastic growth experience. I hope he keeps a journal and will share. The father couldn’t miss this rich opportunity to travel abroad with with his loved ones. This will be richly etched in all their collective memories. I am so pleased they are doing this as a family.
I got n email from a dance friend who wants to come and maybe on the entire 20 day trip of a life time. She said she is open for a room mate because she didn’t know if her husband would be interested or not. She and her husband are retired and very active and healthy. I hope he considers coming along too. It’s going to be a major experience for his beloved wife and life moves fast past 50. You gotta grab it while you can.  Husbands are very welcome on this tour. They won’t feel like its girls night out I assure.

In the story scrap book I put up on the Delilahs-belly-dance-retreat.com, I tried convey how powerful the experience was to share with some one close to you. I went alone the first time and made a new friend in my roommate Carol. The second time my then husband wasn’t interested and I went with a best friend (I wished he had come too). She and I had an incredible life altering trip . It was 1997 and we went to Turkey and Egypt in the same adventure.Then in 2000 I went with my folks while they were both healthy to travel.  OMG what a good decision that was. We joined harpist Ani William’s tour and about 14 belly dance fiends of mine came too. The last trip I took in 2008 my two daughters, 2 cousins, and my boyfriend came with me. I and shared with them the ancient mysteries. So fantastic. I figured that was the last time I would go. A handful of people who came with me last time in 2008 are interested in the Petra (Jordan) leg of the tours including my family members. That would be perfect.
This trip was prompted by my students who started asking me recently. Are you going back Delilah? If so I want to come. Really, I said? They said I make the adventure come to life so that it is not just a typical tour. I laughed, but I know what they mean. When we were in Costa Rica I over heard two tour guide talking to each other about how they wished they had our group because we were so vibrant and alive. I know we brighten up the guides, the guards and other tourists around us with our dance energy.

A Dance Inside the Queens Chamber

A Dance Inside the Queens Chamber

Then I realized I haven’t seen Alexandria, Petra the Red Sea and my most favorite thing in the whole world is to cruise down the Nile so this time I’m going to do it all!

So that is why we are going and have a nice long lead time so we can budget it into our dreams.
Life is so precious. Life is so fleeting. Youth believes they live forever. In our middle years we realize we better live it now.

Yours in Ancient and Modern Belly Dance.





May 20, 2010   ♦   Comments Off on REGARDING “LIVE MUSIC”

I have 3 future events in this post;

Sallah Plays Delilah

Sallah Plays Delilah

Friday Cabaret at VDP Studio 4128 Fremont Ave N:  May 21

with HOT Elisa Gamal and Khalida from Germany.


Brothers of the Baladi in Seattle June 11

Hawaii Belly Dance Retreat . .  . Early Bird registration is open now.

(Help me BRING STEPHEN ELAIMY in 2011)

• This article is about “LIVE MUSIC”.

Many of you have been to our 3rd Friday Cabarets at VDP. When it comes to dance most of you know I am a dedicated supporter of LIVE MUSIC. As feathers in my cap, I boast the honor of hosting bands such as Sirocco, Brothers of the Baledi, John Bilizikijian, Solace, and House of Tarab on my retreats to Hawaii, California and in concerts in Seattle.

Having live music is not the easy way to go.

It requires a lot of planning, energy, love, money and support.

House of Tarab:

I became a proud supporter of House of Tarab and helped them start playing as the H.O.T. band. It’s been 4 years now. I helped produce their first CD. I suggested they dress up in tuxedos and fez and I took them to Las Vegas for the IBDC. They went on to produce a second CD called “Baladi”. They added Andy and became a 6 piece band. They are one of the few ensembles dedicated to playing traditional belly dance music in the entire United States; oud, violin, ney, zorna, riq, dumbek, base, table baladi. They practice many dedicated hours to keep this genre of music alive. We are all lucky to live in Seattle with such a rich dance and music scene.

Our Dance Art:

Traditional Belly Dance becomes so much more integral and supported when there is interaction between the dancer and the musicians actually playing the music. The voicing of the ney, the vibration of strings of the oud and violin tenderly implore the delicate shimmy and emotive quiver in limb and loin. The music is alive, the dancer is alive, the audience is alive, and they all are sharing in the astounding present moment! You get a real taste for what I’m talking about at our Friday shows.

I take my art form and career seriously. As a teacher and leader in the art of belly dance, I feel it is my duty to provide dancers with the opportunity to learn by the experience of dancing to live music. Thus, I am always striving to produce collaborative and “worth your while” events for dancers to enjoy.

NOW, I need your support on the next project.

Hawaii in January 2011.

While it seems a ways off, it’s not. Things that are worth while take time and support to plan and make happen.

RUBY is my featured guest instructor this coming year!

Details are on here


I need 15 truly interested dancers to register NOW for the next Hawaii Retreat in 2011. (deposit only, with BIG early bird discounts)

Your commitment now to come to this fantastic event (in the cold of winter) will allow me to put oud player Steven Elaimy on our staff so we have integral live music at our retreat.

The Hawaii Retreat:

Many dancers have dreamed of coming to one of my retreats. Each year we host different guest instructors and music combined with themes of dance exploration.

This coming retreat is very inexpensive.

It’s 6 DAYS, and 5 NIGHTS in paradise.

I have been holding these retreats since 1991. Give your self a gift! These retreats have changed lives. Yes they are about learning to dance but, more importantly, they allow everyone to stop the clock for a time and enjoy being in the present and reviewing life. The combination of life review and dance is magical.  Ask any teacher or person who has been on one of my retreats. Dancers come from all over the world, and often return for another trip. We are dedicated to presenting these life transforming retreats.

• Hawaii Retreat is Jan 25-30 2011 Registration is open Now

Couples welcome.


• MAY 21 Friday Night Cabaret at VDP staring Elisa Gamal and Kahlida from Germany. Workshops and lectures this weekend see calendar page

Call for reserved seats

206 632-2353

PS ALSO I will be performing with Brothers of the Baladi up from Portland Or, at the King Cat Club (Down Town)

10 PM on June 11


Delilah’s Visionary Belly Dance Retreat

April 2-9 2010

Location: Kalani Resort

Theme: Tribal-Hula-Fusion


Special Guests: Amy Sigil director of Unmata Sacramento, CA,

Dahlia from Seattle, WA

Musician: Erik Brown,

Your Host: Delilah

Hawaii Belly Dance Retreat, Easter Group 2010

Hawaii Belly Dance Retreat, Easter Group 2010

Letters from the Edge of the Volcano

Dear Dancers,


Every one of our retreats since 1991 have been unique and an in depth explorations into the art of belly dance. They all occupy special places in my memories and my heart. This frank day-to-day journal is a window into one such retreat. It is completely different from the theme and energy we explored 3 months ago in January with the Neighborhood Temple Priestesses. Thats the idea. To keep exploring, tasting, learning and to occupy different perspectives in our dance. To keep the art of it, alive from within.

Letter #1

We arrived in paradise on Friday afternoon. It’s Monday as I begin to write.

The retreat is going very well so far. We did 8 hours of full out dance on the first day! Not a lot of talking either. We put our efforts to learning a bunch of tribal improv body vocabulary first off, and were reduced to total sweat and minds of mush by end of Saturday night. Of course not everyone did all of it. After a certain point some of us had to sit and watch. Watching is just as important mind you, and often more important because while you are constantly moving, you often miss the totality of the movement and the underlying attitude that goes with it.

We had 2 Island dancers from the town of Hilo join us for just Saturday. Knowing this ahead of time, I rearranged the class schedule to give them a real bang for their buck since they could only join us for one day; (Sherry and Denise). We enjoyed connecting with them very much. I wish they could have stayed for the entire retreat because it just kept getting better. Next time!

We knew this retreat would be very challenging compared to other retreats. We were calling it “Unmata Boot Camp”. Of course that’s only if you choose to do everything we were offering. We always tell dancers they don’t have to do everything. On this particular session we were offering a large variety of belly dance classes. Each year we have dancers come who approach our retreats differently. Some want to dance 24/7 and others want to dance and relax by the pool or beach half the day. This retreat availed a special opportunity to really grok tribal styles in an accelerated few days if you had the energy. We learn and retain by daily doses, repetition and reinforcements. A retreat is a perfect vessel for this kind of work. When we retreat, we are cut away from usual life obligations, going into a different environment, where we can devout body and soul to our dance. Not like a workshop in the city.

I am learning a lot. I probably am not going to emerge a ” Tribal Girl” but I am learning signature moves and gaining a good appreciation for the different styles. It’s really great. I like the different way of moving and being in my body for a change. I think we all should experience different styles to stay fully engaged with dance and avoid becoming stale.

Crazy as it sounds tribal is not all we are doing either. Dahlia is teaching Egyptian and Folkloric, and I’m adding Power Belly and taking care of the Easter Sunday ritual element with a little dose of NTP style…

We are dreaming dance as we listen to the jungle sounds. We can hear the roar of the surf and either the rattle of hard tropical rain on the roof or an ubiquitous hiss that fills the air with spray. The Hawaiians have so many names for the different kinds of rain. My cottage is circled with open screened windows. It’s like we are sleeping under a banyon tree in the jungle. I lay listening to the bush and sway of palm frowns like slow hula hips in the night, partnered with the aftermath of rain drops plopping on jurassic park-sized leaves in the trees. Oh, and frogs. Lots of frogs singing “boo peep, boo peep!”


We had an anonymous donor make a gift of “TWO” week-long scholarship spots to out retreat this year! Wow! It happened every once in a while. It really is a testimony to the good work we do each year. It makes me proud. Women see, feel and know that the experience is so beneficial. They are inspired to GIFT other women! This is a powerful thing . . . . Mahalo. I love this universe.

It was up to me to choose who????

It was not easy, and it was last-minute so it had to be some one who could get off work and buy a plane ticket. I finally decided to choose 2 women who really wanted to come but couldn’t because of finances, would try their hardest, are very supportive of VDP, show the most potential in learning fast, and retaining concepts and choreography and then can bring it back to our studio. If it had been a different theme I would have chosen very differently. I knew this retreat would be very, very challenging.

More later, maybe, signing off for now. . .


Letter #2

Back again for more. . .

I forgot to mention, on the first day we did all that Tribal, we also did our first “Basics of Egyptian Styling” with Dahlia, a “Power Belly” with me and Erik, and I taught a couple moving meditations for us to greet the sunrise with on Easter morning. Ha! Most slept well after all this and then rose early. It’s the style of living in Hawaii, to go to bed early and wake up early. You find lots of people up at 6 AM walking the dog, jogging, swimming, and doing yoga.

Easter Sunday

We woke up a little before the sunrise and met at what they call ” The Point”.  It’s just across the street from the Kalani, on the one and a half lane jungle road that snakes along this edge of the South East side of the island. It’s a tranquil view spot with a fire pit and a meditation bench. It over looks the crashing surf and wide open ocean. Sometimes you can even see volcano glow as it pours into the ocean further South of us. But not now. Today it’s perfect for witnessing the moment of sunrise. The fire pit still had burning embers from the night before where some one must have enjoyed this post under the stars. It was all quiet, fairly still, the moist morning was colored by a thick gray light, the way mornings start out. I was the first to arrive. I wore a simple yet elegant, easy-to-pack, floor length Goddess gown.  I just love to wear them. They ad such grace to one’s day. They take me back to ancient origins. Remember when you were small and played dress up? It takes you to the creative place in your imagination and thats why I think a lot of women are attracted to belly dance.

I put a pink flower in my hair. There was no need for a sweater. The temperature was absolutely perfect even on the bluff in these early hours. It felt a bit surreall. The rest of the dancers showed up, two by two. I lead our NTP grounding and centering movement meditation. It gives us a little stretch and sends loving good will to all the dancers of the world in 4 separate directions.  Many dancers have done this with me all over the world at different events. Now it feels more powerful than ever before. Together we stood facing the East and watched as the golden egg of the sun was birthed, crowning face first through the clouds on the horizon. A new day was born. OMG, so beautiful.

After this we all hung around and talked about the different ways we have celebrated Easter Sunday throughout our lives; the rituals of Easter baskets, church services, family dinners, frilly dresses and bonnets, Easter egg decorating with those little store bought dye kits, chocolate and jelly bean eggs and Easter egg hunts.  (My goddess gown took the place of the frilly dress ritual I guess.) One dancer shared a story from her past. In Montana no one liked to eat those over-boiled colored eggs, so they got out their guns and ritually used them for target practice . . . . . . This was our 4th retreat we have done at Easter time in Hawaii. It’s really a perfect time to go be with your sister dancers. Away from the gunfire and religious fanatics. They all agreed today would stand out as a very in-tune Easter to remember for a long time to come.

Speaking of eggs. After breakfast everyone got a gift from the Easter Luna Hare. It was a plastic egg with a pair of uterus and ovary logo Power Belly panties tucked inside! Perfect Easter gift. We took a group photo with us all wearing Power Belly logo shirts and Amy and Dahlia posed wearing the panties over their black yoga pants. Too hysterical for words. OMG! Can’t wait to see the pictures!

It was also another big day of dance. We sure started early. We were happy to note our minds were retaining better today. Good food, sleep, clean air and the lack of cell phone reception, TV’s and the constant emailing we normally do is amazing for the dancer’s brain!

As you see I am keeping a short journal and I started it on day 4 looking back when my body has been tossed around – kind of like the rocks and sand in the frothy blue green surf out there. I feel clean.


If you have met her, you know what an exceptional women she is. She is very intensely engaged with her dance. It’s an addiction, she will admit. She prefers to dance every minute of the day. Personally she has the the ability to be very present with everyone she is with, in a way that makes each of us each feel very special. It must also be an addiction. Charisma is a powerful gift to be given. We would all probably follow her anywhere. We each become intoxicated and addicted to her magic . . .


She lead a wonderful “Shimmy Madness” work out. She has a particular method for cultivating that perfect shimmy of hers. Dahlia’s years of childhood ballet give her a signature grace. Her preference to improve keeps her emotionally near her audience instead of off and reserved. To watch her every day like this is to imbibe a lovely balance in her every step.

In the afternoon we did some island exploring. I took a few adventurous ones to the near by steam vents; Bring a bathing suit, towel and bug spray. Dahlia, Bevin, Amy, Bella and Erik and I went. We drove for 15 minutes and pulled off the road. I lead the merry band of trusting souls down a slippery slope, then down a narrow path cut through the tall wet grass that gobbles us from each others sight if we advance 10 paces ahead. Wild orchids appear here and there in the weave of brush. I luckily remember the correct forks in the maze of grasses, mud, and rock formations. We arrived at a small, low cave opening. It was  a little bit bigger than the size of a large pizza tray. I begin getting out of my shorts and shirt and piling them on top of my towel. “Here it is”  I announce, “climb on in”.  They were a bit apprehensive, but since I guaranteed it would be worth it,  they complied to my prompting. In we squeezed through the opening, that to their welcomed surprise, opened into a larger spacious chamber with a natural sky light high above so it was pleasantly light inside. Wood boards had been set into the cave to create a comfortable seating arrangement. In a matter of moments we began to get licked clean by the hot breath of the Mother as the steam rose out of the earth. Everyone was amazed at this supreme natural wonder of the earth and were glad they came with me.

Others in our group trekked to the Volcano Park in Latrelle’s car and even managed to get lost so that they missed dinner, yikes! We got a little worried, but they came in all aglow from their adventure. They managed to find a restaurant out there somewhere on a Sunday night. Others in the group hung out at the beach and pool by day.

On our way back from the steam vents, we took a drive and went into the near by town of Pahoa to shop. We stopped at the shop called “Jungle Love” owned by a nice belly dancer (forgot her name, sorry).  She wasn’t in the shop so we missed her. Left a note. “Amy, Erik, Dahlia, Delilah, Bevin and Bella were here!”  After it cooled down we were back to dance. We are doing well with the pace of the different classes. Some are hard, some review and some are easy now.

Who is on this retreat?

We are a group of 12. Four of us are instructors. Most from Seattle this time. (That’s actually rare.) Tessa, Erin, Bevin, Bella Jovan, Carolyn, and then Cindy from Wisconsin via Arkansas, Latrelle from Texas and Tina from Chicago. It was easy to learn everyone’s name fast.

Again, the jungle is crazy at night! So many stars in the sky. The moon was full before we arrived and is getting smaller. It shows it’s face in the wee hours of the morning so the nights are mostly black. The night hours seems to be divided so that different animals get a chance to lead the chorus. They influence our dreams I’m sure; birds, frogs, crickets, creatures and falling branches and coconuts. We can hear the surf and the occasional night rain showers hitting the roof and trees. We have ear plugs if we want but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Oh, and sometimes wild pigs can be heard walking around behind my cottage and making low grunting sounds.


We reminisced about some funny stories Katrina (of skin deep) told in the car the

year she came to my Hawaii Retreat in 2006. We are still laughing!!! We also laughed about Princess Farhana and Laura Rose who shared a cottage together at the  2009 retreat.  LR  did her famous MISS PIGGY routine in one of our shows. The wild pigs came and hung out at their cottage (knowing their was a famous pig celebrity sleeping there) and so Princess has affectionately named LR  “Pig” ever since. (Hope LR doesn’t get too mad about that story. It’s cute!)

Bye now. More, maybe later, again, if I get a chance . . .


Letter #3

April 5th, yesterday, was Amy Sigil’s Birthday! The weekend before we left Seattle we helped Princess Farhana celebrate her Birthday and also Erik’s! It’s a very special time to be with people on these ritual days of their lives.

For her birthday, we gifted Amy one of my special “Veil Therapy” experiences. Only Bella Jovan and I knew how to actually deliver a Veil Therapy session, (AKA Veil Blessings). However, they all were quick studies. Kind of wonderful to have the opportunity arise where Amy would get to experience my Veil Therapy sessions. Can’t imagine it coming up in the course of our regular interactions on the mainland. We used her kind of crazy hard-pressing music for our session. Erik picked it out just for her. The experience lasted about 25 minutes. She was touched intensely, she cried like a baby when we were done. Good cry, caring, intimate, moved deeply kind of cry.

(I’ll explain what VT is, some other day.)

So far the dancers have had 12 hours of Improvisational Tribal Style now. OMG! They are totally getting it! They are going to walk out of the other side of this retreat as Tribal know-it-alls! LOL. A couple of us are daunted by the quick change choreography but are learning stuff and picking up a lot of nuances and certainly gaining a full  understanding between the differences of A.T.S.,  I.T.S. and Tribal Fusion!

Amy says she is really digging the chance to teach this straight out. It’s a rare opportunity. Usually she just gets a couple-hour workshop in every city and so ends up teaching a tribal fusion combo. This is way different. That’s why I set this up! I knew this. I just wished I could have been able to make it more clear to other dancers so they could have taken advantage of this incredible opportunity. All teachers are in this boat when they just drop into a city to teach to a bunch of new dancers for a few hours. A retreat is different! We all get stretched – teachers and students. Part of the problem is that my instructors don’t know what to expect before they come to my retreat so they don’t really know how to tell their students. I think a repeat of this retreat would be more successful.

I would love to repeat it, but it’s a lot of staff expense to have 4 teachers. I would have to know enough dancers would pony up the money to come.  -Improvisational Tribal Style with Amy Sigil and Egyptian Dances & Music Interpretation with Dahlia.



Got some quality sun time today. Laid out by the pool. It’s a beautiful pool in the shape of a tee with palm trees and tropical flowered landscaping. It is so relaxing and tranquil. A statute of the reclining Buddha languishes on the lawn. A lovely Ganesha sits where the diving board used to be. The board wasn’t removed because of an accident.  Just insurance policies forced them to take it out. (Don’t you love America? Other countries don’t act like this.) There are statues all around the grounds. Tons of fruit trees as well. Red, yellow and  blue birds flit all around while doves coo.  At the pool there are 2 hot tubs, a dry sauna, and showers. We are right next to a massage studio and a watsu pool. It’s a clothing optional pool. Nice. Who wants tan lines? Things are very relaxed.

This fact reminded me the 2 times musician Jeremiah Sotto of Solace came to my retreats! A bit surprised by the clothing optional pool status. We assured him being naked was not mandatory and giggled. Again, things are very relaxed.

Dahlia is the perfect compliment to all this tribal intensity. Her “Improvisation – Be Here Now” class came to us like a soothing salve after so much specific technique. Our emotional bodies got a opportunity to be a bit cathartic inside our browning skin. Oh yes, we are getting brown. The rains come mostly at night or by day for short intervals between the warm caress of the sun. Gotta have the rain to have all this beautiful jungle. Perfect temperatures accompany all this action we are displaying!

Me? So far I taught Power Belly, energy balance, veil therapy,  2 moving meditations; Grounding and Centering and Hathor. Oh and I added a few performance notes to Dahlia’s class. I am getting the chance to relax and recharge my batteries. Much needed.

This really is a nice balance of movement and personalities! They, we, me, are loving it! Oh, I got a massage this morning. Much enjoyed, and I heard everyone making appointments this morning.



Letter #4

Aloha again

More Tribal and it’s feeling more and more like home inside our neuro pathways.

Yesterday we experienced some amazing rain at 11:30 AM. So loud, I had to literally yell to be heard when teaching a dance. Very difficult. It was like we all were captured in a bubble of air inside a waterfall. We could feel the water in our mouth as we inhaled. Our body temperatures created a sauna aura environment around us. It was extreme, fascinating and exciting, actually. Dahlia let out a loud cathartic and ecstatic scream that could barely be heard. Luckily it didn’t last too long.

This afternoon Dahlia taught a lovely Egyptian Choreography in the afternoon to part of an Om Kolthum piece with a veil. Nice. I especially like the “jewel step”.

At night there was a big Hula Class with Richard Koob and friends that the gals all went to in the Emax studio. I went straight to bed after dinner at 7:30 and passed out. They reported back the next day all a glow from the wonderful experience. There were live musicians because it was special for the Merrie Monarch Festival taking place on the island. It was the 40th year celebration.

Early in the morning (on Day Six), before breakfast, Bevin and I drove to this place down the road called Coconut Beach. We walked out across the lava fields talking, when I looked over my shoulders after 10 minutes, and to our surprise, on the hillside far away, but behind us and to the South, was a long smoke-filled fire line marking the edge of the lava flow. We had heard there wasn’t much going on that one could see. Most of the Volcano park was closed because of crater off gas activity. Wow, this was impressive. Then a few minutes later a local Hawaiian guy met us on the path and confirmed, “ yes.”  The lava action just got bigger. Still no flow into the sea – just surface flow on the ridge and in the caldera higher up. He asked us if he could share a traditional morning Hawaiian chant with us to greet the sun. “Sure.” It was very beautiful. Then we shared our grounding and centering ritual with him. When we got to the part that says “We open our heart,” he jumped down and picked up a perfect heart-shaped rock and placed it beneath the rising sun in the east. Magic!

Back to Kalani .

We had a talking circle a bit before class. Dahlia was feeling overwhelmed – experiencing the magic of the retreat process. It’s something that cannot be relayed to another person very well. When they experience it, there is this special “ah ha” knowingness. She said it’s a bit like the culture shock you get by leaving the country for the first time. She had traveled a lot before she had children, but this was the first big isolation from her kids and family that felt so far away. Not just in miles but inside /outside of time. It’s the quality of time being spent on something you love and the freedom from responsibilities. No one is doing dishes and picking anyone up from school. It’s a big open space in our lives to retreat. It will change our life and shift our perspective. Often people refer to their lives as “before the retreat,” and “after the retreat.” I have done it over and over, seen it unfold in so many dancers’ lives. The underlying theme to this time of year, Easter, is REBIRTH. Welcome to the club, Dahlia.

This morning’s class was on “Saidi Style” with Dahlia. She is so fluid in changing her style of movement. She really does have one of the best shimmies I have ever seen. It’s so even and precise.

After lunch we had free time before our performance night. We caravanned down the scenic road 20 minutes to a mild adventure to a place known as the Hot Pools. It’s the size of a municipal public pool. Nestled in a grove of palms in a beach front park. It’s a nice, large, clean pool made from masoned lava stones and cement. It has steps and hand rails for easy access, with a mostly sandy bottom. It’s no more than 5 1/2 deep at the deepest and protected from the high surf by a sea wall . It’s very relaxing and therapeutic to soak or just sit in the park and enjoy the scenery. Someone built it intending to create a spa center many decades ago. The bathtub warm water is fed by underground fresh water hot springs and mixes with the salt water ocean. Little fishes nibble at us a bit.

Show Time

We invited a yoga retreat and a few Kalani staff members to come to our little show in the Rainbow room.

The line up was ;

• Bevin . . . danced a wild, visceral fusion to a heavy metal Norwegian rock song.

• Cindy . . . did a piece called Rouge Infusion

• Dahlia . . . danced some stellar Egyptian to some Beledi and Shik Shak Shok

• Delilah and Erik. . .Ya Aziz Aini and a drum Solo

• TRIBAL GROUP DANCE . . .6 dancers and Amy did a stellar tribal improv that blew the audience away! Good job ladies! So proud of this weeks work. It looks like VDP STUDIO will be adding a new class to the schedule in the very near future!

• Carolyn . . . followed with a clever choice in music and a steam punkish kind of costume

• Bella Jovan . . . danced a lovely cabaret dance

• Amy Sigil . . . did a solo that was very slow and made out of American Sign language enhanced by deep emotional and movement interpretation. Very very moving. Then Dahlia joined her on stage and they did an “Unmata” style choreography together. Superb!

The audience loved it. Afterwards the dancers were giddy with themselves and insisted in continuing to practice their new found Tribal Improv dance with each other until the sound system had to be turned off so people could sleep.

This retreat was truly everything I had hoped it would be.

Today we review and some are leaving early this morning due to schedules. The retreat is officially over on Friday at 1:00PM. This afternoon and tomorrow morning are free to practice, relax, get some body work done, catch up on sleep, eat and return home rejuvenated.


Next Hawaii retreat is in the end of January.

Details soon!


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