D's Blog

August 14, 2010   ♦   1 Comment »

Delilah in early years featured in the "Harem Caravan Review" 1975

Delilah in early years featured in the "Harem Caravan Review" 1975

I wrote this piece a few weeks ago and shared it with one of my yahoo groups. it has been requested to be reprinted in various news letters and e-zines and blogs. Yes it needs editing I hope they do it I am dyslexic so I can’t do it. I’m still writing it and on my compute it’s actually getting alot bigger but here is todays medium version.

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My early days were spent in San Diego and Hollywood. I danced with George Kayat at the Ali Baba Club, Maroon Saba at the Fez, Aziz Katra, John Bilezikjian at the Apadonna in New Port Beach, Raja Zahr in LA and Las Vegas, Harry Saroyan various places, Antwoine Hage at Haji Baba, , the Greek Chicago bands at Athens West in La Jolla, and the Harem Caravan* Review at the Ramada Inn.

I moved to Seattle in 1977.  I dance with who ever was playing at the Lebanon Restaurant and over 10 years with Takis Doties at The Grecian Corner followed by The MB Orchestra at George’s Bar & Grill and David Said at Kolbeh’s Persian. I toured and danced with all sorts of bands across the country during my career; Brothers of the Baladi, Transarabian Sound, Ibraheim Turman, Oasis, Doug Adams of Light Rain, Steven Flynn . . . Then in 1992 I began a very close relationship with Sirocco from Santa Cruise. They came to 15 of my Hawaii Retreats and we made many DVD’s together.  Currently I perform mostly with the full 6 piece music arabian music ensemble called House of Tarab. Last night I enjoyed dancing to Naseem Band!

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Wow, that was fun to recall all that history!

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Delilah at the High Dive 2008

Delilah at the High Dive 2008

Un Choreographed:

The way I learned to perform the old fashion belly dance, was not by rote of choreography. It was be experiencing it LIVE in-the-moment, in a cabaret environment. The belly dance performance was a anticipated ritual in the night club every night. It was composed of 5-7 distinct parts; the introduction, the veil dance, a fast more technical part, a floor-work gymnastic section made of slow cheftitelli and taxseems, followed by another short fast section, into the drum solo, ending with a merry fast section, taking bows , accepting applause and saying good bye, but promising to return. The sections were like a map. The party atmosphere made things come up spontaneously that rendered choreography not very realistic. Sometimes the dance would stay on the stage and other times it was someone’s birthday and the dance moved around the room. Audience members made song requests and sometimes would sing low yearning poems into the microphones during my dance. Either about love or often about people in the audience.  The audience loved when the dancer came out into the audience and interacted with them. Collecting tips, wrapping scarves into turbins around the heads of members of the audience and  saying “Good Evening”

Most of the parties and restaurants I danced in hosted families and little kids were encouraged to put tips in my waist band. Many performances were sacred sacraments of divine grace under a mirror ball and some down right rowdy and profane with Greek sailors showering dancers with hundreds of dollar bills. The Greeks also broke dinner plates. It was a ritual of releasing the attachment to possessions and embracing LIFE in-the-moment!  In the 70s I danced for 45 minutes per show. There was not one hair on my head that was not soaked in sweat. My stamina was incredible and I felt like a cosmic astronaut rocketing into out of this world trance spaces.

I deffinetly enter zones and trance states when I perform. In ancient, tribal and current society the trance is a big part to the dance. The trance state is a means of communion from the beginning of time. The average Arab knows ” tarab” as the divine ecstasy the listener gets into as part of the experience of focused listening to the music. The dancer is a vessel; a container of the human interface.  In the Haitian/African  Voudoun religion the trance state is a means of divine contact and interaction. In the Turkish (Mid Eastern) dervishes ecstatic spin she/he stands on the threshold between worlds; the mundane and greater whole. The zar as practiced in Egypt and parts of the Mid East is a similar cathartic experience and is often used in belly dance routines. The Guedra  of North Africa uses repetitive hand gestures and chanting to attain trance states. Am I praying or worshipping? Not in my mind. I am more of an explorer.

This being-in-the-moment with your physical dance experience is valuable and transfers something vital and essential to our souls. You, your body, your emotions, the cosmic vibrations of music, time, space, spirit and accelerate rise in body heat and blood flow. It’s healing for the body. It’s especially important to us in these days where we are leaving the body behind more and more. Todays technical world is sadly lacking these opportunities as we sit daily addicted to our physically passive computer screens. However, we do become  unwittingly vulnerable to internet trance states where the influences are not divine links but rather mediums for commercial gods and goddesses to commune with us.

As I dance I create my dance in the moment. I have seen dancers do this effectively with only knowing 5 moves. Knowing 5 moves or 500 moves does not necessarily make the dancer better.  It’s all about what you do with what you know.  I feel this wildness and openness of spirit is something exceptional belly dance avails to us. It should berevered and held on high. Not that it negates choreography. It is just that at this point in society we have many dances that are contained and choreographed . We have fewer options that are un choreographed and free. Improvisational dance holds essential skills that benefit our life experience in important ways. Do you live a choreographed life day to day? Maybe so. I don’t.

Improvisational dance does not mean you do not study rhythms, music, learn moves, develop your skill set, practice combos, condition the body and work to increase flexibility and endurance. It does not mean you do not have an intended destination either. You just navigate differently. Your moves become your paints. When we watch an improvisational belly dance, we are witnessing the painter painting. The dancer shares the live, active creative process with you. She listens carefully to the music and opens her heart and soul to be like a tuning fork and resonate with the vibrations in the air using time and space. With each breath she is inspired to unfold the next movement in time. The spirit provided the force behind the motion. We call this dynamics. We all are individuals and this is an opportunity for individuality to shine. The challenge is to be relaxed enough to allow the exhibitionist to step forward. There lies the hitch. We are told at an early age not to show off. Do not indulge your self. This comes from our old puritan roots. However, all artists are indulging the stuff that makes up their lives. We call this expression. Teachers tell their students, never do this or that. The “ don’t touch your own body”  policy is just a stupid lack of appreciation for the marvelous gift of life you have been given. Hello! It’s your body touch it if you want to! So check to see if that is in the back of your brain and get rid of that pilgrim it if you want to really dance. Whether you are dancing for your self or for an audience or both, you must be open, know your body and accessible to your emotions. Available, vulnerable and shameless.

I often think about the stewardess directives to put the oxygen mask on yourself first before the child next to her. This is because if Mom dose not take care of her self first she will not be any use to that child that is dependent on the adult. If we do not invest in our internal life experience and take care of ourselves first, we will not have much to say. I cannot share any of my cookies with you if I have not baked any.  An authentic dance comes from an authentic life. I think this is one of the best kernels this dance has to offer all of us. It is the metaphor that life is one long dance from birth to death. To choreograph or to live in the moment is worth thought. Who choreographs your life? You, your mother, father, brother, husband, church . . .?

The fear of not having anything to say is what often drives us to want a choreography. The fear that what we have to offer is not any good. The notion that yours is better than mine, so teach me your dance. So sad when self esteem is so poor that we would rather do the dance of someone else. Or that we could only have one idea and we cling to it and keep using it over and over again in repetition instead of taking a risk and trying something new. The new is our growth.

Some of us can dream up dances and have others implement them. I think the desire to save dances as original choreographies is a kin to video taping them. The memorization that goes into a paint by number dance is very left brained. The right brain synthesizes things. The left brain sequences things. The left brain judges (and leads to self criticisms) and the right brain is metaphoric and sees likeness. To make a choreography work it must move from analytical left brain to the right. Some humans are skilled at this others can quickly synthesize intuitively. Often we have learned to feel more secure when things are organized and set. I say learned because children do not usually mind disorganization. It is adults that require and maintain order. If we learn skills for being comfortable in chaos we have a skill for life. The universe supports chaos, if not more, than organization. Organization comes out of chaos. (I studied with Gabriel Roth and she taught me about chaos). If everything is tightly organized there is little room for creativity. I don’t mean for it to be a contest here. I am only trying to illuminate some factors that may limit our personal growth.

If you liked your self and the picture you create with your beautiful box of crayons, then you carry a sense of pride. We recognize a child’s sweet sense of accomplishment and pride about creating his/her picture.  That experience of drawing, is full of lines, color, space, time, rhythm, design, breath and heart beats. We come away from these experiences liking our selves and our lives (or well we should). I think to ignore, devalue, not see the merit of your own creative process is a contributing factor to all the depression and loneliness people feel these days. Pride coupled with compassion leads to strength and greatness. The lack of pride leads to not even finding compassion for ones self.

Choreography teaches us about process and transition. It allows us to put our best tricks forward in the shortest amount of time I suppose. In a sound bite. Since we are all so busy and there are so many of us now a days, that a sound bite is all we have time for it seems. However sound bites leave out plateaus and thresholds to new zones of physical and psychic trance expression only attained though longer durations of time. Real breath, real heart beats and body heat are necessary ingredients. This is where dance crosses over and can become prayer or communion with ones maker of some sort, and this is what has some religious folks scared. I do not what they are so afraid of, but I think it boils down to putting the clergy out of a job if people realized they can contact god all by them selves without the need of a clergy man/woman.

I tell my students when their shoulders are locked to think of something they love to do. The shoulders are about passion and our sensibility. I direct them to practice rolling their shoulders while eating a chocolate dove bar or relaxing in a hot tub. When you learn that that story is in those body parts the stories begin to unfold.

I often say to a new performer that if you step on stage you are accepting a responsibility to perform. A contract. The only way you let that responsibility down is by not understanding and accepting the rules of the contract by performing. You must be an exhibitionist. Some dancers appear to have stepped on stage and left themselves at home. It is really simple; tell me a story. In the case of dance, it is with your body language this story unfolds. There are millions of stories that can be told with the accompanying music. Our bodies can express more than spoken words. It not linear. It is multilayered, way more complicated than spoken or written words. If we are comfortable with the human body, we know it innately because we share the experience of being human. We know it with out a translator.

So what story do you need, desire to share? Do tell it with out a choreography sometimes?

Delilah

* WHOse WHO in  Harim Caravan Photo at the top;

?, Dave Dhillon, Delilah, Richard Barham, Deseree, Tony Karasak

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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.

March 26, 2010   ♦   Comments Off on Neighborhood Temple Priestess / Not a religion

In the past year the Neighborhood Temple Priestesses have done a ton of good work. I want to share below, but first an introduction.

This is an excerpt from Ruth St Denis Poem called “ Entertainment for the Beloved “ , I glean my life long inspiration from this and a few other poems. An autographed copy of this poem was given to me as a girl by my grandmother and I have used in my dances on many occasions.

“I dreamed of dancers

long since dead

asleep in the tombs of kings, and queens.

I dreamed that they

rose from their shrouds

and once again assembled

the scattered liniments

of their long lithe bodies,

they move to effortless measures

to the  drum beats and the lingering melodies of the harp.

Those dancers of an ancient past

slowly they moved among the long tables,

laden with fruits and wines,

trained in the rhythms of the east

and made wise in the rhythms of love it’s self.

In the sweet scented nights

under the low hanging stars

I saw you in my dreams,

dear dancers of the long since dead

and I wondered if if it might not be

that in this eternal now (which includes this hour)

that you might not still be moving

in the shadow of the temple aisles,

still weaving patterns of immemorial loveliness

as you did of old

and that kings and princes

bent upon you

eyes of desire

and raise you from your low obeisance

to find joy and honor in their arms in the passing of the scented nights.

by

Ruth St Denis

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Neighborhood Temple Priestesses are called NTP for short.

NO. . . WE ARE NOT A RELIGION! . . . L.O.L

Our dancers are from all different walks of life. We are a dance collective.

However, we do view belly dance as food for the soul and supremely value it in our lives. We see belly dance as older and drawing from roots deeper than todays modern cultures . This gives us much freedom and artistic license.

We take our name from these inspirations:

NEIGHBORHOOD. . . a greater community than just ourselves but that surrounds us and we are a conscious and participating member of.

TEMPLE. . . Our body is a temple. Our dance feeds our soul, Our studio space a house for the dance we hold high. The space that allows us to do the good work in community. The temple gives us physical and metaphysical foundation.

PRIESTESS . . . A women who leads rituals. In America belly dance has always drawn inspirations from ancient times. This female station makes us think back to a time when women danced in temples as priestesses, stewards, mentors, healers, councilors and leaders in community. In ancient times “dance” held more importance to everyones life than than just gym class of stage performance. This word priestess denotes a high place women once occupied more vividly. We feel belly dance needs a lift in status and ego identification. We know it’s value in our lives as well as how it touches those around us. Priestess sounds more serious and I suppose we take our dance more seriously than the unaquainted with belly dance would guess. The word “Performer” sounds less personal, like a circus act and while we have fun we bring beauty and sensitivity to the things we do. Our work effects us as much as it does those around us.


All belly dancers dance for everyday rituals like birthdays, anniversaries and weddings showers. Do they realize the importance rituals play in our lives? Or do we all get so busy and used to things that we loose the significant meaning ritual plays in our lives. Instead of taking a passive performance role we aim to step up and facilitate the significance of these gatherings a bit more directly. We do birthdays and the like, as well as take it a step further than most and do wakes, memorials, house blessings, ground breaking, healing support gatherings, coming of age. We create new rituals, build public and private art installations utilizing belly dance. Examples;  dance labyrinths, shadow plays,  solstice feasts, luminaria walks, parades, nature dances. . . we use creative and intuitive energy to bring us all closer to the present moment in our lives. As a dance group we aim to share these acts of grace with those around us. The work we do feeds our hearts and rewards our soul. We leave them crying often. In a good way.

We feel that the average Joe on the street has lost a connection of original dance. Dance in ancient times was not for show so much as it was a way for each individual to participate in direct commune with powers that are bigger and more beautiful than can be comprehended. The first dances were around camp fires,  joining hands and dancing in circle, and dancing from house to house and village to village in celebration of the cycles of nature and the gift that is life. In it’s basic form the drums immitatie our heart beats. As it quickens it intensifies our energy and compel us to jump, turn, shake, stomp, skip and reach levels of ecstatic movement. These occurrences are unspeakable for there are no words that capture that feeling. In ancient times dance was something everyone did because it was as essential to life as food,  water, shelter and air.


Today we have a very distant association of what dance is. So many people do not know what I’m really talking about. Dance has become something you need a partner to do. Only for certain talented people or something studied and learned instead of a basic necessity. Our traditional dance academies teach people not to dance more than too dance. We are brain washed to think of dance as for the young skinny children. How many men in our culture say ” sorry I don’t dance”? We are dedicated to dissolving that myth.

The NTP is all ages and walks of life and levels of dance experience. We are not limited to just dancers. We have artists and other supporters who have joined.

We do traditional belly dance, creative dance, ritual dance, trance dance, pharaonic dance and dancing in nature. What defines the dance for us in not one ethnic culture but the culture of women. Women hear the call to belly dance and associated expressions that come from our feminine being. We feel the would needs more of this.


Basically 3 kinds of members

1. Active Core Members

2. Auxiliary   Members who are very busy and get called in when we need them or they have time and interest.

3. Members from inside and out side the Seattle area that belong to our yahoogroup. Online we share the progress of our creative projects in hopes to educate and inspire like action as well as learn from our mistakes. We read books together, hold good thoughts for each other, and other positive acts. Membership is always open.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Neighborhood-Temple-Priestess

Chapters;

We have a Honolulu Chapter that has just started up and similar interest evolving, in Alabama a couple other places have expressed mild  interest. We have members from other countries too.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Neighborhood-Temple-Priestess

In Seattle we hold three kinds of get togethers. Meetings, Workshops and combinations. Workshops are where skills are shared projects or developed. Meetings are about planning new projects, scheduling and taking care of business. NTP is not suppose to take the place of ones sole dance instruction but add to it. Fees are flexible. No one is turned away. Call and come to a meeting. They are listed on the VDP Calendar.

The way the group works is simple. Not a lot of rules. No dancer has to do anything she’s not interested in. If a member has an idea and a project she wants to move forward with there is nothing we can’t do if there are members interest and available in the group. In 2009 we have done many fund raisers, baby and wedding showers and other women’s gathering in the past year in addition to these larger community projects listed below.

This past year.

2010 January; Kalani Hanua Non Profit Arts Retreat, Hawaii. Installation of a 48 foot wide dance labyrinth using 650 electric candles and flowers. This was set under a full moon for participating dancers as well as the local community, and was followed the next day by a smaller, spiral-style, organic dance labyrinth made of bamboo leaves.

2009 December; Open House Winter Solstice celebration, VDP Studios. 22 foot wide indoor dance labyrinth with 400 electric candles. out takes are on one of the Power belly Show episodes.

2009 December; Pathway of Lights, Greenlake Park. Moving dance installation with both dancers and musicians.

2009 October; Trolloween, Fremont Arts Council. Outdoor 3-D shadow dance performance and installation.

2009 October; Autumn Meditation, Greenlake Park. 800 Candle Dance Labyrinth

2009 September; Arts-A-Glow Outdoor Festival, Burien City Parks. Performed a 3-D Shadow Dance

2009 August; A Dance for Celeste, Luther Burbank Park, Mercer Island. Neighborhood Temple Priestesses outdoor dance memorial celebration held at dusk. Used 300 electric candles along with white veils.

2009 January; Mommy Muse, Hugo House. Featured dance performances in conjunction with a presentation by Christy Cuellar-Wentz, MA on postpartum depression.

2009-08 July; Annual Mediterranean Fantasy Festival, Seattle Parks & Recreation,

We have a yahoo group you can join and follow along with our work. dancers belong in all different cities. Neighborhood-Temple-Priestess Yahoogroup

We have some workshops coming up.

The fee is by donation upon ability. See our calendar page.


  ♦   Comments Off on March Dance Event; Part 5, POWER BELLY #35

March Dance Events:

Part 5.

Power Belly Show Episode 35

with H.O.T.  Princess Farhana and me.


Continuing along our chain of dance events.. . .

Monday we shot some clips with Princess Farhana for the Power Belly Show

extra tutorial parts . Then at 6:30 we co taught an episode together with live music

provided by H.O.T. They all wore their Tuxedos in honor of our 35th episodes of

work! The music is fantastic and this episode demonstrates why we call it a show!

It’s a fund raising episode.

BUY IT HERE PLEASE! . . .Should be up end of March.

We need a new camera if we are going to continue to make these episodes available to folks in estudio land.We are far from paying our bills each week.

We need some faithful subscribers!

Thank you all how came out to support so much this entire weekend!!

Wow wow wow! The stars were perfectly perched!

Thanks universe! Things are definitely clicking around here lately!

love you madly,

Delilah

PS There is more coming on Tuesday we have Freya from Los Angeles doing a ritual Trance Dance workshop.

Then Dahlia, Erik Amy and I will all be in Hawaii for the top of April!

Still room left (I think) call me! 206 632-2353

oxox

Delilah

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  ♦   Comments Off on March Dance Events: Part 3, HATHOR UNVEILED

March Dance Event

Part 3

Hathor Unveiled


Then the Hathor Show  was Saturday night. . . .OMG what a wonderful project to be a part of. Suzanna and Malia are such good girls. To honor their belly dance forbearers in such style! Hopefully some day they shall know the same privilege to be honored in ones community. Beautiful job, beautiful job! I choose not to do the kind of dance I am known for ( I did that so deeply the night before). Instead i took the opportunity to add to the Hathor theme of the whole event with a deeper tone . Dancers often miss the opportunity to be in contrast. It’s not always easy to leave what you know people expected to see you do. Since Hathor is my favorite mythological archetype I choose to dig that dance out of my dance closet. I this dance has a long history. It was originally commissioned as part of Laurel Victoria Grays EGPTA Show in Germany. That and a dance called “The Death of Cleopatra”. I also danced it in Hathor’s Temple in Denderra Egypt, in California at a retreat at a place called Isis Oasis, on Easter Sun rise at my Maui belly dance retreat with Mezmera. I teach it as a movement meditation often in workshops.

It is very calming and sooting to do with it’s specific movement passes and spacial design. The moves lead to a deeply trance inducing meditation. Often a tear appears from my left eye. I have no idea why, it just happens, and it happens often.

The full dance with costume was not easy to resurrect. The wig was made in 1975 . We fought for hours trying to stabilize the brass and copper moon piece on top of the head dress that was made by Lenny of Magic Circle in 1997. We finally figuring it out with the help of Christine and Erik right before the show. Yikes! Hathor’s mirror is an amazing art piece with carnelian and amethyst jewels, 7 knots of cane as well as the vertebra of a cow set into the handle. It was made by Uncle Mafufo and it was taken and used in the temples and pyramids of Egypt on 3 separate trips. The music is by my X husband Steve from his , Rapture Rumi Cd but it’s a special edited version. The blue and gold jewelry pieces were given to me at a workshop in New York in 1988 and just happened to go with the peal beaded dress I magically found in 1997. Laura Rose and Christine were my mirror and aunk attendants.

Hathor’s Mirror represents reflection, beauty, and mystery. The aunk is the life symbol. The ancient Egyptian Goddess Hathor represents women, birth music, dance and drunkenness. It felt so good to be able to share this piece with the belly dance community.

My wish to Hathor is for the power and strength of our belly dance community to

continue grow in the feminine ways of women’s innate wisdom.

Your

Neighborhood Temple Prietess

at your service

PS I am planning a Tour to Egypt in April of 2011

Email me your name phone and street address and I’ll send you the brochure soon as it”s ready.

PS Related story links

Experience of the Beautiful

Cane Dance of the Hatshepsut

Hathors Movement Meditation

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February 11, 2010   ♦   Comments Off on PART TWO: Dancing Journey; Retreat January 2010

PART TWO:

Dancing Journey with NTP; Retreat January  24-3, 2010

8 days 7 Nights

Before I continue this story about our past Neighborhood Temple Priestess Belly Dance Retreat, let me remind readers that not all our retreats are like this one. Each is unique. You may wonder how that could be true. I see the art as a jewel. I assure you I love belly dance in all it’s facets. Check out the list of dancers I have worked with. They are all apart of my dance experience I am proud to say

For instance next retreat is April 2-9 2010 Tribal Hula Fusion

Amy Sigil of UNMATA, the award winning Dahlia Moon and Delilah and Erik of HOT.

It’s on the very physical dance plane. See the details . Hurry up!

Story begins again:

Now we are at mid way of our retreat.

On day four I introduced some breathing and relaxation techniques. These were a series of gestalt awareness exercises. In a relaxed trancy state we moved to mirror dances and then instructed to stay centered and quiet. No talking and put on your shoes. Slowly I lead them on a dance adventure into nature. They were instructed to be free to move with, in contrast, in reaction to, what ever they came across. Listen, see, feel, smell, with internal awareness and external awareness. Lose your self consciousness and be like a child of the universe. Get inside the moment. Remember. I was so pleased at this groups full participation. They went very far into the moment. We all feel into a timeless reality. Some of us danced with tears in our eyes to these pink petaled flowers with green leaves that shared the top of a thick gray spiky menacing stock. The birds repeated phrases like a drum rhytm rif. Voices murmured occasionally from far away. The sun made shadows on the lawn and the dancers interacted with them. Some found spider webs and spiders. others were inspired and effected but the energetic direction of the patterns found in nature. Unexplainable things, yet when we stopped to share our discoveries with one another the words flooded in with glee. These thing all came vivid to the surface of our being because of the preface of this work with the gestalt exercises. Know this; You did not need to take your self out side to meet with nature. Everything we have done out here today is totally applicable to any stage and all performance. Stay plugged in to the moment. The truth that followed was immediately seconded by the call of a gecko. Nothing but the truth!

Next I introduced the magical concept of labyrinths(cool photos of one of the NTP’s labyrinths). It is astounding how this seemly complicated pattern can be so culturally universal. It is mathematic and psychic. It  totally is related to the circular figure eight and spiral patterns we draw with our hips. The thing about labyrinths is they are not meant to confuse you like a maze, but lead you to the center. A focal point. This was in preparation for the evenings ritual labyrinth christine would lead us through. Read more about Labyrinths .

Off to lunch and then back to class wearing our Sea Faring and Nature Honoring Goddess Costumes we made for our little contest. We thought it would be fun to dance in them during Hula class taught by Richard.  Verna won the grand Prize. She was the Moon and the Starry Sky Goddess! The prize was a cowry shell basket with cowry shell jewelry and Koa wood beads. Richard taught us a powerful dance to Pele and urged us to be more savage! I loved that we were all decked out in Goddess costumes learning this dance for Pele.

Ok, so these students are not average belly dancers by any means now. They have pounded their feet to the rhythms of the earth and swayed their hips to the pulse of the surf. Reached up to the sky and gathered the gifts into their hearts and sent it into the cosmos. They have connected with the internal and the external. They have experienced freedom and play and the natural spontaneity of life. We have danced to music drum, word play, rosters crowing, taste, scent, shadow, light, wind, sound of surf. Now comes a transformative event. The dance of the labyrinth. We began before dinner laying out the grid, wrapping electric candles in tissue paper and setting them out onto the lawn. There were about 600 and it would measure about 48-50 feet across. As soon as it got dark the pattern was revealed in the dark grass and the moon rose full as ordered in the sky above. Some staff at Kalani walked the labyrinth during the dinner hour and sat and quietly watched us as we appeared after diner in our NTP whites dance attire. Clouds stood back and did a veil dance around the giant opalescent rainbow moon straight over our heads. It illuminated our crown chakras.  We grounded and centered and one by one we began our journey into the labyrinth. John played his sax and Erik played drum. Some of us danced with veils some brought instruments like drum and chimes. The dancing journey was intense and enchanting. I went first and when I arrived in the center I spun until I  collapsed in the center. I was a pile of white., with my veil made of what I call ghost silk (because it is so light). I lay there on the soft bed of grass cocooned in my silk and surrounded by concentric winding rings of candle light and the gently stepping of dancers and the delicate touch of omnipresent moon beams in the air. When I arose to dance out of the labyrinth I met each dancer one by one upon the path. We embraced each other so tenderly. We cried, and exchanged the knowing of our knowing.  This place, this time, this life

“Your beauty is my beauty

and my beauty is your beauty

only in relationship to each other

do we know beauty.”

As I left the labyrinth I picked up a drum and joined Erik and watched the dancers meet and part at different junctures along their way. It’s always so interested to note that the center of the labyrinth is only 10-14 feet away from where I observe but as I see the person in the center I know their journey was much longer so they seemed a world away. Yet I know we are in the same world.

NOTE:The entire retreat was profound this way.

Up early before the sun for the next amazing event. We all jumped into cars and walked out upon another path that twisted through the lava beds to a brand new virgin beach. Three of us put on our Sea Faring costumes and the rest came to watch us dance into the sea at new Kapana beach at dawn; Laura Rose Christine and Me. We walked a path out across the lava field to the beach. Just like the labyrinth with the ocean of life at the center.  Her tide was way in leaving little room for beach dancing. Laura Rose set up the camera and she went first. Dressed in feathers, fur and seeds and with silver bits and a moon on her forehead. White drapes of fabric hugged her thighs and red laced sandals scrolled up to her knees.

Christine wore a fantastic Grecian Costume fitted for Aphrodite. On a base of white drapes gold brackets of metal clasped the fabric and deep red roses. Very beautiful. She did a dance with a mirror where she showed the ocean her own reflection in the morning sun break. So beautiful.

I wore my very first sea faring costume from 1991. Green and fuchsia. I charges down the beach as the surf was out so I could start my dance around a bend of rock and dance toward the water the observers and the eye of the camera.

Afterward everyone got in the warm water. Some were a bit surprised to find it so warm. It’s a bit of illusion. The water does not change temperature at night but the sand does. The contrast makes the water feel like a bath tub in the early hours and chilled in the middle of the day.

Wow. next was some good old fashion Power Belly workout after breakfast and a talk about Goddess Archetypes. How do these Psychological profiles of Greek and Roman mythical figures influence our western minds. What can we learn about our selves by exploring them creatively as dance inspiration?  Artemis, Athena, Hestia, Hera Demeter, Persephone, and Aphrodite. Everyone was encouraged to read the book by Jean Shinoda Bolen, and  before or during the retreat.

The Goddesses in Every Woman

The Goddesses in Older Women

The Goddesses in Every Man

Urgent Message From Mother

It was Lori’s birthday today, so we gave her a royal Goddess veil blessing treatment today!

After dinner we would do my community Zaar ritual. It’s simple and the group has been very physical for the past 48 hours so it would not be a long zaar I figured. I though it was time to show them some skinner releasing exercises. This is how you can begin to dance coming from a a totally deep relaxed body. It will come in handy for tomorrows guided movement meditation to meet the Goddesses as well. The zaar went well. And I think we all fell into a deep sleep that night.

On day 6 week retreated to nature in our own way. A bit of private space and time. Nice. Erik and I went to a secluded beach we found behind a Hawaiian burial ground we found up the road a piece. It was very beautiful, peaceful and rejuvenating. Some went to the volcano park but it was partially closed because of vog.

After dinner we came back for the Journey with in our minds to meet the goddesses each in their richly described symbolic environment. Each Goddess gives you a gift. The gift could be absolutely anything and at the end you lay them all out around you and we dance our gratitude. Christine made a lovely sound scape for us. Figuring out why certain gifts were given to you is a process of creative inner exploration.

Next a belly dance obstacle course. It rained during the night and the atmosphere was sucking up the water in every article of clothing wow. Our luggage was weighing more for sure. Everyone was instructed to wear a bathing suit to class. The rain was welcome and our obstacle course made good use of it. I set a course in the studio that everyone would do 3 runs of. Then they were instructed to dance out the door and meet with nature. Stay engaged with the natural world and it’s offerings as well as follow the path past the office and into the shower then into the pool where you were to engage your belly dance arms and mermaid bodies. Then out toward the reclining Buddha to follow a new spiral designed labyrinth Chris had made with bamboo and banana leaves!  We jumped into the pool and labyrinth in the rain yippee! What a conquest. They have learned to journey through the dance!

Our last class was with Christine. Fire! Not as a thing to dangerously fling around our bodies, but as inspiration on how to harness the energy that is inside of us. The heat that burns. The fuse of life. Flicker as ecstatic chaotic undulation consuming oxygen. These exercises were followed by using the smoke of incense as it passes in the air. This was a fantastic class and I am always inspired to see and experience something new, challenging and thought provoking. I got to pair up and do some very creative contact dancing with Laura Rose. So good!

In the evening we held our final performance on the dinning lanai for the staff to enjoy. Alexandra made a fantastic MC. Now that we know she has such talents. . . Wayne, Malina, Christine, Laura Rose and me with everyone drumming for me. Sweet!

This retreat felt so incredibly successful. We came many more miles that air planes and rental cars could carry us. Because of our presence there is no place we cannot go with our dance. belly dance is not just a universal body language it’s a how our cosmic space ship is powered. I love this universe!

After dinner and wine we met at the banana leaf labyrinth for a final candle night ceremony. with real candles and real flames and parting remarks and blessings.

Merry meet,

Merry part and Merry meet again.

Blessed be!

Delilah

your Neighborhood Temple Priestess at your service

PS. I know I gotta get some photos up to go with it but it’s funny I really live in the moment and I’m off to the next shiny thing.

  ♦   Comments Off on PART ONE: Dancing Journey; Retreat January 2010

PART ONE:

Dancing Journey with the Neighborhood Temple Priestesses;

Retreat January 2010

8 days 7 nights


I have been home since Feb 2nd and my suit case is still not unpacked. Soon as I came home I had 3 crazy cats to attend to. Bevin was looking after them while we were gone but they were not very happy to have us gone for 10 days. Kinko camped out in our bedroom for the time we were gone only coming down for duties. She would not purr for the first hour we were home. Tiamat was her usual evasive self and I could tell she slept on the living room couch. Sophie stayed in the kitchen the whole time on a pillow. I have a stack of mail and phone messages to deal with and a ton of e mail of course. Now my butt hurts from too much sitting at the computer. It’s tax time and so book keeping to do now. I have been trying to write a blog entry since before Hawaii . I thought I would even write from there. Usually I have lots to say and write but this retreat has kind of blown me away a bit. Yikes, I have no editor either. Please so for give any typos.

First of all I imagine you might want to know what the Neighborhood Temple Priestess are? Well it’s a committed bunch of dancers with a little bit different focus than other groups. Yes, we feel belly dance empowers our life but not only. It also empowers the lives of our family and greater community if we know how. The way of how is what I teach and mentor. If what we are doing is different then it means what you know already is not it, so keep an open mind and let the difference in. An important part of the NTP is being able to think out of the box, be a leader, strive to be a good dancer, an artist and a Temple Priestess.

Story begins:


We should have called this retreat Belly Dancing Journey through Inner and Outer space for that is what we managed to do. I know that any of these words cannot adequately describe or substitute the actual experience. Hopefully that is what these experiences do over all. They serve to remind people that life is for living not just twittering tweetering about.

In Hawaii we stayed in a room they call the Tree House. It’s not really a tree house but it’s their deluxe rustic accommodation. We loved it! The entry was in the west and the east side was completely glass and screens open to a lush meadow that hugged the country road an acer a way. We got to witness the rising sun and sleep to the sound of the ocean surf. Fuchsia bougainvillea an occasional orchid and lush green tangle of jungle vines framed our view. In the center of the room was a vertical post that supported a 14 foot high ceiling that sloped toward 3 separate alcove rooms. Around the center post was a rectangular tiles table and a lamp in front of that facing the view was a wicker couch and a divan and a kitschy floor lamp that was in the shape of a palm tree. We had a refrigerator, microwave and a coffee pot with coffee and milk in the frig. The bathroom was spacious with lots of staging area for changing clothes, make up and  toiletries. Wow I could live here for a while!


I did try to post a blog entry while I was in Hawaii but the retreat was so rich and my mind got so expanded it couldn’t find it’s way into the lap top key pad. Words would fall helter skelter out of my head but they kept running across the the table to play with the with the Geckos that lived on the table post. Geckos are suppose to bring good luck. There is a belief that when one is heard making their long sustained clicking noise, then what ever has been spoken last in the vicinity is to be known as the honest truth. We had many geckos living with us. They keep the mosquitoes down, so they make good room mates. We had a boy and a girl who lived behind the bathroom mirror and would catch bugs attracted to the light. We had the one who lived on the table post where another lamp kept the bug supply coming. Then we had the prankster gecko who would hang his little back legs and tale off the edge of a crack in a board in the ceiling and poop! It was so funny to see. “Hey you?” we would yell and laugh. Luckily it was over the floor and not our bed or heads. House keeping in the jungle is a daily task needless to say. Kalani are experts at it (no worries.) In the jungle you can expect to find bugs, mongoose, wild boar, goats, rats, cats, giant snails, wild turkeys, beautiful birds of all colors, a few dogs. . . We saw all of them. In the water you can see dolphin, sail fish, hump back whales, sea turtles, millions of fish and coral. We saw some of them too even though we didn’t go snorkeling this trip.


Ok so how was the retreat?

Well one should know first that every retreat we do has it’s own theme and schedule of classes and guest instructors, musicians and events. This one was on Neighborhood Temple Priestess Training retreat. The goal was to dance and sweat so we got a good dose of exercise but then diverge into the more esoteric, artsy, touchy, feely realm of belly dance that has been cultivated by the visionary belly dance water mark. These are teachings that are not ordinary fare in my classes and retreat but are very dear to my heart. We delved into our minds, our hearts and our humanity as dancers.


This retreat was small. This means of course that those that signed up for this retreat get a lot of individual undivided attention from me, Erik, and  Laura Rose. We get to know the members of our retreat  very up close and personal. I can even write about them individually with out it becoming a huge book.


Jane was brand new to belly dance, who had some health issues and was going to approch things slowly and as she felt comfortable each day. She also brought her Mother whose name was Dola. She had recently recovered from a bout with cancer. They were sharing some good Mother /Daughter time together. The thing about Jane was she was very knowledgeable about the the feminine jungian psychology aspects and the ritual and other things we were going to explore on this retreat. It’s what attracted her. She ha been watching the retreats come and go on line for years and finally decided it was time! She was good natured and enthusiastic to try most anything.


Malina was from Japan. She didn’t speak a lot of English but she had a little machine translator thingy. She missed some of the wordy explanations but she felt everything deeply. One of her teachers is the amazing Mishaal from Japan. I love Mishaal. Everyone loves Mishaal. I knew if Mishaal was sending her, she would love this retreat and that even with language barrier. Malina would be well seasoned.


Alexandra is from Seattle via Canada. She is a new member the Neighborhood Temple Priestess group in Seattle. She comes when she can but she needed to know more about belly dance as well as the under pinning of what holds the NTP together. This retreat was an opportunity to go catch her up on a lot of the work and an opportunity for us all to get to know her better. She packed light. She just found out she was pregnant and so thats about all she could think about . The homework things like reading certain books, making a sea faring costumes would have to be done some other time. She would come and be as present as possible.


Lori Green was a last minute sign up. She is also a member of the NTP in Seattle. It was her birthday during our retreat. In addition to being a celebration of life, this retreat was a very transformational experience for her. The retreat was a chance to stop the clock and contemplate deep issues in her life. All retreats have that aspect for guests and participants alike. Depending on what’s going on in our lives they register differently on the Richter scale! We got to know and witness Lori’s deep work.


Verna AKA Eden Nadirah, came to last years retreat as well and was my a measuring rod to the reality that each retreat is so different. She came from frigid temperatures and loads of snow to the beauty of the rich green and passionate island. She felt comfortable with me, Erik and Laura Rose and we all carry an affection for her amazing hips!


Wayne AKA Assiyah is an acupuncturist. He’s been belly dancing for 4 or 5 years now. He loves that he can do something that most men don’t know how to do. It makes him feel unique and he gets to hang out with women he announced proudly. He says to his male friends. You just don’t get what I know. Wayne is a very special person. He has come to 3 of my retreats and we see marked improvement each year. he is a very genuine and sensitive person great for the Temple Priestess movement. The Kalani staff loved seeing him come back each year and love watching him in our performance nights. Funny; Wayne has an identical twin brother we would love to meet sometime!


Christine and John are an amazing couple. Christine is my right arm in planning and brain storming NTP events. John helps out in so many ways with the NTP events  but her likes to be kind of anonymous. When it came to introductions I asked John if he wanted to tell us about himself and he said. “How long have you known me Delilah? Have I ever told you about my self? Well I’m not going to start today.” and thats totally all right with me, I’m just glad John came. Christine is an amazing artist and waters run deep. She makes many of the banners for our events and activities. She is very well read, a wealth of information and inspiration. She has amazing music collection and I rely on her tastes and choosing of music for many of our activities. She does not spend time on e mail, watching TV or dealing with cell phones. I admire that. She lives life fuller than most people and she reminds me by her beingness that there is a way to resist all this electronic culture. However batteries come in handy. Christine offered to bring her electric candles and build a labyrinth on the grounds of the retreat and if I got tired she would love to teach a class she was into practicing all about fire and smoke being an influential element in our dance.  I said wonderful I’ll build it into our revised schedule. Since the schedule was arranged to work with the usual 30 participants with performance time, I think we will have some extra time available.


Laura Rose of course is staff but I was secretly very pleased that I could bring her to this particular retreat. She has been involved in a few NTP things this past year but she is a very in demand performer in Seattle and has lots of rehearsals and shows that keep her busy. I sent her home one day around the winter holidays with my copy of the book, “Goddesses in Every Women” and said I know you read this book years ago, but read it again for inspiration. She read some of it and continued at the retreat. She related partly to Artemis and made her sea faring costume a sea version of Artemis. Laura Rose would get up early each morning and run 5 miles . She had her own room and was not used to staying alone. She read about the virginal Goddesses that Hestia, Athena and Artemis. “What do you think Mom?” She asked me.  “I think there is a healthy dose of Persephone and Aphrodite in you as well my dear, but when I see you Mother your troupe members, friends, students, boy friend and burning man family I see Demeter and once in a while even Hera. We use all these archetypes at different times and seasons of our lives dear daughter.” Laura Rose got a lot of personal growth inspiration out of this retreat. This makes me very happy because while all the glitz and performance art is a skill and vocation, DANCE has another influence in our lives that has nothing to do with performance. It’s about praising the sacred, self exploration and giving thanks for being alive. This is the work of the Neighborhood Temple Priestess (NTP). She got to become very close to Christine and really responded to the exercises she taught. This made me very happy.


Erik Brown is my mate and our music man. He brought his chimbus and his base guitar as well as drums and played his POWER BELLY music. He also used his computers to be our DJ and create music sound scapes for our poetry and guided meditation dances. On this retreat he taught frame drums primarily instead of dumbeks and it was a pleasant change. We walked the garden playing drums. In the end the students all accompanied Erik playing frame drum for my final performance!


The courses we planned were sticky. They fit perfectly together. One lead to the next in the most amazing ways. It was a journey we took together of inner awakening.

We began with a social orientation and Power Belly to get the blood flowing and review and see how we all fit together and what our physical dance needs were. The next day I taught my circle dance choreographies and we turned them into duet dances and added spins. We left open time for beach sun and pool or massages and naps and came back in the late afternoon to talk about NTP pride focus and history. Malina from Japan had a hard time following but Laura Rose sat by her and tried to explain. I’m sure some of the words she heard took her by surprised in a belly dance class. Things about women’s rights, empowerment, the effect on our dance by the events of  9/11, community resources, activism, political art, sexism, exploitation belly dance history, women’s culture. A bit of a montage of subjects. OMG I can imagine how this could get scrambled but she kept seeing my face and eyes and knowing my passion for the beauty and truth that some how she gets it. I know her teacher in Japan well and she can straighten anything out. Why would these subjects have any place in a belly dance class you might wonder? Well, because I am not a simple belly dancer. I think deeply and look at the world around us as it influences the cosmic unconscious of our dance culture. I think belly dance is especially an interesting meter to read in relationship to the psyche of women. How our belly dance styles have evolved in the past 40 years in relationship to our social environment should be looked at.  An blog article in the future no doubt. I feel belly dance empowered my life? Do you? Why do you want to belly dance? Is it just for exercise? Women have been belly dancing in America for 3 powerful generations. Just for exercise? No, not exactly.

We prepared a student note book to hand out to everyone but I can’t write the whole week down so I have another set of my own teachers notes. I gave them to Malina at the end of the retreat so she could study more.

Everyday we had time to relax, sun bath, go to the beach, hot pools or take a nap. We had a drum class before dinner. This helped to steady the pace of our journey together I think. The second night we set up a shadow screen and everyone brought poetry. We did improve dances to poetry and drum in front of and behind the screen. We traded off reading the poems. Everyone was very enthusiastic and it was a good class. We were energetic, comfortable and well oiled. What I mean is everyone seemed able to be very self expressive. I taught them how to deliver my famous veil blessings AKA Veil Therapy as well this night. I explained we could do this at any point during the retreat for each other. The veils would be here in the rainbow room studio.


The next morning we met at the view point, just across the road from Kalani. We did our grounding and centering movement ritual. We gathered the energies into our hearts and sent our love out to dancers all over the planet. The sun rose into the majesty of grand clouds on the horizon. The air was warm the breeze gentle and the waves caressed the rocky island belt line of Pele’s hips.


It was day three and now time to introduce the power of the dance expressed through eyes, arms, hands and heart. We opened up the acute awareness of our body and how it is viewed in space. How does our body feel in the space of the room, world, planet and how does the space inside us feel? What impression do we bring to space as we move into what we know as dance? How do we move in relationship to each other. Can we turn up the volume to our empathetic sensitivity toward each other? We practiced many awareness exercises. beautiful morning.

We left time open in the heat of the day and came back for a hot hips class and drum in the later day. Then dinner on the dinning lanai with a glass of wine or two.


On this night we had a rather eclectic mid week performance night that the staff at Kalani all were rearing to come and be entertained. Well, this a was loose based evening since we were a small group there were no time constraints on performing really.(nice for a change). Basically we wanted to demonstrate aspects of how we incorporate belly dance into rites of passage celebrations in community NTP style; baby showers, weddings, blessings, wakes. . . . As well as share our deep artistic inspirations in engaging performance art. So we asked the Kalani staff to participate in a ritual with us. We asked each member to stand in a circle and one by one recite their lineage on their mothers side as we had our pregnant participant in the seat of honor. I began;  I am Delilah mother of Laura Rose and Victoria, I am daughter of Marilyn who is daughter of Berty who is Daughter of Lucy who is daughter of Marie. As each member adds the names of the women who came before them we the  space begins to fill up with the presence of all the ancestral women / Mothers who have come before us to make our life possible. With this comes a powerful presence. Usually this ritual is done with mostly women but here there were alot of men in the audience. Interesting was the note that most men did not know who their Great Grand mothers names were. Hmmmm? Lori noted it and decided when she got home she was going to make sure her teen age son knew these names in her family.


We dressed up Laura Rose as a bride and pampered and washed her feet. It’s actually a humbling ritual. It’s very caring and brings people together in a special way. I danced to a Nubian folk song called 2000 Blessings fro your wedding day. Next we introduced the concept of taste and scents as muse for dances. Before each solo we fed the audience chocolate, ginger and exotic fragrances. Christine did a very exotic candle dance in complete darkness and Laura Rose  did a concept dance of experiencing raw savage stress and it being cured by the soothing relief of camomile. Lori and Malina danced solos with heavenly scents and I did the chocolate dance. It was a very eclectic show.


Continued in Part Two

or see April 2-9 2010 retreat details!

January 3, 2010   ♦   Comments Off on VDP and the start of a New Year!

Pop another bottle of bubbly!
Our new site went up for most areas of the country by New Years Day!
Seems to be loading a bit slow. Hopefully we can remedy that in coming days. We still have some tweaking to do here and there. They are working on a new Bio page for me. That ones been up for years and is out dated. The old pages like Alexandra’s Library, news articles, sound bites, The Belly Dance Coin Flip and the Under Water Belly Dance Gallery are still there, linked from “Inspirations.” Please let us know how you like it, or if you see problems!

E Studio
Happy to see dancers are logging on to the eStudio. Probably anxious to get moving and shed some of those extra holiday pounds. I know I am. It’s been cold in Seattle and I just want to eat carbs. Natures way of keeping you warm. The last two weeks in December are pretty quiet at VDP Studios for nightly classes because of family obligations and stuff. We did the labyrinth night and the Zaar but those weren’t very aerobic. I really miss not doing Power Belly 3 times a week. So Monday I get serious again. Only 3 week until Hawaii and bathing suit time!

Hawaii 24-31 2010
Jane called and wants to bring her Mom to the January Retreat. We have this happen a lot. It’s actually makes a wonderfully memorable vacation experience to share with Mothers/Daughters. It’s an incredible value and life is short. (I wish I had done more with my dad now that he has passed.)You don’t have to think at a retreat. Just relax in paradise. The grounds are fairly flat for walking and so beautiful and restful. Healthy food, massage studios, hot tubs, sauna, ocean across the street. No TV’s however. It’s a retreat. Our Neighborhood Temple Priestess activities are really fascinating for watching and participating in. Veil Therapy AKA Veil Blessings is really a pleasant experience to have done for you. We will do a lot of dancing but also a guided meditation and lots of soft creative goddessy things. Airfare from Seattle is only $321 at this moment! Still a few spaces open.

Zaar Ritual
The Zaar went well on New Years Day. It was a nice sized group of 10 dancers 6 drummers, me and a bun in the oven. We had a few people bag out because they celebrated too hard the night before. To be expected. Jeanine who is scheduled to have a baby tomorrow came. She thought she would just clap and watch but  she participated. She was familiar with my Zaar ritual and she was careful. Her presence added alot to the entire experience for all of us. She brought HOPE to the new year. Ed Sulivan played digereedo and Steven Elaimy played oud after each Zaar set for us to meditate on. A very nice combination of sounds. Erik, Kate, Brigette, Ed, Stephen and Raks Steady Eddie drummed.  After our ritual we went across the street to have a small pot luck at my house. It was warm and cozy and we all sat around the living room for some nice conversation and warm food and drink.

Here’s to a powerful 2010 for us all!

Delilah

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