D's Blog

January 18, 2010   ♦   Comments Off on Getting ready for Hawaii

Well the diet I shared with you earlier worked great! Il I lost 10 pounds in 10 days. I feel great! I want to be careful and stay away from the beer so I don’t gain it back! Hard. I love a beer after Power Belly!

Today I told Laura Rose not to shoot tonight, because we have too many last minute odds and ends getting ready for our January Hawaii Retreat. We have stuff to ship ahead, things to print, and Sea Faring Costumes to finish making. Of coarse we will have our Monday night Power belly class. We just won’t shoot it I think.

I couldn’t get much done this weekend because we had our monthly  Belly Dance Carabet Night in the studio with H.O.T (The band House of Tarab) and two fab dancers Sabura and Lisa Yasmeen. Really nice night but it means we spend hours preparing and knocking down the space . It’s intimate only 45 seats.

We will feature Laura Rose and Hassani with HOT on Friday Feb 19th of next month. ( 3rd Fri of the month)

Then all day Sunday;

Dahlia and I went down to  Tacoma to judge a belly dance contest all day long that Halima put on.  I love watching all the dancers from the judges front row table. It sure takes nerves of steel to compete and be put under a microscope. Contests do not bring out the best in everyone necessarily. Stressful and more like an obsticle corse than a regualr dance. AND some dancers that are not good club dancers do well in competition settings. I hope the judges comments are taken in the right way. All the judges try to be helpful I think.  Contests are a way to either learn or burn. By that I mean get your feelings hurt and be disappointed. What I don’t like about most contests is that they hardly ever have professional stage lighting. The dance mood is very hard for the dancer to get into anything very theatrical. It doesn’t have to be like that. I think a good contest should provide a professional environment and lighting changes are part of the performance as much as costumes are. But it all takes money. This is the first year for Halima’s contest but next year I hope someone can help her with lighting .  That would most likely mean a different location however and she probably likes the one she’s using. Contests are very interesting to watch if you love belly dance. Everyone can learn by watching. They need sponsorship, advertising and a good venue to be sucessful. As they gain a track record the winning may holds more meaning, but the small contests are just for fun. I hope no one takes it too seriously.

Ok we are off for Hawaii soon. Happy days!


January 11, 2010   ♦   Comments Off on Episode 28, Labyrinth and Delilah’s Diet

Episode 28, Labyrinth and  Delilah’s Diet
Filmed on January 4th,

It is the first Power Belly Show of the New Year. Classes are filling up nicely this week but the Monday class was a bit small. We did a lot during the holidays as far as really cool events. Dahlia had a student recital. Her husbands band had an album release party at the studio. We did a Solstice Labyrinth dance and Feast event and Laura Rose filmed part of the labyrinth dance and it will be an interesting extra I think on this episode!
Then on New Years afternoon we did a Zaar. I think we exhausted every one psychically. However we didn’t do our usual Power Belly Classes for the last two weeks of December. I personally feel a bit spongy around the middle after indulging in all the rich foods. I really need to do power belly at least 2-3 times a week and sweat to make up for all the sitting at the computer I’ve been doing trying to assist the team with the web site stuff. It’s been especially cold and that makes me hungry too. Yikes! I feel it.
On this episode I feel we kept it simple and sweaty. Wanted to start the new year out with a goal and I am tired of all the food and partying. Enough! So on this episode I did mention I was going to start a diet to get ready for a swim suit in Hawaii at our coming retreat. I said I would post it on my blog. Partly to make me stick to the diet and partly to introduce my blog. So you will see me with a few extra pounds on lets see if I take em off. I could be setting my self up here. Oh well, here goes.
Back Story
I haven’t been on a diet in years. As long as I keep moving and am conscientious I don’t worry to much about my weight. I do not come from fast metabolizing genes either. All the women in my family have to watch it. None were athletes like Laura Rose and me. We know we gotta exercise. We both could see the advantages to learning to be a professional belly dance for sure. Those first shows I did were 45 -55 minutes long when I first began to dance back with the Lebanese band. Not one hair was dry when I finished!

When I was a teen I had to diet I have learned good habits from weight watchers with my Mother. Coarse the diet has changed a lot since those days.  Thats not the diet I’m going to share here. As we age our metabolism changes. Fat deposits it’s self in very predicable areas. If you don’t sleep, you can’t loose weight and your body will hold on to it. Insomnia is rampant these days at any age. Many people struggle with weight issues. It’s very hard, I know.

I went on this diet when I was 17, and then my favorite aerobic instructor Barb Ode many years later handed me the same diet at age 35. She claimed to have lost over 100 pound by going on it 2 week on and 2 weeks off. Then she became an aerobic instructor and kept the weight off. It always worked for me to take weight off fast and feel more comfortable. I usually stay on it for 10 days. If I had a lot of weight to loose I would approach it slower with weight watchers. I don’t know if it will work now a days. My metabolism is way different.I’m going to give this old diet a try again and see how it goes.
Clinic High Protein Reduction Diet
Follow this diet carefully for two weeks. Abstain from anything not included, but make sure you eat what is assigned rather than doing without. Vegetables must be eaten without butter; salads without oils; grapefruit without sugar; no cream or sugar in coffee or tea; and only the lean part of the steak or chops should be used.

Your weight loss range may be from 10 to 20 pounds in two weeks. Do not follow this diet longer than two weeks. It is harmless for two weeks, but may create problems if followed longer.

The basic premise of this diet is maintenance of normal energy while reducing calories. A change of body chemistry occurs during the process and only specific food elements should be eaten. Quantities are less important, except where indicated.


Breakfast:1 egg, 1/2 slice of toast, grapefruit & black coffee

Lunch: Serving of cottage cheese, tomato & 6 oz skim milk

Dinner: 1 broiled meat patty, combination salad*, 1 piece dry toast & grapefruit



Breakfast: 1 egg, 1/2 slice of toast, grapefruit & black coffee

Lunch: Grapefruit, 1 cup custard**, skim milk

Dinner: Steak, tomatoes, lettuce, celery, olives, cucumbers, coffee or tea


Breakfast: 1 egg, 1/2 slice of toast, grapefruit & black coffee

Lunch: Cottage cheese, tomato, spinach***, 1 banana, 6 oz skim milk

Dinner: 2 lamb chops, celery, carrots, tomatoes, coffee or tea


Breakfast: 1 serving of oatmeal, 4 oz orange juice, 6 oz skim milk

Lunch: Combination salad, grapefruit

Dinner: Lean meat, cottage cheese, spinach, 1 piece dry toast, coffee


Breakfast: 1 serving of oatmeal, 4 oz orange juice, 6 oz skim milk

Lunch: Cottage cheese, spinach, 6 oz skim milk, 2-3 rye crisps.

Dinner: Fish combination salad, 1 piece dry toast, grapefruit, coffee or tea


Breakfast: 1 serving of oatmeal, 4 oz orange juice, 6 oz skim milk

Lunch: Fruit salad (nothing else)

Dinner: Plenty of steak, celery, tomatoes, carrots, tea or coffee


Breakfast: 1 egg, 1/2 slice of toast, grapefruit & black coffee

Lunch: Cold chicken, tomatoes, grapefruit, coffee or tea

Dinner: Vegetable soup, Chicken, tomatoes, cooked cabbage, carrots, celery, half a grape fruit, tea or coffee



A combination salad is a salad with protein, such as a chefs salad or similar. It could include a bit of egg, tuna, jack or cheddar cheese, or fetta cheese. 
** The custard is basically egg and milk. A scrambled egg will do.

*** Combine spinach, chopped tomatoes, cottage cheese and “Spike” seasoning salt (usually found in health food stores and some grocery stores). A great salad when those items are called for.

I have made substitutes and additions and the diet seems to still work. I substitute canned or fresh pineapple for orange juice, feta for cottage cheese. I also have had a glass of white dry wine at night once in a while. However, if you are strict it’s a very effective diet.

We shall see how I do on episode 29.

Wish me luck! I think I will miss my beer the most !


  ♦   Comments Off on 2010, Look Back 70’s, 80’s, 90, 2000’s

2010, Look back 70’s, 80’s, 90, 2000’s
I’m usually pretty positive but actually I do worry these days.
The state of belly dance is turning into a ghetto my friend says. She says she’s lived in ghettos and she’s seen other subcultures turn into ghettos.  She says the signs are here.
My stomach tightens up. I have been in belly dance for 35 years. I am protective of it. It’s my family and I want to see it grow healthy and thrive! As belly dance has demonstrated time and again for me and thousands of other dancers it has shaped my core belief that the potential is great. If channeled correctly it can benefit women in so many ways. It can make us self reliant, strong and able to express ourselves more openly and exercise our goddess given right to creativity. I don’t see these benefits as the end result either. When women are strong and healthy these benefits radiate out into benefiting family and community. To hear her say these words is painful to me. I contemplate them as we passed the blue moon eclipse on Dec 31st 2009 and meet the new year 2010.
In a ghetto everyone is suspicious of their neighbor. Things get run down. No money for up keep. Things degenerate. Gotta have bars on all the doors and window so even if you aren’t in jail, it feels like it. People are on the dole and stop thinking for them selves. Smart people act stupid. Despair and poverty and violence against women dominate. Folks get disenfranchised. They resort to crime and gang mentality. Poverty consciousness is a viral infection. A pair of tennis shoes become status symbols and meanness and profanity becomes a way of deflection, thus self protection.
Oh my Goddess! Belly dance ? No !
Everything has it’s dark side. We dance in and out of shadow, yin and yang and it is all a part of the universe. Of course I like to dwell on the light side but one cannot ignore the dark. It gives brilliance to the light. It’s foolish not to embrace wholeness.

I think hard. I think about the past 38 years I have witnesses belly dance and how our dance (as is all art) is  a product of our social and political environment. Our bodies are vessels moving through this stew. How we feel is wordlessly reflected back.
The signs. The internet chat groups are painful much of the time. Often it feels like people are lining up for their chance to through stones. They say things they would never say face to face or in public. They have no social editing alone with our key boards. They activly crave the next bruhaha! It’s fear based insecure and sometimes very dangerous. Words can murder people.
All I can say is I look forward to it’s passing.
As I was saying the art of belly dance is always shaped by the culture that surround it. Of course, all art is. This is a life dance and what you know and experience is what your dance is made of weather you know it or not. Course if you just do some one else’s choreography, then it’s not even your life, your dance is made of (think on that).
I have been in belly dance for 35 plus years. I have seen all sorts of climate changes. A talk with Audreena who has been in belly dancing a lot longer than me was enlightening. “This too will pass” she said wisely. “The strong will survive, I’ve seen it more than once come around”.

When I first began belly dance in the 70’s it was the end of the Vietnam war, we ousted a U.S. president for wrong doings. We had a sense of social justice, a climate of free love, the birth control pill which meant so much freedom to women, thus women’s lib and bra burning. I was free to choose a career and postpone a family. In contrast my Mother’s generation was all about kids, family and station wagons. In the 70’s belly dance in American got it’s foot hold big time. It grew out of this culture of freedom and hope.

In the 80’s. Bingo! We got the aids epidemic.  So many famous faces in show business fell.  By the late 80’s many people decided to marry and settle down. Many changed their politics and went from hippy to corporate. Fear of aids changed peoples attitudes about love and relationships. This became the generation that was afraid to kiss and exchange liquids. This played hard on the psyche of young people born and growing up. My daughter for instance. It was dark, bleak and insulating.  Home video came in. People became conscientious about drinking and driving. Laws became much stricter. Folks stayed home to watched videos and did their drinking.  These two factors were a big change on the live entertainment industry that was dependent on alcohol sales. Clubs didn’t have the income to pay for live music like they used to. Wages did not keep up for performers. Interestingly another thing was women’s studies departments began to get stronger. (I have a theory on this but I will save it for some other post). I remember people investing in art more. Many of my friends sold art in galleries. Drum circles and goddess imagery was everywhere. I started my family in these years and got my first home computer. In the 80’s woman heard the call of the goddess to belly dance.

By the 90’s we were visionary. Creative visualization, meditation, yoga and Buddhist teachings. The dot com age came about. The end of the cold era and the birth of the internet was growing. People set up their own camps on line. To many womens regret they found that their birthing opportunity years had passed them buy. Antidepressants were on the rise like candy and high school shooting began. We went back to war. Belly dance grew steadily. Tribal style came into being out of the insulation that was birthed in the 80’s. It felt safe to dance in groups. Skin clothed in tattoos with prickly looking piercing were were imitations of natures warning signs; beware here. Women became more openly gay and exploration was accepted in more circles. Anorexia was on the rise for men. Transgender ideas draw to the surface.

In the 2000’s we got 9/11 terrorist attacks that changed everything. Fear not freedom would be the new over riding activation of belly energy. Belly dance didn’t suffer from 9/11, it grew faster! However it grew as fusion. No longer dependent on middle eastern music. Tribal belly dance set up their own festivals and belly dance grew and divided. Our constitutional rights have been eroded. We all got cell phones. Air travel became a night mare. We are kept pretty distracted on computers around the clock with internet social networks, computer games, you tube, wiki pedia, text messaging and twitter. Old established newspapers died. Things are changing at the rate of nanoseconds. By the end of this era we vote in social change and Omaba is President but we are soon  constricted by economic factors we are helpless to fix. Those responsible for huge social injustices seem to keep going . We feel helpless and that there is no justice. This is a very bad situation for women right now when compared with the 70’s. It’s hard to feel strong, self reliant and focused. We need to constantly wake each other up. When women feel scared and with out resources they get very competitive thus contests have risen in popularity, and stone throwing behavior on the internet forums. Ladies ladies ladies!
The disease of poverty consciousness is attached to money, love and beauty. Women get so many signs from popular culture. Such as: It’s money that makes you secure and gives you value. Love is finite, thus jealousy takes hold. You are only loved if beautiful, only beautiful  if young, blonde buxom, skinny. . . OMG what bull shit! So many movies depict women as men’s masterbation devices. Ugh!
Today many women are desperately seeking permission from outside. From perceived higher authority. They crave credentials and discipline so they will know their own value. Sadly because they do not know their own value. Women are right to fear. The world situation and power base has not changed for women like they hoped in the 70’s. I just think we gotta stay wake and work harder to change the world and no one is saying its going to be easy. We gotta keep dancing. The hope for the world as the Dalai Lama said in Oct. 2009 is in the hands of Western women.
Please, beware of sitting on the internet all day and still believing you are a dancer. Stay clear make sure you dance every day!


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!