photo by: Tim Greyhaven
Photo by Tim Greyhaven
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Delilah's Belly Dance Retreats
Hawaii 2008
Egypt 2008
Billion Belly March

The Billion Belly March Story 2006, 2007 and the Plans for Billion Belly March 2008

Click here to see our plans for 2008

For those who are wondering what was the Billion Belly March?

The Fremont Summer Solstice Parade is an annual event held in the Fremont Neighborhood of Seattle, Washington. It’s not a typical parade with marching bands, high stepping ponies and motorcades. It is all community based art and creativity . No motorized anything, no corporate logos, signs, or advertising of any kind. It’s all about freedom of creativity. 80,000 people come to Fremont for the parade and two day street fair.

Delilah’s been a long time resident of Fremont and has been a steady component of the parade for about 19 years. First starting with a handful of dancers and their kids and growing each year. In 2005 it reached 100 bellies and 2006 the total number of participants in her ensemble was 185. This is a lot of people. We had to rent an airplane hangar to do our All Play dress rehearsal. It should be in the Guinness book of world records for largest choreographed belly dance ensemble. There were reportedly almost 1,000 total participants in the parade itself including the belly dance contingent; stilt walkers, bands, dancers, floating displays, musicians and dancers. . . The Billion Belly March came to represent around 20% of the entire parade. Meanwhile dancers in cities all over America and beyond were vicariously learning the parade march dances, linking to the VDP web site and sending their loving support. So the total amount of dancers beneath the surface was way more than you can imagine, and may cause an even bigger momentum for next year .

The name of this year’s parade event is the Billion Belly March. The idea was to drive empowerment and belly dance pride to the forefront of public awareness. Every year the month of May and June becomes Parade Belly Dance classes for Delilah and her students. But this year it felt like they gave birth to a whole new dimension of the idea of dancing in a parade. Delilah had Paige Clark design a fabulous promotional poster using a photo taken by Tim Grayhaven from above, from the Aurora bridge, of the 2005 ensemble. This year Delilah and her dancers invited dancers from anywhere in the world to get involved to show their pride. They had dancers from as far as Arizona, Pennsylvania, Florida and Washington, DC learn the dances on DVD and jump into the choreographed dance formations! Another aspect of awareness building began 10 days before the parade in an event Delilah sponsored called BELLY CON or Belly Dancers Convergence. A 10 day mini festival of belly dance classes, concerts, and parties. The idea was to make it worthwhile for dancers to come from far and wide to Seattle and in addition to participating in the parade have the opportunity to study with 17 of the top artists in town, as well as with Delilah herself who has an international reputation. VDP Studios also offered beginning introductory classes, because like clock work at this particular time of year the entire community makes such a large association between belly dancers and the parade, that it causes a peak in interest. VDP wanted to facilitate this interest and have beginning sampler workshops offered and taught by different teachers. One interesting fact is that many of the women who participate in the parade each year saw us in the parade previously and it gave them courage to take up belly dance!

Other aspects of the event was a home stay committee, a Billion Belly March instructional DVD, Billion Belly Web Club with written dance notes and game plan logistics, Delilah’s personal belly blog, a floating backdrop painted by Magi and committee, and a letter writing campaign. A committee of volunteers wrote an empowering letter of awareness and dancers everywhere were invited to send the letter to legislators and all sorts of movers and shakers in our ( not just local but world ) community. The letter invited them to witness this fabulous event where women of all ages, shapes, and sizes come to the streets to show off their beauty and pride to be a belly dancer because it empowers their life! This letter spoke to who we are as diverse women, who care deeply about the state of the world around them, and are bold enough to stand up and shimmy for what they believe in and, WE VOTE!

If you think it’s a bit strange to mix belly dance and politics, well know this, no one is telling anyone how to vote here, just to be brave and express yourself. This message is an aspect of the driving force behind the Billion Belly March’s popularity. In all of our PR the word diversity is always mentioned. Women at large want to reduce the fear in their lives and feel the power. Every man, woman, and child in the world today are losing their freedoms. We women are tired of being simplified, codified and marginalized. We want to be heard. "I for one think belly dance should be an Olympic event for crying out loud! The skill grace and physical control is outstanding, It should be recognized." says Delilah.

Okay, so you can still read bits and pieces from the aftermath of the event in Delilah’s belly blog.

The Billion Belly March DVD was really a bold experiment in remote learning, turned out to be a great DVD useful for students and teachers everywhere, is still available for $39.95, and includes a 11.5 by 24 inch souvenir poster used to promote the event autographed by Delilah and password to the Billion Belly Web Clubthat has archival written parade notes and awareness letters. You can also get a souvenir coffee mug with a picture of Delilah on it from 2005 (pictured below)for $12 each.The class will choose a new picture to put on the Billion Belly March mug.There are photos and articles about past solstice parades and Winter solstice productions in Alexandra’s Library also.

Parade DVD $39.95
Solstice Parade DVD $39.95
Add DVD to Cart

Solstice Parade Mug $12
Limited Edition Solstice Parade Mug
Add Solstice Parade Mug to Cart

Billion Belly Mug $12
Billion Belly Mug
Add Billion Belly Mug to Cart.

We wanted to continue to grow and dance!

2007 Billion Belly March

The theme was Ancient Egypt

I thought that this year would be a once in a lifetime major push to increase belly dance awareness. Silly me. I thought I could settle back down and go back to quietly teaching my classes and run my business as normal in the coming years . I dont think so. The Billion Belly March was very successful and only bound to get bigger. It stirred up alot of energy and must continue. The ten day long Belly Dancers Convergence AKA Belly Con that lead up to the parade, educated a lot of dancers, employed a bevy of instructors and brought dancers and musicians together not just to dance but to think about issues; about how their dance has blossomed into many different styles, brought cultural awareness to so many, raises women's self esteem and empowers their lives. Its brought so much joy to women everywhere of all ages and from all lands. While we think of belly dance as arriving from the Middle East, it is now common to find in American families 3 generations of women who are all belly dancing. Women pass this art down to their daughters. That says a lot. We are proud. We want the world to see that women are discovering their inborn right to communicate through the vessel mother nature gave them without fear and shame. We want to use this new sense of empowerment to be proactive, and to help heal the world by being a part of today's solutions. How could we not do it again / It is destined to get bigger, so Yes to 2007!

It took courage, trust, and determination to put this together. It cost a lot of money up front to build it, but in the end everything was paid for, and the rent will be paid through the slower summer months. All the events put a lot of resources into many artists pockets, and that felt great also. There were so many hands helping. It was totally humbling.

On the days leading up to the parade, it became obvious that, if there wasnt a plan for 2007, it would be folly. Women will show up at the door and demand it. I would have to leave town for 3 months if I didnt put together the march each year. So yes, there will be a belly dance ensemble in the parade next year, if the Gods and Goddesses will it . Since the proportions this year seemed so epic, and the word achievement kept coming to mind. The proportions of the Billion Belly March felt a bit like raising a pyramid .

Let us channel the wisdom of the ages, through paying homage to one of the greatest cultures the world has ever known .

Costumes: White and Gold with Black Wigs and head dresses
In town dancers: add the color turquoise as accents
Out of town dancers: add the color carnilian as accents.
Musicians: add the color red as accents

Cast:

Main String Dancing Priestesses
Cane Dancers
Isis Wing Dancers
Advanced Dancers
Gods and Goddesses

Volunteers: (not necessarily dancers)
Pyramid Builders and banner carriers. Flower girls and water bearers.

Plans for 2008

Fremont Summer Solstice Parade 2008

The Billion Belly Web Club

The Billion Belly Web Club is a password site with information regarding participation in with Delilah in the annual Fremont Solstice Parades as well as to accompany the use of the Instructional DVD called the Billion Belly March. Passwords are given to dancers and musicians joining the parade class in May and/or using the DVD to increase their belly dance skills at any point.

Billion Belly Web Club

Billion Belly Dance Inspirations






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PO Box 30797, Seattle, WA 98103
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(206) 632-2353

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