D's Blog

February 22, 2010   ♦   1 Comment »

This blog entry is not just about Hawaii. It’s a frank talk about the state of things as I am involved and witnessing them from my artist and busness perspective.

First a bit about Hawaii.


Student roster for Visionary Hawaii Retreat

April 2 2010

1. Carolyn

2. Latrell

3. Cindy

4. Tina

5. Erin

6. Tessa



Unmata dance partner





Can you imagine adding your name to this very small class ? These are amazing belly dance instructors and really nice people. This years value is unsurpassed!

Study, dance get to know each other for 7 days and 8 nights in Paradise? We will all be friends for life! There is a staff member for each student just about as this moment! LOL. The dance space is beautiful, huge 2100 sq feet, with suspended wood floors and mirrors. This opportunity to study with this combination of dancers is not coming around again. Every retreat is very different as many of you know who follow what we have been doing since 1991.

We need 5-6 more dancers is all (to not loose our harem pants!)

Come join us!

I gotta say we are devoted to Kalani. They began chopping back the jungle with a machete and doing the construction in 1975, but it’s grand opening was in 1982. We have watched them grow and become better and better each year. They do so much good intentional work on this planet it is our pleasure to be affiliated with such genuine caring and committed organization. It was begun by Richard Koob. He is very respected and beloved by the island community . Richard is a master hula dancer. He’s a visionary like me. He’s in incredible shape, he swims in the ocean every day, dances, lifts weights  and plays volley ball. He lives well and so does everyone on his large staff. (Kalani History). It’s situated on 19 acres across from the ocean on a country road. The location is built on the ruins of an ancient native Hawaiian school . We are near the volcano but the trade winds keep it out of the Vog and actually they have the cleanest air in the world. Crazy. At night the Koki frogs serenade us to the rhythms of the surf. Moon light and strings of ferry lights lead the way through the night palace to hob tubs, massage studios, saunas and 25 meter pool. It’s enchanting.

So GO CHECK IT OUT www.delilah-belly-dance-retreat .com


The state of Money

I know many dancers would like to come but finances are out of reach for many. Believe me we are struggling in the face of this economy as well, but we believe Belly Dance keeps all women sane and we are offering a valuable service with our art.

What IF there was no belly dance in our lives?

What if because we just can’t afford to run studios, make DVD’s, have festivals, concerts, workshops and retreats, belly dance just dried up. No longer something available to women. What if there were no dance leaders to mentor, guide, develop and support the recognition of this art? How sad this would be. Those of you who dance know that this dance is so very important to women of all ages. It’s important enough to us to pass it down to our daughters and our grand daughters. Even sons have gotten into it as dancers and as supporters of their mothers passion about belly dance!

If we didn’t have those brave enough to sponsor events and keep the sub culture going. . .? Well, I think it would fall into the den of iniquity that befalls women in 3rd world countries when they have no rights, no public voice, or leadership. Women become vulnerable and Dance becomes prostitution and exploitation at it’s worst. When we do not respect the art of women dancing, we do not respect life.


It takes a lot of work and financial risk for a small business to exist in the arts. Belly dance does not provide a large income job for anybody I know. Maybe for a couple years out of the life of a top dancer if she markets her self well. But we aren’t talking even long enough for a stable retirement plan.


We at VDP are bravely weathering this current storm and continuing to bring belly dance to women.  We are spending our personal savings doing so at the moment. We have hopes that  things will improve. If we stop and break down our tents, . . . it’s not likely we are going to build it again (not at this point in my career) thus we are hold on tight and continuing.

The letters, calls and e mails from folks knowing and receiving value from our works goes very far in inspiring us on! Thank You!



AND  we know, not everyone is being hurt by the economy. Some people have gifted VDP very generously because they can know how we are working hard, on a shoe string at the moment. We in turn have given a lot of classes away this year to women who expressed sincere interest. See our BELLY DANCE STIMULUS PROGRAM we started in the fall. Our  NTP group have helped organizations raise money as well as help the studio out with the RED VEIL SALE. In May they will have a GREEN VEIL SALE in celebration of the Solstice Parade. Hooray!

I have friends who are remodeling house projects and working good jobs and are unaffected by the economy. These demonstrations of positive energy flow are what we try to keep focusing on to keep us in a positive mind state.


Then, we note some people have large saving and are caught reacting to the air of fear and following the negative flow and are simply not spending when they could. Holding on tight to purse strings. This effects the economy of course big time. Fear is a powerful thing and women have every right to be fearful. I totally understand. Most likely belly fear made you come to class. However fear can eat up your life. Our lives are going to be over sooner than you think! It’s a battle to not let fear take over our lives. We have to realize that life is for living. Who knows how much time any of us might have left. The only story is so true. We save for retirement and then we are too sick to travel or enjoy the fruits of our labors. Reminder that all you really have is the present moment.



We have been doing retreats since 1991 and we have seen all sorts of acts of generosity. Aunts have gifted nieces with the retreats. One father sent one of his twin daughters to our retreat for her graduation from high school! One was a dancer and the other went to Outward Bound. Another women got sick and so she sent a friend but before she sent her, she took her shopping and bought her costumes and a belly dance wardrobe! One man arranged to take time off work to stay home and watch the kids while he sent his Mother in law and his wife to our retreat. Then came with his wife and son on the next one! One women just signed up and said give it to someone you think needs to come! Wow! We gave a way an entire retreat package in a promotional drawing as well as a fund raising raffle prize for a women who had been in a terrible car accident.


Lately, a deep concern:

I want to mention a phenomena I have been witnessing lately in our daily lives of the women I teach and meet. I have talked with other instructors in various fields noticing the same thing. The phenomena of people just not being present in their body and/or able to focus or make a decision. Have you felt it? Women don’t want to talk or show their cards. Fear! A dance class gives you opportunity for non verbal expression but I am noticing as well the lack of non verbal expression. Scary! We are loosing touch with our mind- body connection.

It’s not something easy to retrieve in later years. You need to do it NOW. Keep those neural pathways active.

General reasons for this loss may be our electronic technologies. Our brains are scattered by constant cell phone interruptions. E mail lacks emotional tone and are constantly miss understood. We see little social justice and change in the media and that renders us silent and motionless. Our resources are at risk and so we hold tight on the reins. We have no personal rights in airports and as humans feel be-based. You cannot object, you will go to jail. We cannot talk to a customer service person for many businesses now. Just a maze of electronic prompts.  Texting and twettering  seems fun but in the long run it’s just keeping you from dancing. So many individuals are pretty lonely if you ask me.

Then we have invested time in  these social internet networks. All it is is a game of rearranging buttons and photo furniture in “your space”, and with “”your face” on a “your tube”. People have started to think they really live there and their friends live at their wall. OMG what a crazy world.  Which would YOU rather have? A real flesh and blood life or an internet life? People are going to forget how to have a real life. This scares me more than the economy.


I predict we are about to forget how to dance. No Please!

Why because we are loosing our body language.


In dance classes my staff and I notice that dancers come to dance but even making a decision to put on their dance attitude is lacking. Woh! What is this? We can’t make anyone dance. It looks like a sort of psychic paralysis across the board effecting young and old. Is it our  societal political atmosphere. I went to Women of Wisdom Conference and noticed a similar thing going on. I talked with people who lead groups and they knew what I was talking about. It’s been happening a lot  just lately



This dear  friend of mine always said eventually was going to come to one of my workshops in Hawaii.  But first she had to work on her career, then she had to raise her kids, then she had to take care of her Mother, now she has a terrible diseased and can’t walk and she’s 58. I have been anxiously awaiting every year for her to make the time for herself in her life but she just postponed it into oblivion. Life is so fleeting. If you want something you have to set your sites on it. Only you can make things happen. Then it will come to you .

Need some Simple Belly Empowerment Inspiration ? (Especially read the Goethe quote near the end)


We only need to find  5-6 more students and this will be a really great retreat! .



206 632-2353

February 16, 2010   ♦   Comments Off on Power Belly Show notes #29, and up dating

Power Belly Episode #29 . . . and up dating

Yesterday we shot the second Power Belly Show #31 Since our January Belly Dance Retreat. Because of our 10 days in Hawaii we had our first schedule delay since we started in MAY 2009. Looks like Laura Rose is putting up Episode 29 shot on Jan 11th and Episode # 30 shot this past week February 8th. We know there will be periodic rests in our ambitious schedule due to projects and travel but we are pleased how well things are working so far.  Opps I just got an email that our host we put them up now is delaying us. . ugh technology so there may be another delay not our fault). Anyways there are 2 shows up at the moment. . .


We are getting positive feed back in most places about our new Power Belly Show. A couple articles are coming out! A nice article was written by our November intern from Ohio; Averill Obe on the Gilded Serpent e-zine. She studied with me, Christine, Dahlia, Laura Rose, Bella Jovan,  the Neighborhood Temple Priesteses, Power Belly and even took drum lessons from Erik Brown and performed in a show. It’s called Belly Dance in 21 days ! We are all so proud of her!

Our Youtube extenze spoof POWER BELLY SHOW / FEMALE ENHANCEMENT we made to bring attention to our show has brought us tons of responces from folks we haven’t heard from in ages saying they laughed thier ass off. However some dancers took it way to serious and tried to draw all sorts of weird associations. I’m not going there now, but I have find the internet neurosis deserving of a blog note in the future. Our Youtube Extenze spoof is all just in fun. However belly dance is female enhancement and I stand behind that claim!

We are still working on making our web site faster. Our site is pretty big but they say it shouldn’t be so slow. Hmmm? We have had lots of calls and letter from dancers wondering where is ; Alexandra’s Library? the Underwater Belly Dance Gallery, all those back articles, poems, photos, video clips and stories about projects and insights are? Well they are all there, but moved to “Inspirations” under my name on your right hand side of the main page. They added the word “archive” into the address of many of the pages which means if you book marked them they won’t work until you visit the page and re insert your book mark. Bummer. . . Please update your favorite pages it will help our page rank linking.

I just watched episode 29 and made content notes that appear on the page when you order it, but here I want to take an opportunity to say a little more about my observation of this  Power Belly Show workout;

Costume Notes:

I start out wearing my favorite pants I call the Japan pant. It’s not on line yet but it available in size S, M, L, if you call us, ( they are $89) 206632-2353. I am also wearing a detachable black vest that fits over a coin bra that goes with a matching coin hip scarf. The vest is from one of Atira’s Patterns available from Artemis .I tell you how to make a cheap and easy bedlah (bra and belt set)  I call my “ Law & Order “ special because it takes 2-3 episodes of law and order to cover the top!

Shout Out for Sedona from Portland’s new HD concert DVD that just was released last month called Power and Passion. House of Tarab, Dahlia, Ruby, our good friend Karim Nagi and I are all on it along with a bevy of other totally amazing costars. A must see! We mentioned the good buhz the Power Belly Show has been getting on buhz.com! Then I caught up with my diet that I blogged about after all the holiday richness and  before our January Hawaii Retreat. I lost 10 pounds and feel much better. Then we were so active in Hawaii I feel totally back in shape!

Episode #29

This episode workout begins with a little inner focus. I ask you, Who belly dances inside of you? As we breath and shimmy we look with in. The idea is to burn some wood, stoke the fire as you look toward the present moment and find your inner dancer. Then I go ahead and teach a simple movement meditation / belly dance ritual that addresses the 4 directions. Why? This is a powerful focusing exercise to make you aware of the place in the world your instrument, your body, your life vessel, occupies. Doesn’t this seem important to people that identify themselves as dancers? Center is prime from where you feel your balance and breath. You maintain it and strengthen your core awareness by drawing focused attention to how the earths gravity below effects you. How the sky sustenance of light and air above you feels. Then we slowly move and open to the North, South, East, and Western perspectives. Tribal dancers tell me they really love this simple exercise. This gives you firm grounding. It connects you with the planet and humanity as we address an audience out there and share our gifts of love and beauty.

Example; “ dancers of the West, we give you the gifts of our hearts!”

After we did these stretches we moves back into the shimmy. We did some simple walk to the beat. You know I have to say something here to all my classes. Dancers think they are stepping to the beat. To my observation many are not. Relax, To walk on the beat your foot presses down on the beat. Don’t lift up, Don’t spread your knees far apart and walk like a cow girl. Don’t bounce up and down lifting your body with your shoulders on each step. At least not for this dance. Speak to the beat and you will probably do it right. Count it, or say beat, beat beat. People think this is easy but it’s really not. When you do it consciously it settles the mind down so that creative insights can make their way into your dance body. You know, I’m talking about the art of dance.

In this episode we did moves that really work the core. The weight belt adds a strong challenge. Every time you move the weights by momentum then put the breaks on to stop in place, this exerts a bit bigger squeeze of core muscle groups. Thus the sweat appears and our balance is challenged and will improve. NOTE At 24 :54 I demonstrate a pretty good example of not moving my upper body when changing hip action from one side to the other. Twists are especially good for the waistline. Hold that core and open up your rib cage and lift from inside to stabilize the upper body. When I say “Electric Fingers” I mean to see some life energy in them. This does not come from the digits or the shoulders it comes from being generated in the belly and moving through the upper body, shoulders, arms wrists and out the finger tips!

I know dancers are watching a TV or a monitor but once you get the move I’m doing I encourage you to look away ( Even stop the play button) and make sure your head, face eyes are in the correct place to support the move correctly at some point. You can move your body position so you can see the monitor too. Example in the horse shoe move; I look back over my shoulder as I lift the back side of the hip up and toward the back of my ribs towards my head. Then the hip move travels down, then towards the front and rises with the front of the hip, up under the front of the ribs. Your chin should meet it in front.

Backing up and changing direction are what tests your balance and core strength. Can you switch with quick efficiency? Or do you look like a locomotive came to a screeching halt and had to reverse thrusters? I like the pattern circle-and-a-half because it makes good use of direction changes inside the body close to the core. You feel it with the extra weight for sure! Makes for a good workout move.

I asked the students to apply Ruby’s Palates ab awareness of keegal up, tight then up toward belly button and in toward the spine. (Ruby’s ab Power Belly Extra is getting lots of positive feed back, be sure and see it next time it appears).

Then we shifted to cheftitelli and did slow sexy triple circles, reversing figure 8’s in an oval, big loop, little loop traveling steps and other combos. We went back for more intense shimmies upper body and lower body and then layered with the Pyramid Step combos and twisting series. Finally at the end we did some contrast movement to ease the stress on knees and thighs by kicking back and doing knee lifts toward the upper front of the body (good for belly) Always feels good I think.

Dancers want to be able to do belly dance that is isolated and conversational and looks effortless. Well you gotta get the physical endurance up and the strength of carriage in order before this is possible. That’s what the Power Belly Show is aiming at. Plus we want it to inspire you to dance every day and have fun! Life is too short to do exercise we hate! Thanks for all of those who have joined me. Don’t stop we are doing it for you!