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Backstage at “A Taste of Los Angeles Bellydance”

Last Saturday January 21st, was the premiere event for the new Los Angeles chapter of MECDA (Middle Eastern Culture and Dance Association).  It may have been called “Taste of Los Angeles Bellydance” but we all left satiated.    There was over 8 hours of performances and workshops by Devilla, Heather Shoopman, Mandala Danceworks, Princess Farhana and … Read more

Ayse Cerami and 9/8 Improv Tribal Fusion

Ayse and I have both danced with Medianoche Dance Company, just not at the same time.  So I’m happy that I got to know her at the last Tribal Fusion Faire in San Luis Obisbo, CA.  We both share a love for 9/8 rhythms, Turkish dance, Folk dance, Tribal Fusion dance, American Tribal Style (ATS) … Read more

Alexandru and I met at an International folk dance cooperative, Cafe AMAN where we quickly bonded in our love for music and dance.  He has a rich history of professional dancing and teaching.  We discuss learning dance in Moldavia,  teaching dance all over the world and his broad knowledge of Argentine Tango, International Folk Dance, Romanian dances, and American dance styles … Read more

On Sunday October 16th Pasadena hosted The Taiko Center of Los Angeles (TCLA) for their Cultural Dance Festival.   Founded by Reverend Shuichi Thomas Kurai in 1996, TCLA’s two ensembles perform throughout Southern California and also in Japan. “Taiko”, which means drum in Japanese, percussionists are generally seen with smaller “Chu Daiko” or very large “O … Read more

Unlimited Splendor in Russian Dance

  Los Angeles is a great place to be for a dance connoisseur like me. On October 16, 2011 I had the pleasure of attending Old Pasadena’s Cultural Dance Festival.  They showcased Brazilian, Mexican Folklorico, Chinese, Hawaiian, Taihitian, Russian, Russian Gypsy dances on stage.  Meanwhile, in a nearby location they had FREE dance classes in tap, … Read more

Two Stepping in Texas

 Sometimes something so simple can open you up to new possibilities.  Learning to Two Step at The Broken Spoke in Austin was a good lesson in following and letting go.  While in Austin, Texas my family and I hit up the Broke Spoke for a dance lesson which is offered every night before the live … Read more

Dancers Who Drum

  A week after writing about the relationship between dancers and drummers and the importance of knowing your music I saw a most spectacular display of dancers who were the drummers.  The 38th Annual Los Angeles Korean Festival sponsored the sponsored the Yeosu City Dance Troup from (South) Korea to perform.  Sadly, their time slot … Read more

Of Dancers and Drummers

Issam and Alia On August 14, 2011 Issam Houshan taught a free drum workshop at the Housewarming party for Los Angeles Bellydance Academy.  Having studied doumbek (Middle Eastern drum) for 2 years, I made sure to be there.  Issam is famous for being the main drummer for Bellydance Superstars, but he has also played for … Read more

Nisei Week 2011

I don’t know if I’ve ever had such a blast while feeling so awkward.  Dancing is what I do, and I own it.  But this time I was dancing unfamiliar dances in a barely familiar style in front of thousands of people.  Plus I’m a tall white girl who was dressed in street attire amongst … Read more

“We take who we are out onto the floor”

One of my favorite dancers at Tribal Fusion Fest was Trish Shannon.  She is a captivating story teller who created a performance, not based on cool dance moves, but on specifically chosen movement based on its history, intention and how it fit with the greater story.  She invited the audience to come along with her for the … Read more