Posts tagged classes
Posts tagged classes
A Big Blind Girl’s Take on a Drop-In Class w/Tarik Sultan
When I was in NYC I got to go to one of his classes, and BOY did he kick my butt! (But in a good way!) He was nice, silly, fun (he puts on this goofy voice and accent when he’s happy w/what’s going on, like “evrisink goot? Goot! Maaaahvluss!” ^_^), but oooooh LAWD does he work you! *lol* The music is wonderful traditional Middle Eastern stuff, and the pace, while not crazy, is definitely upbeat and consistent. So if you’re looking for a class w/lots of breaks to take a breather this may not be your bag, but if you want a good base of dance knowledge -and- good workout w/a teacher that keeps you moving from class start to class end, Tarik’s your man. :) Oh! And did I mention? He seems to be primarily traditional, awesome Cabaret. ^_^
I don’t think he quite knew what to make of me (as everyone else in the class was slender and very “dancerly,” let alone absent of visible disabilities), but I would -love- to go again, ‘cause clearly he was knowledgeable, passionate, and dedicated, and gave great individualized attention to each person in class. :) He went around checking on everybody at various intervals to make sure -everyone- was doing what he wanted (something which not every teacher does), and he’d keep working with you until he got the results he was looking for, which again, isn’t always the case elsewhere. And though the class (both in space and in number) wasn’t huge, it felt Just Right, you know..? Nothing too cramped, and nothing too expansive, so ya walk in, and just kinda feel instantly at home. :) (I don’t think it had AC though, which would’ve been kinda nice, as by the end I’d worked up a good “sheen.” ;))
Plus, he does something I’ve never seen in a class before: He turns on a song or two at the end, and just has the class follow him as he improvs. I had no idea it was coming so I -totally- flubbed it quite frequently, and for a noob to his courses (let alone a girl with a visual impairment) it wasn’t exactly easy, but I liked it, nonetheless. :) It keeps you on your toes, helps impart musicality, and creates something of an improv troupe vibe. Plus it was cool to see how he interprets the music, and it sorta felt like that segment was half show, half class. ..Do you know what I mean..? It was tricky, but fun! ^_^
I wasn’t terribly familiar w/his styling or druthers so I kinda felt like Le Grande Mess-Up in there, but overall it was a good experience, and I wish I’d had the chance to go more, ‘cause he and the women there were lovely. Again, I don’t think the students knew quite what to make of me at first, but as the class progressed and I not only powered through the consistent pace, but also demonstrated some actual knowledge & ability (even with slight modifications for stuff like big balancing moves) , they seemed to warm up a bit, which was awesome. :) (As both a noob in general, and as a girl who’s often singled out for things like weight, disability, bizarritude, etc. It was great to feel as if I might be welcomed there, in the end. ^_^) All told? It was nice. and I’d definitely go again. :)
So if you’re in the NYC area, you should totally go! And if you do, tell ‘im the fat blind girl in black from that one-time class on Wednesday sent ya! ;)
Come see Tarik on Wednesday and make sure to visit his website http://www.tariksultan.com/
Guess what? I’ve suddenly been kinda air-dropped into NYC for a few days- to scope out living spaces! Squee!! XD
So, might any of you have suggestions for any truly fabulous classes, performances, or other bellydance-friendly/related events that one should not miss, while in the NYC area..? Is there perhaps a teacher/class I positively MUST frequent while here..? Or is there a performer, show, or maybe ren. faire going on that you’d recommend..? I’m up for just about anything. ^_^ Hafla me, peoples, ‘cause I dunno when I’ll be able to come back! ;)
I don’t have a ton of gear (meaning costumey bits, etc.), and sadly I only have until Friday or Saturday (it’s Tues. now, btw), aaannnd (as always) I am on a limited budget… But- but.. I do have a subway card and know how to use it- and I SO wanna get my bellydance on! XD
So, might anyone out there have anything to suggest..? Or hell, would any of my dancing amigas out there like to meet up for lunch or coffee or something..? (Tea shop, hookah space, or other faboo eatery, perhaps..?)
If so, hit me up! I wanna make this a truly fantastic, fun-filled adventure. ^_^
Eee! Look! There are more VI bellydancers out there! XD Woohoo! *shimmy shimmy* Go awesome lady go! (And go awesome senior center for having bellydancing classes! ^_^) ♥♥
And she’s right; people think that if you lose your sight, life just -stops.- Srsly, I can’t tell you how many people I’ve heard say “oh wow.. if I had vision like yours/if I went blind, I’d just die/sit in a corner/never go anywhere/do anything/kill myself.” -And these with absolutely no modicum of humour at all. o.O ..But why?? So your eyes are proverbially closed. Doesn’t mean your mind and your life have to be!
Yes, it can be scary. Yes, it means Big Change. But people are resilient. People can adapt. :) Open your spirit, open your arms, and DANCE. ’Cause w/the right skills, a good attitude, and kind, loving people in your life, life can still be wonderful; no matter what challenges we face. Besides, life’s too short to spend it wallowing in a corner somewhere. Life’s meant to be LIVED. And with those things by your side, you can! All it takes is a little faith, a little perseverance, and NOTHING needs to stop you- unless you let it. ;):):)
If you’re in the area & have the means, I HIGHLY encourage you to go. Bella is made of pure awesome, and her classes are simply divine. ^_^
Anthea kicks such butt. Her descriptions are wonderful, her spirit is divine, her movements are lovely & sharp, and how can you go wrong w/a black kitty owner??? ^_^ Love her work. :)
Plus this (and the questions below it on the video page itself) remind me of how MANY kinds of shimmies there truly are! If you can do one movement, you can probably do it up, down, big, small, and w/15 variations! SO MUCH TO LEARN IN THIS DANCE!! (Let alone get it all into muscle memory! o.O)
SQUEEEEE!!! It’s official! I’m allowed to take the drop-in classes at the local studio I just found! XD I'mma be (formally) bellydancing again!
Un. Fricking. Real. Every American bellydancer who’d really like to know more about the history of dance in this country (as well as any fan of Margaret Cho ;)) should watch this film, methinks. :) And the portion about Suhaila w/her daughter.. *shakes head* so, so good.
Do you know anyone with a visual impairment? If so, do you think they would find bellydance enriching, or potentially get something out of a bellydance class? If so, drop ‘em my way, or feel free to boost this signal! I’d love to find out how much interest in the blind/VI community there might be for potentially exploring bellydance. ^_^
A friend recently put out an inquiry concerning local bellydance resources for her daughter. I made a few suggestions, but she’d pretty much done all the legwork she could within the area. So at the time, I figured that was that.
But later on, a little inspiration hit me; to do a little more research about the topic online. At first I was just looking for videos on places like YouTube that might offer a little bit of (GOOD) instruction for kids- but in the process, I found the above; which turned out to be a great piece. :)
It discusses the differences between Mid. Eastern & Western attitudes about the dance, & how children learn the dance in each culture; as well as the pros and cons of introducing kids to bellydance in this society overall. :)
So now (given that my friend’s not likely the only parent out there who’s considered introducing her child to bellydance), I figgered this article might be worth sharing. :)
Oooh! Plus I found another lovely article on the subject just after! :D
Man.. I wish my mom had known bellydance was a possibility for kids when I was little! I know it’s a futile pursuit to ponder the “what ifs” now, but it still makes me wonder how different things might be for me today, given the kind of exercise, cultural awareness, encouragement of personal creativity & physical expression the dance offers us all- at any age. Plus, that’s not including the natural support system that bellydance seems to offer its community. There’s such a sisterhood that can be found in this art form! :) Can you imagine all of those benefits having been there, inherent in your upbringing too? *gawps inwardly* Wow!
Makes me wanna learn more about Suhaila Salimpur and other 2nd generation bellydancers like her- and what they went through.. how the dance touched & improved their lives (negatively or positively) growing up. :)
Are you a second-generation bellydancer? How has that affected your life, positively or negatively? What were the differences you noticed growing up between dancing and non-dancing families..? And if you have them now, do you encourage your kids to dance these days?
Oh, so much to learn! ^_^