Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Another busy week

Saturday was a fun day of performing with my students at MACfest. My friend Tary and I vended again selling our crafts, for me it was my cards and Tary her crotched Christmas ornaments. Sales were not great all the vendors were saying this but it was a great day. The sun was shining and anytime there is an opportunity to dance it’s an awesome day!

My camera decided not to work that day and my husband took photos using Tary’s camera. When I get the photos from Tary I’ll post them. I put together a video of some of the performances from the day. This is my first attempt of making a video using my Flip Video camera. The video wouldn't load here in my blog so I posted it to YouTube,

Our class recital was to be last night but it got cancelled due to weather. Arizona has been hit with rain and snow for the last several days which is very unusual for us but so greatly needed and appreciated; I love it!! I must say it feels like winter :0) Our high was 59 yesterday which is freezing for us!

I held class last night for all 5 of my classes inside the warm and dry dance studio at the Mesa Art Center where I teach. All my classes performed for each other and we performed dances I taught a long time ago in previous sessions to see if we remembered them. It was a fun evening and thanks to Mitra I got Thriller on film. This routine is performed by the beginning tribal class and they did and fantastic job. The video wouldn't load in my blog so I posted it on YouTube, take a look when you have a chance,

My camera kind of worked last night and below is one photo that sort of turned out; I think it’s time for a new camera! Thank goodness Dena sent some photos she took and Wow!!! Thanks Dena you rock!

Next event coming up is a free belly dance lesson I’ll be teaching at Dooby’s on Tuesday Dec. 30th. There will also be an hour of open dancing and performances by those that attend the evening. If you have ever wanted to learn how to belly dance or just love to watch this beautiful art form stop on by. Dooby’s is located at 2909 S. Dobson Rd., Suite 21, Mesa, AZ 85202, 480-756-0469. The fun begins at 6 p.m. with the free lesson at 6:30 p.m.

Have a great week…..

Monday, December 8, 2008

Awesome Dance Weekend!!!!!

Wow! what a great weekend for dancing. Friday night started with the Holiday show at Dooby's Grill in Mesa produced by Samia. The restaurant was full but not overly packed enough room to move around and what a great audience it was. It was so nice to see friends I haven’t seen in so long.

There were to be 11 dancers that night but unfortunately Zoraya couldn't make it due to being in a car accident. I was to go on third in the line-up with my snake Kaa, my Royal Python; instead I went on second. Azita went on in the first half since Diosa & Zemurah were late. They missed the turn off and ended up at the first rest stop before Casa Grande. They made it and did an awesome show. From what I could see of the first half everyone was fantastic.

I had to leave during the first half since Kaa decided to entertain the audience with a treat of her own. I feed her 2 weeks before the show so there would be no surprises but no she held all of it in just waiting for the right time to relieve herself. Luckily I felt moisture and got her in the basket just in time before she sprayed the entire front row of kids in the audience.

I missed the entire second half of the show but heard it was magnificent!

Saturday I taught one of my mini workshops to a full house. I reviewed six combination moves I taught in 2007 and they were a hit. They were some of my favorite combos some pleasantly simple and elegant with some being challenging; the combo with the undulations up and down with a shoulder shimmy layered on top being a favorite :0) I didn’t plan it but they were basically all thigh killer moves; oops!

Saturday night was the Chandler Parade of lights were 10 of us performed. I must say I have some very talented students who came up with some terrific costumes!!! I think next year I’m going to have a contest on the best lit costume and another prize for the best use of glow sticks!!!

We had a blast from the start, with getting ready in the parking lot, practicing in the staging area, dancing the entire parade route and eating afterward at Denny's. I know everyone was worried about being cold but it never was an issue we were all to busy having so much fun! The parade viewers were cheering and yelling; I even heard a few zaghareets and wow the cameras flashes were going off like crazy!

Below are some of the photos from the parade. A gigantic Thank You to Linda's husband for taking all the photos, carrying all our stuff and fixing our banner!!!

Next week is super busy also with vending and performing at MACfest. I’ll have photos of us to post if I remember to bring my camera :-)

Enjoy your week…

Monday, December 1, 2008

Time is flying way too fast!

Whoa where did November go????

Here it is December 1st and after updating my website last night I can't believe how super busy December and January are with life, dancing and crafting!
If you are out and about shopping stop by and say hi at any of the events I will be at. I will be performing at Dooby's in Mesa Friday Dec. 5th with several other dancers at Samia's Holiday Show. On Saturday Dec. 6th myself and several of my intermediate students will be performing in the Chandler Light Parade in Historic Downtown Chandler at 7 p.m.

Saturday Dec. 13th I will be vending with my friend Tary in space G14 at MACfest in downtown Mesa (Main Street between Center and Macdonald) and some of my intermediate students will also be performing that morning from 11:30 - 12:30 in front of the Bank of America building on Main St. and Macdonald. Tuesday December 15th is my Mesa Art Center (MAC) class recital starting at 7 p.m. on the patio of the Art Studio building. Dress warmly we are performing outside!
I will be teaching a free belly dance class at Dooby's in Mesa at 6:30 p.m. with open dancing to follow until 8 p.m.

Check out my events page for more information, times, addresses etc on all the above events and more events in January.

January I'm already booked every weekend with some dates doubled booked. Some of the highlights are teaching several workshops with one being a cane workshop at Plaza de Anaya, a show at Inside the Bungalow on Friday Jan. 9th, my annual swap meet is a huge event with lots of vendors and 4 workshops this year and several of my students and I will be having a show at Dooby's on Jan. 31st.

I have been making greeting cards and other goodies like crazy for vending at MACfest with my friend Tary. I'm also making Christmas gifts and having so much fun trying new projects and techniques. Below are some of the 3X3 card sets with matching envelopes and boxes I've been making. The set that is tied up in a bow has no matching box.

I've started teaching private lessons again and having a great time with my new students. I'm working on new routines for my January session classes and enjoying the new dances; hope my students like them :-)

My online belly dance costuming business, Shimmy Bliss, has been keeping me busy. I have over 270 items listed in my eBay store and have been running sales in November and plan on running more sales in December. I currently have a sale ending today on a variety of belts I have in stock like the ultimate belts, the ever popular shell belts and many more. Future sales in my eBay store will be fringe belts, skirts, tops and costuming supplies.

My hubby and I have been remodeling our kitchen and we are getting closer to being done! I painted the wall behind the stove and we finally got the new stove hood installed and its working! We haven't had a stove hood that has worked for 13 years; it's so nice.

The cabinet doors are installed and I'm almost finished painting all of them. I love the glass inserts, you can see through them but not really; cool effect. The new pendant light is awesome! I have never had a light over the sink and what a difference this makes when you are washing dishes. The little things in life can make you so happy :-) As you can see in the photos we are waiting for one stainless steel counter top to be installed and the back splash. Once this is done I'll finish painting and laying the new bamboo floors. The old wall paper can be seen around the window this was driving force to remodel I couldn't take this wall paper any more! I hated it when we purchased our 1930's bungalow 13 years ago and it's finally disappearing; yeah! Our goal is the end of the year to be finished. Wish us luck :0)

I'm going to try and blog more this month with all the events and parties that are happening. I kept forgetting to take my camera to November events and when I did remember to take it with me I forgot to pull it out and take pictures!

Everyone have a safe and fun a holiday season and hope to see you at some of the events happening around town.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

State Fair 2008

What a great day to dance at the State Fair! We opened the fair at 10 a.m. this morning and it was perfect weather; sun was shining and it wasn't that warm yet.

The only complaint about today was the stage!!!! It was the worse stage I have ever performed on and I have danced on some pretty horrible stages. Usually the stage is painted or carpeted but this thing was in really bad shape. There were more dips in this stage than Barry Mann's song Who Put the Bomp (in the bomp, bomp, bomp) and that's a lot of dips :0) There was ply wood showing through, duct tape that wasn't sticking to anything and filthy dirty!

Everyone who performed today were troopers, they did a great job! Yes we had our bobbles here and there and I was the worst offender but it was a lot of fun.

The soloists were great to watch and we had a huge audience! Normally when you open the fair there maybe 5 people in the audience we had well over 30 folks watching us.

Melissa was so kind to come and video us but only one video turned out descent. The bass on the sound system was up way too much so all my video camera recorded was mainly the bass so even though the video was good the sound is so bad I couldn't watch he routines with the music playing!

Below are some photos and the one and only video that was descent to post; the group fan veil routine. Our next performance will be Tuesday December 16th at the Mesa Art Center hope you all can come and watch us perform.

Sampler Workshops

Thanks to all who came out for a day of learning, shopping and having fun. It was a perfect day, the weather couldn't have been any better not to hot and it was so good to see everyone especially those I haven't seen in such a long time.

Rukshana had been sewing all night and brought some gorgeous flirtie skirts, tie tops and sets!!!! Be watching my eBay store this week to check out the new inventory!

Helena started out the morning teaching Greek style belly dancing to a full house. Listing to the Greek music brought back memories for me from when I danced at some of the Greek restaurants in town. I love listing to Helena talk about Greece, the dance and the history especially about the last dance she showed.

Sherry V. was next teaching modern & vivacious belly dance fusion with her helper Heather to a packed room of dancers. What a great choreography the students were picking it up so fast; wonderful job ladies especially with all the spins!

Gina taught a really fun Bollywood choreography with all the workshop students looking fantastic following her. The duck walk and the fall to the floor didn't even faze them in the least! :-) Gina performed the dance at the end of the workshop; it's so great to see her perform the room lights up when she dances.

I ended the day with tribal fusion combinations and was so proud of every one that took my workshop! Everyone was still moving and functioning after learning all the other styles before me. Ladies you rock!!!

Big thanks to Azita for vending that day along with huge kudos to Gail and my hubby for helping out. I remembered I brought my camera when Gina started her workshop so I only have a few photos from the day; sorry.

My next big event is my Annual Swap Meet on Saturday January 17th. Mark your calendars it's going to be a great day of belly dancing. Here's more info on the event, I already have 5 vendors signed up!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Way too busy :-)

It has been such a long time since my last post life is so busy!

I've been making Christmas cards and belly dance theme cards like crazy. My friend Tary and I will be vending at MACfest on November 8th in downtown Mesa. Stop by and say hi and check out our crafts we are in space G7.

This weekend is super busy with dance. The Sampler of Belly Dance Styles is Saturday the 25th from 8 - 3 with some really super dance instructors. If you have ever wanted to try a different style of belly dance than your style here is your chance. Helena Vlahos is teaching Greek style, Sherry will be teaching Modern belly dance style, Gina will wow us with Bollywood and I will be teaching tribal fusion combinations. Azita Imports and Shimmy Bliss will be vending all day also so if you can't make the workshops come and shop. For more info on the workshops check out my website,; it’s going to be a very fun day!

Sunday at 10:00 a.m. some of my students will be performing at the State Fair. It's going to be a great show with solos and group numbers. Stop by the Arizona Lottery Stage and check it out and enjoy a day at the fair.

Next big event is my annual swap meet which will be on Saturday January 17th. Vendors are already reserving their spots to sell their wares. This year there will be 4 workshops taught by Carrie Konyha, Holly, Morgiana and myself. For more info on my swap meet check out my website,; hard to believe this is number 14!

Back to making cards....

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Busy dance weekend

Where is time going it's been so long since my last post I can't believe it! Life has really been busy with classes, having sales in my eBay store, new orders coming in, greeting card orders, card class, kitchen remodel and dancing.

The weekend started out on Friday night when I taught a card class for 12 wonderful ladies, what a great evening of fun. Thanks Amber for hosting the night. These crafty women breezed through the 2 Christmas cards, Christmas microscope ornament and surprise box. This is the second card class I have taught and we are growing each time. We do this every 3 months and it's so much fun!!!

Below are the two Christmas cards we made. The first card is a snowman shaker card with dry embossing and the second card is a pinwheel card with a microscope slide embellishment with micro bead frame.

Saturday I had the opportunity to take a dance workshop from Carrie Konyha at the new Playa de Anaya studio. Excellent workshop! The topic was Drum Rhythm Dance Combinations and I loved it. My only complaint 2 hours wasn't long enough!!! :-) We covered 4/4, 2/4 and 8/4 rhythms plus putting the combos and ideas into a drum solo. It was so nice to take a workshop for a change and work on cabaret moves and style.

The workshop ended at 5:30 and it was a rush home to get ready to perform at Maui Wowi with Rachel and Melissa. We performed a dance I taught a year ago to the Blues Bros. version of "Do You Love Me". What a fun routine this dance is and my partners in this dance were awesome! Enjoy the clip below of our performance. Thanks ladies let's do this again next month :0)

It's another busy day today so I'm off to enjoy it...

Friday, September 12, 2008

Intermediate Tribal Class Videos

Wow two blogs in one day; hard to believe :-)

I had a chance to make the video for both groups in the intermediate tribal dance. Both videos are below.

Group 1

Group 2

Hope this helps lady...

Classes Started Finally!

After being off from teaching my Mesa Art Center (MAC) classes for 6 weeks we are finally back in session!!! I have been working on 5 new choreographies for my classes and it's finally time to show them off.

I already posted the double fan veil dance that my intermediate cabaret class will be learning. I took all the fan veils to class that Gail, Debbie and I dyed and they were a huge hit. The biggest complaint I had was it was too difficult to pick just one :-)

The class went very well mainly focusing on fan veil technique and how to open them especially with the left hand. If you'd ask my students they would say the fan veils and left hand won that first go around :0) I thought they did awesome for the first night.

My beginning cabaret class on Tuesday night is filled to the brim. They are learning an American style dance and ladies the video is up; yeah! I filmed the routine in my dance room shooting the camera into the mirrors so you can see me from front and back. It might be confusing when I'm out of the camera but when I'm going to the right in the mirror you will be going to the right.

The beginning cabaret class on Wednesday is learning single cane and no one was injured the first night of class!!! Sometimes these canes can fly! We concentrated on cane technique the first night and they did fantastic. Only one cane went flying to the back of the room and only a couple of heads and legs were hit by the cane operator; not bad!

I was keeping the beginning tribal class routine a secret I wasn't sure how they would take learning a dance to Michael Jackson's "Thriller"; they loved it! The first part will be tribal moves and we will end with "Thriller", a perfect time of year for this dance. The beginning tribal class is huge!!! We are like sardines in the dance room so when we start doing the monster & zombie walks we won't be able to move to far; thank goodness in tribal style we are use to dancing close together :-)

The intermediate tribal class was a riot, they love the dance. We can really break out of our shells on this one!!! I've had a lot of fun creating the dances for the tribal classes I love tribal fusion! Ladies the videos will be up soon on these dances.

Thursday night was my 2nd Thursday of the month class in my home studio and this month's topic was 7 veils. A dust storm decided to move into town around 6:30 but everyone was a trouper and they all showed up for class at 7:00; ladies you are wonderful!!! Mother Nature must be very upset with me for some reason she broke up our class last month also but with rain not dust. At least this time she finished blowing the dust around by the time we were ready to go outside and work with our 7 veils.

I showed a performance by Tamalyn Dallal I had on a DVD. This to me is the best example of dancing with 7 veils; her performance is awesome. You can watch Tamalyn's performance on YouTube, Everyone liked the class so now I guess I need to choreograph a dance with 7 veils :-0

I received in my order of dance swords today. This is something new that I will be selling now. Heads up for my intermediate cabaret dancers we will be learning a sword routine next session starting in January :-)

Everyone have a great weekend...

Monday, September 8, 2008

Fan Veil Routine

It's been a while since my last blog; life has been a little crazy. All my classes have gone for the 13 week session starting tomorrow night; yikes!!!! It has been over a month since we have had classes at the Mesa Art Center (MAC); way too long, I'm ready to get back teaching again!!!

I have been teaching several workshops during the interim plus classes at my home studio; thank goodness :-) Last Saturday was Tribal Fusion Indian Style and it was our first class back outside and it was still a little to warm to hold class outside; sorry ladies. I taught the class a short dance using about 10 different Mudras and several poses. I took the dance from the ATS blessing or salutation that is done before each performance. I explained to everyone the meaning of the salutation; it is so beautiful… We thank Mother Earth for her beauty and apologize for stomping on her. We thank our teachers for their knowledge. We thank our sister dancers for their support and we thank the audience for watching. Each gesture is represented in the blessing within the dance. I added more to the dance still keeping the meaning. I was so pleased to hear that they liked the workshop; hey!!!

This Thursday night will be the 7 veils class which should be a blast. It's hard enough to dance with one veil at times and we will be dancing with 7!!! It will probably take us an hour to put the veils on and that's the entire class; oh my I didn't plan well on this one :0) Thank goodness it’s starting to cool off so it will be in the 90’s by Thursday.

I finished choreographing the double veil routine I will be teaching my intermediate cabaret class. I had this braining idea to put it on video so my class will have something to watch to help them practice. Okay I live in Arizona and it's still over 100 degrees outside, there is a slight breeze today and no make up; what I wouldn't do for my students :-) I really don't have an area to film in my house so it's outside on my patio. Just standing outside doing nothing you start glistening (you know dancers glisten we don't sweat) :-) So you will see in the video I'm having a difficult time sliding the fan veils off my shoulders. Thank goodness the breeze was not a factor. The katydids were making their noise they must have liked the music ;-)

The music is from the CD Caravans by Armen Chakmakian and the song title is Bird song, the journey.

My husband is such a sweetie to film me; what a great guy, I'm so lucky to have him. He does a fantastic job filming it must have been all that practice from having our TV show The Joy of Belly Dancing. He knows how to follow me pretty well without ever seeing the dance.

The fan veils I'm dancing with is one that we dyed lasts week. I was amazed how loud they are when I snap them open. I still need to work with these fans to get them loosened up so they open easier they are still really stiff. The fan veils flow really well and so much fun to dance with.

The flirty skirt I'm wearing I just got in stock. Rukshana out did herself with this batch of skirts. She went to LA to the garment district and found some fabulous material. I'm finding it very difficult to resist getting one skirt in each color and pattern!!!!

Back to work listing more items in my eBay store and Shimmy Bliss website...

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Fan Veils!

This has been one busy and crazy week!!!

It took two days to dye 24 fan veils; what a project! It would not have happened if it hadn't been for my friends Gail and Debbie. The fan veils turned out awesome!

The first day we dyed the fan veils being extra careful not to get the fan part wet. This is no easy feat I must say and there were a few casualties along the way. Gail is an excellent teacher and I let her do her thing with the dye colors and create what ever she wanted to. Debbie and I did alright not creating any "mud" dye jobs :-) My one experiment using 3 basic colors red, turquoise and yellow turned out to be a pretty psychedelic flash back to the 60's tye-dye fan veil. Sorry everyone I'm keeping this one :0)

We started at 8 a.m. and broke for breakfast around 10 a.m. After eating it was back to work cleaning up everything and letting the fan veils sit over night in the dye. Next day we were back at it around 8:30 a.m. It's still warm in AZ so the earlier we get started the better.

We rinsed, washed, rinse and conditioned 2 dozen fan veils and hung them out to dry and broke for lunch at 11:00 a.m. We were quite the sight walking in the restaurant! We were wet, dirty from my swamp of a backyard from all the rinsing and to say the least our hands and feet were very colorful :-) After lunch back to work wrapping up the fan veils and bringing them inside.

It was a very successful two days learning, getting dirty, sweating, laughing, and creating some pretty awesome fan veils; all one of a kind. Thank goodness my backyard will turn back to green again after I mow the yard. Right now the grass looks like a rainbow; very pretty but not natural :-)

A huge Thank You to Gail and Debbie you both Rock!!!

These fan veils will eventually be listed in my eBay store. I'm teaching double fan veil to my intermediate cabaret class and they get first pick. Classes start on Sept. 9th.

Back to work listing more goodies on eBay. Its Labor Day weekend and I'm running a sale on skirts. I will be listing belts, cholis and hopefully metal buttons today. So much inventory so little time!!! :-)

Everyone have a fun and safe holiday...

Sunday, August 24, 2008

A Dance Weekend

It has been a great weekend for dancing!

I performed Friday night at Fully Fusion Night at Memo's Cafe a new place in Tempe. When my friend Debbie and I arrived at Memo's Cafe the place was packed!!! We made it in just in time they started to turn people away at the door they were at full capacity. Debbie and I stood by the front door for the first 3 performances when Gina waved at us to come and sit on the floor by them. After the first set a lot of people left due to the smoke from the hookahs and the very loud music, so Debbie and I along with Zahira got a table to sit at.

There were 14 performances that night and they were all different. The theme of the night was Fusion no Cabaret or Tribal style dancing. It was nice to see new dancers I hadn't seen before and dancers that I haven't seen in a long time perform. Some of the styles that night were Bollywood, Hip Hop, Tahitian, Latin and Spanish, Jazz, World Mix and Indian. I have no photos or video from this performance but Santa Joe was there taking photos and he had the best seat in the house. Hopefully he will post them to his website; I'll keep you posted.

Saturday night was Maui Wowi with Egyptian Cartouche. What a great time!!! This is such a supportive atmosphere to dance in. The dancers are all levels and put together a great show. Egyptian Cartouche performs group numbers between the guest dancers and it's always fun to dance with everyone in the open dance sessions. It was so much fun to see everyone from Phoenix and Surprise who I don't have a chance to get together with. You can't beat the chocolate strawberry smoothies either :-) I performed 2 numbers but only one came out on video, the fan dance. This fan dance I taught awhile ago and I haven't performed it in awhile. It was nice to dust it off and perform it as a solo.

I'm attempting to perform most of the dances I have taught in the past to post them on my "student page" on my Joy of Belly Dancing website. Here students will find the written choreographies and a performance of the dance. It may take me awhile to get the video up but it will be a fun process :0)

I received an application to perform at the State Fair and this year I'm offering it to my intermediate classes to come and perform. The State Fair is always a fun place to dance.

I checked my class registration this morning and now 3 of my classes have already made minimum. I'm two and three students away for my other 2 classes to go. This is amazing classes don't start until September 9th & 10th!!! Last session both my beginning cabaret and tribal classes were full and I had a wait list; looks like the same thing may happen again.

I put Kuchi belts up for sale in my eBay store for the next 3 days. I will be having more sales this week and over the holiday weekend. It's so nice to have new inventory in stock again. Check out my store for great deals this week,

I'm off to go work on the kitchen...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Skirts, skirts, skirts and more skirts!!!!

Yeah another order came in today!!! I'm so excited!!!! I have been having problems getting my shipments in from overseas and have not had any new inventory for months.

Well you know what they say, "when it rains it pours"!!! This statement is so true :-)

As you can see from the photo I have a lot of skirts in inventory right now most of them arriving today. Thank goodness my lovely model will be stopping by in the morning so I can take pictures of them and get them listed in my eBay store and my website. I was able to list some of the multi panel skirts and some flirtie skirts on my website today along with some of the new Kuchi pendant belts I received in last week.

You are probably wondering why there are glasses and kitchen items in my dance room it's because we are in the process of remodeling our kitchen. This project is going so slowly but when you do your own sweat equity it does go really slow! :-) I will be posting lots of photos when the kitchen is done. Right know I not only have belly dance costume inventory all over the house the kitchen is also in several rooms of the house; yikes!

I will be performing at two venues this weekend. Friday night at Mahin's Fusion Night at Memos Cafe in Tempe and Saturday night at Maui Wowi in Phoenix with the lovely ladies of Egyptian Cartouche and other feature dancers.

Memo's Cafe is a new location for the Fusion Night and all the details are listed on my events page, Mahin needed to find a new location due to the overwhelming response of audience and performers for the show. Should be a great night of dancing and spending time with friends.

Back to checking in more of today's order.......

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

What a crazy day!

Today was totally a crazy day. It's now almost midnight and my day is not over with yet.

It took me most of the day to check in my last order and I haven't had a chance to list any of the skirts from my previous order. My friend Rukshana even helped one day last week and modeled for me. Here's an example of the patchwork Jaipur skirt that came in.

Here's one of these beautiful skirts in action. These skirts are really full, light weight and move really well; a joy to dance in. This performance was from the show in Sedona on August 16th at the Rock Cafe. This dance I taught my Intermediate Tribal class last session at the Mesa Art Center, enjoy.

One of my vendors emailed me to let me know I have two boxes on the way so I should have more new inventory next week. Cross our fingers and hope they go through customs with no problem :-)

I was able to list beaded medallions today, 28 pairs which are difficult to get. Check them out in my eBay store, They are listed in the Costuming Supplies catagory.

I hope to have more items listed this week now that I have lots of inventory. I now have Kuchi pendant belts in both the shoe string style and embroidered belt base style. Earrings, spike cuffs, shell belts, Jaipur skirts, cholis and metal disk pendants to name a few.

I checked registration on my classes today and it's going very well. My classes start Sept. 9th and 10th at the Mesa Art Center (MAC) Both of my tribal classes have gone I have made the minimium number of students and all my cabaret classes also have registrations; I'm so happy!!!!!! This session is going to be 13 weeks long and I'm choreographing all new dances. For more info on my classes check out my website,

Back to work for much to do so little time :0)

Monday, August 18, 2008

New Order!

I'm so excited I finally received in my order that I have been waiting for since June!

My poor vendor has been having so many issues with shipping and finally was able to ship my order via air cargo. I'll tell you this was an experience to say the least.

Before my order was shipped I had to find a custom broker to be my go between to receive my order in from customs. I located one via the Internet, AZ Customs Brokers in Phoenix and they helped me through the process; they were awesome! Normally I receive my orders via DHL and they do everything so this is all new to me.

My order was shipped via British Airways on August 11th and it arrive Wednesday night. I emailed the custom brokers that my shipment arrived and that I was leaving town early Friday morning what were the next steps. Of course it was after 5:00 p.m. so they were closed.

AZ Customs Brokers responded to me Thursday morning to give me good and bad news. The good news was my shipment was here but I couldn't get it until every item was marked "made in Pakistan". Customs would not release my shipment until everything was labeled!!! My order should not have left Pakistan without being labeled.

So I made up over 500 labels went to AZ Customs Brokers and paid the duties and other charges, went to US Airways and sat there for hours labeling every single piece.

I must say the guys at US Airways at the Phoenix Airport were awesome and helpful. It was very entertaining watching them do there job and the highlight was the bomb sniffing dog checking out all the packages.

Once I finished the labeling one of the guys from US Airways loaded my order in the back of my car; thank goodness for fork lifts this thing was over 92 pounds. I headed to customs so they could check my order and clear it so I could take it home.

The customs agent was very helpful and enlighted me on a lot of things so my next order will go much smoother; I hope :-)

I left the Customs facility just before 5:00 p.m. and headed home to get ready to teach my dance class at 7:00 p.m. and than start loading the RV after my class so we could leave in the morning for Sedona for a mini vacation and to teach a dance workshop and perform in the show on Saturday night.

It's Monday morning and I'm finally getting a chance to check in my long awaited order of Kuchi pendant belts, metal disk pendants, metal fringe, beaded medallions, cuffs and more.

The photo is what an order looks like when I get it in. It still amazes me that not more items are damaged since everything is put in a plastic bags inside a metal container. I can image how everything inside gets rolled around during transportation.

I had a chance to uploaded some of my performances on YouTube last night from the show in Sedona. Take a look when you have a chance. You'll see the veil eating poles that we had to naviagate around :-)

There are also videos of my summer classes performing routines they learned during the summer session at the Mesa Art Center (MAC). That was a very fun weekend performing two nights at the Playhouse Theater at the MAC. All the summer dance classes were invited to perform and we rocked the house especially on Saturday night the audience was fantastic. Thanks to my hubby for filming that night. Enjoy the video clips.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Sedona Weekend

Hi, I'm Yasmina and welcome to my blog.

I'm new to this and don't have a clue on what I'm doing, so here goes.....

My husband John, my dog Ratso and I just spent an awesome time in Sedona this weekend. I had the pleasure of teaching a dance workshop sponsored by Holly and the Gypsy Chicks. The ladies were so much fun and I was honored to perform with the Gypsy Chicks, Carrie and Patrick in a show that night at the Rock Cafe in Cottonwood.

We started our trip on Friday the day before the workshop just in case we had RV problems. We have an older RV and you just never know :-) Luckily it was smooth sailing up and back.

It was so nice to get out of the heat from the Valley of the Sun to a nice cool climate. I don't know what the high was in Sedona the 3 days we were there but it rained every afternoon and evening! The weather to us was fantastic!!! We had the windows open in the RV at night and Saturday night I even had a blanket on the bed!!!

We stayed at the beautiful Rancho Sedona RV Park along Oak Creek in the trees. It's so peaceful and quiet there and we got the best spot in the entire park; the hilltop. Every morning I woke up to the squirrels chasing each other in the trees in our secluded spot and the birds singing their songs.

We took our scooter "Stella" along so we could get around and not have to take our 30' RV into town or drive around Sedona and enjoy the gorgeous scenery. Riding a scooter is so much fun!!!

Saturday morning we woke up early and took Stella into town and had some breakfast. I knew I wouldn't be eating much that day with teaching a workshop and performing that night and who can pass up a good breakfast out? :-) When we left the restaurant that morning it started to sprinkle so we took a ride into the canyon to see the scenery before heading back to the RV. It was a great ride in the cool and rainy weather.

Holly was so nice to pick me up and take me to the workshop. I taught the class 7 combos and we put them all together in a dance. The combinations I taught were a little bit of tribal fused in with cabaret style of dance. The last part of the workshop I talked about how to put your dance together with a discussion. The 2 and half hours went so fast; just to prove when you are having fun time fly's!

Holly brought me back to the RV Park so my hubby and I could get ready for the dinner show in Cottonwood. Carrie was so nice to pick us up and take us to the restuarant that night. It was really raining and the thought of riding Stella in costume and not having a clue on where we were going was crazy.

The dinner show was held in the banquet room, a nice large area to dance. It was a bit challenging with the poles that looked like tree trunks down the middle of the dance floor but very dueable.

Holly surprised me with 2 press releases from the local newspaper about the dinner show. How cool is that to be in the paper!!!!

I started the show off with a Spanish fusion set and the audience was fantastic; great crowd. The Gypsy Chicks did a set after a short break; awesome set. I really love their fan dance!!! Carrie started off the third set with an amazing Raks Sharqi dance and looked astounding in her pink costume! I ended the evening in an Indian fusion set with open dancing at the end with Patrick playing drums.

What a tremendous evening; great friends, incredible dancing and excellent food; it doesn't get any better than this!!! :-)

Thanks to Pamela for taking John and I back to the RV after a marvelous day of fun.

Of course after a day of such fun I can not wide down right away still on clould nine :0) We watched the Olympics when we got back. We were just in time to see Michael Phelps and the relay team win gold!!!! Every chance I get I'm watching the Olympics just can't get enough. Thank goodness the RV park we stayed at had cable!

Sunday morning I took Ratso for a nice walk, poor little guy really needed some outside time. We loaded up the RV and headed back down to the Valley. Thank goodness the trip back home was uneventful. There was road construction along the way and we had to exit the freeway so it took us a little longer to get home that was the only distraction; not bad!

A humongous thanks to Holly, all the Gypsy Chicks, all the workshop attendies and Carrie for a spectacular time in Sedona. I felt so welcome and part of the group. You all Rock!!!!!!!!!!!!!!