Traveling and belly dancing seem to go hand in hand. Can you imagine the gypsies when they traveled, dancing and playing music for the local villages as they passed by? I think all belly dancers have that bit of gypsy in them. If we could, we would all have our little gypsy wagons. I had mine years ago. I was able to hook it up to my truck or hook it up to my horses. I use to sit in my little dressing room and have a ball playing dress up. The little girl in me was on cloud nine as was the big girl. Just recently I went on a trip with a few of my students to Roswell. Alice and Mathew who own Ascendance dance studio asked a group of us to join them in celebration of their annual Hafla.
The road trip reminded me of my old gypsy life. Except of course for my talented and beautiful dancers…….they made anything from my past seem boring! The party gets started when they walk into any room even if there’s no party! Once we all started on our road trip, (Majdah is always late! smile) it was loads of fun. We all arrived and were ready for fun, laughter and dancing. Our traveling Da Momma (Audrey) was at hand literally holding the hands of dancers nervous about their performances and bar tending for those of us ready to cut loose and have some fun. Alice and Mathew knew the manager at the Hampton Inn and arranged for rooms for most of the gals. There wasn’t one person who was not amazed by the hospitality and genuine love from Alice and Mathew. What a great and talented couple! Now as you can imagine word got out that the “belly dancers” were louder than a group of football players staying at the Hampton Inn. Why I am not amazed! We also had our group massage therapist, April at hand but from what I could tell April was enjoying Audrey’s bar tending! But to all you dancers out there, April is the best massage therapist around. She is master of her craft. We are so lucky she let us hang with her!
The night of the performance was just about the best experience of my life. Audrey started off our group and dazzled the audience with her flaming red hair, fiery costume and the most amazing splits I’ve ever seen. It was Audrey’s dance debut but not one person could believe it! She danced like the pro she is! One gal said she looked like she had been doing this dance for years! Next for our group was Amy. She danced around the stage and did amazing stomach and hip work all the while moving with grace and poise.
Little did people know she is pregnant! It was by far Amy’s best performance! We are all anxiously waiting for our new addition to our tribe! Dawn’s turn came and she walked out into the stage with such drama and passion! She did incredible stomach work and moved across the floor with a Theda Bara intensity! The audience soaked her in like a sponge! Majdah danced to her favorite song and brought out her Arabic roots. Her hip work was the best I had seen her do. The audience definitely brought out the dancer in Majdah. They watched in amazement to the very end! Alice and her troupe “Las Rosas de Gitanas” were just amazing and I was brought to tears when Alice did her Sacred dance. It was like watching her spirit dance before us. It was a very moving experience and was by far Alices greatest accomplishment! Another group that was just amazing was Lorelei and her troupe Nata Raja Dancers. They did a variety of dances from all over the world. I was blown away by the professional demeanor of all Lorelei’s dancers. Lorelei is a true artist and a great teacher!
It was the first time I have been with professionals who were dancing for the sake of the dance not for self. It was the first time I have ever worked with a group of dancers that had the best interest of each dancer at heart! As my dancers and I ventured back to Albuquerque we all had a realization that our tribe had grown because we were treated like family. In this business and way of life, if you don’t have family it can be very lonely. So thank you Alice and Mathew for giving us a family welcome and a great time!!!