Well I never thought I would say I was on lock down but that is where we find ourselves in March 2020. In Northern California we received a stay at home order and now we can only go out for essential functions such as grocery shopping or banking, Dr appointments. But this is putting a major damper on people who love to socialize with other humans.
A friend and I were laughing and said that we have been prepping for this type of lifestyle for years. I just started doing the stay at home thing during the summer of 2019 for financial reasons. But my friend had essentially been doing it for years. So here are a few of the things you can do at home or what I do.
You definitely need a rebounder for this one but you can definitely get your Doctor’s approval for something like this and also be uber careful because it is easy to fly off a rebounder. But it’s really great exercise. I like to put on cool music and bounce baby bounce.
Dancers require a great deal of physical strength in order to perform at a high level. It requires a great deal of flexibility and endurance to be able to perform. The amount of practice that is required is crazy. Professional dancers dance all day and then perform at night. Can you be on a treadmill all day and then perform at night too? It’s crazy to think about it.
Do Dancers get Respect?
That really depends on who you ask. One dancer interviewed indicated that she gets messages from men requesting photos of herself and attention that is unwanted. “People often mistake your dancing as being erotic when really all it is you are doing is moving your body to the music. It is the physical expression of music vibration. But because the movement of the body may be considered arousing by some, somehow the artists must be wanting attention.”
I Didn’t Mean To Turn You On
Dancers are just moving their body and enjoying the music and having a good time. Just because one gets turned on doesn’t mean that somehow there is any type of connection between the dancer and the audience. Yes the audience is part of the performance but that doesn’t mean you can say disrespectful things to a dancer or even think that the intent is to get attention. It’s the untrained eye that doesn’t realize the strength, flexibility, grace, musicality and timing that is involved in dancing. But now that you know this, you’re forgiven for your past transgressions because you didn’t realize.
2019 was a great year for performers at EnlightenYourLives.com. These artists reached out of their comfort zones and decided to share their passions with the world. As an artist, one of the scariest thing to do is actually share your passion. One can work on their passion for months and years and still not share it. Why don’t they share it? Most likely it’s fear. Why should an artist be afraid to share of themselves? It can be a fear of the response they will receive but also fear of rejection or being ridiculed. It’s an uncomfortable feeling to perform in front of others. But after a while, one does get used to it. When the joy of expression overcomes the fear to perform, then one is ready to share of themselves. Meet these brave Princess Warriors who have risen above the fear.
Meet Varia Strix from Washington DC
Our first featured artist is Varia Strix. Varia has a real passion for life and has many hobbies such as being an awesome photographer and a beautiful dancer. If you say, Belly Dance Workshop, she comes running. She is a pleasure to know and she gets a lot of credit for being courageous enough to be the first featured dancer to be interviewed in 2019. We wish Varia continued success in 2020. To learn more about Varia you may read the full article here.https://enlightenyourlives.com/2019/08/18/meet-washington-dc-bellydancer-varia-strix/
Vanessa is a talented and beautiful yoga teacher and dancer that is active in her Texas community teaching dance and yoga. A real princess warrior that is also a healer. We want to thank Vanessa for sharing her passion and joy with the world. We also wish Vanessa continued in 2020 and beyond. Here is the full article.
Meet Nor Cal Dancer Valeria Star
Valeria Star from Nor Cal loves to dance and sing. In this article Valeria shares her passion for dance. She’s been dancing over 40 years and doesn’t intend to stop anytime soon. She encourages everyone to follow their passions whatever they might be. Click here for full article.
Here’s Shilly from United Kingdom
Shilly is talented on multiple levels. She’s a fashion designer, dancer and also makes some delicious cacao drinks that one day will be tasted in UK. Shilly directed this captivating video that is highly recommend for everyone to watch. Shilly also teaches belly dance in her community and she gets extra credit for getting kicked out of ballet. We want to wish Shilly much success in 2020 and want to thank her for sharing her passion with us. Full article is https://enlightenyourlives.com/2019/11/10/meet-dancer-shilly-nakedmoon/.
Anna Puts Hungary on the Map
Finally meet Annamaria from Hungary. She is such a talented dancer. She really knows how to draw in an audience and keep their attention. It’s obvious she knows how to dance and really commands the stage. It’s not an easy thing as a soloist to keep the audience engaged. But her athleticism and beautiful flowing movements are superb. Bravo to Anna and we wish her a successful future in all she does. Don’t miss this one or well, you’ll miss out. https://enlightenyourlives.com/2019/11/18/meet-dancer-annamaria-benko-fothy/
Thank you again to all the beautiful people that contributed to this article. Keep it up in 2020 because the world needs more of your passion, joy and light. Here’s to an awesome and safe New Year!!
Have you heard this song, Fantasy Girl by Johnny O and Mickey Garcia? It is such a serious jam!! In this video, Valeria Star rebounds to this song. Being on a rebounder is SOOOOOOOOOO beneficial for your health. Nasa declared it the best exercise on the planet.
Valeria is demonstrating how she uses the rebounder, although she recommends people use it to their own level and you might want to hold on to something. As you will see there is one part where she does fall off it. But she doesn’t get injured. It’s just easy to bounce off of it if your not careful.
If you can make it to the 6 minutes on the video, Valeria demonstrates a grand twisting plie in 6th position. She was pretty proud of herself on that move.
Warning this video will probably give you energy!!
Thanks for watching and following my Blog. It’s with great hope that you will have a nice day and eat some fruits and vegetables for health and wellness.
I teach Tribal Fusion Belly Dance and I also can't live without conscious dance practices like 5 rhythms and movement medicine. My dance journey has been a bit of an adventure, from getting kicked out of ballet school for breakdancing when I was young to performing burlesque and erotic striptease!
Who’s your favorite dancer?
Kazuo Ohno is one of the creators of Japanese Butoh Dance. He was very spiritual about his dance and I feel so connected with him, I always think of him as a beautiful flower.
What’s your dream?
To own my own vegan cafe, too run a ritual dance theatre company and for humans to live in harmony with all life on planet earth.
What’s your favorite song?
I giorni by Ludovico Einaudi
What’s one wish you hope comes true?
That humans come together in love to save the planet and it's creatures from extinction.
What is your opinion on wellness?
Everyone is different, so find what makes you feel good and is also kind to the planet and do that! Looking after the planet and your body is the same thing essentially, the earth is our mother after all! So every choice we make that is kind to our body is also being kind to Mother Earth.
I had the opportunity to meet Vanessa where I meet many people now a days on Facebook. She’s a wonderful dancer and you can learn more about her exciting offerings on her website www.creativesourcemovement.com.
Thank you Vanessa for sharing your passion for life with the world. Such a beautiful soul.
What City is home?
What type of dance do you do?
Bellydance, Modern, and (currently studying) Persian Dance. I also teach Yoga.
Who’s your favorite dancer?
What’s your dream?
My dream is to work with others in harmonizing the Body, Mind, and Spirit through movement, both physical and energetic. I hope to foster a sense of connection, joy, and awareness in both my own life and in the lives of the people I work with.
What’s your favorite song?
"Smile" by Charlie Chaplin
What’s one wish you hope comes true?
I send wishes and prayers that Calilfornia finds some relief from these fires soon. LA was my home for fifteen years. My heart breaks to see so much devastation in the area.
What is your opinion on wellness?
I believe that at the core of wellness, one can find the seeds of joy, gratitude, and love beginning to take root. I find the body and mind respond to the harmony that these emotions bring and that wellness is an extension of finding that sense of peace within.
I enjoy many types of dance. I enjoy ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, belly, salsa, hip hop and ballroom. Currently I am studying ballet although I am going through the rehabilitation process so all dancing must be done with good form so as to not become injured. And I must make sure to address any injuries right away so they will get better. So that means I am not able to dance as often as I like.
Where is home for you?
Stockton, CA, where else
How Long Have You Been Dancing
I believe that we started dancing in the womb since we were swimming in utero. But when I was 8, my mother gave me tights and leotard for my birthday and I was horrified. I didn’t want to go to ballet but ended up loving it after only 1 class. That was 44 years ago. But I had big gaps in my dance life because of work.
What is your favorite song right now?
I believe you can have infinite favorite songs. But I did a dance to one of my favorite songs called Patience by M. Mendi. It was produced by Outrecords.com. It’s a really chill song that is sure to have you feeling like your riding on clouds. I did the video to hopefully inspire Patience in the world. I think we all need to be really patient with everyone which includes ourselves. The more we can relax, we can begin to have more positive social interactions and actually help other people feel our calmness.
What Dancer Do you Admire?
That is another really hard question!! I love so many!! But if I can only pick one it would be Misty Copeland. I read both of her books and I know her story of courage and perserverance. She had a very difficult home life and despite all of that she was able to succeed. Also she’s just so strong and has the most amazing body. I can only dream to have her body one day. But I do have her book Ballet Body so hey anything is possible.
What Is Your One Wish that You Hope Comes True?
More than anything I want there to be world peace. What that means to me is that we don’t have anymore wars, everyone is fed, healthy and has food and jobs. The economies are all thriving and our Mother Earth is Healthy and clean. And there are a lot of trees. I love trees so much that I started a fundraiser for trees and it’s with a NonProfit called Plant One Tree. Super excited. To date, I’ve raised enough for over 90 trees. To Plant trees for $1/tree click here.
What does wellness mean to you?
Wellness means that you are basically healthy and doing well. You have housing, food, clothing along with financial income or support and you are calm, physically strong, flexible and in a positive mindset. Also your finances are in order and you love and respect yourself. You also eat lots of fruits, vegetables and drink lots of water and take yoga. It’s really important to take care of yourself because who wants someone else to take care of them? They won’t do the same job you would. Nobody will ever take better care of you then yourself. Just drink a cup of tea and think about scheduling that appointment for a massage.
Final Words on Dance
Just do it and do it often. You may think you are no good and have no talent but if you allow your body just to start moving to the rhythm of the music, you will find a cool flow. You start to have fun and it’s so good for your body, brain and spirit. I feel it can get you out of a bad mood in no time. You can take classes if you like but nothing wrong with just shaking that bootie however you want. I hope you dance and often.
I had the great pleasure of meeting Varia in Portland, Oregon at the 8 elements Initiation Training with Rachel Brice of Datura. Varia is a beautiful dancer and she was super cool and had a great sense of fashion. I asked her if she would share a little of herself with the world and she was happy to share her passion.
So Varia darling, what type of physical activities have you done in your life? ” I have been dancing since 2008 with a primary focus on bellydance. Prior to that I used to dance East and West Coast swing and Lindy Hop with sprinklings of Walts, Foxtrot, Salsa, Cha Cha and contra dancing. I also enjoys hiking, snowboarding, skiing, rock climbing (indoor and outdoor) and advanced SCUBA.”…( I had no idea she was such a badass!! Wow)
Varia lives in the Washington DC area. She began belly dance in 2007, inspired by Amustela’s performances at the MD Renaissance Fair . She has explored various styles including American Cabaret, classical Egyptian, and her favorite, tribal fusion. She has performed solo and as a member of local troupes Belladonna’s Bellatrix, Wendy Broadway’s ATS Tribe Masala, and Ayperi Leyla’s Al Kamiya.
Varia has received training under many world renown instructors including Suhaila Salimpour, Zoe Jakes, and Rachel Brice. Currently she is expanding her growth as a member of the DC Salimpour Collective under director Donna Manalo, and is pursuing certifications in the Salimpour formats and the Datura 8 Elements program.
Since receiving her FTT certification, Varia has been invited each year to teach at the Maryland Council for Dance Festival, and has held workshops at various locations in the northern VA area. She is also available for private instruction upon request.
Varia’s focus is to bring awareness to safe body alignment, encourage confidence, and most importantly to have fun!
Congratulations Varia for following her passions and dreams. Dreams are so important. Never give up on your dreams.
I had the great honor and privilege to attend a Datura bellydance workshop in Portland, Oregon last week. It was such an amazing adventure. It really took me outside of my comfort zone on so many levels.
What was it that took you out of your comfort zone?
Well first of all I had to get myself packed, get my dog packed and get to the airport on time. If you have ever had the pleasure of missing a flight, then you know, that you don’t want to experience that again. So I started out my trip with a ticket from California Highway Patrol. I stayed cool despite this ticket. But it was a little irritating to say the least.
Then I got to the airport past security. My boarding pass was B14. But I got the gate mixed up and was sitting in Gate B14 for at least an hour. Then someone paged Valerie and they said your supposed to be at gate 20!! How the hell that happened I don’t know but I ran down there and made it to the plane.
I made it to my hotel and then realized I had left a very critical bag. My bag that had my toothbrush. Luckily my hotel gave me one and I had toothpaste. I remembered my make up so, all in all, it wasn’t bad.
What was the deal with the Datura Workshop?
Datura is a style of bellydance created by Rachel Brice. She has classes online at Datura online and she teaches workshops in Portland at a cool dance studio called Nia. She has her own Datura studio as well but to accommodate more people she had the training at Nia.
The Datura Phase I Initiation of the 8 elements brought together 40 students from all over the world. Represented countries included: Japan, Australia, Mexico, United Kingdom and United States. There were professional dancers as well as students. But everyone was a student this week to learn and absorb as much as they could from Rachel Brice
Rachel shared part of her dance journey as well as the reason for putting together the course so that this dance form can be shared with the world. She had told us at the beginning of the week that we were going to feel like, “She was filling up our mouths with a fire hose.” At first it made me laugh but by the 3rd day, I completed understood the concept. I felt like my brain was being stretched out really far. I didn’t want to stretch it but then she stretched it for me and I was so glad she did.
What was the most awesome experience?
We would learn these dance sequences. First we would learn the feet, then she would add isolations, then Zils and then finally arms. It doesn’t sound that difficult and even when you see it, it doesn’t look terribly difficult. But playing the Zils while dancing and keeping rhythem while your arms, legs and body are doing something different was mind blowing. And then we did it in perfect unison at full speed. It was like, “Hell Yeah!!!” I couldn’t believe we were able to do it all together. If you’ve ever been around dancers there are usually varying levels of dance experience. But in 3 days she had as doing it. I felt like a complete badass!!!
Just for the record, I felt like such a beginner. There were definitely dancers who had such cool moves. Some were awesome with Zils and everyone just brought their own gifts and talents. Truly an amazing group of people.
She shared her costumes in Costume Cafe which was just amazing. In the video above I was able to see her headdress in person. She shared her inspiration for costumes and also so many things. She is a complete badass. Bruce Lee’s baby sister. I bow down to her.
What was the take away from the training?
Whatever it is you do everyday becomes your practice. You simply have to find the time to do whatever it is you love to do. Sometimes we get stuck in bad habits, or get caught in the responsibilities of life. But no matter, practice is the most important. In talking to Rachel, she explained some of the ways she practices and how she just goes over it over and over again until she gets it down to how she likes it. I was also super happy to know that her absolutely favorite type of dance is improvisational dance which is my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE THING TO DO!!. So it gave me support to know that there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WRONG WITH IMPROVISATION!! And she does such an amazing job with it.
You’re Not Music’s Bitch
What does that mean? It means as dancer that you control your movement. YOu can pause and stretch and pose and dance how you want. Music is there to help you express yourself but you and music work together and you do whatever you want. It’s you dancing after all.
What are my plans going forward?
I realized that more than anything I need a good teacher. I plan to continue to study dance. A good teacher will mold me to their vision. I will be like a child coming to my teacher. I will allow them to teach me and that is the best I can do for right now. There’s nothing wrong with being a student. It’s like letting someone else drive you around for a while and I get to just enjoy the ride. I will continue to pursue my dream of dance. As long as I am dancing, EVERYTHING WILL BE OK.