Random truth: I love Glenn Barr’s paintings. I really do.
Despite my efforts to write every week, I end up getting the time for a nice lengthy entry here every two weeks. November has come and gone in the blink of an eye and here we are approaching the dark days of December. I look forward to the winter solstice and the approaching hibernation. Staying active and creative this time of year can be a challenge but I think I have a good handle on it: my new additions to Toronto winter survival are ashwaganda (aka withania), an imune-boostng and energizing herb, astralagus tea (good for lymphatic health) and something I should have had all along –vegan hot chocolate. My daily pick me up between work and dance classes or meetings or the long streetcar ride home, and if I’m feeling like I need some extra sweetness, the vegan marshmallow ‘fluff’ with Sadies Diner hot chocolate is just what I need.
Sustaining myself physically, is essential to my dance practice. Gotta keep moving, stay limber, even when hibernation seems to beckon. Stretching every day has been crucial to maintaining several hours of dance per week and to keep my body feeling good. These days I take about 20 minutes out of each day for yoga, that is to stretch and meditate. Some days my meditation consists of nothing more than groaning and moaning as I stretch out the resistant muscles in my body and other times its a conscious body scan or set of chants. I’ve found it useful to commit to daily practice and it has certainly made my dancing (and being) feel more fluid and grounded.
Last weekend was the Toronto Lindy Cabaret and I performed with Sugar Shakers as well as a solo bellydance number. Being one of the few non-lindy hop acts I felt myself getting a little nervous. Once I got up there I was at ease though, getting hoots and hollers from other dancers in the house. I wish I could have seen all of the other acts, I only got to see a couple, including a pretty awesome band who’s name escapes me, if you know please tell me in the comment section! After the show, people had a lot of questions about bellydance and I had some great conversation about points of intersection between different styles of dance. The lindy-hoppers were quite fascinated with the isolations in my number and I remain quite fascinated with their graceful yet playful abilities to dance with another person. That’s a work in progress for me! I made some new friends that night and felt very supported by the local vintage dance community.
Since I last wrote I attended Heather Labonte’s workshop at Dark Side Studio, where I learned some fabulous drills and combos from a talented dancer. We worked on particular angles, and little details that add extra finesse and beauty to contemporary bellydance. Then Sunday I attended the much-anticipated sword workshop by Zahira at Dragonfly Studio. Oh man it was everything I imagined it would be, to put a sword on my head, on my hip, on my knee, and dance. It was extremely powerful, and I was taught enough to practice on my own for a while. Once I get a sword that is…Im saving my pennies.
This month is jammed pack with awesome goings-on. Here are but a few that I’ll be checking out:
Dec 3 – Twilight Mirage I’ll be performing with Serpentina alongside other fabulous local belly talent.
Dec 4 – Tumbling Into Light
Dec 10 – The Dark Salon
Dec 11 – Bazaar of the Bizarre
Dec 14 – Om Laila Holiday Soiree
Dec 15 – In Honour of Jenna
Dec 18 – Wabi-Sabi pop-up shop. One day only! Stay tuned (here!) for details
I know there’s more, so stay tuned…I’ll update next week!
Until then, I leave you with music to hibernate to.