This is not an award for my belly dancing, alas! But it is a blog award from RetroKali, The Belly Whisperer, a smart and funny dancer hailing from BFE. Here are her belly dance-related questions and my answers.
1. What is your dance style?
Redneck fusion. My experience with dance began in kindergarten ballet. I did not show much promise, mostly owing to my gangly frame. I quickly decided I was not meant to be a dancer and went on to try martial arts in middle school. Through high school, I was trained in the iki shin do style (island temple way), which is a brutal combination of Korean shorin ryu (pine forest way) and US Special Forces tactics. My mulletted senseis taught me the "crane on a rock" pose from the Karate Kid as well as how to kill someone with a set of car keys and leave no fingerprints. Our katas had traditional names like "No Hi," "Kion Go Dan," and "Screamin' Eagle." I also dabbled in judo and learned to move my hips in such a way that I could throw a 300-pound man (yes!!), squirm out of "unbreakable" grappling holds, and throw my weight into a clean backhand knuckle whip to the face. All of my teachers and fellow students were male. When I began belly dancing, I noticed that I tend to start doing "blocking" and "distraction" moves with my arms and hands that, while elegant in a kata, are not pretty in dance. I must learn to retrain my upper body.
2. What was your greatest dance moment ( so far)?
My husband filmed me improv dancing to some traditional Arabic music, and I looked better than I thought I would! That encouraged me to keep dancing.
3. What do you struggle with the most( in dance)?
Having no community or real-life teacher. YouTube lessons are fun, but I would like to get some face-to-face instruction at some point. And it would be fun to dance with other women.
4. What is your greatest pet peeve with dancing/dancers/the dance community?
That I don't have a dance community! (See above.) More women should belly dance, and then I would have an easier time finding dance friends and teachers.
5. What is your preferred kind of costuming?
Buying a really fancy costume at the stoner store at the mall. My friend Mrs. Waxx is trying to give me sewing lessons, but I'm still a novice at that as well! I got a sewing machine months ago and haven't set it up.
6. Do you dance for your husband/boyfriend/significant other?
Sure. He's the only audience I feel comfortable dancing in front of, other than a friend who might be taking the YouTube lesson with me. It's not really an erotic thing. Although my husband probably thinks it's hot, he's usually filming me doing some moves so I can watch it and see how I'm doing.
7. How did you come up with your dance name?
OMG! I forgot to make one up. But I suppose "Genie of the Shell" could be a dance name. "Genie" because my real name is Jeannie, and "Shell" because of "The Magic Nutshell," which is named after a magical object in some fairy tales that contains items that a woman can use to rescue herself or create a new life.
8. What prop are you the best at?
I haven't tried any yet, except votive candles, so I guess that would be candles. What I wouldn't give to learn how to wear one of those candelabra hats.
9. What prop are you the worst at?
That would be all the rest of them. I have no prop skills yet.
10. When did you start dancing?
Last year. I wouldn't say that I have much skill yet, but my abs are ripped and my lower back scoliosis has not given me any trouble. It's been a marvelous way to stay fit.