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  1. #1
    Advanced BHUZzer Nepenthe's Avatar
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    Post-Dina workshop afterglow

    ..g.:
    There isn't a smiley to express how awesome the Dina workshop & show weekend was. It was wonderful to meet some bhuzzers (Adishakti and Damiena - who I recognized from their pictures/youtube) - and meet lots of cool folks from Canada. The Friday show was pretty great, if long.

    Saturday and Sundays workshops were really useful. At first it felt like we were never going to get it, but by the end of the weekend, I feel like I learned a lot and internalized (hopefully) some new ideas. It was fun working together with some of the other workshop participants to try to get the choreography when we were on break.

    Dina's show was awesome. I don't think I was really breathing while she was on - I kept catching my breathe. My favorite costume of the 4 costume changes was this iridescent blue costume with black rivet tape for straps and decoration. Most of her costumes had very little decoration, but fit her like a glove and she doesn't need any help to see her shimmy. Her shimmy is one of the most amazing things I've ever seen. Well, the whole Dina package is amazing - she is quite a lady. Even her post-performance outfit was hot stuff, a little leather mini dress with cutouts on the waist - she had a black nylon bodysuit on underneath. And 6 inch patent leather heels.

    I learned that if you're going to a bellydance show at these things, you need to dress nice. I brought a cocktail dress for Saturday but I didnt' realize that Friday's show would be dressy too. Or maybe Canadians just have great fashion sense. In my jeans and BDSS t-shirt, I felt like such a schlub!

    After Dina's show, a great band played and everyone got up to dance. needless to say I think we were all infected by her dancing and I know I felt like I had a little bit of Dina in me. The music was great and it was one of the best times I've had social dancing. :-)


  2. #2
    Mega BHUZzer SamarDahab's Avatar
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    sounds like a great time. i'm glad to hear she was dressed at all times. i appreciate stars who respect their audiences enough to give a full show, to me that includes time not on stage.


  3. #3
    Advanced BHUZzer Nepenthe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rakgirl View Post
    sounds like a great time. i'm glad to hear she was dressed at all times. i appreciate stars who respect their audiences enough to give a full show, to me that includes time not on stage.
    Oh yeah!

    I mean, for one, she was carried into Friday's show (where she came as an audience member) in a divan carried by 4 guys!

    And even in the workshops, she had the cutest coordinating outfits.

    It boggles the mind. I can't imagine being that cute and coordinated all the time.


  4. #4
    Mega BHUZzer Bellydancingcaroline's Avatar
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    I am green with envy !


  5. #5
    Master BHUZzer Michelle75's Avatar
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    Well, what did she teach? Anything new or different? Tell us UNLUCKY souls all you can remember.


  6. #6
    Master BHUZzer sabrinabellydancer's Avatar
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    glad to hear she maintained star quality at all times :)
    yes, please do tell us what she taught!


  7. #7
    Official BHUZzer carolabrie's Avatar
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    Hi! Saturday, we worked on a Fadl Shaker's song and Sunday on a Sabah's song. I'm sorry, I don't have the titles :-(

    Nepenthe, I wish I saw you. I didn't know who you were...
    I was in the Friday night show, doing a beledi ashra and a shaabi song (Eshta Yaba) in the second half, dressed in a baby blue galabeya...

    Talking about Dina's costumes... I would say she was ready to come to Canada, it's like she was "dressed for winter" => her costumes were showing much less skin than usual but they were absolutly gorgeous, elegant, yet sexy.


  8. #8
    Master BHUZzer Adishakti's Avatar
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    It was a real pleasure to meet you too! Dina really was everything you claim her to be, and now - having seen her up close and personal, I realize why people say the full essence of Dina can only be captured in person. While I was well aware of her talent before going to the workshop, I can't express in words how blown away I was by the emotion she conveys when she dances.

    Aside from that, I was VERY impressed by her professionalism and kindness. I can't say how nerve-wracking it was for me to dance with her almost within arm's reach. The level of dance was very good, but you'd think a woman of her talent would look down upon us little mortals. But no - there she was, through the 3hr show smiling away, clapping and keeping her eyes glued to every performer. I entered stage shaking like a leaf, but within seconds her warmness really made me feel accepted. She was giving compliments and very tactful/useful advice to many of the dancers post-performance. With all the dancers there, I'm again impressed that she very obviously didn't tune us out and seemed to enjoy us. Her love of dance is very clear.

    Her performance was great. I was in awe by her dancing, but the highlight of my weekend was at the end of the Saturday workshop when she danced the choreography she'd been teaching us, end to end. I'm not normally much of a sap, but I was a blubbering mess. So incredibly touching.

    The event from start to finish was very well organized and everyone was so very friendly. The band was great, the shopping was great and it was a pleasure to meet some Bhuz gals - some of us did get a picture...

    Damiena, Adishakti, Nepenthe, Badyira (hope I spelled that right)


    Adishakti, Dina & Ameera


    I didn't get a picture of my performance, Carole, Ameera or Damiena's unfortunately, but we did get a picture of the girls in the Hadia ensemble post performance. Left to right: Maha, Salome, Any, Adishakti, Sandra Benjamin, Hadia.
    Last edited by Adishakti; 11-06-2007 at 09:35 AM.


  9. #9
    Advanced BHUZzer Nepenthe's Avatar
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    She taught to two songs. The first one was Farid Atrache (I think?) and the second one was on 'The Best of Sabah'. i think it was called "ash'rah".

    She basically would just have the dJ play the music, make up something on the spot, do it again to remember it and then walk us through it. The workshop was packed so typically we had to sit on the floor and watch, and then get up and do it. we would do it together a few times, then she would watch us and make corrections. She said she taught choreography & technique together, not separately. But on day one, she did stop the class and teach technique for a while because people were struggling with her style. This was awesome and worth buying the video for. Then she re-wrote the choreography to make it "easier".

    She would do that if she saw people struggling too much. Too bad her version of easier was not the same as ours. For example, she didn't seem to like how we were layering a shimmy on top of a particular step. But it was an easy step choreography-wise, just shimmying forward and stepping back in different directions. She changed it a combinaton that was "easy" to her, because it was all Western ballet moves! It was a pas-de-beurre, chainet turn and an arabesque and a shimmy step-forward all together. Really really cool - but took many of us a long time to master. She said "This should be easy - it's not bellydance - it is from your ballet!" (something like that anyway). She also liked to do turns on her heels, which were cool - and a lot of moves involved turning. She also added accents to other moves. So a three point turn would have a hip lift added to it (hard to describe, sorry) - or a level-changing omi would have a little pop at the back. There were a lot of reversals - for example, if you were bringing your hips around one direction, reversing the other way. She seems to use change-of-direction to make the dancing more exciting, as well as change of speed - like parts of the choreography would be fast, contrasted by slow sections. She also used a lot of level changes, often with an omi - her direction was to keep the thighs pressed together and allow the heels to rise off the floor. She taught a cool backbend that I dare not describe because if I say it wrong, it might break a few backs. A frequent combo would be two hip moves to the front, then a rapid turn. I just dont' have the vocabulary to express it all, given that people call moves different things all over. But rest assured, it was very very Dina and unique to her even while some of the moves were familiar in their most basic form.


  10. #10
    Advanced BHUZzer Nepenthe's Avatar
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    The class was very non-verbal. She did speak English and answer questions, but her words for moves are very different than ours, with the exception of the ballet terms. For example, if she was only doing a little shimmer, she would say that there was no shimmy. if she really wanted to see whether we were talking about the same thing, she would tell us to do it and then watch us. Like she had us do a shimmy and then she checked to see what people were doing - corrected people who were doing american-style hip shimmies. Her big thing though was keeping your legs together. She called people out for that throughout the day and mentioned it was a problem in the show the night before. My teacher is a big fan of keeping thighs together so I can't wait to tell her about that. :-)

    For each song, she took the time at the end to briefly translate it but the Sabah song was too difficult to translate - she said it was so Egyptian, she couldn't translate to English. I think it was Hadia who helped us out ehre, saying some of the words were "You melt my insides so much that my clothing melts off my body." Hot stuff.

    the workshops were packed on the first day. the second day it cleared out and was easier to follow. People like Hadia were in the front, which was helpful!


  11. #11
    Advanced BHUZzer Nepenthe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carolabrie View Post
    Hi! Saturday, we worked on a Fadl Shaker's song and Sunday on a Sabah's song. I'm sorry, I don't have the titles :-(

    Nepenthe, I wish I saw you. I didn't know who you were...
    I was in the Friday night show, doing a beledi ashra and a shaabi song (Eshta Yaba) in the second half, dressed in a baby blue galabeya...

    Talking about Dina's costumes... I would say she was ready to come to Canada, it's like she was "dressed for winter" => her costumes were showing much less skin than usual but they were absolutly gorgeous, elegant, yet sexy.

    Hi there! Yes I know who you were. I was too starstruck to talk to you. :-) Your piece on Friday was my favorite piece of all. Your costume - adorable. Your dancing, so expressive and fun. I just loved every second of it.


  12. #12
    Master BHUZzer Adishakti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carolabrie View Post
    Hi! Saturday, we worked on a Fadl Shaker's song and Sunday on a Sabah's song. I'm sorry, I don't have the titles :-(

    Nepenthe, I wish I saw you. I didn't know who you were...
    I was in the Friday night show, doing a beledi ashra and a shaabi song (Eshta Yaba) in the second half, dressed in a baby blue galabeya...

    Talking about Dina's costumes... I would say she was ready to come to Canada, it's like she was "dressed for winter" => her costumes were showing much less skin than usual but they were absolutly gorgeous, elegant, yet sexy.
    It was great to meet you too, Carole. I heard repeated rave reviews about your performance, but I was backstage waiting and missed you. I can't wait to see it on the video.

    Dina WAS dressed much more modestly than I expected her to be too... until post-performance in that leather outfit, that is. ;-)
    Last edited by Adishakti; 11-06-2007 at 09:35 AM.


  13. #13
    Advanced BHUZzer Nepenthe's Avatar
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    my bad - I knew the first song was done by a guy whose name started with an F.

    I suppose that it's like messing up Michael Jackson and Madonna.


  14. #14
    Advanced BHUZzer salomestar's Avatar
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    The Photos are online!!! porte folio


    I had such an amazing time! There are no words, Dina is more then I ever could imagine she would be! Pure extasy!

    I'm still so sad! You guys were great!
    We have to meet up soon soon!


  15. #15
    Advanced BHUZzer Nepenthe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by salomestar View Post
    The Photos are online!!! porte folio


    I had such an amazing time! There are no words, Dina is more then I ever could imagine she would be! Pure extasy!

    I'm still so sad! You guys were great!
    We have to meet up soon soon!
    Oh, you were amazing drum solo girl I think. I loved your drum solo, the way that you pretended to play drums on your own rib cage.


  16. #16
    Official BHUZzer carolabrie's Avatar
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    Thanks Nepenthe for the compliments. But I have no idea what starstruck means ,f:: As you probably know, my English is not good (Adishakti, Madrina and Damiena noticed =>hi! to all of you, I was happy to see you in person and hope to see you again soon) I checked in my Harraps dictionary and I don't find the word. Anyway, don't hesitate to talk to me, I like to meet people.

    By the way, sadly, I saw only one dancer performed in the first part, she was dancing a cane dance in a 2 pieces green costume. She had red hair but it's not Damiena. If she's on Bhuz, I would like to know who she is... if somebody can tell me. She danced very well and was very kind and had a warm smile.

    It was very stressful to dance in front of Dina.

    I was extremely emotional when she danced saturday. Tears were falling from the beginning to the end because when Dina dances, it's like she's dancing for each one of you. She doesn't just "give" to the crowd, she looks at you right in your eyes and takes from you. She really touched my soul. As Adishakti said, you have to see her live to capture the essence of her dance.

    During the workshop, she was very "available" for us, kind and generous and she was not acting like a star at all. And what a great body she has in her dancing clothes!!!!! Wow!

    BTW 2: I asked the photographer to buy pictures from Dina's show, and photos are property of Little Egypt and he doesn't sell it ,f::

    Thinking about what I learned from Dina, I can say I had a wonderful workshop weekend, I think the best of my life. I you guys hesitate to take a workshop with her for any reasons, stop hesitating and go because you will miss something.


  17. #17
    Master BHUZzer Adishakti's Avatar
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    Yay! Thanks, Salome! There are some great shots there! Unfortunately, it looks like he didn't have clear shots of your side of the stage for the group number, but your solo shots are stunning!

    Nepenthe, Yep - Salome did the drum solo (and also won first place in the Tito competition a couple weeks ago). Well earned, I say...

    Carole, "Starstruck" is a slang word used to describe how in the presence of someone you admire, you sometimes are tongue-tied and feel unworthy. It doesn't suggest Nepenthe thinks herself inadequate, but rather - that she thought your performance was really spectacular. :-)

    The fabulous dancer you saw with the cane was Brenda aka Zahrah of Rochester, NY. She's the director of a popular troupe in the area, Sahara Shimmer. One spitfire of a gal who, with her previous ballet training, you'd expect to see her flowing with veils. But she sure as heck rocked that Saidi, didn't she?

    Dina, come back...
    Last edited by Adishakti; 11-06-2007 at 09:36 AM.


  18. #18
    Official BHUZzer carolabrie's Avatar
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    Adishakti, thank you for the information on Zahrah. I'm going to check for this girl. Thank you also for the translation of starstruck. It's a great compliment. I'm shy but honnored. I take it. ,r:;


  19. #19
    Master BHUZzer Adishakti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carolabrie View Post
    Adishakti, thank you for the information on Zahrah. I'm going to check for this girl. Thank you also for the translation of starstruck. It's a great compliment. I'm shy but honnored. I take it. ,r:;
    Here's a little help in the direction towards Zahrah... ..g.:
    Sahara Shimmer Online
    Goddess Hour Dance and Fitness Studio


  20. #20
    Advanced BHUZzer Nepenthe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carolabrie View Post
    Thanks Nepenthe for the compliments. But I have no idea what starstruck means ,f:: As you probably know, my English is not good (Adishakti, Madrina and Damiena noticed =>hi! to all of you, I was happy to see you in person and hope to see you again soon) I checked in my Harraps dictionary and I don't find the word. Anyway, don't hesitate to talk to me, I like to meet people.
    Oh...basically it means that I was so impressed with your dancing that I was shy to introduce myself. :-) But I am generally a shy person and I have a hard time coming out of my shell and introducing myself. Next time for sure.

    I hope Dina does come to Canada again. It was very convenient for us (in Boston) and I love Montreal. I wouldn't mind visiting Toronto either as I hear it's a terrific city.

    I think the other redhead you mentioned was listed as Zahrah or Zahra. I loved her performance too, with the cane. Another standout performance was the other Zahra, who performed a melaya-leff (without the melaya) to Si Abdo, near the end of the show. actually most of the performances were so good that it's hard to mention just a few.


  21. #21
    Advanced BHUZzer khalida777's Avatar
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    What an amazing weekend! So wonderful to meet dancers from all over and to share in the joy of dance -- the shows, the workshops, the awe-inspiring Dina!!! -- one of the highlights of my life!

    The Fadl Shaker song we danced to at Saturday's workshop is "Ana Behabbak" (I Love You) from his CD "Allah A'allam". Dina's spontaneous performance to it at the end of the day's session moved me to tears as well.

    Can't wait for the next Dina workshop, wherever it will be!


  22. #22
    I could get used to this! veileddancer's Avatar
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    I resurrected my BHuz log on after meeting so many fabulous ladies this weekend. What an amazing performance by Dina on Saturday night! I enjoyed watching so many of the ladies on Friday as well. A truly wonderful event that Little Egypt and Khadija (sp?) put together for all of us. Dina was so inspiring and real. A true master of her art and so willing to share her gift with us. I'm still speechless about her Saturday performances.
    It was great to reconnect with some Hadia Pro Course '07 gals- Sandra, Maha, Salome, Annie, Adishakti, Joanne, Stephanie and Hadia. Always breathtaking to see their collective and individual work. Big smooches to you all! Salome, thanks for posting the photo link up.
    Carole, thank you for the kind words. I loved your piece as well. So feisty, flirty and neatly put together from costume to technique. YUMMMMY! Bravo! So sorry you missed the other talented ladies in the first act. You would have enjoyed them.
    Looking forward to meeting and chatting with you fellow BHuzer gals soon! A pleasure and honor to dance with you all this past weekend!
    Much love,
    Zahrah


  23. #23
    Advanced BHUZzer badriya_al_ahmar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carolabrie View Post
    I was in the Friday night show, doing a beledi ashra and a shaabi song (Eshta Yaba) in the second half, dressed in a baby blue galabeya...
    I loved loved loved your beledi and shaabi, you made me smile so much--I wanted to tell you that during the weekend but I was too busy trying to soak up everything Dina was giving us ..g.: There were so many wonderful performances, honestly the quality of the Friday show would have been worth the drive from Boston!

    For me the really amazing thing was to have Dina demonstrating over and over again the movements that I've studied on DVDs and videos, so that we could really figure them out and get it for ourselves. It was definitely challenging, but oh so rewarding when I felt like I got it, in those rare moments where I felt like I was actually dancing with Dina as she led us and not just stumbling along trying to keep up, or suddenly got why something wasn't actually a shimmy or how a particular turn worked. I know that this weekend will have a huge impact on my dancing. I already took a lot of inspiration from Dina, but now I have more insight. And I want more!!! ..g.: ..g.: ..g.:

    It was also wonderful to meet so many dancers, both you bhuzzers and many more from Canada, the US and beyond. Although things were very sad at the end, the feeling throughout the whole workshop was one of joy. To paraphrase something Dina said about the Friday show, we were all there doing something we adored, and it showed.

    And because I can't help it, here's me and Dina She was so sweet and gracious about posing for photos!


  24. #24
    Advanced BHUZzer salomestar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nepenthe View Post
    Oh, you were amazing drum solo girl I think. I loved your drum solo, the way that you pretended to play drums on your own rib cage.
    ..l;, ..l;, ..l;,
    That's me! Amazing Drum Solo Girl, to the rescue! Dada da dannn!


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