Saturday, 30 May 2015

Rebirth. Rejuvenation. Respect.

R E S P E C T, find out what it means to me!!  Basically, I owe almost everything I love about dance to my teachers.  These beautiful, strong, influential women have shaped me into who I am today.  Having struggled to find my way in this world, these mentors are the calm in the storm.  I have an increased appreciation and passion for colour, textiles, music, and different cultures.  My current teachers are my beacons in the dark, guiding and encouraging me along the way to find my own path.

The concept of 'Tribe' and sisterhood runs through my veins.  My amazing great grandmother wrote her book in 2006 with help from my aunt. She captures incredible stories passed down from generations of spoken-word narrative.

Looking at these photos, I guess it should really come as no surprise - this love for movement and the beat of the drum.

I've been gifted this incredible blog from a dear dance Sister (Thank you, Chella!!).  She holds the utmost respect for American Tribal Style® belly dance, and I'm setting out to do the same.  Let's explore this journey together.

I'd love to hear stories of who your biggest influence has been.  Share a story below in the comments, or email me:

Friday, 8 August 2014

ATS, My Friend.

Some good things do come to an end. The years I spent dancing ATS were wonderful years. I made many new friends, pushed myself and found so much healing in movement and new relationships. It was a godsend in a time of my life when I desperately needed revitalizing.

ATS itself has become like an old friend. I don't speak with her as often as I used to, but when I do we connect with joy as if we've never been apart. ATS may just be an exercise class to some, but to me it really became a way of life - it's own little culture. It is a beautiful art form that requires utmost commitment and dedication - the kind of time and effort I just can't quite give it at the moment. I'm at a point in my life where other things must take precedent. My faith, my marriage, and my (hopefully) growing family are my priorities right now. That may sound old-fashioned and stifling to some, but to me it is pure joy!

I am keeping most of my costuming as I hope to find a teacher again one day, or at least continue my sporadic living room dance sessions. I enjoy dancing alone, but my 2 year old daughter dances with me sometimes as well, and I love to see her encouraged to move freely and beautifully.

I will be forever grateful to the admirable, graceful teacher who gave me the gift of dance, and to the encouraging women who I got to know along the way. I had never thought myself coordinated enough to learn to dance or confident enough to take a class. I became stronger and more agile on the outside, yes, but more importantly, my shattered worth emerged as assured confidence - somewhere in the midst of zills and yards of cotton skirts flying around me.

Thank-you for letting me share my friend with you over these past few years. ATS has been a true friend, and I'm thankful Truth Himself gave me the gift of her friendship.

Stay tuned for another very important post about the future of this blog.
*Hint: It is very GOOD news. You will be in good hands!

Friday, 25 October 2013

Tribal Make-up Inspiration #3

Time for some more inspiration! An author and philosopher I respect named Tim Keller says this:

Read and listen to one thinker and you become a clone; 

read two and you become confused; 

read a hundred and you begin to develop your own wise voice.

This is true in so many ways. In something as simple as pouring over dozens of pictures of tribal make-up to find which colours and markings and details you love or might have meaning for you, instead of just copying your favourite belly dancer. Also in the dance itself, as much as you may want to emulate your BDH (belly dance hero) the world doesn't need another Rachel Brice or Zoe Jakes. They have their place. The world needs you to take YOUR place. Be the best YOU that you can be, and you can only be your best by discovering who you are. And you can't discover who you are by studying and copying just one person! You must listen to and watch and study MANY people and take what fits with you and release what doesn't.

Don't be a clone. Don't get confused. 
Keep learning and develop your own style, your own voice, your own best self. :)

Back to fun stuff now, enjoy these new pics! ;)

I love this last picture, the idea of incorporating white lines covered in black dots could be really interesting. Maybe we could have a how-to next?!? 

If anyone has tried any unique tribal make-up and would like to submit a picture to this blog, please email me at

Have a great day everyone!!!

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Choose to be Kind to Yourself

Never say anything about yourself 

you do not want to come true.

 ~ Brian Tracy

I'll never get that move. I'm just not good at zilling. I don't think I'll ever be good enough. I can't do it. I couldn't perform in front of people. I'll never understand I just won't try any more.

Do you ever really listen to yourself? If you do, do you ever hear these kinds of thoughts? Most people have thoughts like this from time to time, but for some people this is all they hear. Some people have a persistent chorus of negativity trampling their dreams and they don't know how to turn it off. Unfortunately, reap and sow philosophy tends to prove itself again and again. Garbage in, garbage out. Think it and you will become it. If that's true, what do we need to change? 

We need to choose what we think. 

Don't let your brain go on autopilot, because often the default is negativity. So... how?

  • Surround yourself with uplifting, encouraging people that support you.
  • Spend time with people that are in the state of life/mind/success that you want to emulate.
  • Inject good thoughts into your mind viz audiobooks, positive music, videos, books etc.
  • When you hear a negative thought, don't argue with it. Just END it and move on.
  • If you have a few recurrent thoughts that drag you down, write them down and write out the opposite - the truth of the matter. Write this out and read it often. For example:  
    • "I'll never be good enough." Write out the truths that debunk this myth: I am getting better everyday. I am improving all the time. I can see how much I've grown since I started, and I know I will continue to grow. I am good enough already and I'm not stopping here.

Choose to be kind to yourself!

Monday, 28 January 2013

Sweet Sweet Honey

Sweet sweet honey. So good for you - and so many uses! To be clear, I'm talking about RAW honey here. That means unpasteurized, unheated, unprocessed - nectar straight from the extractor still brim full of nutrients.

So, your first step? Go buy some raw honey from your local apiary! 

K, done that? Great. Now get yourself a spoonful and finish reading this post. :)

Honey contains: Vitamin B6, Thiamin, Niacin, Riboflavin, Pantothenic Acid, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Sodium, Zinc, Potassium, Phosphorus, NO fat, and NO cholesterol. It contains carbohydrates, amino acids, fructose, glucose, enzymes as well as some pollen and water (the less water the higher quality honey).

Honey is an alkalizing food. Taken orally, it's useful for nausea, indigestion, and heartburn. It's also an antioxidant and does not ferment in your stomach. Honey (again, RAW honey) contains an enzyme called amylase which is very helpful in the digestion of starchy foods. Honey can reduce cholesterol. It can also give you a spurt of energy without a 'sugar crash'. So remember Mary Poppins singing "just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down" ? - if the sugar is raw honey, it IS the medicine.

Applied directly on skin it is useful for treating acne, scarring, minor burns, athletes foot, and almost every other skin ailment. It is antibacterial and antimicrobial as well as nourishing and healing for the skin.

Ways honey can make a difference in your health:

Tis the season to be sick. Sore throat? Mix a teaspoon of honey and the juice of half a lemon with warm water and drink twice a day.

Problem skin? Wash your face and wear a mask of raw honey for ten minutes. Do this every day if you like! It puts nutrients right into your skin, fades scars, heals acne and restores moisture.

Energy lagging in the afternoon? Looking for an alternative to coffee? Have some green tea with a teaspoon of raw honey for the perfect caffeine/sugar boost without the sugar crash.

Honey also helps you sleep, so change your green tea for chamomile in the evening!

My piece de resistance ~
The ultimate cold-kicker, health-booster and DELICIOUS ginger teriyaki sauce

2 tblsp honey
2 tsp olive oil
1 tblsp raw grated/pureed/finely chopped ginger
1 tblsp raw grated/pureed/finely chopped garlic
2 tblsp soya sauce
3 tblsp water
1 tsp cornstarch

(Change amounts according to your personal taste)
1) In a saucepan on low heat add oil, garlic and ginger. Heat 2-3 minutes until the flavour and aroma is released into the oil.
2) Mix the rest of the ingredients into the saucepan. Keep it on a low heat so you don't kill the benefits of the raw ginger, garlic and honey.
3) Serve over stir-fries, salmon, vegetables, rice, chicken, or ice-cream for that matter


Tip: When you have honey in your tea, DON'T put it straight into hot just-boiled water, it will kill many of the nutritive and antioxidant qualities of raw honey. Drink your tea a little more luke-warm to ensure the full benefits of raw honey.

Here's a fun quiz to tell you a bit more about honey:

Have a great day: enjoy some honey and some dancing today and feel confident you're investing in a long, happy, healthy life :)

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

DIY Bindi Tutorial

Today I am going to show you how to make your very own bindis - at home - for free (or very little).

Now don't get me wrong, these are no 'Kuhl' jewels, but you can make something pretty that will at the very minimum satiate your need for a new bindi when you don't quite have the cash to buy one.

Now most people have at least glue at home and some kind of sparkly gem or bead - so you might not need to purchase a thing - meaning your bindis are FREE. If you don't have these supplies, you can get them at any craft store - Michaels, Joann, even Walmart should have them.

You will need:

- Fabric paints and/or white glue
- A hard plastic surface - something that you can paint your creations onto and peel them off of afterwards (sour cream lid/ tupperware/ CD case etc)
- Something SPARKLY that you would like to see on your bindi - rhinestones, gems, pieces of earrings, beads, shells etc.

Okay now for the method - it is SO SIMPLE.

1. Using your fabric paint or glue, paint some BLOBS on your plastic surface. Yes we are using very technical terms here. Paint your blobs and don't worry about the peaks that form or how thick they are - we want them thick like that!

2. Next, using a steady hand or pliers or tweezers, drop your sparkly jewels onto the blobs.
 DO NOT push them down. Just make sure the edges are all touching your paint/glue. 

3. Wait until the paint/glue is COMPLETELY DRY. 
Your blobs should be thick, so leave it overnight just to be safe.

4. Peel them off! 
*If you notice some imperfections, you can cut them off with scissors or an exacto knife.

Your bindi can be worn by dabbing some eyelash glue on the back, and adhering them to your clean skin. 

See how the glue dries clear? So it will really look like all that you're wearing is the stone or gem - kind of a neat effect don't you think?! 

What I used for the bindis above: pieces from cheap earrings, beads, a shell and rhinestones over the glue. I used rhinestones on the acrylic paint and fabric paint bindis.

Enjoy your new easy and cheap to make bindis! Send me pictures if you make your own -

Friday, 24 August 2012

Super Summer Smoothie

This 5 ingredient smoothie is the perfect refreshing snack for these hot summer days, especially after a long dance practice that leaves us 'glistening'.

Peach-Mango Green Smoothie

green apples black background HD Wallpaper
Ingredients for one smoothie:

- 1 granny smith apple, peeled and cut up into chunks
- Cucumber (about 2-3 inches, peeled and cut up)
- Frozen pineapple chunks (1/2 cup)
- Almond Milk (1/2 cup)
- Raw honey (optional, 1-3 tsp depending on taste)

Add all ingredients to your blender or bullet and mix until it runs smooth! Enjoy!

- I peel most of my apple and cucumber because I don't like chunks of peel, but as long as they're washed the skins are very good for you. If you have an excellent blender or you don't mind chunks, leave the skin on!
- I haven't tried it yet but I believe these would make delicious popsicles!