Tuesday, June 7, 2011
The Rachel Brice Weekend
"Fantababricealicous" is how Heidi Alexander described Rachel Brice, and I have to add that Rachel's business partner, Sol, was "supersolireffic." Both of them are warm, friendly, funny, borderline goofy people, which made for a delightful atmosphere. Rachel effortlessly used her warmth and humor to create a safe, positive, and inviting environment for all levels of dancers. To say "inviting" may sound strange, but I've taken workshops and classes from instructors who intimidate people with a "don't question just do" attitude and glare daggers at anyone who dares to sit down for a few minutes to take notes, get a drink of water or, rest.
Each day the workshops began with yoga, and you know that anything involving yoga is a good thing in my book. Next came strength building exercises, isolation drills, and combos that gradually sped up so that we also had ourselves a great cardio workout. After 2 hours we were treated to a chocolate break. Yes, you read that right chocolate! I think they may have been some other snacks, too.
At the end of the day we cooled down with some more yoga, followed by Rachel leading us in a chant to honor all of her belly dancer teachers and their instructors, and finally ending with a zaghareet to honor all dancers everywhere. That last part always had me a little bit teary-eyed.
One of the topics Rachel touched on was how to create a home practice. One of her tips, taught to her by her yoga teacher, Gary Kraftsow, was to formulate a practice, do it for 10 days, then change it. I really like that idea and I'll be giving it a trial run in the next week or so and incorporating some of her other ideas, like "scales" and "stacking."
And then there's the show Saturday night! Yowsa wowsa! Rachel performed twice, along with Elissa & Melissa, Ellisha, Ava Fleming, Heidi Alexander, Eric Salazar, Bastet, Yasmina, Anaya Tribal, and Helena Vlahos. After the show Rachel and a few of the other dancers had a little meet & greet for photos and autographs.
I have now been dancing for 176 days, 8,453 minutes.
I'm also a busy l'il beadin' bee right now with 4 deadlines to meet in between now and mid-July. Some of it I can share with you and some things I can't.