April 22, 2017 Jazz and Dance Improvisations show featuring Bob Ruglass, Chemagne, Jay Davis and Lua Shayenne. Guest musician was Bass player, Roger Williams. Part 1.
Click on link below to watch part 1 of the show!
On Feb.13, 2015, I had the wonderful experience of performing a taqsim improvisation. The musical piece was an older Egyptian style played on the Kanun by Dr. George Sawa and interpreted by me through dance and movement. In this video different modes of emotions were exhibited by me as I was really trying to express the feelings from the musical piece played by Dr. George Sawa.
Click on link for Taqsim Improvisation performance on you tube
On Dec. 17, 2014 I performed at the St. Clair West Senior Services Christmas Party. It was my first time performing for an older audience, and the guests were so excited. A lot of the them wanted to participate and dance. Here’s the video of the show, and I am so happy to share it with you. Happy Holidays!
After performing and observing bellydance for so many years, I have finally to come to the conclusion, that I can contribute more creative aspects to the art form, and that I have to approach the dance from a different perspective.
In my last 3 videos which were recorded in nature, the energy from the outdoors was much different than performing in a stage setting.
I have added different elements to my performances which birthed new and creative ideas on presenting my work as a Bellydance artist. I accept that I am not a conformist or a follower. The creative process of this project was exhilarating, and I’m really glad that I am able to share it with you.
Chemagne Bellydancing to Bob’s Ruglass’ Memories of Afrika!
I love Daytime Toronto! It was so much fun to be on a show with really great guests, a fantastic TV crew and the host Glenn Dixon. I had an opportunity to promote my new instructional video and do a short performance. Glenn was a real sport doing some bellydance moves with me.
I received the email that Daytime Toronto would like to bring me on the show. I was so humbled and thrilled. To be honest, I didn’t know what to expect on the day of the show. I was a bit nervous as I thought it was a live taping. But everything turned out fabulous! Val Cole was a really great host, lots of energy, and a very upbeat personality! I had a really great time showing her some moves. She got the hip circle right after a few minutes.
Belly Dance is very beautiful, but also can be complex. Sometimes students get discouraged because their body is not “fluid” or “graceful”. Of course, as a rule women are naturally more flexible and fluid. However, being a fluid Belly Dancer does still take time. You have to remember that we have a fast paced, rigorous, lifestyle that does not encourage slowing down or “me” time. Nor does it encourage women to be soft. Because of some of the stresses in life; we have to be hard to get through it. Being fluid is not just about getting the body to be soft and flexible, it is a mindset. You have to slow your mind down. One way is to imagine that you’re relaxing in the warm Ocean as the waves sway your body back and forth. Breathe long and deep, and believe that the essence and magic of the waves of the Ocean are running through your body. It may sound “yoga-ish,” but it is true. Forgive yourself! Being fluid is really about slowing down and feeling the wave within. So don’t feel bad if you’re not fluid right away. Through Belly Dance, you will find your true womanly nature again, which is soft, fluid and graceful.
Someone asked on twitter “how long did it take before you started to perform?” It made think back to when I first started to dance, when I started to perform and what issues or concerns did I face. There was so much more I wanted to respond in that tweet, but you can only type a few characters. This blog may seem like I’m exposing myself too much, but my hope is that if a student reads this and they are wondering when is the right time, then maybe by sharing my experience they can make a decision. I remember my first student recital with the class and feeling ok with the routine. I never really had trouble learning choreography what I remember thinking was my skill level good enough to present? The thought left my mind because it was great to be with my peers and colleagues, putting on makeup and dancing together. Then I moved on to being part of a troupe, again I had the best time, sharing the stage with other dancers and presenting the ideas of the director. At this level I still asked myself why was I dancing in front all these people? The nagging question was not dancing in front of the people, but why was I dancing, and what am I really getting out of performing. Then I moved on to be a soloist, I began to perform at festivals, bridal showers, family functions, corporate events. I became a great entertainer….but the same question would always pop up in my head…why am I dancing in front of these people?
I think the right time to perform happens when you feel comfortable with your dance skill and musicality. In addition, you have to have real confidence and belief in yourself. Continued training and learning is important to grow as a dancer, always strive to be more. But more importantly, I think it’s important to know as a performer, why are you dancing in front of all these people? After many years of performing I started to feel like, wow, I don’t think I want to perform anymore, because I don’t really have anything to say…..was I saying anything at all on stage?
I remember 5 years ago, I saw this Tango Flamenco show. There was a Flamenco dancer who did a 20 minute solo; she was so strong and beautiful on stage. I remember being so emotionally moved by her performance that I started to cry. Thinking back on this it hit me that dancing/performing is not just a set of moves to music, it is story telling; telling your story or someone else’s story (Artistic Director) through dance with vulnerability, and emotion is a completely different skill.
Anyone can perform; but performing for entertainment or artistic expression is an individual choice based on the level in your dance career. However, if you are ready, then I say… put on your best costume, strut your stuff and enjoy the stage! Sometimes you just have to put yourself out there and take the risk.
I finally did it! On June 10 I left my day job to focus on my dance studio full – time. After 2 years of working 9 – 5, running to the studio at night to teach, doing administrative work and leaving the studio at 10pm, I would take a taxi home to get some sleep to wake up 6am the next day to repeat the same thing the next day….. I finally said enough! The decision wasn’t easy, and for a long time I was waiting for permission… someone to tell me go ahead and quit. But I knew deep down inside that I had to give myself permission to believe in my dreams and say YES to becoming a full-time business owner, and kick butt Belly Dance Artist! Its funny the moment I said yes, the universe stepped right in. So many creative ideas started to flood my mind, and I received so much positive feedback from my family, friends, peers, and my students. In addition to that, support came in other subtle ways, such performance opportunities, doing workshops with other women’s groups, and partnerships with great people in the dance and fitness community. It was the best decision I made, and the timing was right. Its funny, I was worried about telling my mom, even at my age I cared about what she might say. Would she support my decision? When I explained to her my reasons for going full-time with the business, the first thing she said was…”yes, your always coming home so late and your looking so tired”.
So a new journey begins, an opportunity to really manifest the life I want for myself. I understand the challenges and risks, but I rather live with risks and be happy, then be secure and miserable.
I’m soo excited for what lies ahead 🙂