Monday, January 12, 2015

My 90-Day Dance Challenge Begins

I have been dabbling in belly dance now for about 3-ish years. I started a few months after my relationship ended with my ex. I'm not sure how I initially got interested it in it, or what made me think I wanted to do it. I had expressed some interest in it while with my ex, and had started trying to puzzle out some movements from youtube videos, but, as with most things, he responded with his typical ambivalence, so I didn't dive in at the time. After he left, and I started developing a deeper interest in slavery and belly dance seemed like a fun service to learn.

I also find traditional exercise ridiculously boring and hard to maintain. Dance allows me to exercise without getting annoyed with the whole process.

My instructional belly dance DVD collection as of
Dec. 31, 2014

I have never learned in a class setting. They are rare things in my part of the world. In the last couple of years, there has been a class or two in the area, but they have been tribal based, and I have developed a distinct taste for Raqs Sharqi (Oriental Dance) and American Cabaret over the various forms of Tribal and Tribal Fusion. The thing is, my body doesn't move in the way of Tribal belly dance, which is very different from the Oriental style, so I haven't attempted these classes. I learn mostly through DVDs, although, I have not practiced as much as I should have, so I'm not remotely as good as I'd like to be.

This Christmas I received some items that have inspired me to try and practice more and improve my skills.



This is the latest product from World Dance New York, which I was really excited for, because I'm super self-conscious about my belly and I have trouble with belly rolls due to the difficulty of isolating my lower abs, which carry most of the weight in my abdomen. I love this DVD so much because it is focused on technique and not on choreography like so many DVDs are. My one beef with it is I can't do the 5 minute ab workout on it because I can't physically get into the positions of her exercises. My poor tailbone doesn't like being balanced on, alas.

I also got these.



Which I first discovered in the library section on Odalisques.com. They're kind of like belly dance textbooks, although they aren't technique textbooks. They cover history, costuming, technique and theory, music, the professional arena, the belly dance community, and a number of other topics. These, especially, have inspired me to learn more about the dance on many levels.

Being a compulsive planner, I made out a little schedule of daily dance practice. I've solicited Daddy into holding me accountable for dancing daily, and he agreed, but it's only been a few days, so I'm not sure how that's going to work. I am going to have to  adjust my schedule though, because, DVD whore that I am, I ordered three more of them this weekend, this time from cheekygirlsproductions.com. Well, I ordered them from Amazon because free shipping, but they are produced by Cheeky Girls Productions.



This is one I have been wanting for a while, but I put it on the back burner because I don't really have the specific strength to pull off floorwork. But I was looking for more technique-based material, and I liked the idea of the Pilates-based routine in this DVD, hoping it can help me get to where I can do floorwork.

Because, you know, that shit's hawt.



Arms are the bane of my existence in this dance. I tend to kind of forget about them and look a little flaily at times. It is hard to pay attention to the damn things while I'm doing my sexy hip moves. And that's part of the reason why I would suck at Tribal.

This one also has a workout section, including those little free weights you can see her using in the trailer. I bought a couple at WalMart today. Of course, half the weight rack was empty. They only had 3lb weights and not 2lb weights. And they're pink.



I hate pink.

But, hey, the only people who would possibly use 3lb hand weights are women right? And we're all programmed to like pink because we have vaginas. I'm not much of a feminist, but seriously, can I have a color option here? Even if I am buying pansy weights, I'd prefer something else. I mean, you could have made them purple. That's girly enough, right?



Then there is this. Something I'm really excited about. I haven't quite mastered expression and musicality, but it is one of my favorite parts of the dance. This one is something I feel will be helpful, especially given the improvisational style I have adopted.

"Traditionally, belly dance is a dance of improvisation, of on-the-fly musical interpretation, of subtle emotional timbres and intuitive interaction between dancer and musician - and that musician plays improvised music, created in the moment as an expression of the musician's feeling. Each and every performance becomes a never-before seen, never-to-be repeated art happening, uniting the dancer, musician, and audience in a state of ecstatic joy. This is our calling." - Alia Thabit, "The Soul of Belly Dance: The Most Important Thing is the Feeling" from The Belly Dance Reader

Seeing this in one of the articles from The Belly Dance Reader made me so happy in reading it. I have never been able to do choreography because I don't count when I dance and combinations make very little sense to me when not paired with music. Dance for me is a reaction to the sound I am hearing, and I am trying to learn how to hear better that I might interpret a piece of music without defaulting to the percussion or to the fastest layer of the piece. Seeing this in print affirmed my style and made me feel better about not being able to grasp choreography.

I am excited to try and make dance a daily part of my life and to improve my skills. I'm going to try the 90 Day Belly Dance Challenge form bellydanceatanysize.com to see if I can turn this into a good habit. If you're also a dancer, you should give it a go with me!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The New BDSM Quiz and My Results (UPDATE: 1/30/15)

So, we all know that old BDSM quiz floating around. Welp, there's a new one out and it has more categories! I'm a bit of a quiz whore, so here are my results. I'm working on some more meaty posts to go up soon. Sorry for the holiday break. I've acquired more belly dance material and have been lately reading about harems, so expect some more posts about dance and odalisques. I'm a bit of a nerd.

Now, take the new test and post your results in the comments! I haz a curious.

== Results from http://bdsmtest.org/ ==

  • 89% Slave 
  • 88% Masochist 
  • 88% Submissive 
  • 77% Bondage receiver 
  • 55% Fetishist 
  • 55% Experimentalist 
  • 40% Pervert 
  • 34% Degradation receiver 
  • 15% Vanilla 
  • 11% All-rounder 
  • 10% Bondage giver 
  • 2% Sadist 
  • 0% Degradation giver 
  • 0% Dominant 
  • 0% Master/Mistress 
  • 0% Multiplayer 
  • 0% Switch 

See my results online at Test Results

UPDATE: Welp, they changed the quiz since I took it, adding more labels to the picture, so I retook it and ended up with this: 


  • 93% Submissive
  • 88% Experimentalist
  • 87% Primal (Prey)
  • 79% Slave
  • 75% Bondage Receiver
  • 72% Brat
  • 67% Primal (Predator)
  • 66% Masochist
  • 59% Girl/Boy
  • 16% Degradation Receiver
  • 16% Vanilla
  • 13% Switch
  • 7% All-Rounder
  • 4% Bondage Giver
  • 4% Pervert
  • 0% Brat Tamer
  • 0% Daddy/Mommy
  • 0% Degradation Giver
  • 0% Dominant
  • 0% Exhibitionist
  • 0% Master/Mistress
  • 0% Non-monogamist
  • 0% Sadist
  • 0% Voyeur