I am such a bad bad blogger!!! It's been ages since I wrote here, and now I have like, 3 posts I want to write all at once. So if there's a rush of activity here over the next few days, it's because I got lazy, and now I have to catch up.
I'll write first about bellydance workshops I went to over the weekend. Princess Farhana was performing on the Friday night, then she was doing workshops over the Saturday and Sunday. Because I stay a bit away from Glasgow, it involved staying overnight, so I went down on the Friday with some friends, and we stayed and did the Saturday workshops. Unfortunately, it would have cost too much to stay over on Saturday night and do the Sunday workshops too, so we came back on Saturday night.
I first heard about Princess Farhana on an interview she did on the podcast Shimmycast. She was very entertaining, and sounded really interesting, so I googled and youtubed her. (Her site is here, by the way). I thought she was amazing! She's a great dancer with tons of attitude. That was early last year sometime, I think. Then a couple of months ago I heard about these workshops, and just had to go to some, even if I couldn't make it to all.
The performance on Friday night was fantastic!!!! There were other local dancers on before her, who were also very good BTW, and she came on at the end of the 2nd and 3rd sets. The first dances she did, at the end of the 2nd set, were straight cabaret bellydances. She was so pretty, and such a wonderful dancer. I wish I could adequately tell you all how great she was. It totally made me look forward to the workshops the next day.
Then at the end of the 3rd set, she came on and did a fan dance. I managed to get some nice shots of this (I mastered the manual setting on my camera that night too, changed the f numbers and shutter speeds and everything, but that's a whole blog post in itself!). This was wonderful. She was so playful and cheeky, and has such a lovely smile, she really drew you into the dance. Just typing this, my memory has kicked in, and I wish I was there watching her all over again!
I did all 3 workshops on the Saturday. The first one was "Extreme Taqsim", where she went over various moves like flutters, we did lots of shimmy drills and went over pretty hand movements. The 2nd one was "Rockin’ Raqs Sharqi combinations
Hollywood style" where we did combos, surprisingly enough. What I really liked about Princess Farhana's workshops was the fact that we drilled each movement and combo until we all had it, and then drilled it some more. That approach really helped the movements stay in my brain and muscles, and even when I went home that night and showed my friends what we had been doing, I could remember it all. I took notes anyway on the combos, but the repetition was really helpful in getting me to understand and remember them. I've been to other workshops where they just sort of rush through the teaching, one move onto another, and I only remember one or two things from them. I remember everything from Princess Farhana's workshops.
The 3rd workshop was about stage make up, and how to apply false eyelashes effectively. My make up skills are non-existant, so this was really helpful. She gave lots of good tips to us all. She made up one person, while we were supposed to follow along on our own face, but I was having trouble paying attention and doing it at the same time, so eventually I just stopped doing my own face, and watched her make up the other person. I figured I would learn more that way, and I can always practice taking more time at home. Better to watch her while I had her there in front of me! :)
I really, really enjoyed these workshops (can you tell?!) I learned so many new things, and she taught it very well. Her style of teaching is friendly, she's very approachable and just generally lovely and amazing. I hope she comes back to Scotland soon, I'll definitely be back!