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HEAVY SLABS OF MEAT – that’s the best way to describe how my legs felt as I flopped down on the couch and threw them up on the coffee table.

I couldn’t remember the last time they were this tired. A wonderful wedding with lots of dancing (and wearing heels that I hadn’t put on in a long time) was the cause.

I sat for a few minutes in the dark,

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Doing makeup for shows can be very intimidating, especially if you are new to doing make up, but it doesn’t have to be.  I have put together a video of my basic makeup look that is very versatile and can be used with many different colors as well as gives the ability to get creative with your color combinations.  For my basic gradient look I usually use a black shadow, white shadow and 3 different shades of a color.  

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There are lots of things to consider when choosing the right costume. It’s even more complicated when you have to come up with something that works for an entire group.

What is the style of dance?
How will the different styles/silhouettes look on the different body types within the troupe?
What is the budget of the troupe and each of the members?
Do you want eclectic or matchy-matchy?
These are just a few questions that will come up.

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Festival and retreat season is here!  Some are held over long weekends, and some are weeklong intensives.  I started out wanting to give a little short list of what to bring in your dance bag to survive a day (or days) of workshops, performing, watching performances, and shopping.  I quickly realized I needed to tap into the vast experience of the experts (aka, my belly dancer buddies) to compile a well-rounded list of things we wish we knew when we attended our first festival.  

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“How do you do it?”

I get asked this question a lot. The truth is: I don’t sleep enough and I’m stressed most of the time. About 6 months ago I gave up drinking coffee in the afternoon. I did this to save money since I was always buying my coffee, plus I was having difficultly sleeping and thought coffee might be the culprit. I would say during that 6 months, I was not practicing as much as I should be.

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I don’t know how full-time mamas do it. If we have just one rainy day where we have to stay inside all day I’m exhausted. (And I only have ONE kid.) Music and movement games have definitely gotten me through some of those rough days and I’m hoping by sharing this list with you it can help you through some of yours. 

 Tip: Don’t tell your kid what to do,

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Life after childbirth is crazy. You’re not sleeping, your body has undergone significant changes once again, your world has turned upside down, and—if you are one of the unlucky ones like me—you have developed postpartum depression. Dancing might not be the first thing on your mind at this point. But once you are thinking about it, there are things to consider.

One of my biggest struggles with returning to dancing was how people would perceive me.

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There are differing opinions on whether or not you should belly dance while pregnant. Some people think it can induce premature labor, others don’t think a pregnant woman should show off her bare, growing bump (while dancing or otherwise). Fellow dancers will more than likely embrace the idea that you should continue to dance, but caution you to know your audience when performing (this is not bad advice; community shows should be okay, but paying gigs might be a different story).
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