As a belly dancer, I have learned to work with my long hair so that it becomes a part of my performance. (Hairography anyone??) Some of the traditional Middle Eastern styles of dance I perform even require hair tossing and shaking. Luscious layers of hair have played a positive role in my belly dance shows and Middle Eastern dance performances, but more recently have given me some trouble.
Since my move to Southern California I’ve gained another reason to whip my hair around. Salsa Dancing in Orange and Los Angeles Counties has twirled me round and round, spinning my flying hair into… Someone’s eyes?! Participating in partner dance has definitely made me reexamine how to tame my tresses. Read on before your hairography goes wrong and even gets a little hazardous.
Suelto! - Solo in Salsa Dance
Living and dancing in Orange and Los Angeles counties has given me awesome opportunity to cater to one of my favorite evening activities… Salsa dancing! The Los Angeles Salsa dance scene differs from the Orange County Salsa dance scene, but one thing they both offer is a variety of dance partners. As a follow, I find that salseros will often disconnect from their partner for a brief moment to engage in dancing “suelto”, or dancing an improvised solo. As a dance instructor and lifelong dance student, this inspired me to write a blog for Newport Beach’s Bella Ballroom Dance studio sharing tips and tricks on how to solo in salsa. Get the details on how to stay connected, “do you”, cheat and more!
The FIRST First Dance
Dance and tradition go hand in hand like a bride and groom. As a dance instructor at Bella Ballroom in Orange County, I get to work with wedding couples in preparation for their first dance nearly every day. Now more than ever I see that the value of preparing a first dance goes way beyond just the dancing. As the big day approaches, wedding plans and work often crowd a couple’s schedule. Preparing a first dance gives the marrying duo a chance to connect before the wedding. It’s also an opportunity for a bride and groom to learn something new and create something together. They gain social dance skills they will use the rest of their lives as a married couple and will prepare something for their friends and family to enjoy. (Or at the very least they’ll feel more comfortable on the dance floor in front of all of their guests!)
While these values make valid sense in today’s world, I wonder how and why the first dance tradition began. After a little research, here is what I found out:
The First First Dance
By Ziva Emtiyaz
While the first dance between a bride and groom is commonly accepted as a modern European and American wedding tradition, it is uncommonly known why. There are various theories to how this ritual began. One explanation comes from the Eastern European idea of a formal ball... READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE
Anyone who knows me well knows that I’m a big sucker for dance surprises! I’m fortunate to have played a variety of roles in flash mobs and other unexpected performances. As a spectator, flash mobs have brought me to tears. There’s something about the love behind the unexpected gift of dance breaking up an otherwise normal day that gets to me. As a participator, I’ve experienced the adrenalin rush of a flash mob. It’s different than any other type of dance performance. Again, there is something special about the beauty of dance erupting in an unexpected environment affecting strangers instantly in a positive way. As a flash mob organizer, I have a good understanding of all the planning that goes into coordinating choreography for a group of people, keeping it a secret, and scouting out all the finer details like location, time, and music projection.
My recent move to Southern California brought me the opportunity to teach at Bella Ballroom studio where I help create and choreograph dance surprises for students every week! This summer I enjoyed teaching dance with the intention of surprise for several Orange County weddings. I gained a lot from the experience and researched some more fun ideas surrounding wedding dance surprises including elaborate proposals, fundraising flash mobs, and more… Read on!
Ziva Emtiyaz is an award winning International Dance Artist excited to share her knowledge and life experiences about the big world of dance!