Last weekend, I went to NSW for the 22nd Sydney Middle Eastern Dance Festival. It was the first time I've been to Sydney, and most of our class went, so it was a lot of fun. The festival over three days, with worshops each day, a big performance on the Saturday night, and a student performance on the Sunday.
On the Friday I did Figure 8s and Bodywaves with Hilary, who is from Sydney. She is a Tribal Fusion teacher, so I found some of the moves not very applicable to Oriental belly dance, but there was some good stuff on bodywaves/camels.
Next up was Oriental Hands and Arms with Josefina, also from Sydney. I really enjoyed this class, and learnt a couple of arm movements that I had never seen before.
That evening was the Royal Wedding, and three of the girls were determined to watch the entire thing in the hotel room with champagne and chocolate. Zoe and I escaped and after walking around the centre of Sydney in the pouring rain for an hour, we finally caved and went to an Irish pub to have a counter meal. Imagine our horror when we realised that there were at least four giant televisions in the room! We managed to find a spot in the corner where we couldn't actually see any of the proceedings. I must admit, I did check out Kate's dress, very classy and Grace Kelly.
Saturday we had a Jewels workshop with Zahraa from Melbourne, who has a great sense of humour, and make the class very fun, which was good, because jewels are very difficult and use lots of stomach muscles in isolation that I've never tried to isolate before. Ouch.
Straight after that we had a veil choreography workshop with Nayima from Adelaide. Nayima is tiny, with a little girlish voice, and is a fantastic dancer. Although this workshop was advertised as for beginners to intermediate level, it was definitely intermediate. So many twists and turns, I had a hard time keeping up!
On the Saturday night there was a concert with the theme Classics and Cliches. There were some excellent performances, so inspiring. My favourites were Tais, a Russian dancer who now lives in New Zealand, and of course my teacher Prue, shown above in the turquoise costume. Doesn't she look gorgeous? The girl in orange is Rishi Fox, who is another lovely dancer from Melbourne.
On Sunday, we all dragged ourselves out of bed and slapped on some makeup and false eyelashes, to perform in the student concert. I think it was one of our troupe's best performances so far!
Finally, Zoe and I scooted off to go to our last workshop, Shimmies and Layering. I was so happy when I realised that it was with the amazing Tais who had danced in the concert the night before! She is really friendly and an excellent teacher, and I learned so many things in her class, even though I was extremely tired by then.
Then after a bit of fabric shopping, it was time to head home. I didn't really see that much of Sydney, no opera house or harbour bridge, but I had a wonderful time, and I can do all that touristy stuff whenever I want to.