Hi! I'm Marta! Welcome to my blog. I enjoy writing and sharing my experiences as a dancer and a teacher, useful resources I like and my personal hacks. Pick a category to filter through the posts. P.s I love hearing feedback, give a 'like' or comment and tell me what you thought of the topic within the post.
So I had just moved to Perth and I thought I would jump on Facebook to see what groovy Bellydance events were happening to get amongst. I was scrolling through some events and some details for ‘Journey Along the Silk Road’ popped up. I saw the awesome pics and fell in love, I had heard of the Bellyqueens before, and I put them in my little ‘sometime in the future’ section of mind... So when I saw that Michelle Ridesdale was bringing them to Australia I got so excited! I had to be apart of it. When I realised it wasn’t just workshops it was also the opportunity to learn their choreographies and be apart of their dance production I knew then I had to be a part of it. SO COOL.
I had already missed one practice but that didn’t hinder my experience. We used Google sheets to share all the info on which cast member was doing what, what to wear for costuming and also had access to all the tutorial videos for each dance. I started learning the choreographies as soon as I gained access to them. This was such a different experience for me and many other Perth dancers. We are all used to being in the studio and learning technique and chories in a very hands on format. Although it took some time to adjust, I found it very good. I was able to whip my laptop or phone at any time I had a spare moment....at home, out in the park, waiting in a line somewhere. It also allowed me to study the movements at my own pace. But of course, getting into the studio at the end of the week and realising many of the cast had different views of the choreo became a funny challenge.
So then came the time for the Bellyqueens to arrive and I think we were all blown away by the amazing weekend of workshops. After the workshops, it came the time for the week long residency. Every day 9AM-6PM we were practicing the chores, sewing little odds and ends, ensuring everything was ready for the big shows!
I worked so hard to learn some of the pieces and also the persona which we had to take on within the performances but I did not get all the ones I wanted. However, for the peices I did get into, I practiced so hard every day. So hard infact that, eventually my old back injury hard flared up and I wasn’t able to practice any more. I had to make a hard decision – keep dancing but risk injuring my back permanently or step back and let myself heal. Hopefully to perform in the very last show.
So, of course I wanted desperately to keep dancing with the aid of frequent massages, drugs and trips to the physio but I made a very mature choice (announced by some of my dance sisters) to rest my back and just enjoy the production from a seated position. I still practiced the dances in my mind and watched all the rehearsals. The Bellyqueens were very supportive and understanding. I applaud them for this. As well as my fellow Perth cast, as this would have been a distraction to learn new positions or have one body out of the performance, not to mention all the other added wonderful stresses a show like this creates. Although on opening night in Subiaco, everyone was so fantastic! I sat in the audience transfixed. Such a fantastic experience to have been backstage and engrossed in all the learning and the immense download of information and FUN. But also to witness this incredible production unfold on stage. Very amazing. After a few days of rest my back was a little better and I was able to perform in the very last show in Mandurah. Fantastic atmosphere! I am so blessed that the Bellyqueens & the Perth cast were happy for me to join in for the last show. Anyone considering sponsoring the Bellyqueens or being apart of The Journey Along the Silk Road should not delay and book now, its an amazing experience which I will keep forever.
BIG shout out to the Bellyqueens, Michelle Ridsdale, Moya Harvey, Grace Chen (friend and travel buddy), as well as all the Perth Cast for being so welcoming! YOU ROCK!
<3 Marta x
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