November’s Question of the Month: What is your favorite belly dance holiday tradition?

written by Andalee on December 6, 2013 in Question of the month with no comments
Marcia from NC dancing at the Morrisville Winterfest parade

Marcia from NC dancing at the Morrisville Winterfest parade

I thought it would be fun to talk about the ways that us belly dancers celebrate around the holiday season (Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Boxing Day, New Years, etc). I’ve done a variety of things around the holiday season, most notably dancing in a Christmas parade and attending Christmas haflas. I know some belly dancers who throw holiday parties for all of their students and dance friends. I know other dancers who love to dance at holiday and New Years gigs.

It’s a great time to celebrate! That’s why I was surprised when I got so few responses this month. Either way, the ones I got all sounded super fun. Maybe it’s time to start a holiday belly dance tradition of my own!

“Last year I walked in and performed in the Morrisville Winterfest parade with other students and teachers from World in Motion Dance Studio. We all dressed in dance costuming in green, red, gold, and silver. Add in some holiday jewelry, Santa hats, antlers, and zills and we were ready to go! The Lost Nomads walked with us and played their phenomenal music. We handed out candy to the kids lining the street. I had the best time and plan to do it again this year.” ~Marcia

“Every year my teacher does a Secret Habibi like they do on bhuz.com but just for her students. Then, we all get together, eat food, and exchange the gifts. This get-together is usually one of the last times we get to hang out before the holidays. It’s also one of the few times that we all get to even just hang out with the students from the other classes.

On a personal note, it’s also around the time that I get my semi-annual hair cut (once in June, the other in December) and it’s usually right before my birthday so it’s all sorts of fun happy time for me.” ~ Melissa

“If you’re one of my students, don’t read this until after the semester is over! You don’t want to ruin the surprise. Every year, I end the fall semester with “the chocolate lesson”. Everyone gets a chocolate truffle, feels it melt in their mouth, and then we use the image of melty chocolate to flavor our dance. It’s a great way to introduce the “gooey” movement quality, and it also helps shift focus from what the movement looks like to how it feels.” ~ Nadira Jamal

“I love exchanging presents with my dance friends. Belly dancers are so easy to buy for, and at the last hafla of the year we have a great time swapping cards and gifts, and trying on our new acquisitions. A local teacher has also created a routine to 12 Days of Christmas, which usually gets performed at the last hafla, with everyone invited to join in. It’s very silly!” ~ Lilith Noor

Now, it’s time to get back to business! For December’s question of the month, I want to hear about your dance goals for 2014. I hate making New Year’s resolutions (because I never keep them), so this question isn’t about that. It’s about how you want to succeed as a dancer either in skill or profession. Answer here.

 

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About Andalee

Andalee is the founder of Belly Dance at Any Size. She is an Oriental dancer and instructor from Durham, NC, now based in Montpellier, France. She has been dancing since 2005 and teaching since 2008. Her mission is to promote Oriental Dance (a.k.a. belly dance) as a respected and valid performance art.