Q & A with Roslin Atreides
This month’s Q & A features Roslin Atreides from Florida. She’s a reader of Belly Dance at Any Size and is one of the first brave newsletter subscribers who filled out the questionnaire. Don’t forget–If you subscribe to the monthly newsletter, you will have unique access to the Q & A questionnaire and you can be featured on Belly Dance at Any Size. Sign up for the newsletter here.
Primary style of dance: Fusion
Favorite dancer(s): Too many to list 🙂
Number of years you’ve been a belly dancer: 4
Tell me about why you are involved in Belly Dance at Any Size?
I decided to become involved in Belly Dance at Any Size because the concept speaks to me on so many different levels. It inspires confidence in myself, that this is a dance form that I can do at ANY weight and shape and still be happy. It also reminds me to have the confidence to look the people who regard me with confusion (“YOU belly dance?” *insert disbelieving look here*) and say “Yes, I do belly dance and I love it.” Belly Dance at Any Size also tells me that I am not alone in the belly dance world, that the ‘fluffy’ dancers of the Florida community aren’t the ONLY fluffy dancers out there.
It’s also a great resource for prospective belly sisters who are concerned that their weight will hinder them in any way. Be it image or being the only “fat” student in class. I can send the link to this site to several people that I know that are curious but nervous at the same time and go “Here, look at all these AWESOME dancers that are fluffy too!
What do you like most about your dancing?
I like that I can really interpret and move to the music that I’ve picked out as I want to, and I don’t have to conform to a set choreography. I do like creating choreographies, though those might not stick in my noggin all the time. I like that music choices don’t have to be subject to being kept into one genre or another. There are belly dancers like Mahafsoun who KILL IT to metal and troupes like Lavish who entrance you when they perform to classical music. It makes me confident that I can perform to Sarah Brightman or Josh Groban.
What inspires your dancing?
Inspiration for me comes from everywhere. I’m inspired to costume one way because of something that I may see at a renaissance festival, or because a song “feels” a certain color. “So She Dances” by Josh Groban makes me want to don an all or mostly blue outfit and mesh Waltz moves with a veil dance. While the peacock this is somewhat overdone sometimes, there are still good times for it.
If music brings up a very specific emotion, I play that up. I’ve been inspired by TV shows before; more specifically an NCIS episode where the female lead character Ziva David (played by the amazing Cote de Pablo) is undercover overseas and is singing “Temptation” in a smoky bar. The sassy and slinky way she sings the song makes me want to slink and flirt in the same fashion but with belly dance instead. Movie/theater soundtracks inspire me as well. The short list would be “Queen of The Damned,” “Phantom of the Opera,” and “Riverdance,” but there are probably a LOT more if you give me time to dig through my music folders.
What has been your greatest belly dance achievement?
My first solo ever was about two years after I started taking classes and is probably STILL my greatest achievement for the mere fact that for 15 years before that I relied on the girls I was dancing with on stage or my ballet teacher in the wings calling out the moves. (Ballroom is a whole other matter because my partner and I practiced like crazy). Not that I don’t practice like crazy or that I didn’t before the show. It’s a whole new feeling to have all eyes on you instead of focusing on someone else or the group as a whole. It was just me, myself and I up on stages in front of 100+ people; knowing that I’d be more embarrassed if I ran off stage than if I messed up.
It helped that on one side of the stage was my boyfriend at the time and some of my dance sisters, my dance teacher and a friend in front of me, with my mother, sister and another family friend. With my touchstones surrounding me, I made it through the song on pure improv and gumption, and dang it I did it!
In what area of your dancing have you seen the most improvement?
Personally I think it’s my presence on stage. Before my face just blanks and I look bored. But I’ve discovered that if I pick a person or two from the crowd to interact with, I have more animation to my face and I don’t look bored. Being in love with my music and knowing it is a big thing too that I’ve realized, which makes it harder to find music to perform to when the fire troupe that I am part of has events because some of the music that keep to the tempo of everyone else’s music that I love is too fast for my current skill level and I flail horribly instead of looking put together.”
How do you approach costume choices for yourself?
Costuming for me is very much about simplicity for two reasons: 1) Cost, as I’m more in between jobs at the moment, so I have to strive to make the most of the costuming that I do have and 2) I prefer simple elegance over being laden with stuff. Maybe when I have a permanent and well-paying job I can go for some of the more flamboyant costume pieces, but for right now experimenting with what I have is what I can do; whether it’s layering or mixing and matching different elements that might seem off in concept but when put together it actually works or finding a new way to tuck up my 25 yard skirts.
Find out more about Roslin at roslinatreidesdance.wix.com.