Hello to all my BDQ subscribers and blog readers! I hope you are all having a lovely holiday season! This time of year is so full with both celebrations and work, with trying to be “in the moment” for this short and special season and at the same time looking forward into next year to decide how to focus our time and energy. This season of reassessment is very important to me – the momentum that keeps me working comes from not only the personal satisfaction and enjoyment of what I do, but even more so, knowing that it is meaningful and useful to others that share my enthusiasm and love for Middle Eastern dance.
Looking back, 2015 has been a tremendous year! I have done more travelling and workshop teaching than in any year to date – a trend that I am excited to see growing! With the help and support of many wonderful people, I am 2 days away from shooting my very first full-length instructional bellydance DVD, “Full On with 3/4 Shimmies!” And a little project I started in 2010 is about to enter it’s sixth year.
Looking forward into 2016, I gaze through that lens of personal satisfaction and true usefulness to others to decide how I want to spend my time and energy – because just like money, you only get to spend it once. This coming year, I will be refining the scope of my work for more personal artistic fulfillment for me and more usefulness for you, my BDQ subscribers, blog readers and students.
More and more, we are living in a world of well… MORE! More options, more decisions, more expectations, more emails…. everything draws onr attention. This overwhelm is definitely a stress I feel, and I suspect you can relate to it too. For me, the only “more” I want in my life is more of what really deeply matters to me and to my work. When something really and truly hits my personal target of fulfilling for me and useful for others, no amount of work feels like “too much”.
So what DO I want MORE of in 2016?
- I want to engage more personally with students by teaching more workshops and doing more one-on-one coaching.
- I want more space in my life to devote to my own continued studies in dance – because we are always and forever students of this art!
- I want to do more event production, which I have almost entirely gotten away from over the past few years.
- I want to dive more deeply into the bellydance content I teach.
That’s my personal bellydance wish list. How will that play out in the work I plan to do for and with all of you in 2016?
I am opening more time in my schedule for private students – both in person and online.
I plan to host 4 seasonal bellydance events here in Phoenix which will include some curated performances by dancers across all levels and bellydance styles to recorded music, some semi-pro and professional performances with live music and an open floor party with a band for all to enjoy. If all goes well, I may even revive my annual “Fully Fusion” show series… I left off at “Fully Fusion 5” a few years ago.
Realigning the “Bellydance Quickies”. This is a bigee! The BDQ is so very near and dear to my heart – and from the feedback I get, near and dear to many of you too. I also know that keeping up with and truly making use of the BDQ on a daily basis is difficult for most dancers’ schedules. Going into it’s sixth year, the BDQ will transition to a 3-days a week schedule as follows:
- The Wednesday Watcher: (Wednesdays) This will include both the fun, unique and surprising finds and the wonderfully inspiring videos I have featured on Sundays.
- The Grab-Bag: (Fridays) Music, history, costuming, culture, stage makeup… you will find these here to keep you a well-rounded and informed bellydancer.
- Sunday in the Studio: (Sundays) This is where and when you will find the short tutorial videos. Topics will be a mix of combos, drills and prop material (definitely guided by your input, requests and feedback!) I hope that the timing will give you a better opportunity to use and keep up with what I put the time and energy into creating for you. I have heard from so many of you that you “hoard” your BDQs on your computers – which is very flattering, but I really want you to use them! Do you see a theme here?
If you are not on the “Bellydance Quickies” list yet and would like to be, you can sign up here – it’s free.
Special Topic Programs & Intensives. As I mentioned, I’d like to present some deeper, longer content in special topic areas. This year I will experiment with 4-week segments, some in collaboration with other bellydancers, focusing on things like health, costuming, dance skill intensives, business building and more. I will announce these in advance in the BDQ, the BellyGram and on my social media in general so you can get on board for whatever interests you and supports your development as a dancer.
Speaking of The BellyGram… I have been so busy this year, I have not put out many of these! I plan to return to a monthly newsletter that includes both event info and special content exclusive to the BellyGram. This is where you will find upcoming editions of the “Raks Me A Question” series! If you want to receive the The BellyGram you can sign up here.
Whew!! That’s a lot of plans for 2016 but I’m excited! I’m looking forward to all of it and hope that you’ll dance along on this journey with me. As I write this, it is December 26th and I’m deep into the final preparations for the “Full On with 3/4 Shimmies!” DVD shoot on the 29th. The “Bellydance Quickies” will be taking a short holiday break, returning in it’s new 3-day format on Friday, January 1st.
I want to take this opportunity to THANK YOU for all your support of the BDQ, my workshops and for your friendship – online and in person! I wish you and yours the merriest of days, filled with love, good times, good food, and some time to recharge for a fabulous shimmy-filled 2016! – Mahin
Your thoughts, comments, requests and feedback are welcome …. please share in the comments below!