June 10, 2013

Maho Beaumont Workshops

Buzz buzz buzzing!  We couldn’t wait for our afternoon of workshops at Saturn Fitness Studio, especially as they were the first where we’d invited one of this country’s top ATS® dancers to come and teach.  In collaboration with MahoBeaumont, Ashnah had put together 2 workshops which catered to both the beginners and more advanced.

The syllabus, although discussed and agreed upon was left sufficiently loose to make sure everyone was kept interested and challenged.  There was a nice mix of aptitude and the event brought new faces to the class and of course allowed us to hook up with old friends as well.

Big thanks to ‘our Janet’ for baking not 1, not 2 but 6 cakes!  Thanks to all who came, and danced, and supported and of course big lalalas to Maho!

Hathor Hafla 2013

For us, the Hathor hafla at Kidlington equates with the onset of summer!!  A well attended, popular, yearly event with the most sumptuous spread donated by guests.

This year we premiered our latest creation - a slow ATS® dance to one of the most beautiful pieces of music we've heard in a long time ...... the sort of music that brings a lump to ones throat which also seemed to have struck a chord with the audience too!

Bellydancing was firmly in the driving seat this year with Nikki LivermoreLoreley RiceHannah Newton and Dodo Pratt among others showcasing their respective classes.  A huge thanks to the lovely ladies of Hathor for putting this together!

Fun in the Park, Abingdon

Following last year’s successful event, the Abingdon Town Council joined forces with The Oxfordshire Play Association and hosted an afternoon of dance and family friendly activities followed by a paid evening of music and fireworks.  Ashnah took part in the day’s events where we were joined by the wonderful Oxford Drum Troupe (ODT) drummers.  Once again, despite the bigger crowds at The Abbey Meadows and the increased stalls, the atmosphere was so wonderfully safe and friendly!  We spotted so many friendly faces in the crowds so a big shout-out to all our friends who came to support us!

Rita with her 'feel good' drink
This was also a day of celebrations for us as we wished our lovely Rita a very Happy Birthday lalalalala!!!  We rounded off our dancing in the park off with a trip to The Kings Head & Bell with ODT and friends for drinks and nibbles all round along with present opening by Rita (with plenty of gasps, oohs and aahs at her gifts), then later some of us moved onto Pizza Express where we lounged in the garden til early evening, and dined in honour of Rita's 'special day'.

Wendy Allen (FCBD®) workshops, Devon

Hosted by Kalash Tribal and Tribal Fire, these workshops had been much anticipated by everyone in my ATS® sorority and so typically, from the 4 corners of our dance world we all met up at Tiverton.  As it turned out Ashnah shared our lovely Angel B&B with Phil Thornton and his lovely wife, and we were able to help him out on the last day when his car developed a faulty clutch, which ensured they made it home safely!

l-r - Rita, Wendy, Philippa, Kay

Workshops ..... it was all about drilling, updating, polishing, tweaking, zilling new rhythms and blending with other rhythms, partnering, dancing cafe style, oooh and baskets, and finally each group sorting out a performance with minimal time eek!!! ... all of which was punctuated by food and rest and lounging in the sun!!

The after-party at Kelley's barn was full of excited chatter, scrummy food and an excellent performance by Wendy Allen of FCBD®... followed by much more dancing (oh so much more) – Heaven!!!

Big thanks to our lovely hostess and their troupes xx

Hilal's Birthday Bash

l-r - Philippa, Hilal, Kay
Being invited to dance at our lovely friend Hilal's birthday bash, it turned out to be a beautiful sunny afternoon enabling us to all get out into her wonderful garden.  Milling around were so many guests, who seemed to be all Nationalities (hardly surprising with Hilal's friendly Turkish nature).

As usual when visiting Hilal's house, there's sumptuous Turkish food, with some guests providing some dishes too - some Polish dish I can't for the life of me remember what the name was!

Then the dancing and music started!!

With Hilal being a dancer in the Oxford Balkansko Oro Balkan Dance Group, they all performed traditional Balkan dances, circling around the garden with their intricate footwork, and with Philippa and I representing Ashnah, we danced 3 numbers (a little tricky on grass).  Philippa cleverly brought 2 left shoes, and as she has a left and right foot (mmm) decided to abandon them and let the grass tickle her tootsies!!

The musical afternoon was rounded off with fabulous Turkish music - Hilal's brother Cahit playing the violin and oud, and his wife Akqul playing the bendir, whilst guests sang Turkish traditional folk songs and danced.


Happy Birthday Hilal xx

Oxford Middle Eastern Dance Spring Hafla (OMEDS)

The party this time around definitely had extra tribal flavour – OMEDS extended an invitation to the lovely Maho Beaumont who featured as the guest dancer.  I hope the name will stick – it seemed evident to me that the woman moved like liquid gold - oozing sparkling charm, and pouring over each detail with such finesse! She had everyone entranced and the performance was totally mesmerising.  Maho also shared her platform with our Kay from Ashnah and Sundara’s Lucy Moss.

Kay's OMEDS ATS® Level 1 and Level 2 students performed 2 numbers together along with Kay and Rita zilling in the background, which all went swimmingly well, and Ashnah revived and tweaked an old dance, dusted down the costume, performed it and have now put it to bed for the forseeable future.  

The rest of the evening was very enjoyable with a fabulous showing of traditional bellydancing and fusion tribal.  Of note, a lovely little fairy made her appearance flitting about most gracefully in the lovely shape of Gwen Booth!