August 31, 2008

Wallingford Bunkfest

I think we must be blessed this year as every time we've been out performing the sun has shone down on us, though today was an absolute scorcher, which is very uncomfortable in full costume!! We shared the stage with 3 other dance groups at various times during the day - Old Speckled Hen, Knockhundred Shuttles and Lumbawakk - all of whom were good dancers and great fun.

There was also a group of Welsh dancers called Dawnswyr Tipyn o Bopeth, all the way from .......... Wales. I think they were feeling the heat more than us in their full Welsh costumes complete with the traditional tall black hats. Other dancers were one of our favourite groups - the Heneghan James & O'Gara School of Irish Dance - whom we danced with in Abingdon on International Dance Day. We also met another bellydance group and old friends, Hazzaz from the Witney area (thanks ladies for the loan of your amplifier)!! Much appreciated!! It was a brilliant day, and all dancers cheered each other on, such a great atmosphere.

After doing about 15 dances in the open sunshine, heat exhausted we trawled the many goods stalls, ate from various food vans and drank gallons of cold drinks and sought every bit of shade we could, eventually leaving after well over 6 hours of total fun, taking home with us headaches, smudged makeup, weary bodies and tender skin from the sun - ouch!!

Would we suffer all that pain again next year? You bet we would!!

August 04, 2008

Abingdon's Got Talent

28th June saw 3 of us competing in Abingdon's Got Talent competition, run by Abingdon Town Council, which was held in Abingdon Market Square. How delighted we were when it was announced that we'd won a place in the finals in July along with 12 other acts, o'er. Finals day loomed and we practised our new saidi stick dance almost daily again for it's second showing. Finals day July 26th arrived and it was again another beautiful sunny day and the crowds thronged the Square for the show down. We were 2nd to last on, so were able to watch some of the fabulous acts appearing before us. At last we were able to strut our stuff (not a foot wrong or a drop of the stick by any of us - this time), it was questioned though why we danced with 'walking sticks' mmm - saidi stick dancing is yet another form of belly dance (check out the link above for saidi description). We were awarded with runners up in our (ahem! over 18's) category which we were all delighted with. Well done to all those who participated and of course congratulations to those who won (Simon Cowell has definately missed some talent). A big thanks to Abingdon Town Council for putting on the competition too, the judges, compere and the crowd of folk cheering (sounds like the Oscars)!

August 03, 2008

Barefoot Student Showcase, Aylesbury

On Friday 18th July we appeared as guest dancers at the Barefoot Student Showcase held at the Limelight Theatre in Aylesbury. As well as dancing with Ashnah, Kay (moi) is also a member of Barefoot tribal bellydance and attends classes in Thame weekly, and was dancing in the show with Barefoot and managed to get Ashnah booked in to dance too. This was yet another different experience for us and one that was very enjoyable to watch and also to participate in. The first half of the show started with classical bellydance from many of the Barefoot students and Anuket, who are Barefoot's student troupe. Their style of dance is different to ours so it was lovely to watch and pick up ideas from them (hopefully they picked up ideas from us too)!!!!!! Ashnah ended the 1st half of the show with our dances - a veil dance, then a short lively dance followed by our new saidi stick dance which was it's first appearance. The second half of the show was danced by Barefoot tribal students, 2 of which I danced in yay, with the show ending with a performance by the Barefoot troupe themselves led by Steffi Colbert (founder and teacher of Barefoot).

We rounded off the evening by a sing song in the car on the way home with a pit-stop at Thame for burger, kebab and chips. Always the best when you're hungry.

Photo's to follow shortly .........................

July 28, 2008

New Web Page (click here)

Ashnah has a new web page with a contact email for bookings. Check us out on the Link on the left hand side or just click the title of this posting.

June 08, 2008

International Dance Day

Back in May - here we are again, dancing in Abingdon market place for International Dance Day which was organised by Abingdon Town Council, which another wonderful sunny day. We had debated all week about doing our veil dance, but it's always a bit risky when dancing outdoors. Good job we decided against it - it was quite windy. This day we were dancing for Abingdon Dance Studios, along with the Street Dancers and Cheerleaders. Also dancing was a fabulous group of Irish dancers, Ceroc dancers and Abingdon Morris dancers.

Dalton Barracks

There are 5 of us dancing here - Rita is tucked away behind Jen. Had the usual odd mishap during our dancing - forgetting which track came on next so being in the wrong position - ooops. Maybe nobody noticed Jen running to get into place eh? Lovely Jen was also face painting at this event too (no end to her talents), and forgot to bring her dance shoes - mmmm - nice belly dance costume with brown cowboy boots Jen!!

All week the rain lashed down - and we were booked to dance at Dalton Barracks on the Saturday (along with the Abingdon Morris dancers), an annual spring event with BBQ. As if by magic the day dawned with lashings of sunshine which continued all day. We did find it extra warm though when we danced a little too near the huge BBQ next to us and a bit tearful when the smoke blew over us - all good fun though. Dalton Barracks laid on superb food that day, and it was lovely to see many families there.

April 30, 2008

Eshta to Ashnah

We have now started our own amateur dance group called Ashnah. We meet weekly for rehearsing, choreographing our own dances, meals out, fun and laughter. The old dance name Eshta belongs to Abingdon Dance Studios with whom we performed for many times. We all began our dancing with the Dance Studios years ago, and began practicing for ourselves weekly there too as well as taking regular lessons. Since finding our own dance venue to regularly meet and create our own choreography, we decided to have our own name too. Ashnah means 'change' in Hebrew which we felt was appropriate having changed our name.

March 20, 2008

Eshta does Panto - oh yes we do

Here's Di, myself and Phil doing panto at Wootton in February. The Wootton Players kindly asked us to appear in their panto Sinbad, what a blast! Ok we only had a 2 minute slot on each evening but it was worth it. Rehearsals, meeting the cast, the crew, waiting behind the scenes, the fabulous props (actual flying carpet), Kate the Director and many others - wouldn't have missed it for anything. Thank you Wootton Players for a wonderful experience!

Who's your new friend Di? Actually this is Jon, or better known as Mrs Sinbad, the pantomime dame. One of the lovely actors from the Wootton Players.

Mmm blury picture, was it the wine or are you moving Rita? This is behind the scenes during a performance of Sinbad the Sailor.


This is some of the gang when we danced at Didcot Civil Hall last year. One of us lost a foot bracelet, two clashed veils and dropped them, someone went the wrong way and left one dancer on her own and two also danced the wrong steps in the wrong section of the music. Apart from that, everything was perfect!!