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My Experience at Austin Belly Dance Convention, Part II

Lisa Castaneda

The evening shows on Friday and Saturday night were amazing. There were so many beautiful dancers, both soloists and groups. I never realized how many different belly dance genres there were and how many different kinds of props were used. I had no idea swords were regularly used, along with canes, fan veils, veils, etc. My favorite performers were the ones that used veils. The movements of the veils were so elegant and the colors were so vibrant and the lighting used on the stage made the colors stand out so beautifully. I know for certain that I am determined in learning more about veil work. I absolutely fell in love with the veil dances.

There were performers who were folksier, and along with the veil performers, my other favorite performers were the ladies who danced to the typical Arabic music that wore the beautifully colored beaded bras with matching skirts. Their movements were hypnotizing as they moved to the beat of the music. There were other dancers who used zills, and just so many more different styles that I never knew existed. Several of the instructors that offered the workshops performed at the shows and they were wonderful. The one that really stood out was Edenia Archuleta with her pop and lock style of performing to music that was more of a belly dancing techno style. She was amazing to watch and her class was fun but challenging at the same time.

I ended my first day by going to Kick Butt coffee for an after-show performance. They have the best tasting pizza. We saw more dances at this event and these performances were more laid back and impromptu, but it was still fun and enlightening to see the different performances at different locations.

As a newcomer, this experience really opened my eyes to the world of belly dancing. I learned terminology that I’d never heard before such as: "baladi", "saidi", "maya hips" and "dum dum teka tek". I experienced so much, and I hope to perform some of the choreography I was taught at ABDC in the near future. I need lots of practice still.

The workshops were amazing and as a beginner I wondered if I belonged in the classes I’d registered for, but nevertheless, I still had a wonderful time. I would encourage anyone and everyone who has never attended to go. It’s so worth it, you will gain so much knowledge.

For more information about the Austin Belly Dance Convention, Visit:

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