My Experience at the ABDC (Part 1)

by Lisa Castaneda

I was blessed with the opportunity to attend the Austin Belly Dance Convention this past Summer thanks to Lorrie Pierce and TCBBA. I didn’t know what to expect as this was my first time attending an event like this, but I can say now, that it won’t be my last. It was an amazing experience.

First, let me tell you a little bit about my belly dancing background – 0 experience, nada, nothing, other than the Zumba belly dancing routines that I had taught to my students. But, if you’ve ever taken a Zumba class, and are an experienced belly dancer, you know it’s completely different as I later found out.

I met Rachel Morris who invited me to TCBBA’s membership enrollment/workshop in January. I accepted her invitation and joined. That day was my first real experience with any kind of belly dancing.

I decided to apply for a scholarship and was awarded a portion. I was so excited. Rachel invited me to travel with her and split room costs. I gladly accepted. The only thing left to figure out was how to best use the scholarship funds and register for the workshops that would benefit me as a beginner. I decided to go big and purchase the entire package which included 7 workshops and the evening shows. This was the most expensive option, but I wanted to take it all in and experience as much as I could.

Day one of the convention registration started at 12:00 p.m. and my first class was scheduled for 1:30 p.m. I registered and once again looked over my schedule to ensure I had the correct wrist bracelets that matched each of the workshops I had signed up for. My workshops for the entire weekend included:

Friday:

1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. – Dalida: Drum Solo

4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. – Edenia Archuleta: Body Waves

Saturday:

9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – Sara – Gooey Goodness

12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. – Georgia Michelle – Ultimate Breakdown

4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. – Stacey Lizette – Arm Work

Sunday:

10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – Georgia Michelle – Belly Samba Fusion

12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. – Karma Karmelita – Alien Belly

So, as I said, hardly any rest time. But I was excited about my first class. I had time to kill, so what was the next best thing to do? Go shopping!

I fell in love with the merchandise offered by the vendors. My favorite table was a vendor who sold costumes that she had purchased in Egypt: Beautiful beaded bras, skirts, hip wraps, and dresses in beautiful vibrant colors and textures. (Pictures attached) These costumes were $500 plus. Most of the bras and matching skirts looked to be extra small to small. I did purchase a hip wrap from her though. She had so many pretty things.

I ended up purchasing hip wrap a few T-shirts and finally purchased a complete outfit from another vendor: black pants, off the shoulder top with coins sewed into the entire top/bottom hems, and an overskirt wrap. Word to the wise, ABDC can get very expensive. But it was my first time and temptation got the best of me.


For more information:

https://www.theabdc.com/


#Bellydance #ABDC #TCBBA