Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Bye Dance Moms

Bye Dance Moms

I am completely on the fence about watching Dance Moms tonight, I know what's coming…Bye Bye Chloe. And if this happens I can honestly say I won't have the heart to watch this show that I love and adore from the very beginning. I will not be able to stand watching Abby nurture and promote Maddy and her sister dance careers while she treats everyone else like their yesterdays news lining a bird cage. Im not saying Maddie and Mackenzie are bad dancers, they are great dancers but I won't have the stomach to watch them. In fact I have grown to detest them and their mother Melissa more and more, and thats is both sad and inevitable. I will not care at all to see what happens to their dance careers and I don't ever want to see them dance, if I did my stomach would hurt. Thats a terrible thing to say but its true, they have lost me as a fan due to what has happen. And I hope their Mother Melissa is happy with what she allowed to happen, her daughters are in the spotlight while the others are left in the dark. Karma will come around and somebody will do this to them, that will be a sad sad day. I can't even really blame Abby Lee Miller , something tells me thats the way she is and a few little girls hearts that have been trampled on will not change her. Perhaps in the end she will get a chance to reflect and feel a little remorse. Have great dance career Nia, you are a beautiful dancer and I love watching you grow, Kendall you are a top dancer , Brooke good luck with your incredible singing career never stop, Paige you are a fantastic dancer never stop and Chloe ,it does take a one on one encounter to know that you are a kind soul and great heart, you are a fantastic dancer. Finishing this post up I find I have tears coming out, bye Dance Moms Forever. 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Point That Bejeweled Finger Back At Yourself

Point That Bejeweled Finger Back At Yourself

Here is something that really "Gets Up My Goat", dancers who refuse to take any kind of responsibility about the outcome of their performance. Let me tell you what I overheard not too long ago. Not one, or two but three ladies griping about their dance performance at a big event. Now I was off to the side and not engaged in this conversation , but that didn't stop me from eavesdropping plus I knew what performance they were talking about. All three of them had watch the youtube video and proceeded to take turns pointing out their own mistakes. "Oh I had turned the wrong way" "Ya, I forgot that step, I knew it but forgot it." "I froze for three seconds" All that does not bother me its what came after that did, they began to state the all so obvious reasons ( at least in their minds) why their dance did not come out as squeaky clean like it should have.  They came up with two. The first reason was blaming that little varmint that affects everyone who walks and breathes on planet earth...Time. Their was not enough time to learn the dance properly, not enough hours in the day, enough days in week, or enough weeks in a month. Time was literally like sand in their hands, it slipped so fast through their fingers . When the big day came swiftly and halted on its heels all they knew was, they were not ready to perform. There was not enough time to get the dance done properly, if given the proper time every spin, twist and drop would have been near perfect. Plus they had lives, jobs to do and households to run, so obliviously they needed more time. If they had double of the amount they could have practice , practice, and practice some more. The second reason was even better, they blame the leader of this awful performance, the teacher. They were very certain that the dance had moves they never learned in class, moves the teacher never took proper time to teach them. And why didn't she write down the moves, it would  have been easier on them if they knew exactly what they were suppose to do. They all felt with the lackluster teaching of the choreography their performance was hard, frustrating and very uncomfortable to perform. All the ladies nodded their heads like bobble head dolls and let me tell you they all look so relieved that they were all on the same page. Thumbs Up!

Well I have something to say about that bullshit I just smelled, hold on lets get that shovel before we move on. Lets tackle Time first. I know for a fact they had sixth months to learn a less then four minutes dance. Let me repeat SIX MONTHS.  Now to me that is ample amount of time, AMPLE. An average person takes fifth-teen minutes to brush teeth, check face for zits, use toilet and wash hands. If they took the same amount time everyday to learn that dance and clean up their technique, it would have been close to perfect. Also when the big day arrives you won't be worry about the dance. Now everyone has something going on in their lives, you lovely ladies are not the only ones. Why do you think some people dance, to get away from their everyday worries and jobs they have. Plus no one asking you to quit your job or your family to do this, you're not performing for the president or the pope. Also you are not making any money or being whipped into dance submission. You're doing it because you love dancing ,otherwise why would you be here, in the belly dance world that is.  Now to tackle the second reason...teacher. Lets start out by defining the words Dance Teacher, it is a person who instructs a student in the art of dance. She/He are there to guide you and support your dance endeavor. Read it again, again and again. They are there to instruct you, not do it for you. All a dance teacher can do is give you the basic formula, then its up to you to create the solution again and again until you get it right. If they are showing you something your not familiar with, SAY SOMETHING !!! Ask if they can break it down and show you again,  slowly this time, that is why they're there for. A dance teacher not going to follow you home and make sure you practice or that you sit quietly and listen to the song. You ladies are fully grown, do it yourself. And after all that time you are still not comfortable tell your teacher, she will understand and you both can work something out. Or better yet step down because the belly world will not stop rotating if you are not dancing.

Now I love choreograph dances, but I never ever get them perfectly right, hey it happens. Whenever I have mess up in the past I just keep going, its rare when people notice. When Im preparing myself for a dance, no matter how much time I'm given, I find time and rather awkward places to practice. I'm not even joking when I say that once I practice in the ladies room at a movie theater. I was waiting for a friend and found myself going over moves in my head. I even do it in my sleep. And I'm lucky to have a teacher that Im not intimidated by, I feel confidant asking her for help. If you have a teacher that makes you walk on eggshells, I suggest finding another teacher. So if you mess up (small or big) do something before you blame father time and mother teacher. Look into a mirror and point that bejeweled finger back at yourself, that the person you need to blame, yourself.

 Take Responsibility!....Misty Dawn Waggoner

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Chubby Girl Has Been Bullied, Brow Beaten and Brushed Off

The Chubby Girl Has Been Bullied, Brow Beaten and Brushed Off

Important Note Before Reading: If you are one of those people who don't like hearing the truth and rather be oblivious to what happening to me or others in similar situations , don't read this. Don't think for one minute Im here to start trouble or I'm just exaggerating the truth. Im not, this is what really happened and there are times I wake up in morning and wish it didn't. Otherwise I could leave the belly dance world all together, but why, I love it so much. And really in this world I'm a nobody, I don't go out and perform every weekend and Im not able to attend every event that happens, I'm just trying to become the best dancer I can be that's all. Im not trying to be famous or pretend I know it all. Also, Im not a bad person and hang out with a couple of people who are also dancers, thats all. I try my very best to help in any event I attend and any situation I try to help like music edits, videos, etc.... so I like to believe I don't deserve this. I don't know, maybe its me….maybe I just not meant to have many friends or I just offend people but here it is. Yes I am a grown woman, but a 34 year old can still be bullied, brow beaten and brushed off by other grown women. None of who are named, but they know who they are. 

For the past week, as the time for Austin Belly Dance Convention gets closer and closer, my head is buzzing with everything I must do beforehand. Just some basic things, for instance even though I live in the Austin area I'm going to be staying at the hotel the convention is being held at, it makes my life easier. I live a little less then an hour away but still being there Im able to relax and chill out in my room between classes, I just love it. So Im already deciding what I will be wearing each day, what I need to get done at my house and at work before I leave…then all of sudden something flashes into my head and my stomach begins to hurt. I realize when I arrive Friday night I will be walking into the arena, and the women who have Bullied, Brow Beaten and Brushed Me Off will be there, and just like before they will be taking no prisoners.

Don't get me wrong, I still believe in the sisterhood of belly dancing, there will always be other women who support all those that share their love of this dance. But unfortunately they are some people who either decide to share that support to some or none at all. So what do those other dancers do rather then show their support, they go out of their way to make the other dancer feel like a piece of shit….I should know. I wrote in an early blog about an incident that happen to me a couple of years ago so I'll quickly go over it. At a dance competition in Austin two ladies decided to go mean girls on me. Before I took the stage, for a least an half hour they stared, whispered and made fun of my weight the entire time.  They blew up their cheeks and gave themselves double chins as a way to show me how my face look, it took me having to mouth "Fuck You" to get them to stop. You would think that it would have stopped there, but it didn't, these women continue to this day to bully me from afar. I was leaving class one night a year ago and several women show up to practice for a big show that was happening in Austin that week. When I walked down the hall one of this girls ( the same ones from competition) was entering the studio, she stop to look at me and gave me an evil smirk and blew up her cheeks, and then giggle as she continued her way into the studio. I stood there like a stung fish, mouth open and speechless. I mean what was I suppose to do????? I can't just walk in their and start yelling at her or ask her what her problem was. I knew and its kills me now to say this but whatever I action I took the cry fest was going to happen anyway, I allowed this girl to wound me deeply. My eyes got wet and quickly I gather up my stuff and left the studio, my eyes were so swollen from crying the next day it hurt to touch them. Later on I was at a dance show downtown with some friends, we were all seating at a table enjoying the show when I realized those same two girls were looking at me. They were waiting off to the side getting ready to dance when they spotted me and I said aloud "Oh Shit" my friend turned around to look at me and asked me what was wrong. I told her those two ladies have a staring problem and they don't like me, she looked up and said "I see them, just watch the show" I realized on the drive home that night these two will always make it a point to show me Im in a world that I just don't belong to. I know for a fact I will see them this weekend and once again I will have to prepare myself and pray they just ignore me this time , just maybe they will take mercy on me and just let me be…..no more whispering, no more staring and no more making fat faces at me. 

Here comes the brow beater, everyone knows one….she/he the dancer that always makes it a point to let you know how much better they are then you. Now I know to be proud of your talent is not a bad thing at all, if you work hard and you accomplish many moves then you deserve that title of a great dancer, most likely I'm your biggest fan. I have met many dancers that are soooo great and all I can say to them is "I want to dance like you someday" and if I'm lucky they share their secrets. But there is one particular dancer I go out of my way to avoid, she reminds me of that expression in Bridget Jones Diary 2 ..The Jellyfish…that person who engages you in polite conversations but the whole time she finding ways to put you down, she stings you like a jelly fish. I was talking to this girl about a year ago when all sudden she asked me "Who are all this people dancing in the show….I mean I recognize only two of them but I never heard of the others"  I started to explain what I did know about the other dancers when she said "if I'm going to pay money for a show there need to be some legit dancers" then it went downhill from there. From time to time I run into her and over and over again she tries to tell me her dance resume and the famous dancers she knows and once stayed with. I think the final straw for me was at a workshop when I heard her tell another girl "I think its cute that you are trying to belly dancing, keep working it takes years" I immediately walk up to that other girl, the one one brow beater was giving ADVICE too and told her, "I love how you dance, you look great never stop shaking" after that incident I realized that was all it took for her to now ignore me now, I guess brow beater did not appreciate my side comments….. wow if I had known back then thats all it would take for her to shut up,  I would have contradicted her a long time ago. 

Now the brush off….this to me is what hurts the most. What exactly is the brush off, its when somebody only acknowledges you when they feel like it, anybody who has ever experience this knows its awful. I try very very very hard to find the cause of it so Im able to stop it but its hard, I mean its insane how many hours I sit there trying to figure out what the heck happen. I even try to making a list and also discussing it with others, but now I just throw my hands up in the air and just choose to accept for what it is. Now maybe its me….maybe Im not able to distinguish between simple line of just acquaintances and friends. I have a few people who do this to me , now before you think Im just being needy or clingy or want attention here is the thing, these are people that I have gone out of my way to help. Call me crazy….but when different things come up everyone who knows me knows that I'm the first one to volunteer, its just in my nature to help so I would hope that means Im helping friends. I had one person who got mad at me at an event for no reason, after everything I did to help out she ignored me the whole day but at the end when all was said and done she decides it fine and says two words to me. It made the day I work so hard to get ready for just the worst day ever, why does somebody do that to another person, she couldn't come up to me earlier and let me know what was wrong, I mean I did nothing to deserve it, nothing at all. One time ( with another person) , her and I were walking together go over things when all of sudden she veers off and leaves the discussion, just like that, I was standing there thinking "Um I guess conversation is over" ahhhh its frustrating. I talk about this now because I need others to realize it hurts other people feelings when you just call upon them when you need them, if thats the case then don't make the "we are friends" statement, friends don't do that. My friend from college tells me Im a Friend-Mat, others use me like a doormat, I only get acknowledge when its time to wipe off their boots. Now will I ever stop helping, nope….. maybe Im just like setting myself up to get hurt, maybe deep down I like it. I can say this if I didn't care it wouldn't hurt.

So dancers take a look around, somebody in your dance circle is being bullied by another dancer, I guarantee it. I know other dancers who have been attacked by other dancers in person, email, even on Facebook. I mean the stories I have heard would make your stomach twist, but they are not my stories to tell. But hopefully one day they will, because shining the light on these awful people might get them to stop. To the Bullies remember the shit you throw out to other people will come back at you…times ten, be prepared. Will I allow these ladies from stopping me this weekend, No… I have two of my friends who understand my pain and will stick with me. They make me stronger and Im there to learn like it or not bitches. With brow beaters, who knows maybe they have insecurity issues thats why they always feel the need to put people down, and perhaps they don't realize they are doing it…hopefully. Now with the brush off just watch how you treat other people, don't be that person who acknowledges someone when you need them, otherwise don't call them friend at all….it hurts …bad. Im hoping by writing this it will at least help one person who is experiencing the same thing thats happening to me or perhaps help someone realize their actions…if it does I've done my duty. Never let anyone stop you from dancing, no matter what.

They Chubby Girl has a facebook page.....https://www.facebook.com/TheChubbyGirlBellyDancesChronicles

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Chubby Girl Goes Back To ABDC

The Chubby Girl Goes Back To ABDC

In less then a month, the Austin Belly Dance Convention will be in full swing again. A place where belly dancers from all over the country, sometimes even the world come together for the weekend to learn, shop and dance. Very popular and experience teachers come to teach and expand our knowledge in this dance we love. There is shopping during the day and at night full on dance shows. ABDC was actually the first place I had ever taken a workshop, a coincidentally the first workshop teacher ( with the exception of my regular teacher) is coming to teach another class, Lisa Zahiya. I just loved her hip hop belly dance class she taught a few years ago, its because of that particular class that my first ever solo was a hip hop/belly dance number. But now, I can say the reason I go to ABDC has changed from the last three years and this is why.

Just like in my other blog I wrote about ABDC, I do still go to expand my knowledge of this dance, that will never change. I truly believe that in dance, taking classes or workshops is not just a choice but a necessity. If you want to become the best dancer you can be never stop learning. But thats takes a backseat to why I really go now, and I can say it in one word….Inspiration. Pure and simple, now not only do I go to learn, I go to be inspired. Who inspires me? Everyone who shakes and drops a hip…….I mean EVERYONE, from the headliner teachers to the baby dancers taking their very first workshop. There is something about being in a room full of other dancers ( all with different levels in experience) coming to learn and dance together. I know others must feel the same way I do, when we are learning the steps not only are we watching the teacher we are also feeding off each other. Whether people realize it or not, somebody can be behind you taking cues off of you. Then when we finally get to dance the choreo we just learned, a surge of energy comes through us and we just dance….and its feels great. Even when others get tired and choose just to watch, they too are getting inspired and also waiting for that second wind to come so they can continue to shake it. And what I love about ABDC the most is being able to watch dancers perform their own dance. During the day they have a free open stage dances, which you will find me watching with a drink in my hand ( most likely Boba). And at night you have the Dance shows, which are always full of show stoppers. Watching others give it all they got makes me want to give it all I got, thats why I feel its important to go watch a dance show. So if you are feeling at a pause in your dance and or your worry that you have lost your need for it, go watch others…..go see a belly dance show or take a class, any class……….it is very very very INSPIRING. 

xo Misty Dawn Waggoner / The Chubby Girl

And in that famous one word game I will describe ( in one word) the teachers for ABDC 2013 …….

Ava Fleming……Astonishing  

Stacey Lizette……..Strong

April Rose….Avant-Garde


Lisa Zahiya……Brillant 

Sa' Diyya…….Vivacious

Z- Helene….Electrifying 

Bahaia…. Enchanting 


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The Chubby Girl Goes To Camp And Shakes It

       Here we go again my beautiful fellow hip shakers…The Chubby girl goes to Cabaret Dance Camp….again, and this time she has decided to shake what her mama gave her. And ladies did I shake it, more then I thought possible…..and even though things did not go as smoothly as I had crafted so effortlessly in head for so many months, I yet again discovered some things about myself and others. So here is my short/crazy but true story of what happen to me this year at camp, memories that have been forever stamp on my brain and will never go away…..let the adventure begin.

        Let me start out by telling you my crazy idea I had for camp this year. I knew when I left the last Cabaret Dance Camp that going to this event yearly wasn’t something I just went to occasionally, it was something I had to do no matter what. As long as Bahaia kept the event going, I was planning on being at every single one of them. So I knew I was going this year and I wanted to do something fun for my dance, because if you were ever going to do a dance a little out of the norm it would be here at camp, where you are surrounded by your peers who want nothing more then to support and enjoy your dance. So for a few months after camp I would come up with different ideas, I would sit in my lounge chair outside and on my ipad go through my entire music catalogue, just to see if any song might spark up a great dance routine. March had arrived and I still had no idea what I was going to do ( and I know Camp is in October, but I’m a planner) so I stayed home from work and decided to clean out my entire kitchen, cleaning stuff out actually relaxes me and my mind becomes clear. So with my house clothes and crappy hair bun I started to clean, and of course I needed music to listen to so I put it on my fave music channel, the eighties. Love love love the eighties, it reminds me of my childhood, watching MTV and dancing in the living room almost everyday. After a while I took a break and decided to let my rabbits out to run around for awhile, and before I move on….yes I just said Rabbits. Its not code for my boobs or anything, they are the real deal. I’ve had them for a couple of years now and they have brought so much joy to my family. Sugar and Tiger are both very sweet and lovable, and once you see them you want nothing more then to hug and squeeze them. Not only do they love to snuggle, but they love to run around (thank goodness they are both potty trained). I watched them play a rabbit version of tag when suddenly the John Mellencamp song came on “Hurts So Good” and Sugar started to hop in the air, BOOOOOM , an idea just sprung in my head. I was going to start my dance dress up like a rabbit, then de-rabbit and dance to a cool Arabic song, yes that’s its….ahhhhhhh I can already see it in my head. It always amazes me where ideas come from.

           So I had the layout, first come out in a glorious rabbit costume, then get out of rabbit costume and dance my little heart out, then bow and leave stage, seems easy enough. So now I just needed a few things, rabbit attire, a belly dance attire and music, a short list, shouldn‘t be hard to get…..yeah right. It took me awhile to find a song, I knew I wanted to dance a drum number first in the rabbit costume and I already had a song in mind for that one, I just had to find another one to dance to after I had de-bunny, it had to be fun and easy, I looked and looked and found nothing. Finally there was a folder of songs I had missed, it was something I had downloaded a long time ago and I found “Habibi Lahibi (My darling, My Fire)” by Emad Sayyah. It actually started out slow and dramatic and then it picked up, I can see myself dancing to this song. It was great and the choreo was already coming to my head, I found my song, plus that dramatic part in beginning actually gave me time to get out of my rabbit costume…...sweet! As the idea got bigger and bigger I told my family and a couple of my dance friends, and it was funny to me to see the different reactions but everyone said the same thing “film it”, ha. I gave myself a budget on my costume, so for my rabbit attire I went with a white onesie, a mask I painted, rabbit headband ears and fringe that my lovely mother sewed on the onesie for me. I wanted the bunny to be a Raqs Bunny, so I named her Honey Bun Bun and in belly dance fashion I put glitter on the mask , ears and onesie. Now the way Honey Bun Bun looked after everything was done was hilarious. I had gotten a extra large onesie so that way anything I wore underneath would fit , no snags when I unzipped. But I’m short, the legs were shorten and the torso part hangs real low, Honey Bun Bun looked preggo with eight bunnies inside, oh well it was funny to look at. For my belly dance attire I went with something simple, and what I mean by simple is something not flashy and also covered my belly. Believe me, I would love to wear those beautiful costumes that are adorned with jewels and fringe but I can’t fit in them. Also, showing my belly was not a option, I was still not brave enough to subject my fellow dancers to it. I decided to purchase a 25 yrd. orange skirt (I wanted something that flew when I danced around) , a black tank top that had the words Belly Dance spelled out in rhinestones on it, and a black hip scarf with fringe. There I was set, I practice for months and felt when the night came to perform I would be ready………..at least I thought I was.
               Finally the week of Cabaret Dance Camp was here, YAAAAAAA! The headliner this year was Ruby Beh, a fantastic dancer. With her, there was other great teachers there as well Tamra Henna, Sa'diyya, Stacey Lizette, Michelle joyce and Bahaia herself of course. I couldn’t wait, I was going to a place I had grown to love. I was ready to expand my belly dance education, hang out with old friends and make new ones, then dance the night away. I had made arrangements to travel with my bestie Kim (The Blonde Blade) and we were both so excited to get there. Kim was a counselor this year at camp and needed to get there early, so we began to pack up my Dads truck, the only vehicle that was able to carry everything we needed to take(microwave, princess packs, our suitcases, decorations, liquor ) we threw a giant tarp over everything to make sure nothing flew out. So when we left Austin we looked like the Beverly Hillbillies, it was so funny, but hey we were ready for camp. We arrived and the festivities began, I was actually made counselor and I felt proud to be one, cause even though it’s a
small part it feels good to be part of something bigger. The big day at camp (for me) arrived, Friday, it was that night when the dance showcase was to begin, and due to the nature of my dance it was placed right after the comedy skit . I would be the first one to dance, great my stomach started to hurt and that dance number that I worked on so hard was starting to slip from my mind….crap. I took a couple of hours to myself that day, to listen to my music and go over the choreo, when I got back to my cabin to get ready for dinner I came to the conclusion, ready or not I was going to do this dance number, even if i had to improvise the whole thing…..anyway what can go wrong. I could barely eat and as I walked to the cabin to get ready, doubts started entering my mind. I was attacked by the "what if's" gang…… What if this was too over the line, what if I fall out of my costume, what if the mask flies off and hits someone in the face, what if all those teachers laugh at me, what if I embarrass my teacher and she denies knowing me….uh oh. Also what if I insulted the entire rabbit population and they send the hip-pity hop mafia after me……it could happen. Like I said before, I always need help getting into my costume and luckily my dearest friends were there to save the day. Jessica helped me fashion tape everything in, especially my tank top, so that my belly did not decide to make appearance on its own. And Kim made sure I was secured nice and tight. I snuck down to the gym and Claire helped me get into the rabbit costume, and was I in for a biggggg surprise. Hades was inside my onesie with me, OMG………I was so hot that the urge to de-bunny and ran to the river was so tempting. Poor Claire, she was fanning me and I was melting like a popsicle…..so when the time to came to hop out I was slightly dazed from the heat, but I heard laughter and I preceded to do my number. I can honestly say I remembered at least forty percent what I had planned to do, de-bunny actually went more smoothly then I thought ( probably due to sweat) and I managed to throw in my arrow dance moved I had worked on. And I was done. People clapped and I was happy to know it brought in some laughter and this plan, that I've worked on for months did not go as well as it did in my head but I managed to do it. The rest of the camp was great, I got some positive compliments about my dance and was so sad to go. Kim and I hillbilly the truck and we went back to Austin.
               As soon as I was home and unpacked, my family did not let me rest, they wanted to know all about camp and more importantly wanted to see the video. I was not brave enough to look at it at camp, but I was interested in seeing it as well. I hooked up the camera to the T.V., and along with my family I watched Honey Bun Bun in action. I was gobsmacked to say the least, my belly decided on her own to crash the party and she was there in all of her glory. I couldn't believe fashion tape had failed me and I was literally stun, no one told me that the belly came out. Either my family didn't notice or just decide to say nothing about it, they love it and thought it was great. I got up , took the camcorder down, went to my room saying I was tired, sat in my bathroom and cried. After awhile I went back to my other blogs and re-read them, I came to the conclusion this was something that needed to happen……..I needed to get over this fear of showing my belly. When I express my concerns to Kim she calmed me down "Every one was enjoying your dance, no one was looking at your belly" So I'm posting my video to show others who share my concerns that maybe not everything goes as plan, doesn't mean the end result won't be great. I had to remind myself that this fellow wonderful women were there to support me and they did. Belly or no belly I did my danced and I loved doing it, I was meant to dance. I plan on continuing my belly dance eduction and I'll post vids for the year 2013, once a month of a dance I do ( just to show my progression of my skills I hope to receive), perhaps I'll re-do this number sans bunny. Honey Bun Bun motto : Never let fear get in way of your dance.
Thanks to My Thelma to my Louise , Kim and thanks to Jessica and Claire for getting me into my costume....whew
Thank You to all of the lovely ladies who supported me at camp this year, I love Cabaret Dance Camp!
Thanks Bahaia for starting such a wonderful event. XO Misty

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Chubby Girl Faces The Glitter Cover Elephant In The Room

The Chubby Girl Faces The Glitter Cover Elephant In The Room
Hello Ladies, Chubby Girl / Cute Belly Dancer here to discuss another big topic that affects me in this world of oriental dance. I’m ready to confront and tackle that Glitter Cover Elephant that’s in the room, her full name My Weight Issue. It’s a name I’m sure allot of people who read my blogs know very well, and even though I have tried many times to simply put her in the corner and look away, her presence bears down on me everyday. So lets map out where I have been so far, first place Courageville, here is where I gather all my courage to even start belly dancing (The Chubby Girl Was Meant To Belly Dance Blog). At first the trip started off real rocky and seem to be a bad idea to begin with, but once I got there I discovered a town that felt like home in my heart and I never want to leave. After settling in for a bit, I decided to take a trip to the pool ( The Chubby Girl Takes A Dip Into The Belly Dance Pool Blog). I wanted to learn more about this dance, so I venture outside my weekly belly dance classes by taking some workshops, even though I was not sure I was ready to do that, I found swimming around with other dancers was a very rewarding experience. Then I decided to go camping ( The Chubby Girl Goes Camp Blog), I packed my bags and went to a belly dance oasis. During the day I learn how to build up my dancing technique and at night, I danced under the stars, I Love Camp! By looking at this map so far you can see there’s allot of great places I have been to and it’s apparent that belly dancing is a big part of my life. It’s not just a exercise I do to keep my body going, it goes way beyond that. I was born to do this dance and I love it with every fiber of my being. At work I daydream about it , and at night in bed I dream about it. But in order to get to those places I had to go through some very bad parts, everyone who has their own map, has them. Here are a few names of mine and they are the ones I’ll be covering in this blog. There’s Bulge City, Winded Valley and USuck Town and in all these places that Glitter Cover Elephant, My Weight Issue, has established herself and is mayor in all of them. Before I start they are two very important things I must say before you read on, here is the first. Now I know I must sound like a annoying parakeet, but I must once again repeat the previous warnings I have said in my other blogs. If you are my friend, what you read might make you feel bad and it can also make you feel uncomfortable to be around me. Those are not my intentions, but I did make a promise to share not only the good things that happen to me when I started to belly dance, but also the bad. Second thing is, does size matter when it comes to being a great belly dancer, and my answer to that is ABSOLUTELY NOT. I have seen many great dancers of all sizes, who’s technique and talent inspire me to be a better dancer. I have been blown away by these big voluptuous belly dancers who love their bodies and they can do moves that would take me years to perfect. To me if they are healthy and happy it’s all good. But this blog is about my weight and how its affected my happiness, health and overall belief in my skills or lack there of . So lets begin.
Welcome to Bulge City, here we guarantee any costume you try on, you will see bulges of your fat stick out. Now lets get one thing clear, I’m not happy with my body, too say I am is a bold face lie. In non-belly dancing mode I take special care to wear things that show the least amount of fat rolls, that stems from high school where I was called troll and fat ass and other names I can‘t bring myself to type out. When I started to belly dance I wear long shirts to cover my hips, I don’t want to see the spare tire underneath and I also didn‘t want other ladies to see it and feel sorry or laugh at me. But when I started dancing more and more I did find allot of women did not care what I look like, they saw me and my dancing. So it did help me get out of my fat shell, just a little though. I found I wanted what every other belly dance enthusiast wants, a beautiful costume to wear. Shopping for a big girl like me is not only a heartache but feels almost like torture. Finding plus size costumes is not easy, and its even harder when you are short, under 5’2 forget about it. Now I have been to conventions, haflas and such and there are people who sell beautiful costumes but they are meant for skinny girls, to find something that fits me is like finding a needle in a haystack. It breaks my heart cause I want so badly just to pick one, try it on and shimmy my heart out. I been blessed with huge boobs on top of that and the biggest coin bra I have tried on, my boobs runneth over, I knew I should not have listen to my sister when she said putting fertilizer on them would make them grow, it would appear I put too much. There are online stores who do sell sale plus size costumes but its is a guarantee that would have to alter them, now I don’t know how to sew and threading a needle takes me at least half hour to do, so that’s out. So the question now is did I ever get the nerve to wear a costume? Yes I did, with support of my fellow dancers and the best two inventions, fashion tape and belly cover ups. Before I joined Bahaia’s student troupe, danced a duet with another dancer and did solos, I knew needed to first get over this fear of showing my belly to the world. Even though I had more in the middle then the other ladies I shared the stage with, to them it was never a issue. Believe me I lived in constant fear that they were embarrassed by my body and I did things that I’m ashamed of. I’ll admit there were a couple of times I could not get over my fear and I made up excuses to bow out of performances (just admitting that brings tears to my eyes) cause I love dancing with all these ladies and seeing them dance on stage without me made my heart sink. For some ladies getting in and out of a costume is not a hard task, but for me its work. On top of that there’s a sort of mixture of sorry/embarrassment when other people have to help you get tape or safety pin in. I can’t even tell you how bad I felt when my duet partner spent more time making sure nothing pop out on me with tape and pin, then she did dressing herself. This city will not knock off my game, the road I take to be more comfortable with my body is hard, but it’s one I gladly take to keep dancing.
You are now approaching Winded Valley, you dance to get in but you crawl to get out. I will say this about myself, I truly think I’m a good dancer, I really do. Not a great one but I’m pretty good. I give credit to the dance teaches I had when I was a kid and to the belly dance teacher I have now. Taking classes and workshops has made my technique better, I’ve seen it. But here’s the thing, even though I’m excited to learn and can’t wait to dance, …my energy level seems to plummet down a deep ravine, and its takes time to crawl back up. I know for a fact I’m not healthy, and like Ace of Base I saw the signs and here they are. Bending over to tie my shoe is hard work for me, when I stand back up I’m breathing hard and I’m dizzy. After doing a beginning warm up I’m tired. When I’m done dancing a choreo a few times I find myself winded. Once at a convention during a workshop I felt like I was going to hit the floor, I ran out so I wouldn’t embarrass myself fainting in front of other people. So no I’m not healthy, I know it and others know it. My family and friends are very concerned for me, they’ve told me more then once. Anything that might prevent me from dancing is a big no no to them, but remember I eat my emotions so its very hard to eat healthy. When I get upset at work instead of eating the banana I have in the fridge I’m looking for the Hershey kisses bag I hid from others. So after writing these blogs I realized my health and my dancing are allot more important to me then that bag of reese buttercups, so I’m working on my diet. So what I’m doing to help my diet? Well I eat several times through out the day and keep my calorie intake to 1,200. I exercise a hour and half six days a week, the first thirty minutes I switch daily from running or weights, then the rest of the hour is concentrated on dancing. I had came up with the idea of 30day Choreo, something that would help my dancing, musicality and stamina. I pick a short song come up with a choreography for it, practice and after thirty days film it and post it. That way I can progress my weight and my dancing. I plan on starting it after camp, so in November. I also gave up my love of diet soda, I was reading a hormone book in March that talked about aspartame, it helps block a signal to your brain that you are full. AHHHHH No wonder I could eat two sandwiches, now I find I’m actually full faster, it worked.!! I do treat myself twice a week, a boba, some ice cream or a snickers bar. So my goal is not to be skinny (I gave up on that a long time ago) its to be healthy and have more energy to dance with my fellow hip shakers. Whether I lose ten or fifty pounds it does not matter. I will leave this town not on my hands and knees, but on my feet.
Good day! How are you? You are now entering USuck Town, here you will find the most unfriendliness people there are on the map and if you leave feeling horrible about yourself, well we have done our job. After entering the world of Raqs Sharki , I have found some of the most friendliest, greatest and sweetest people I know, some I now call my dearest friends. But with the sweets comes the sour. Unfortunately not everyone is friendly in this world of dance, and because of the way I look I have been kicked in the gut and shown I suck plenty of times. This one was very hard to write but to pretend it did not happen is unfair to me and other readers who have had similar experiences. So I’m here to recount a few things that hit me the hardest. Of course there was the first hit before I even dropped a hip, in my first blog I wrote about my first experience trying to dance and the first teach who refuse to teach me, that was a hard face slap to take. The second major hit I took happen to me at a dance competition in Austin, my duet partner and I were there to perform a never before seen routine we had work so hard on. After getting ready, we went to a waiting room filled with other dancers, everybody was talking and go over their routines, it was like entering a hen house full of excited chicks. My partner went to a quiet area to practice with her finger cymbals and I was sitting by myself going over my routine in my head. Even though I was in Austin there were not too many people I knew so I kept to myself. Sure enough I felt strange and heavy, I looked up and there were two girls sitting up against a wall staring at me. For at least good ten minutes , they were looking at me, talking to each other and then look at me some more, and even though they were only twenty feet away I could not hear a word they said (the room was loud). I knew for sure they were talking about me when one them blew up her cheeks and gave herself a double chin, the other one laughed and looked at me. I couldn’t believe it, was I back in high school? Someone I knew and to be honest I can’t remember who ( because I was in shock I think) came up to me to see I how I was and to compliment my skirt. I asked her what was their problem and I nodded my head toward those two vipers, she looked over at them and told me “just ignore them” then I heard her talk to my partner, who I didn’t realize had return and was practicing behind me. For five more minutes they continued so I looked at them and mouth the words “Fuck You” they eyes about popped out and they turned their attention to some other girls, their friends I’m guessing. Now I have never seen those two ladies before in my life and I was surrounded by allot of other women I did not know, but those two were the only ones who felt the need to make fun of me and my weight. Everyone else was friendly and courteous. I decided not to tell my partner what happen that night so we could just enjoy our dance, we were the third act and afterwards we were able to sit down and enjoyed the rest of the show. I saw those two girls again and I know what there names are now and that they are local girls, but I refuse to name them, because naming them gives them power over me, and that won‘t happen. I never talked to them, but their disgust for me is always evident, at a rehearsal for some shows that were happening last year one smirked then laughed at me in the hall, I left the studio got in the car and was in tears………those tears were made up of frustration and pride. Ever so often I see them at shows, they look at me and talk to each other. I realized to them I’m probably that fat girl that shows up at belly dance venues. Then there is the combination of people who always feel the need to put you in your place and tell you that you’ll never get anywhere with your dancing. I had a client the other day who knows I belly dance and she felt the need to let me know that in her mind belly dancers are beautiful skinny girls and that’s just something I’m not, but in a friendly way. Hey its hurts anyway you say it. What other women have to realize is that even though they might not have issues with their weight like I do or others in the same situation I’m in, this is the shit that does happen to us, we are grown women but we still get made fun of. I know how you feel, its how you take it that makes the difference. None of those people will ever stop me from dancing, they push me down I’ll will come right back up. And having friends I can vent my frustration to and have my back helps tremendously, more then they know. So guess what USuck Town , you can just suck it.
There I face that beautiful Glitter Cover Elephant, My Weight Issue, in every town. No doubt she will always be there and that’s okay with me. Because her being there makes me a stronger person inside and out. Now off to HipShakerVille, the best place on the map.

Misty Waggoner

Friday, September 14, 2012

The Chubby Girl Goes To Camp

Free At Cabaret Dance Camp

The Chubby Girl Goes To Camp, Say What!?!?! You said camp right, as in camping out? I tell you something right now about me, and perhaps other ladies ( thin or chubby) might feel the same way, the word camp or camping scares the shit out of me. When I hear those words dreaded images pop up in my mind. Such as being outside with one million bugs wanting to feed off my body like a buffet, peeing outside and fearful a snake might come up and bite me in the ass, or having to sleep on the hard ground wrap up like a cocoon in my sleeping bag. Now I know I have plenty of cushion on my body, but this lady needs a mattress. And call me a wuss but I live in Texas, which is located right next to the sun, so having a a/c unit or a fan is a big must. So a couple of years ago that scary word “camp” came up in Bahaia class when she started talking about her Cabaret Dance Camp ( a camp she started and continually runs each year in the fall). Truth be told when she started talking about it all I heard was camp, learning, fun, dancing, s’mores, my mind sort of spaced out, I guess the word camp does that to me. Then she said to look at her website for more info about it. Leaving class I was saying good bye to Jessica ( aka Wonder Woman) and she asked me if I was going, now I know I don’t have what you might call a “poker face” you can tell how I’m feeling almost instantly, and I can tell Jessica just witness my scare shitless face. She started to tell me right away how much fun it was, and it was a experience I wouldn’t want to miss, plus I should really really really think about it, and if I had questions ask her. So the next day at work I looked it up on Bahaia website. After reading about it I knew right away it was not what I had imagined, basically I was not going to be spending my time on survivor island. So this is what I found out about Cabaret Dance Camp before I even attended. I was not going to be stuck sleeping outside or in a tent, peeing in a man made hole I had to dig up myself. The camp was located at a place called Camp Rio Vista, it has cabins with bunk beds, fans, and bathrooms (so it has showers, toilets, sinks etc.) I‘m liking it already. I was not going to have to whittle a piece of wood into a spear to go hunting for my food or swim in the river and catch fish in my mouth, all of your meals are provided for, what a relief. Now for the part that really got me, according to the website I was going to a place that is surrounded by mother nature at her finest, here I will be able to step up my belly dance education. After my experience at the convention in my last blog I knew right away I wanted to learn more and more about the dance I love, and here at Cabaret Dance Camp there would be star instructors teaching hours of belly dance. LOVE!!!!!!! Also when there are no classes, you have time to relax by the river, shop around with local vendors that sold everything having to do with belly dance, play games with fellow hip shakers, then at night there are belly dance shows and s’mores/bonfire parties afterwards. I read it over and over again, and each time I did my heart ached more and more to go. So after mulling it over for a couple of weeks I made the hard never look back decision to go.

I did have to make sure that all my bases were covered when it came to my family and my business, my sister Mary made sure she would have off from work in Houston so she could come out to Austin and be back up for my Father in case he needed help with my Mom. And even though camp was still a couple of months away, I had three schedule jobs that week, but my Father said he look after them for me, no worries. I’m so grateful to have a family who support my belly dance, I love them so much, I think I‘ll keep them (wink). But before I could put my money down transportation was a issue, and camp was three and a half hours away. I could not take my own vehicle, it has the lift for my Mom and my Dads truck was out of the question. Its used to pick up materials and haul trash from the jobs, also its use as a back up if one of my guys trucks breaks down ( which has happen) that was not chance I was willing to take. I would take my sister’s car but camp starts on a Thursday and she would not get to Austin until Friday night. The next class I went to Bahaia started talking about camp again, she looked at me and asked if I was going, when I said I want to but I don’t have a way to get there she said “ Don’t worry we will get you there”. She wasn’t kidding, the next day I get a email from a fellow Belly Dancer name Claire (who lives in the same town as I do and is also Bahaia student) saying she be more then happy to give me a lift. I was so grateful that these wonderful women were not going to allow not having a vehicle get in the way of going to camp, so after iron out some details with Claire for the trip I booked myself a hot ticket to Cabaret Dance Camp. The week before camp I found myself not only counting down the days but also the hours. But unfortunately I also found myself getting very nervous, AGAIN!! Now what I’m about to say is what I felt, other ladies who are also overweight might feel the same way as I do, and then again some may feel the opposite. Being obese I seem to experience a lot mixed emotions when I try something new, and going to camp was no different, but Im here to tell my story, I refuse to sugar coat anything. So once again if you can’t handle some information that might make you feel uncomfortable (especially if you know me), stop reading and know this, Cabaret Dance Camp was the best experience I ever had and I beg all my fellow hip shakers to go, just to experience it once is something you won‘t forget, I guarantee it. Now if you want to hear what made me nervous, here we go. Lets start with my body, as I said before I am a five foot lady who’s about 100 pounds overweight ( just to admit that now makes every part of my body twist into a knot) but its true. There are times when I do resemble a M&M and I‘m convinced if I curled up and grab my knees, I could roll to places faster then I do when I’m walking. So the whole insecure stuff starts to rise up like a rash that won’t go away and I start to ask myself the same questions I always ask. Will the other ladies look down on me or feel pity for being fat? Will they make fun of me when I try to waddle up and down the hills? How Im I going to change or take a shower in front of other women without them looking at my body? Also will they watch how much I eat? That’s always a good one, I think everyone would be surprise how may overweight people there are who feel that others are always watching them eat. Also questions about my belly dance experience comes up. Im I ready for this? Do I know enough to pick up whatever I learn? What if I’m the worse one there? All this worries and questions don’t stop until I get there.

Finally the big day arrives, worried or not I paid and I was going. It took me three days to pack, I was trying real hard to minimize how much stuff I was taking, I did not want to overload Claire’s car because she was sweet enough to give me a ride in the first place. But hey I’m a girl, and I think we all know girls like options, so I was very happy to find out that another wonderful woman and fellow belly dancer and Bahaia student Kim, was going to come with her car and put some of my stuff with hers. Yeah!! And off we go caravanning to camp like gypsies. The ride to camp help ease my fears, talking to Claire help kept my mind from not filling up with doubt, plus she had been to camp already so she was able to tell me some good camp stories, it help. When we arrived I was taken aback by the place, the location was beautiful and serene. It was so green and the river that runs along the camp was so tranquil, I’m not even joking when I say the river look like it was mediating. When I step out of the car and look around my body began to decompress instantly, that is the effect the environment at camp had on me. I found the cabin Jessica was staying in and I unpacked my stuff, it made me feel better knowing I was in a cabin with a couple ladies I already know, Im still a bit shy when it comes to strangers, especially when Im in a place I'm not use to. Each belly dancer gets there own bunk and can decorate it however they want, also there was a contest for best decorations. So I thought it would be cool to do a Jason Ski Mask Monster theme one, since he does go after campers. I felt a bit silly afterwards, everyone else had funny, cute girly decorations, oh well that just me. We had dinner and I was delighted to see some more faces I recognize, Bahaia went over the schedule, handed out shirts and introduce the star instructors. Ranya Renee and Roxanne Shelby were the big names that year, and of course like anyone else I looked up information and videos about them, and I was excited to start learning what that had to teach. The next few days were not what I expected, each hour I was there I found myself letting go more and more of the heavy doubt I was having, unfortunately it did not break off fast enough. That first night I actually slept in the clothes I came in and I made sure to get up very early to change before anybody saw me, I was laid backed in bed ready to go while everyone else was getting up. Friday went as plan, the classes were wonderful and I found that I was not worried at all about whether or not I could keep up, or if people were singling me out. All the ladies, even the ones I just met were super nice. And just like the convention, don’t feel like you have to learn every single thing, just take in what you can, believe it or not your dance knowledge does grow. That night was the first show and I signed myself up to dance in it ( what was I thinking) , fortunately liquor is allowed at camp so it help shake a little bit of my fear away. A month before, I had come up with this solo that combined my love for hip hop and belly dance(my first solo), it started out with a Usher song, then turned to a Hakim pop Arabic song. People were cheering and it seem they enjoyed it but as I watch the rest of the dancers perform I started to scold myself. Everybody was doing Arabic songs not mixing it up like I did, I began to worry that the others ladies including Bahaia would feel I did not take this seriously. It would hang over my head that entire night. I woke up the next day dress and ready to go, after breakfast I found myself standing next to Ranya Renee who looked straight at me and said “I really enjoyed your dance last night, you got everyone attention and it was fun, you need to keep that up” she was serious. My stomach did flips and I thanked her. During class that day I had a major breakthrough, after we were given a short break all I can say was I had the sudden urge to cry. I went straight outside and sat down by a tree and balled my eyes out, what was happening to me was that all of the negative energy I had left inside my body was spilling out. And I also found I had a major epiphany about myself. When you bottle all those bad things you feel about yourself, one way or another it will come spilling out, and mine came out like a river. I realized I was not given myself enough credit when it came to my dancing, I have no problem now to admit that even though I’m overweight I ‘m a really good dancer. Not the best but I’m really good one and taking this classes and workshops will make me a better one. And also I don’t care what people think about my body, after that there was no problem getting undress or showering in front of other ladies, I didn’t have anything they have not seen before. After my cry fest I cleaned myself up the best I could and went back in, but here’s the thing about me crying you can totally tell I have and when somebody ask me was I crying even though I say no the tears come back out. So I cried a little bit more and received some hugs, but I love the fact nobody try to force me  to say why I was crying, its as if they knew this experience brings out things in us we never knew we had.

The weekend continued and there was laughing, belly dance games, crafts, relaxing by the river, music, dancing, drinking wine and having s’mores beside a big campfire. Stories were shared, I made new friends that I still keep in touch with even though they live in another state and nobody I mean NOBODY was pushed to the side. There was also some great shopping, always my favorite! When Sunday came around I was sad to go, I hug everybody goodbye and wish them adieu. So there, I popped my camp cherry that first year and the following year was even better! I hope by reading this anyone who is nervous because of there weight can save some of the heartache I went through. Bahaia created this Cabaret Dance Camp, so that everyone can enjoy learning belly dance in a safe and beautiful environment, it makes everyone feel welcome and it’s a great time. And I can’t thank her enough for coming up with it. This year will be my third time to go and I can‘t wait, I wanted to come up with a power word to wear on my shirt the first day of camp this year. Something that sums up camp for me, so I came up with FREE. Cabaret Dance Camp makes me feel Free. F is for Friends, old or new ones, Im always surrounded by my belly sisters who become my dearest friends, we support each other in our love for this dance. R is for Relaxation, being a Cabaret surrounded by nature ( green hills and cool river) my body automatically relaxes and Im able to let my guard down and have fun and not feel insecure one bit. E is for Evolving , my belly dance education evolves more and more as I get to learn from some of the best teachers that come to teach at camp. And the final E is for Epiphany, every time I'm at camp I learn something new about myself and it never fails to surprise me. And just like Jessica said if you feel unsure or have any questions please feel free to contact me. And once again thank you to Bahaia, Kim , Claire , Jessica and the rest of my belly dance sisters for making me feel welcome, reaching out to someone who is alone at a event does make a big difference. See everybody at Camp this year!

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