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… 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.....

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……… 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… 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