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


  1. I love this! I'm a TRAMP goer (Tribal Dance Camp) and know how you feel! Seeing all of those professional teachers in the audience can really intimidate you! But what's really awesome is that you were all focused on your dance rather than what your costume was doing, and that's the right start! You weren't self conscious enough to make sure that your belly showed and just danced it through. And congrats on getting a 25 yard skirt. Those aren't cheap! You should come to TRAMP some time and see the interesting things we come up with. Loved the dance. Keep doing what you're doing!

  2. Oh, Misty! I literally had tears in my eyes watching you dance! It's been a long time since I've seen you dance, and you have learned so much. You danced with confidence, grace, and skill, and I am SO PROUD OF YOU! You are beautiful!

  3. Misty, I have loved your dancing since you danced to Usher at my first camp. When was that? 2010?
    I saw your belly in person last year, and I never thought. "Aww man, why is her belly hanging out." If anything I expected to see belly because well, belly dance. And, well, I always think you look beautiful.
    I do hope you aren't discounting the idea of wearing a sparkle, sparkle costume because you think they won't fit. I can recall a couple of costumes at camp (including mine) that fall outside the usual size category. I know I spend a lot of time looking for costumes, making costumes and finding things that work for my shape and I have.
    I love this blog and I love that people are embracing you and each other for the way we are regardless of how we look. However, if you want to wear sparkles then by God, someone get Misty Dawn some sparkles!