Tuesday, August 29, 2017

"I guess go ahead and start." *aura of unhappiness* Adventures in restaurant dancing, installment #6...

Well, today is the first day of class for the fall semester, but guess what? I don't want to talk about that. :0 Let's talk about something infinitely more enjoyable to me, and we can circle back to teaching another time. Because to talk about teaching right now would drain what little energy I have left to give. So there's that.

But Friday night, I had another dancing adventure, and those are always fun. Let's chronicle!

So, this shindig was about 90 minutes from where we live, and so Claire and I had a mini road trip to contend with on either end. 90 minutes isn't a big deal, but we definitely had to plan for it. We set off around 3:15 pm for our 5:30 set time and gossiped the entire way there.

We arrive, and find our destination in a mall. Not exactly what we were expecting, but no matter. We unload our gear (costumes, so many costumes, plus Sword, a candle tray, a cane, and a gigantic set of veil fans), and head in. I notice right away, and happily so, that the restaurant consists of 2 full rooms. It's much easier when you have multiple spaces to travel between, keeps things interesting. You're not marooned in one room with the same people for the entire 20 minute set. I did notice though, that there were no people seated in the second room. Nor was there an abundance of people in the other room. I am struck by a sense of foreboding.

*long suffering sigh*

We find the owner, and he has a real face on him. By which I mean he seemed to be somewhat annoyed by our appearance and existence. We hadn't talked to him prior to this, since we had been booked by his marketing person. He was just very hard to read. By the end of the night, we came to realize that this was just His Face. It just always looks like that, even when he's happy. :0 But we were unsure for a time.

We take a quick look around the place, and he pops us into this dank back hallway where supplies are kept, and which has been designated our dressing room for the night. Immediately, our shoes begin to adhere to the sticky floor.


We creep to the end of the hallway, and carefully set up our stuff, trying not to get grease on anything in the process. I set Sword on a ledge and happen upon a squashed spider.

*shudder of revulsion*

We change into our first set of costumes, and head out to ask him when he wants us to start. There aren't many people there yet, just 4 tables full, and we'd be happy to wait until 6 pm to start, to allow for more people to fill in, we tell him. Once again, we are accosted by The Face:

"Go ahead and start."

OK then.

I'm up first (yayyyyyyyyyyyy!) and Claire sets up my music. I swirl out with my veil. I assess my 4 tables:

Table 1 - large, full of older people. They do not seem to have even noticed that there is a belly dancer waving a giant silk veil around in the middle of the restaurant.

Table 2 - a family with 2 young children. They are friendly, but the toddler appears to be terrified of me.

Table 3 - 3 other belly dancers that I recognize from Facebook. They enthusiastically came to see us dance, and establish themselves early on as the safe spot to refresh and recharge.

Table 4 - a couple who look up from their food and beam at me whenever I hip drop in their direction. They are also on my good list.

I make my way around the room. The belly dancer table is predictably very loud and raucous in the best possible way, and give me the energy boost I need to keep trucking. The couple table is just so sweet, and they also make me feel good every time I dance in their corner. The young family finishes up and leaves shortly after I start my set, so now I'm down to the two happy tables plus the older people table who still appear to not realize I am there despite my dancing several enthusiastic circles around them. There is only so many times I can bask in the glow of the belly dancer table praise and applause. Let's just say that the set began to feel verrryyyyyyyy.llloooooonnnnnggggggg....

Finally, I decide to take matters into my own hands. WHO IS GOING TO GET UP TO DANCE WITH ME?! Because it was going to be SOMEBODY. "No" was not an answer I was willing to hear.

I dance over to the cute couple, but they had just gotten back from the buffet. They both beam at me, but they were about to eat and I did not want to disturb them. I shimmy over to the belly dancers. The first woman I ask declines.


You're killin' me, girl!

I am not budging. I am hip circling over there until somebody gets up, and that was that. Realizing that I was not so easily dissuaded, one of them finally clamors out of the booth.

*angels sing*

We dance together for the remainder of the song, and as is always happily the case, getting people up to dance always raises the energy level in the room. She sits back down, and I steel myself to head back to the older people table.

This time I elicit a response. They seem to finally notice my existence, which is a pleasant change. I wasn't feelin' asking any of them up to dance, but they were now a friendlier crowd. Mercifully, this helps the set to pass faster, but I am still incredibly relieved to hear my drum solo queue up, and then finish off. I float away, awash in exhaustion.

I head back into our sticky dressing room to find some fresh air. Claire dances next, and comes back with a very long suffering expression:

"Good heavens. I really wish they had let us wait to start until later."

We change into our second set costumes and kill as much time as we can. It's about 7 pm, but the restaurant has advertised belly dancing until 8:30. Our sets are 20 minutes apiece, so as you can see, the math isn't really adding up on this one. Us peeking out from our little hovel finds us, once again, confronted by The Face:

"There are new people. Go ahead and start."

New people? *Two tables* 2. That's a TOTAL of 2, just to be clear. And one of them is the same older people table, just with a few new additions.


Sword and I nervously queue up as Claire starts our music. There is a big open space between the two tables, and Sword and I linger there. He gets a LOT of attention in this set, just for the sheer reason of using up some time. I swoop him around for a bit in that middle area, then troop him over to each table to balance. As is always the case, Sword is a crowd pleaser. Everyone is certainly now paying attention, and Sword actually accompanies me, ON MY HEAD, across the span of the entire room. He brought his A Game, that's for sure.

I keep Sword with me for the entire song before reluctantly handing him back to Claire. I now have 16 more minutes to fill with these same few people.

I will say this: when your situation is less than satisfactory, you're much more likely to drop your nervousness and perform better, because hey. What is there to lose at this point?

I dance over to the new table, a family with teenaged children. They are extremely attentive and I immediately deem them likeable. I overhear the girl mention something about loving dance, and that she used to tap dance, and I waste 0 zero seconds hip bumping over to ask her to get up and dance with me. She appears terrified and declines, which is disappointing, but you can't win them all. I dance back over to the older people, and there is now a woman at the end of that table who is extremely friendly and STARTS A CONVERSATION WITH ME WHILE I AM DANCING. While I appreciate interactivity, that's not exactly what I had in mind in this particular situation. I ask her up to dance:

"Oh no. I am a terrible dancer. I'm Italian!"

I inform her that I, too, am Italian, and this delights her to no end. She leaps up and begins to dance with me. The set has taken a definite turn for the better.

Her entire table is now watching us and clapping along, and it couldn't have come at a better time. I mean, there wasn't really anywhere else for me to go. :0

After she sits back down, I make my way back to the other family, and they are delightful and attentive, but good gracious, everyone must be sick of me by this point. I am like their personal belly dancer when they really didn't want one.

By the time my long drum solo for the end of the set finally starts playing, I am bathed in sweat and I can see the hair near my face sticking straight up in the air as a result. Sweat runs into my eyes, making them burn.

All glamour, all the time.

I love the drum song that I picked, but I was ready for this little shindig to be OVER. I move to the open area and am accenting my little heart out when I experience the sinking realization that the restaurant is silent. I glance nervously out of my arm formation and see that it is silent because everybody is watching me. They loved the drum solo. All 10 of them. 😂

We stalled as much as we could before Claire's set, but Face Guy really wanted her to begin, so she did. As she danced, closer to 8 pm, the restaurant began to fill in.

We told him so. :0

When Claire finished, there were a decent number of people there, although nowhere near enough to start filling up the second room. We change and pack up our belongings, very relieved to have this one behind us.

By the time I get home, it's after 10 pm and I am beyond exhausted. I am grateful to have a bit of a break from performing. For a few weeks at least!

Now I have classes starting. 😠 Not exactly fun times, but we do what we can. How was YOUR weekend, dear reader?!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Tea Time with Tiffany #110 - STRESS

How's that for a relaxing title this month? ;-)

Today I talk about the semester starting, and how I'm finding it just a wee bit stressful. Prayer strategies, more dance gigs, fun books coming out this fall, and more!

**To subscribe to the audio version of Tea Time with Tiffany, just search for it in iTunes or use this link to subscribe via Feedburner in your podcatcher of choice. Intro music is "Feelin' Good" from http://www.purple-planet.com

Items mentioned in this episode:

On My Bookshelf - Same author as my Amish Quilt Shop Mysteries (just under a pseudonym), is a new series, Assaulted Caramel (An Amish Candy Shop Mystery).

Prayer Corner - I'm starting a 30 day Evening and Night Prayer challenge beginning Monday, 8/28. Would you like to join in?

Creative Commons - I started the sleeves on my Rhinebeck sweater! It's a miracle!

Are you going to pray along for the prayer challenge? Have any new book recommendations? Planning for Advent already the way that I am? ;-) Do write in!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

On headaches and 30 day prayer challenges...

Soooooooo, I had a totally different post planned for today about discernment. And then...today happened. It was not a good day, work-wise. The semester starts Monday, and as is our new normal, we're all running around putting out fires that NEVER start back in June. They only start 2 days before classes begin. Every.Single.Time.

I felt frustrated. I felt stressed out and harried. I felt like I was forgetting things from moment-to-moment, as is always the case when I'm trying to do too many things at the same time. I developed a headache.

As I popped an ibuprofen, I thought of the text string I had with Sam last night. As we were talking about the stress of the new semester approaching (Sam is starting a brand new job as a teacher in a combined 1st/2nd grade classroom!) I said that I was really feeling deep in my soul how important prayer was going to be for me this semester. So that I wouldn't sink back down to the abyss of anxiety and depression and happened last fall (we will heretofore refer to the fall of 2016 as "That Semester" and shudder whenever we hear it's name). I had an official "Fall 2016 Managing Stress Series" last year for a reason. It's painful to reflect back on.

At any rate, back to prayer. Sam, my sister, and myself are in the midst of a 30 day yoga challenge for stress relief and relaxation.Which may not seem to have anything to do with prayer, but stay with me! :0 I mentioned to Sam how I longed to get back into a routine with praying the Liturgy of the Hours, but it's just SO difficult to stay consistent with it (footnote: the Liturgy of the Hours is the official prayer of the Church; it is made up of hymns, psalms, and other short prayers relating to the liturgical season and/or feast day). She and I both then commiserated on just how many times we've failed miserably at keeping up with Morning and Evening Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours. Then I had a eureka moment:

"We should do a 30 day challenge for *that*!"

Right?! For 30 days, we'll endeavor to keep up with this form of prayer. Now, Sam and I both agreed that Morning Prayer? It's just not happening. We're realistic, you see. We're up by 6 (Sam even earlier than that), I have kids out the door by 7:20, Sam has a 40 minute commute, we both have classes first thing...Morning Prayer just isn't going to fit in there. Doesn't mean we can't pray a morning offering, but official Morning Prayer would only make us cry. So what we thought we would try is for 30 days, praying Evening and Night prayer. Something to look forward to after our long days, and both are designed to be SO soothing for weary souls. Would you like to join us?

If you own Christian Prayer, or the 4 volume set of the Liturgy of the Hours, you're all set.  If you'd like to use an online tool, there is the iBreviary app, which is available for both Android and ios, or you can use Universalis. I have the Divine Office app, but I know that isn't for sale currently while they work out a copyright situation. It doesn't matter what you use, as long as it allows you to pray!

We're going to start Monday, 8/28. I can have accountability posts in here from time-to-time, so we can check in with each other and see how it's going. It made me feel SO much better to think of this today in midst of my Nightmare Day From The Pits Of The Evil One.

If you'd like to join us, or just have thoughts generally on helpful forms of prayer for stressful times, please comment below!


Friday, August 18, 2017

Tea Time with Tiffany #109 - How to *not* feel overwhelmed...

It's an organization-focused episode this week of:

Had a little bit of a technical mishap today, and the audio didn't record on my video. 😡 So no video this week, but I do have the separate audio for the podcast feed, so that's all we have this week, sorry about that! I put lipstick on and everything. :0

This week we talk about strategies for evading that sense of being overwhelmed as we segue into Back-to-School season full force!

**To subscribe to the audio version of Tea Time with Tiffany, just search for it in iTunes or use this link to subscribe via Feedburner in your podcatcher of choice. Intro music is "Feelin' Good" from http://www.purple-planet.com

Items mentioned in this episode:

On My Bookshelf:  

Prayer Corner: St. Monica novena starts Friday 8/18, sponsored by Pray More Novenas. You can now also sign up for Facebook Messenger notifications by following the directions in this post!

Creative Commons: The Rhinebeck Sweater continues to grow. :0 I'll have a photo as soon as I join the back and can try it on!

What's going on with you this weekend, dear listener? What are your ideas for feeling less overwhelmed?

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

*lots of keyboard clacking* "Hum. Oh dear." Adventures in traveling, 2017 edition...

As I mentioned in Tea Time last week, I had a trip planned for this past weekend, and we had been planning it since May. Saturday morning, my bags were packed, I was at the airport before 6 am for my 7:15 am flight (after a fitful night of sleep anticipating the early alarm), and I was ready to go. I walk up to the self-checkout kiosk thingie, type in my reservation number, and am greeted with the following message:


Well grand. Not exactly what I want to see before I've had even a drop of tea. I take the little slip of paper that it printed it out, and limp over to the ticket agent. She greets me with a smile:

"Good morning!"

That remains to be seen.

"How can I help you?"

I smile and hand her my ominous slip of paper. She looks down at it, still smiling.

"ooohhhhh. You're flying into Newark? That flight is cancelled."

BOOM. I wished I could have slept in before dealing with all of this. 😱


That's the understatement of the morning.

"Let me just see for you when the next flight is that we could fit you in on."

She begins that nefarious practice of typing on her keyboard with the constant clickety clacking sound that inevitably takes 10 minutes, yet results in a concise announcement just like this:



I really needed caffeine. This had never happened to me before. It was *6 am*. And there's not a single flight I can get on within a 24 hour time period? Apparently not.

"Tomorrow? Really?"

"Yep. It's weather related."

That really didn't fully answer the question, but I was too tired to dig for further details.

"OK, well...put me on that one, please."

She's still clacking away, while I text Mike to ask him to come back and get me. Suddenly, I had a painful thought:

"What time did you say that flight was tomorrow?"

"6 am!"

She said that so brightly. I groaned.

I deliberately had not booked the 6 am flight because it would have meant getting up at about 3:30 am. And I was already operating on one abysmal night of sleep.

"Gosh, that's... a bit earlier than I'd like. What is the next flight out after that?"

More clacking.

"2 pm!"

*long suffering sigh*

So here I am, home and cranky. But safe. Everything happens for a reason, right?

You need to give me this one little solace to cling to, people. ;-)

In the meantime, I did have a lovely weekend with Mike and the kids. I've been getting more writing done on my Bible study. AND I have lots of stuff to talk to you about in Tea Time this week! Upcoming novenas, Third Orders, books, fall crafts. Horray!

How was your weekend, dear reader? Care to commiserate on cancelled flights?

Friday, August 11, 2017

Tea Time with Tiffany #108 - Back to School, and Scentsy talk!

Hello all! And welcome to a Back to School themed episode of:

Today I talk back-to-school, and fall Scentsy shenanigans! Plus, I finally reveal my Rhinebeck sweater, and what the heck that is. Join me!

**To subscribe to the audio version of Tea Time with Tiffany, just search for it in iTunes or use this link to subscribe via Feedburner in your podcatcher of choice. Intro music is "Feelin' Good" from http://www.purple-planet.com

Items mentioned in this episode:

My Scentsy website. Just send me an email if you'd like to join the Facebook group!

On My Bookshelf: Amish Quilt Shop series. Murder Plainly Read (Book 4), and Murder Handcrafted (Book 5).

Creative Commons: My Rhinebeck sweater, Opposite Pole, by Joji Locatelli. Yarn is Knit Picks' Wool of the Andes. My sweater specifically is in the Aurora Heather colorway. :) Link to the NY Sheep and Wool Festival!

Prayer Corner: Novena to St. Maximilian Kolbe! Watch for my piece about him on Catholic Mom, this coming Monday 8/14. 

What are you working on this weekend, dear readers? I'd love to hear from you!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Summer Book Club! The Well, Part 8...


It's the end of our Summer Book Club, and this Catholic librarian is feeling a bit emotional. It doesn't help that my kids are on a short overnight trip with their grandparents to a water park, and I'm all weepy about THAT, too.


My lucky husband. ;-)

But let's get down to business! The final segment in our Summer Book Club for 2017 is about to begin...grab your beverage!

All right, so we pick up with Shem and Mara on the run. They had met Mary, and are on their way back to Sychar, but with Mara trying to convince Shem that he must heed Jesus's call to follow Him. Shem, unlike Mara, is still very much unconvinced that Jesus is the Chosen One they've been waiting for. As Shem and Mara travel, they continue to grow in affection for each other. Shem decides that upon their return to Sychar, he will ask Mara to marry him.

When they return, they are happened upon by the roving band of bitter men that are always causing trouble in Sychar, i.e. Zevulun and his minions. 😒  They immediately accuse Mara of being just like her mother. Shem and Mara of course rightly deny this, but reason and honesty play no role with Zevulun. He drags them to the temple, where Mara is publicly accused of untoward behavior outside of marriage. Shem isn't too worried, because the punishment for this when both parties are unmarried is for them to get married. This is what they both want anyway. Right?

Mara does want this. But she feels deep in her heart that it would be wrong to prevent Shem from following Jesus the way he was asked to. She denies him her hand so that he will be free to follow Jesus's invitation.

Shem is devastated. This is a *very* powerful scene. 😢 And apparently, they now have to ask any of the other unmarried village men if THEY will marry Mara. If none of them will, she will be stoned.


Shem is still begging Mara to marry him when Enosh steps forward. And so Deltaflute and Melanie were correct!

Enosh wants to marry Mara, AND he defends her good name in front of everybody, saying that he will pay a full dowry for her hand in marriage, though in this situation, it is not required (as a way to further humiliate the woman in question). Enosh loves her. Though Mara hadn't seen Enosh in a romantic light as of yet, she is very fond of him, and knows that he will be good to her. She believes that she will only continue to grow in her feelings for him, and so she accepts. They are betrothed on the spot, and Mara consents to a one day betrothal as a sign of good will towards Enosh's kindness and generosity to her.

While all of this is happening, Nava walks in. Not only is she healed, but so is Asher! His club foot has completely disappeared.

Shem is in disbelief, but Mara's dramatic actions, and Nava and Asher's healing, have a deep effect on him. For Mara to be so convinced that he must follow Jesus, it drives the point home to Shem that there is something special about Jesus. He has a change of heart and realizes that he wants to do as Jesus has asked. He will go to Jerusalem.

He and Mara have a painful goodbye. He knows that Enosh will take good care of her, Nava and Asher, but his heart is broken that he cannot be with her as he wishes. Mara is also crushed, but still optimistic as her wedding day dawns.

In the epilogue, our worst fears are confirmed: Shem goes to Jerusalem to do the Lord's work, and is stoned by an angry mob. He isn't afraid, knowing that he will be going to his eternal home with Jesus.

Holy smokes. This was powerful. I have to admit, even though I know how this story has to end, I felt frustrated with Mara for not just agreeing to become betrothed to Shem during that dramatic scene in the temple. Surely, saving herself from stoning and being able to be there to take care of Asher, and making a family with Shem, would be a good and holy thing! Even with my firm faith in our Lord, I struggled with this! Her faith is an inspiration to me.

And that moment with Nava and Asher walk in! *swoons* I had tears in my eyes.

My take-away on the love story is that Mara will grow to love Enosh romantically, and that the first tentative steps in that direction have already been taken emotionally. Plus, she trusts him and he makes her feel secure. She knows that he will make her happy. This gives me a warm and fuzzy.

All right, I NEED all of your thoughts now! I *cannot wait* to read the next two books in this series with you all!

Friday, August 4, 2017

Tea Time with Tiffany #107 - The epic dancing weekend, & morning offerings!

Happy Friday everyone, and welcome to our early August edition of:

Today I address the EPIC dancing weekend I had, more about performance jitters, a new trilogy from my favorite secular author who specializes in suspense set in Montana, the joy of Morning Offering prayers, and the Downton Abbey shawl is coming along!

**To subscribe to the audio version of Tea Time with Tiffany, just search for it in iTunes or use this link to subscribe via Feedburner in your podcatcher of choice. Intro music is "Feelin' Good" from http://www.purple-planet.com

Items mentioned in this episode:

Highlights from last weekend's epic dance performances

On my Bookshelf: Dark Horse (Whitehorse, Montana: The McGraw Kidnapping), by BJ Daniels.

Prayer Corner: Morning Offerings.

Creative Commons: The Downton Abbey shawl I will be gifting is coming right along!

Needs lots of blocking when it's done, but coming along nicely!

What have you been working on this summer? Are you looking forward to back-to-school season? Any Advent book club suggestions? I'd love to hear from you!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Summer Book Club! The Well, Part 7...

Hi everyone! Hope you are all well today. We had a longer swatch of our book to read today (chapters 25-29), and Great Googly Moogly did it pack a punch! This is our penultimate week, and it was certainly a doozy. Grab your tea cup!

Soooo, a lot happened this week. :0 I'm going to mention the things that stood out to me, but I'm certain that not everything will come to me right away, since there was so much going on in these five chapters. But here goes: Shem and Mara are trapped in that creepy guy's (Silas? We'll go with Silas) fancy house. Mara is very uncomfortable with the way she is dressed and made up by the female servants in the house. For the first time, her hair isn't wild and tangled, and she has make up on her face, and both Silas and Shem take notice. Shem, though, is a gentleman, and thus is discreet in his admiration and is in Protection Mode to keep Mara safe. Silas, on the other hand, is still lecherous, and grows more so as he drinks. Everyone settles into dinner, and Mara is hurt by Shem's attempt to be dismissive and rude to her in a ploy to throw Silas off their plan.

As the dinner wears on, it becomes clear to Shem that Silas plans to get Mara drunk, take advantage of her, and then dispose of her. In order to do so, he most likely plans to dispose of Shem as well. Mara and Shem end up improvising a scheme of Mara getting sick to get them out of dinner and away from Silas.  Back in her room, Shem wants to escape, but Mara is too exhausted to travel. He decides they can sleep for a short spell before making their move, but when Mara is startled awake, she peeks outside to see Silas leading two Roman soldiers into the house. Not surprisingly, he has sold Shem out.

Shem and Mara make a hasty getaway out the window. They have a perilous journey over to the sea of Galilee, where they meet up with Zebedee, a friend of Shem's dad. He helps them out and finally gets them to Jesus. There, Mara has a Moment, and then runs away.

*long suffering sigh*

She now feels unworthy to talk to Jesus. Jesus seeks out Shem, and their conversation makes Shem all the more skeptical. Apparently, Jesus tells him that Shem will be the first of many, and that his name is now Stephen.

Am I the only one with a terrible sense of foreboding here?!



Jesus also gives Shem a message to relay to his mother, Mary. *sniffle* Zebedee aids them back to Nazareth so that they can see Mary, and I just LOVED this part. I loved that we got to visit with her. *heart* Mara asks Shem why the soldiers are after him, and he finally tells her. Interiorly, Shem comes to the conclusion that if he survives, he wants to live in Sychar permanently, working in his grandfather's olive grove, and marry Mara. At this point, they have no idea if Nava is still alive or not, and Shem knows that he loves Mara, and wants to provide for her and Asher.

After visiting with Mary, Mara has a change of heart. She wants to try and find Jesus again, who is now traveling towards Jerusalem. She has a feeling deep within her heart that Shem should accept Jesus's invitation to follow him. Although Shem doesn't agree, he does want Mara to have another chance to ask Jesus to heal Nava. They head on their way.

Oh boy. I just...these chapters really grabbed me. Does this mean that Shem is St. Stephen?! And does this mean that maybe Mara will end up with somebody else? Enosh, like Melanie mentioned? God forbid, the guy who seems to kill all of his young wives?!

GOOD GOLLY. Next week is our last week, and that will take us through Chapter 33 plus the Epilogue. We'll be discussing next Wednesday! *heart in throat*

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

I survived. *collapses*

Well, I made it. This was the busiest dance weekend I ever had, and to be honest it's a bit of a blur because I'm so tired. :0 I don't quite have the time to write a full post on the whole shebang, but here are some highlights:

(1) "Try and be discreet when entering the wedding reception venue. Our performance is a surprise for the bride and groom!" Let's just say that giant iridescent wings are not so easy to discreetly tuck into your bag.

Exhibit A

(2) Balancing items on one's head that are actually lit on fire is apparently scary for some viewers. ;-)

(3) 8 belly dancers with Isis Wings and 2 balancing candle trays, on a small dance floor, makes for a bit of a dangerously cramped situation.

(4) Heat, direct sunlight, and asphalt do not make for a pleasing dance environment. 😱

(5) When rolling out the lovely solo arm work segment, sweat running down both arms only enhances the ethereal beauty. Or so I tell myself.

(6) Uneven surfaces make for unsteady belly dancers. Nobody actually twisted an ankle, so I guess we'll call this a win!

(7) Everybody still loves Sword, the little stinker.

(8) A person can actually sweat more during an indoor 15 minute solo set than during a 5 hour, outdoor spell, at a sweltering art festival. Now you know.

(9) Being a belly dancer and inviting women to get up and dance with you yields about a 50% success rate. That's actually higher then I would have thought. 😂

(10) People genuinely love and enjoy cultural dance. Seeing smiling faces, tapping feet, and rolling shoulders out in the audience when we dance brings me a lot of joy.

At my studio, the aim is always to present authentic Egyptian dance as an art form, in a classy and graceful fashion, with costuming that is elegant and modest. American conceptions of belly dance are often quite the opposite, and we are the Belly Dance Ambassadors, armed with properly draped beads and sequins to perform the dance in a beautiful light. We clearly need super hero shirts with a big sparkly B on the front. ;-)

Although exhausting, I had a fabulous weekend. And I will detail it ALL for you in Tea Time this week! Bet you can't wait. :0 What were you up to this weekend?!