Bellydancing Birthday

Last night, my friend Alyssa and I went to see my friend, Parker, dance in her first student bellydance showcase at the Lafayette Bar and Grill in Tribeca.

Parker is third from right.

So much fun, and TOTALLY made me want to take up bellydancing!!!

Here, Parker is in middle, in blue. She was soooo good!

Alyssa and me. For some reason I’m looking a bit drunk. I’m not, I swear — only had one glass of Greek wine!

Lafayette Bar & Grill, in addition to having a great dance space, had amazing food. Best moussaka either of us had ever had — and I’m a total Greek foodie!

It happened to be my birthday — well, later in the week, actually but who wants to celebrate on a weeknight! I am SO not a center-of-attention person, so it was PERFECT for me to celebrate at my friend’s dance showcase 🙂

Parker and me, after show!

Here are a few more pics: the rest I’ve put in a separate album on the photo page here.

“Heather” I think was her name. She was great — and beautiful costume!

This one rocked! She kept doing these amazing back arches…

Parker’s second number — a contemporary piece that Reyna Alcala, the group’s director, named “567,” for May 6, 2007, ha ha!

Another beautiful costume, and she did really lovely things with that gorgeous scarf.

One of the band members was going around the audience with his wind instrument (which resembled a flute), playing for people who would dance. This little girl was so adorable.

At the end, everyone took to the floor. Very fun night!

I’m seriously thinking of taking bellydancing lessons. It looked so fun and so beautiful and SO inexpensive, compared to ballroom. Partner dancing is lovely, but not when you have to pay $95 per hour for your teacher to dance with you… Plus, some of these costumes were gorgeous and loaded with stones, but some, like that used in Parker’s contemporary routine, consisted of jeans, a t-shirt, and a practice belt — a far cry from the $500 to $1500-ballroom costume…

In other news, as Ariel pointed out to me, he’s back 🙂 Right in time for my birthday 🙂 🙂 And his as well…


  1. A very, very happy birthday to you, Tonya – I look forward to being in attendance at your very first student bellydance showcase!!

  2. Happy birthday!!

    I finished my exams!!

    I passed them too.

    Now im going to sleep until ABt starts

  3. Aw, Thanks for the birthday wishes, you guys 🙂

    And congratulations, Delirium!!!!! We’ll definitely celebrate when I see you next week at ABT:)

  4. Sounds good to me!

    I also have something else to celebrate…Its not announced yet so i probably shouldnt, but I don’t think you have a huge burlesque fan base here….

    Exotic world is the burlesque museum run by dixie evans, the “marilyn monroe of burlesque”.

    Every year there is a competition–and it used to be really casual and in the desert (a goat farm no less!!) and pretty much most people got in.

    well that started changing in the year or 2 before i first went (2004) and each year its gotten pared down (it used to be a MARATHON of performances). And each year there are more applicants

    Anyway I just found out that I got in!–I’m one of 12 contestants.
    I hate that its a competition but its such a fun show and i love dixie and the museum.

    I’m hoping to do something latin-influenced, but i have to see how it comes out.

    I have to get back in ballet class too. I havent performed or danced in nearly a month. I’m massively out of shape, I almost suppose its good (??) that my nerves have made me have eating problems. I normally eat a lot (which is happy and good) but when you dont leave the couch for days on end, that can have rather problematic results!!

    (dont worry, not advocating eating disorders either–been there, done that–not fun or interesting)

  5. You *should* start belly dancing!

    Though don’t count on it being that cheap! Weekly classes and student costumes are very inexpensive… it’s like the hook that pulls you in. “Oh, I only need $100 for student costuming, and $12 a week for a group class!” It’s sneaky, like heroin or something… A couple of years later, you have thousands of dollars of costuming, dozens of props, hundreds of CD’s (many of which are entirely in arabic, and you can’t perform to them until you find out what the singers are saying), tons of DVD’s (many of which include video of your first solo performances that you will later desperately wish had never been caught on video), and the weird Egyptian-themed ephemera that just appears in your home like pyramids on your shower curtain or camels on your mouse pad. Just wait!


    Yes, you should definately join us! (Actually, I’m serious, you should. You certainly can bellydance without spending thousands of dollars, of course many people ballroom dance without spending much either – as long as you don’t let yourself get sucked in too deep, you can belly dance quite cheaply)

  6. That’s awesome, Delirium! Congratulations! If you want, I’m sure you could take a few lessons with Anna and she could help with the Latin. I don’t think she has a background in burlesque but she could definitely help with the Latin part. Tatiana at DanceSport is good too. For that, you actually need a female teacher — and there are TONS of good ones (it’s the male teachers who are a little harder to come by since they’re so much more in demand — b/c it’s usually women who take private lessons and need a male teacher…) We can talk more about it…

    Natalia, yes, I had such a great time watching Parker and her fellow students, and I think it’s really so beautiful. Those students were really good! The reason, to me at least, why ballroom is so expensive is that if you’re really serious about learning well, having good technique and really being good, you must take private lessons, one on one with a male (for female student) professional. This is because, since ballroom is inherently partner dancing, you’re not just dancing on your own, working on your own in a group class, you’re working with the male students, the great majority of whom are there to pick up women and NOT to learn to dance. So you have to deal with the annoying / obnoxious flirting, the lack of devotion to dance as an art and not a pick-up line, etc. etc. And, guys who have less experience than you telling you what you’re doing wrong and you know you’re right, etc. I just can’t learn in group ballroom dancing classes. Which means, weekly lessons are $95 instead of $12, which makes a huge part of the cost. I mean, if I save up, I can afford the $1,000 showcase fee once every six months, it’s the lessons — which, closer in time to the actual performance when you feel like you need more and more training and need your teacher to practice your routine with start to really multiply — it always ends up costing sooooo much more than you ever anticipate. And the costumes always end up being double what you expected — and then your teacher wants a matching top and you have to pay for that… Ugh! I just really really really want a group class where I feel like I can learn and work on myself. Oh, and I know what you mean about the foreign lyrics! I have danced to many a samba song having not a clue what was being said over the speakers!!! Sounded pretty though :)Â Â Anyway, thanks for the welcome, and the encouragement!

  7. I don’t want to discourage you at all, it’s just that I know a lot of students go into bellydance thinking that it’s an inexpensive hobby, which it is if you just want to have a good time and dance at the occational student night. But the moment you want to take it to the next level, the costs skyrocket. And you don’t strike me as the type of person who would be content to stay put and not push yourself to be the highest level you can reach.

  8. Thanks for coming, Tonya! It was nice to have friendly faces in the crowd (though the whole crowd was wonderfully supportive and energetic). Hope you had a happy birthday!

  9. hey tonya,

    could you email me the info about those teachers? I would really appreciate it!

    missdt (at)


Comments are closed