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TL;DR: Tribal Dance Camp is in danger of being cancelled TONIGHT. This Southern Texas retreat features a top name that no dancer should go without hearing. Space is limited to 50 people, but there is PLENTY of room to register! And please, don’t think that someone else will fill the space for you because they will probably think the same thing! Pictures on bottom.
Not a lot of people have signed up for TRAMP.
There is still plenty of space for filling!
TRAMP is the Southern Texas tribal belly dance event that I will advocate for life! There are over 20 hours of teacher instruction, free meals, free bunking, plenty of space to roam and feel free and fresh, ACTUAL INDOOR PLUMBING CONNECTED TO YOUR CABIN (which is nicely climate controlled for cold nights!), and PLENTY of time to get to know the headliners!
So what makes this event different than other workshop events?
Well, for starters this is a weekend intensive! While the learning may be fast paced for the three days you get the headliner, every class is three hours! NINE FULL HOURS of leading teacher expertise just for you! That’s an equivalent of six to nine class days!
On top of all of that, there are times between classes to get to know other students, teachers, and even sit down and talk for a few hours with the head liner! Or you can always go jump in the river for a refreshing dip after a hard workshop session!
So what else is there?
You get to have a bunk! There’s no fighting over beds, no fighting over bathroom rights, and definitely no fighting over hot water! Each cabin has indoor plumbing, hot water, showers, working toilets, working sinks, working lights, and even heaters for when the nights get cold (But this is Texas in April, so usually we don’t have to turn on the heaters). There are even fans for when things get a little too hot for yourself, and if you can’t seem to beat the heat, the shower is just around the corner to help cool you off! While the bunks make it seem like a summer time camp (which it is), they will always feel like heaven after that first workshop day.
There are three meals a day! Each entree has veggie or carni (hehe…) options so no one gets left out! There is tea and water served every day with a coke machine out by the gym if you want something sweet (but, boo, you have to pay for it!). You can also bring your own drinks whether they are liquor or not and have such a hayday down by the river at night!!! Oh the wildest parties drunk belly dancers throw… Usually you can hear them all the way to the cabins and the place is about 1/8th of a mile from them… Well… I don’t know how far, but it takes a few minutes to walk over there.
So who’s all coming to this event? Who’s the headliner?
This year we have:
Victoria Whitecotton with a lecture about the Middle East and its history.
Z-Helen for belly rolls and to teach us her VERY IMPRESSIVE coin rolling trick. If you haven’t seen her roll coins, you need to.
Michelle Manx will be doing her signature pin up belly dance style! AND she’ll be teaching us how to do pin up hair styles!
Theresa Wyatt will be showing us new Black Sheep Belly Dance SGI movements.
Angela Sparks will start off the day with yoga classes!
And last but DEFINITELY not least, we have JILL PARKER as the headliner! Wooooooooooooo!!!
So here’s the deal guys: This place is great. It has connected me to others, professionally and personal, in a great bond all over the US. Even though it’s an intensive it also feels like a vacation. The end date for early bird pricing and early deposit plans ENDS TONIGHT AT MIDNIGHT, CENTRAL TIME. Every time TRAMP is mentioned in this post, it is linked to the registration page. The deposit plan is 150 for a spot, then you can pay the rest by 3/20. I plan on paying for the rest during income tax time!
I hope that you all can make it out! Please don’t hesitate to sign up!
Pictures below of the camp!
Cabins Pre-Belly Dancer
Cabins Post-Belly Dancer
Bathrooms (toilets on the left, showers on the right)
Ms YET painting trees behind the pavilion (AKA Drunk belly dance party place)
The Guadalupe River
Where the party starts and sometimes ends.
Michelle painting her shirt on the first night! This place is where the classes are held.
Shy, me, and Amy Sigil from 2012 in the cafeteria!
Ashley Lopez and Michelle from 2012 in the cafeteria! I had to get pictures, it was the last time I was going to see them for a while.
I just heard some upsetting news today, so I’m trying to be proactive & DO something to help the situation.
Some of the girls in my old college bellydance club (I graduated, but still keep close ties w/the group) have been hearing some ugly comments made about the club lately. ..Specifically, about the weight of the club’s members. Among the general scoffs and sniggers you might expect a bellydance club to get in a small-town, southern campus, it sounds like some folks are “taking it up a notch.” One girl just overheard TWO separate groups of people- on either side of her, in a main gathering place, openly making disparaging remarks about how “fat” the group is. ..Simultaneously…
She was too shy to stand up and say something to them, and knowing how loud & boistrous some people can be, I can’t say I entirely blame her. For many reasons, sometimes you just don’t want to have to fight the world and its ignorance every day. And imho, this is NOTHING but ignorance. The girls in this troupe are all GORGEOUS, and most of them don’t have anything more on their beautiful bones beyond “the freshman 15.” It sounds to me like some peoples’ expectations are more based on strippers than ACTUAL bellydancers, and their deriding AMAZING young women for adhering to these expectations (in my book) is NOT okay.
Ironically (just a few days before), their new president decided to start an anti-bullying campaign (as part of their aim to involve the club w/a charity). I don’t know about anyone else, but personally I think this is the PERFECT opportunity for them to combat bullying, while simultaneously confronting peoples’ erroneous stereotypes about bellydance in that area. (And heck, maybe even body issues & acceptance as well.)
And that’s when the idea hit me: How awesome would it be to start an image campaign around the school, comparing peoples’ preconceived notions of strippers w/the REALITY (and insane beauty) of bellydance?? (And no, it’s not about demeaning ANYONE. It’s about educating people on how stripping & bellydance are two TOTALLY different things. It’s about encouraging people to have two TOTALLY different sets of expectations between one realm of performance and the other- if any MUST exist- as well as upon their participants.) That way, the club could not only educate people & challenge their assumptions, but also make folks aware of the club; while simultaneously sharing w/others how enriching and empowering bellydance can be! ^_^
So.. what do you think?
The images above are only the start of the ideas flowing, but all I have is Paint on my laptop, so this is the best I can do. ;\ Do you know of anywhere online that speaks of issues like these already? Do images like those above already exist? If so PLEASE, point me to them! *beams* And if you have any suggestions for other things their club could do to combat this ignorance and ugliness, please, pop that my way as well. :):)
I know I’m biased, but I want these girls (and EVERYONE on campus- let alone the world) to be comfortable w/who they are, WHATEVER they are, REGARDLESS of body size, ability, race… You know, all the superficial stuff that divides us…
I guess I’m just weird for thinking that bellydance can be a great means of helping w/ that. ;)
PS: If you or someone you know is in one of these pictures and would like to be removed, please feel free to give me a holler. This was just an attempt at making a visual statement to educate folks in a small-town school, and no copyright infringement was intended. If someone wants ANY of the above pictures removed, please, feel free to contact me, and I’ll happily make something different. :)
Saving money has always been hard for me; but now that the bellydancing monster has eaten me alive, whenever I see a decent surplus of cash in the bank I automatically start calculating how much belly-goodness I can afford, regardless of how right I would be in to actually spend it… :P
Therefore, I have a question to post to all of you: Do any of you wisely-spending dancers out there have any tips on safely supporting one’s belly-habit, w/o breaking the bank? ..A girl’s gotta keep her savings in tact (I -am- saving for a giant cross-country move, after all), but big-girl-bellydance-clothes don’t come cheap, and we all know how cheaply REGULAR (but decent) bd stuff tends to be, so.. do ya get what I’m headin’ for, here? (Aside from bankruptcy? ;)) Might there be any way I can allow myself a bit of fun where dancing is concerned, w/o feeling too infernally guilty, or berefting myself entirely of my savings..?
I am so poor most of the time that I have to decide between eating and electricity (literally- I have made these choices), but suddenly I see a bit of money in the bank (now that I am living w/family temporarily so I can get a new place in Portland- or wherever Heaven takes me), and can’t help but remember allll the stuff I’ve had to forgo.. events I’ve had to let slip by.. because I’ve always been so bloody poor. For those who don’t know, it’s sooooo not-fun having to wait for years upon years upon years for simple stuff that others seem to take for granted- like jewelry, costumery, props and such. And when you add in my not being able to drive and the costs behind finding ways to get places, that ads up too. So now, while I can, honestly, I’d like to get a few nice things for once, but do so w/o throwing my whole savings boat down the proverbial sinker.
..Does this make any sense to anyone..?
There is NOTHING going on in Harrisonburg (a little town in VA) right now (as far as I can find), but there are SOOOO many dance events, workshops and dance-friendly conventions coming up in October and November in & around VA that I wanna attend! (And let us not forget the other expenses associated w/such events; like travel, food & boarding expenses- not to mention event entry fees.) There’ll be stuff like ren. faires, workshops w/Mavi in Richmond, Belladonna’s Raven’s Night in DC, FaerieCon in MD, a grand ball in New Orleans over Halloween.. and heavens know what else! Many of these are events w/associated-but-separate workshop weekends attached to them, and over the past few years, I’ve forgone a lot because of meager finances. :(
Frankly, I’m still baffled at those who travel so often and so extensively, for big belly-meets like Gothla, Rakassah, TribalFest, Pennsic, etc., -and often do so while buying MAJOR costumage and other belly-swag throughout the years. o.O (What do you people DO in your day-jobs, anyway?? *lol* But seriously- I wanna know! If you do something creative that pays well enough to support your bellydance life, I would LOVE to learn more. :)) Personally, I haven’t been to any of these, because I make so little. ..But I would LOVE to go to all of them someday- and dream of singing & dancing at them (onstage) too.. if the Fates are kind. :) *druledrule*
Anyhoo! Right now, I’m lusting after some drop-shouldered cholis and 25yd skirts that I’ve wanted since like.. 1995.. but never had the money to get. So, do any of y’all have tips on living the fabulous belly-life- on a budget? ;)
With MUCH Love, MANY Smiles and HUGE Amounts of Grattitude,
You know, I’ve thought about starting a savings account just for belly dance related things: workshops, jewelry, clothing, costuming, etc.
It might be a good idea to start one and, say, place five dollars in it every paycheck until you can put more into it. That way as you’re adding money to it over time, and when something pops up unexpectedly, you can base your decision on how much money is in there.
But it also makes you think of the future, such as there’s this awesome costume that you want and you have just barely enough money to cover it (say it’s 300 dollars. That’s not unusual). But the next month you know there is a workshop that’s going on with someone that you really want to take from. You can either A) get that costume now and probably only wear it a few times, or B) take valuable skills from a great dancer with a little money left over to by some accessories if you wait on that costume.
It gives choices and makes you really think about what you’re spending on. AND your food and electric bill money won’t be touched!
Be they Indian, Middle Eastern, African or from other climes, you know all the fabulous jewelry that’s sold everywhere for us to make bellydance stuff out of? ..Is there any way/anywhere which enables us to ensure that it’s all from legitimate, reputable sources? I want to make sure that anything I buy (or promote) is made/traded/trafficked fairly, and acquired with everything on the up-and-up. Yanno, be as certain as I can be that what I wear, buy and promote comes from fair-trade resources. I’d like to know that when I give a merchant or vendor my money, I’m not supporting dishonesty, theft, putting people in sweatshops, grave-robbing, and that folks haven’t fallen into other bad situations just so that I can have a pretty bauble on my outfit.
Granted, given the prices of most pieces I’ve seen, I’m guessing that many are crafted by skilled, appropriately lauded artisans who are paid handsomely for their work. But, I also don’t wanna make any assumptions. Someone could just as easily create a piece in a sweatshop for $15 and charge my stupid arse $250 just for a pretty pendant. (It’s hateful, but it’s true.) So, is there any way to check the history of a piece, or the track record and reputability of the company which sells it..? Are there business out there who sell Kuchi, Kundan & other international wares who are especially recommended for their ethical treatment of their artisans and acquisition processes? And conversely, are there business out there whom one should NOT buy from, because their means are less than reputable?
What have you heard, or learned in your own travels..? Do tell!
One Dancer, Ever on the Quest of Trying to Keep her Dance Conscientious ;)
You know, that’s a great question. I don’t by the aluminum coin scarfs mainly because they are made in China. And if they’re popping them out in large quantities like they sell them on eBay and other sites, I can only guess that these people are making little pay on a huge profit…
Do any other belly dancers know of sellers that are legit and handle their workers with care?
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So… If you live in the Texas state (heck, anywhere really), you MUST go to Tribal Dance Camp, lovingly called TRAMP.
CRYIN’ OUT LOUD, WE GOT JILL PARKER COMING NEXT YEAR!!!
Hey tribal ladies!
I’m currently making some yarn tassels! Each set comes with two 2”, two 4”, two 6”, two 10”, and one 12”! would look great on any costume piece! Has a natural point so no need to make a triangle scarf to hold them!
Two sets of the golden orange are made, one set of the burgundy, and currently in process are the blue tones, rainbow, earth tones, and green tones!
Last photo, although badly colored, is all that the types of yarn that I have!
I’m doing $20 per set, or give me your best offer!
This is the final design for the next part of my thigh sleeve. The theme of the sleeve is family, as my family is very important to me! The meaning and importance of this part is my ancestors. Some of my ancestors were Romany gypsy’s, therefore I want this on tattooed on my thigh. I cannot wait and my tattoo is booked for friday :)
When you say “final design”, you of course mean you’ve taken a sketch from my friend Amy’s blog (which she states is inspired by contemporary bellydancers), flipped it, and forgotten to give her credit.
Gotta love art thieves!
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Need something belly dance to do this Spring? Come join us in Ingram, Texas, where Tribal Dance Camp is going on! Set in beautiful Rio Vista camps and along the cool Guadalupe River, this place is perfect to connect to the Earth while we dance (and not to mention sweat)!
This year is featuring Amy Sigil of Unmata! You get 9 HOURS of workshops with her for the entire weekend! But she isn’t the only awesome teacher going to be instructing: Michelle Manx of Pin Up Belly Dance is going to be teaching her specialty—Pin Up poses while dancing (I’ve taken one of these classes. Something not to be missed!), Bahaia who started it all (Cabaret Dance Camp in October), Z-Helene the zills master, Ashley Lopez a very new and fresh way of looking at Fusion, and finally Gitane teaching us the ways of the Rromani and selling her awesome handcrafted metal jewelry and belly dance gear (seriously, check her out)!
Now for the awkward portion: price. While it may be a few bucks short of 500 dollars, the price is worth it! You get bunking, food three times a day, and 18 HOURS of workshops for the whole weekend! This is a complete STEAL compared to what you can get going to a different place that you have to find your own accommodations and food. So let’s put this all together: 3 hour workshop is about 100-150 depending on teacher, a 2 hour workshop is about 50-100, and another for 50-100. 3 meals that aren’t fast food related and satisfy are about 10-45 each, and rooming is about 100 a day. Times that all by 4 and you have your price compared to what you’d pay at TRAMP! For the lowest prices, I got 1320. Highest I got 2340.TRAMP’s price is LESS THAN HALF of those prices!
For those that can’t attend all four days are encouraged to still come! Michelle set up a day pass for those that would love to attend but don’t have the funds and/or the time. It runs from Saturday morning to Sunday evening. You get two classes with Amy, a class with Z-Helene, and a class with Bahaia. You also get three meals on Sat and two on Sun and bunking for the night.
Early Bird Special is still going on! 14% off!
There are also deposit choices that let you save your spot without paying everything at once!
If you are interested in coming, please visit the Tribal Dance Camp registration site: EventBrite, where you can sign up, pay in deposits, sign up for the t-shirt contest and performing! (They also have Omnivore or Vegetarian plate choices)
A look of Events during TRAMP:
5:30-7:30: class with Ashley López
8:30: Henna and t-shirt painting party
10-1: class with Amy Unmata Sigil
2:30-3:30: class with Gitane
5-7: class with Michelle Manx Sefcik
Campfire and s’mores!
10-1: class with Amy Unmata Sigil
1: 00: lunch
2:30-4:30: class with Z-Helene
5-7: class with Bahaia Betsi Robins
Campfire and smores!
10-1: Class with Amy Sigil
2:00: sad good-byes
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So one of my old instructors is having a dance show this weekend and I inquired on her if she had any spots left for dancers.
Seeing that I have a different email she didn’t recognize me immediately and asked if she could see a video of my performances.
I complied and sent her my YouTube channel and await the email back.
Well, she figured out who I was. And was not very happy with me (LOL!!!).
Basically what her message was saying (to me) is that she wouldn’t allow me to dance in her show because I left her classes without reason, said that someone in her class told her that I was saying that I’d be “taking her job”, and that I didn’t complete HER classes, so therefore, I cannot attend.
Yes, I did leave her class. Because when one student was having a bad day, she pulled her to the side and had a slight heated discussion with her. She came back and continued class like nothing happened. I was impressed with that, that earned her a lot of respect.
Until the class ended.
She told ALL of her advanced students about what happened, emphasizing that she was right in all of this. She made herself sound like she was being attacked.
I have NEVER said anything about taking her job. I have told students that there was another studio out there. I don’t approve of it, but I’m not going to let that influence them. I HAVE STILL ADVOCATED HER. And compared to what I have heard from other local belly dancers here in Lubbock, she isn’t someone to really make friends with. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE.
And to say that just because I didn’t finish HER classes that I can’t attend?
I have studied with Bahaia, Michelle Manx, Obsidia, and Kajira Djoumahna. And I’ll be studying with Amy Sigil, Gitane, Z-Helene and Ashley Lopez next year.
DON’T TELL ME THAT JUST BECAUSE I DIDN’T ATTEND YOUR CLASSES THAT I HAVEN’T CONTINUED STUDYING!!! THERE ARE MORE PEOPLE THAN JUST HER!
And that’s EXACTLY what I told her, too.
So you know what? Forget her! I was wanting to get into the show to put all of this behind us. Now I just have an even BIGGER reason to steer clear.
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