Thursday, August 23, 2012

When did you take your first bellydance class?

And did you like it??

 I will be honest - I did NOT!

 My first belly dance class was in 2002, after I graduated college. In fact, my 10 year belly-versary is coming up in November! It was a beginner class at a very famous studio in Manhattan. But the class was working on a not-so-beginner veil choreography, and it was very hard to follow. Add that to my background in Western dance including ballet and hip hop, and I found myself rigidly spazzing my way through the class, a stark contrast to the grace and fluidity of the teachers and the "regular" students.

 I didn't go back for months! In fact, I only reluctantly went back to accompany the friend of a friend who was interested in trying a bellydance class. When I did go back, the class was - thankfully! - working on a much more basic routine which I was able to follow. And they were preparing for a student show! Having been performing on stage since the ripe old age of 2, I jumped on the chance to add "bellydance performance" to list of accomplishments in dance.

I got hooked, of course. And the rest is history!

 With a new season of dance classes about to begin, I am curious to hear of your experiences - how did YOU get your start in belly dance?

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Keeping your two "lives" separate - on Facebook!

As a professional belly dancer, I have created an image and a brand out of my name, and my skill. This brand is "Daniela - the mysterious and exotic belly dancer who flutters in an out of your parties on a cloud of sequins and leaves your guests mesmerized by her amazing talent and incredible beauty"

Ok, maybe my brand isn't quite that dramatic.

But it is a brand, and it is separate, and not quite the same as, the "real" me. So, on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, I have two separate accounts - one for dance, and one personal account. I have always felt this was important, because I do like to share things with my friends and family (pictures, funny stories, maybe some embarrassing family anecdotes) that I wouldn't want to share with clients and belly dance colleagues. My bellydance page is for strictly bellydance things. I don't mean that I only use those accounts for advertising, but I do limit my posts to things that are related to the dance - that often includes advertising, but also includes fun things like my favorite video clips, thoughts on my classes or recent gigs, and my musings about dance and life in general.

In my experience on social networking sites, however, I do notice that there are many dancers who only have one profile for everything. Usually, these dancers are highly professional on their profile pages and only post things that would be suitable for potential clients to see anyway, but I have also seen the occasional bellydancer drunk-posting, or ranting about politics, or making another comment that might not be deemed very "professional" for one reason or another - on a page where many of that person's "friends" are actually belly dance colleagues and not actual "known you since kindergarten, OMG you're my BFF!" friends.

So, if your business, your brand, and your self are one and the same, do you separate these in your internet life? Do you keep everything the same and monitor what you say? Or do you just say "f-it, world, this is how I am!" and post as you please?

Balancing these two "personas" is quite time consuming and sometimes tiring for me, so I am very curious how others handle it and keep up with it all!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Second video about "going pro"

Another very helpful video from and learn if you are new to the "pro bellydance" world!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Wanna go pro? Watch this!

I'll be posting a series of videos here, by Florida bellydance instructor Nathalie Zarate (  on how to become a professional bellydancer - the RIGHT way.  There's some great information in these videos, nothing that should be new to anyone already pro or seriously considering it, but still great to have all in one, easily-accessible, place.