When they clap after class; you know you have done a good job. Besides, it gives the instructor a sense of accomplish and the sound is rewarding!

When you wake up in the morning and you are sore, know you had a great workout! This is the feeling you want for your students! (At least I'm still learning too! (And still get sore) Knowing you are reaching the goal of preparing your body to be the best it can on the dance floor. I try to work as hard a possible in every class, does this always workout for me no! At least I know I've given it my best.

As students, we need to incorporate the idea of working to the max, this way you know you are doing and achieving the best for your body. Stretching is very important before your workout and after. Muscles must be warmed up and stretched as well as cooled down at the end of class.

So put your best foot forward in class, dance to the max.  Be sure to pay close attention to your instructor. Try to remember a few of the movements to practice on your own, if not in time you will.  Posture is very important and I do try to make sure students are executing the drill move properly.  If you are not getting corrected in your class then something is wrong! 
Ask the instructor for feedback.

What will help you in class if you are not remembering the moves? A notebook, I have always had a book. I still have my dance journal, it stays in my bag especially at seminars and workshops. I've referred to remember old moves and gain a new insight in how to redo them after leaving them behind.
You won't remember it all but you will become fond of revisiting them for reference.

Great class ladies, I'm looking forward to improving!


Vintage Pictures

One another of my searches on line I found these pictures. The Belly Dance Museum has tones of photos of dancers. You can also purchase the prints, they are listed as Oriental Prints. I was suprised to see the wide range of selections. Searching through the pictures, a tour of dancing through time.
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Linking You to info!

I just received this link in a email from Cheeky Girl Productions. I thought it would be a good pass along to other performers & students. We all need to acquire as much information as possible on the art of bellydance. Check out the articles.  Watch Project Belly Dance, when your schedule permits.


Costume Sewing

Keep in mind when you are sewing a costume or planning out your costume have something in mind that is not too challenging or time consuming. Now, that is a joke unless you are a professional costume maker. But with a little sewing skills you can do your own DYI costuming!  Saving money is always a motivation to going back to the sewing machine. Fabric selection is the first issue or find a moderately price costume to embellish or add more bling.  I often use this method to make a costume look even more fabulous!  Search for deals.  Appliques, hand beading, jewelry making chains, bead and or other jewelry pieces will work wonders as embellishments.

Other costume pieces that are fairly easy to make, skirts, harem pants, veils.  The costume bra is the most challenging in my opinion, but it can be done! This takes time a patience on your part.

Choli's  I have used these instruction's they are great!

Search for "bellydance" costumes in sewing catalogs, Simplicity, Butterick, McCalls carry choices in the costume category's. There are other source try the Costume Goddess, she has great ideas.

There are other belly dance costume patterns out there try BDPatterns.  I've used the Ghawazee Coat Pattern 2013, Beledi Dress 1003 and Vest off of 1014. I found the directions pretty good, the Ghawazee Coat pattern was the most challenging, but after tackling a few of these it became easier with the 2nd one. It's rewarding to sew your own costume, you can be as creative as you like. And being unique you won't see it duplicated! Look at other costumes to get good ideas. Or copy one that you have seen. Always be sure to take into account your body type when selecting a motif. Find your best asset and work from there, once you find what works use it over and over again! Same way with colors wear what looks best on you. It is all about looking your absolute best on stage.

I have other links on the Yahoo Group: Belly Dance with Radhiya
The object is to share information, put your best look on stage.

Rak's Into Spring 2011

Raks into Spring was sponsored by Nadirah Johara, from Fort Worth, TX. Unfortunately, I was not able to attend this workshop this past weekend. The instructor was  Jasmin Jahal from Chicago, Illinois. I have previously taken a mini seminar with Jasmin before, she is an excellent instructor. Classical Egyptian and very graceful.  From all of the pictures I had the pleasure to see on Facebook it was a colorful show, lot of pretty costumes and variety of performers!

The DFW belly dance community sponsors many excellent workshop/seminar instructors from all over the U.S. and beyond. I will eagerly await for the next upcoming event.

Kismet Stage 2011

Kismet Stage has found a new venue, the Quixotic Theater
it's located in Downtown Dallas on Main Street. The place is very neat, has avery nice dressing for performers. The dark purple paint and sparkling lights gives the room a nice ambiance. This room is located upstairs. You will enter the stage on either side using a few steps. The stage will accommodate 4 to 5 dancers comfortably. I was alittle nervous dancing because the lights are so low (area dark), it looked as if you could literally step off the stage. Must be a mind game that is played on dancers. I did enjoy the venue. In my opinion the lights might work better to not be so dimmed.

Parking is across the street paid and metered parking. There is a large lot just adjacent to the venue. All in all, the Quixotic Theater is a neat place with friendly staff. I did enjoy the spotlight being used to highlight the performers.

During the Kismet Stage event there was a full wall movie showing of Cleopatra. I found it enjoyable and something different. There is plenty of room for vendors also.

Kismet Stage has a new home and I will look forward to the next event at this location.

Easy Street Images

There was another photographer, too bad I'm unable to find his name at this time. Will continue to search! If anyone can answer this question:  Why does the photographer usually catch the undulation on belly roll out?! Yuck!



Over the past few days, battling with a sinus infection; I decided to take on the task of rehauling my website. The task is daunting. Especially with deciding to use another program. My desire is to obtain a more polished professional look. This is so important to attract students and visitors. It's still a work in progress. Patience is greatly appreciated. There are more educational items that I'd like to place on the website. So, if you are a follower of my blog take a look at the website. Cruise the pages and enjoy. I will continue to add more links and other items of interest. www.radhiyataj.com


Belly Dance with Radhiya Taj

Raks Sharki in St. Louis my previous Yahoo Group was recently turned over to to local belly dancer and has been renamed. So I have started up another Group for my students and friends in the DFW area and beyond. All dancers at all levels are welcome to join. No...lurking guys, please! So join in on the fun and hope you will log-in soon! Bellydancing with Radhiya Taj

Class Information

January 2011 came in with extremely cold and snowy weather for the DFW region. Several of the classes for Jan & Feb got cancelled. No fun, not safe driving on ice.
But there has been a break and classes are up and running. In Shimmy mode.

The studio(Fihankra) where I teach has a recital scheduled for May 15Th, so we have a deadline to meet for the beginner's who are signed up to participate. I'm looking forward to working with them. It will be a challenge for all of us. I will post more later on the when, where & time.

Visit my website for information on my classes and more general information on belly dance. Thanks for checking in!

ABDE Tryouts

Too much time waste not getting back on the blog sphere! Really, really I'm back now. Suffering from another sinus infection, I'm unable to attend class this evening; so I'll catch on up on the lack of postings.

Beginning with the New Year, I decided to put myself up to new challenges in my dance. I ordered a few instructional DVDs and tried out for a local group ABDE. I have not gotten into any type of tryout or competition, so I thought it was a good place to begin. Nerves really got the best of me. You never know what any particular group is looking for in a new member. Unless you take an educated guess by looking at pics or knowing other members to ask questions. I only knew ABDE from attending the Harem Nights. The sponsor a monthly belly dancer hafla that is open to local performers in the DFW area. It is an open atmosphere and everyone is welcome. It is held the first Thursday of each month at Strato's.

OK for the tryouts, I did a Beledi Dress, orange dancing with the Shamadan. I wanted to do something different from the norm. In my mind it went well, or to say I completed my performance. What a relief to be off the dance floor. Dancing in front of a table of dancer judges is not an easy task, it is a learning experience. Then you wait for the results. I was not sure of what they were looking for, so I place my feet on the dance floor and hope the steps would guide me to success. After a few days I got a scoring. I was surprised at my ranking. As they say you are your own worst critic. Now having a ranking to review I know what is expected of me by judges in a performance. You read other rankings from other contest but this was different being local. So now I feel a sigh of relief. I do attend classes to learn various group choreographies. It is challenging and fun. In dance you ALWAYS need to keep yourself busy and sharp. One can never have too much practice.

It's a good thing because I have picked up 2 beginner classes and I need to be in excellent shape for my students. The challenge for 2011 is to refine, reshape and renew myself as I grow in my dance skills. I learn to repeat this mantra to myself more, You will always be a student, always. It's fun being in the front of the class and one of the students in the class. Great experience.

Tips/Suggestions that I can give to those who are planning on signing up for a tryout and or contest:
~Practice your moves/and or choreography
~Isolations let them be defined
~Do a level change/or changes in your dance
~Smile at the audience, make eye contact
intro, solo, drum & exit
~Know your music in your while awake or sleep
~Pay close attention to your costume makeup & appearence (details make a difference!)
~Your costume needs to match your music
~Make sure your dance has an Entrance, Dance, & Exit
~Smile at the audience and be yourself. "You will Dance Like Nobody's Watching!"


Sew It Seams.......

I'm still working on the red costume, taking much longer than I thought. There is not enough time in the day or I just get distracted. The bra design has changed again. Other projects have gotten my attention or need it more. I did receive a new sewing machine for my birthday, so I did take a short break. Life does happen.

There's a new skirt for the upcoming Kismet in October!

Shh...there's a stack of costume fabric on the shelf. ;0

Kismet Stage July 2010

This past Saturday evening, Kismet Stage in Carrollton. Too bad it was the last show at this location, they are looking for a new venue. This venue has a great stage and lighting. The DJ does a superb job. But the economy has a hand in everything these days.

I volunteered at this month. My new position of dancer check in, allowed me to meet the performers up close and personal.

The line up included performers, troupe and what of treat of having to live music bands. Wind & Fingers and Tribal Element. At the intermission break "It Is What It Is" performed (Hand drumming and percussion band)

It was a packed house as well as the program. Act III was all performers dancing with live music. Nice touch to the show. Nothing compares to live drums and or other instruments.

Look for other events by Kismet. Support dance in your community!
**We do need to keep art alive.**

I personally captured too many pictures to post them all; if you were a performer and are interested in see the entire album drop me a email!

Ahlan Cario Nights

Little Egypt in Dallas does host excellent workshops and seminars! I had the pleasure of attending ACN along with the Queen of Raks competition 2010. All good as they say. The competition included dancers from all over! The Queen competition was on Thursday evening. I'm following the program and counting 16 contestants. The all put on a good show. Colorful costumes, great music and performing. A must see if you are interested in competition and or just love to watch others. I was happy I decided to go. I stayed for the "show after the contest". Asi Haskal with local dancers from TX and singer Amr Kamal. A late night but well worth it. I forgot to mention the opening procession was a sight to see, lots of dancers in various costumes, colorful and entertaining to say the least.

The Saturday night show was spectacular. Soloist and Troupes from around the TX area and beyond. Nadi El Raks had an opportunity to dance! The costumes were a hit!

Too bad for me I did not purchase a Saturday night dinner and show ticket. It was a blast from what I've been told. Singer Yasser, Performances by Nour, Osama Emam, Khaled Mahomoud, Asi Haskal, Jihan Jamal, Maja, Lotus Niraja, Azusa and Silvia.

Next year, I be sure to mark my calendar and be ready to do the entire event.

Queen of Raks:
1st Place Dalida
2nd Place Yeli
3rd Place Alia

Congratulations to all!