WildCard BellyDance

Stories

The Whirlwind at the end of Summer

by on Jul.20, 2014, under Festivals, Performances, Teaching Events, Troupe News

What is the whirlwind at the end of summer you ask?

It’s WildCard BellyDance! In August we are performing at three major festivals, traveling out of state to teach workshops at two incredible events and hosting our 7th annual Hafla.  August is going to be wild and crazy and so much fun.

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So what are you doing this summer?

First up is Carnival of Stars happening August 2nd and 3rd. It is a belly dance and comic book convention with workshops, festival performances, a cos play costume contest and a belly dance competition. This festival draws a very diverse crowd. One of the things I love the most about this festival is that it offers an amazing chance for dancers to perform on a huge stage. (something that doesn’t get to happen enough). WildCard BellyDance performs at 4:00pm on Saturday August 2nd. http://www.carnivalofstars.com/

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The very next day, August 3rd,  is our 7th Annual Hafla. Our hafla has always  been a personal mile marker for us. It’s been amazing to watch our hafla grow through the years not only with our student base and troupe  but also our ITS format.  Someday I will watch all of our hafla performance vids back to back and watch the evolution of the WildCard BellyDance ITS format. This year will have performances by  Samra, Arcane Dimension, David TwoHawk, Dance Journey, Raks Rosa, BlackDiamond BellyDance just to name a few and we are proud to be joined by our brand new intermediate troupe Ante Up BellyDance.  Doors open at 3:30 and the show starts at 4pm. Only $5 to get in. Burton Ave Rec Center located on 7421 Burton Ave in Rohnert Park.

August 8th-10th you will find us traveling to Portland ,Oregon for JamBallah Northwest. This festival has a great line up of instructors, Sharon Kihara, Aubre Hill, Ruby Beh just to name a few and of course WildCard BellyDance. Saturday afternoon August 9th we will be teaching our Circle Work and Spins workshop and performing in the Saturday evening show. http://www.jamballahnw.com/

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August 15th-17th we will be headed out to Big Sky country. That’s right to the 7th Annual Yellowstone bellydance festival in Billings, Montana. This festival is put together by the Spiral Skies Belly Dance troupe.  We will be sharing the headliner spotlight with the amazing Princess Farhana. This is our first time teaching in Montana and we are thrilled to share the WildCard ITS format. We love seeing other dancers get as excited by tribal improv as we are. http://www.spiralskiesbellydance.com/yvbdfestival.htm

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So what happens for the rest of August? A week of well-deserved rest and then August 25th and 27th Fall session weekly classes start back up.  Monday nights Level One is from 6-7pm and Level Two is 7:05-8:05. Wednesday nights Level Three is 6-7pm and Level Four 7:05-8:30pm. http://www.wildcardbellydance.com/classes.html

So what are you doing this summer ???

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One of the Best Things You Can Do For Yourself in 2014!

by on Dec.30, 2013, under Stories, Teaching Events

katarina_burdaSomething very special is about to happen.Something you don’t want to miss out on.

It’s one of those unique opportunities that you have to grab onto and it leaves you enriched for the rest of your life. I feel your minds turning, pondering what is this rare and special thing. It’s the opportunity to study with the living legend, Katarina Burda.

I first met Katarina Burda at the Mendocino Middle Eastern Music and Dance Camp, in 2008. I came to camp a day late and asked all the dancers which teachers I should take classes from. Every dancer insisted that Katarina’s class was the best at camp. Later that day in her packed class, this older, soft spoken woman blew my mind with her amazing wealth of knowledge and her incredible dance skill.

I discovered that in her 40 year dance career she was one of the original members of Jamila Salimpour’s troupe, Bal Anat and had  trained many of the Bay Area’s top dancers such as Zoe Jakes, Mira Betz, Hannah Romansky and Elizabeth Strong (they were in her troupe Aywah).  I left her class knowing that I would seek out every opportunity to study with her again.

In July of 2013, a unique possibility presented itself and WildCard BellyDance was able to host Katarina Burda in a two day workshop. I was so happy to share this opportunity with my troupe, students and other local dancers. She left us inspired, dripping in sweat and with the promise that if she was in town again (as she was living in Mexico at that time)that she would be willing to continue teaching us.

January 4th of 2014, Katarina Burda is back!

We are lucky enough to get to spend the first Saturday of the first four months of the year with her. January 4th, February 1st, March 1st, and April 5th. Katarina loves to share her knowledge of dance, music and history. The first half of each workshop will focus on dance and the second half will focus on music and history.

January 4th
10-12 dance technique – 4/4 rhythms, : traveling steps, shimmies and combinations, spins, arms, ciftetelli/taqsim/undulations
12:30-2 music: understanding different rhythms (Baladi, Saiidi, Masmoudi, Maqsum, Malfouf/Cocek, Ciftetelli), bring your cymbals.

February 1st
10-12 how to dance to Romani 4/4 music – line dance and oriental steps
introduction to 9/8
12:30-2 Romani song

March 1st
10-12 Egyptian folk steps
12:30-2 Egyptian folk song

April 5th
10-12 introduction to Guedra – Moroccan trance blessing ceremony
dance movements, cultural significance, history, past and present
12:30-2 chants with percussive clapping

If you pre register for all 4 classes it’s only $160.

Pre register for individual classes for only $50 per class. Or register at the door for $60.
Make sure that you don’t miss this rare and affordable opportunity to study with a living legend. It’s one of the the best things you can do for yourself all year.

The workshop will be held at the Rohnert Park Community Center Room #3, 5401 Snyder Lane, Rohnert Park, CA.

Workshop dates and times are…

January 4th, February 1st, March 1st, and April 5th from 10-2pm.

To register mail a check to
Sherry Blanchard, P O Box 87, Rio Nido, CA 95471
or Paypal ( email seba@wilcardbellydance.com and she will send you an invoice).
Call Seba at 707-869-3469 for any other info.

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Inside the mind of WildCard BellyDance

by on Oct.19, 2013, under Stories, Videos

I have been waiting for this YouTube video for months!

No it’s not a performance video….that is usually what I am most anxious to watch, this is something different. It’s an interview with 3 members of WildCard BellyDance  that went to Mexico City to teach the WildCard Intensive last June.

Interviews are boring, the pictures are usually much more interesting.

Yep, that’s what I usually think as well. But this one is different. The questions dug a little deeper than usual, there were 3 of us, each with a different point of view about a subject that we are all passionate about and we were super, ass-dragging tired.  It was our final day in Mexico City,   we had just danced on the pyramids, eaten worms, consumed tequila and had successfully navigated the Mexico City subway with great success, after a full weekend of workshops and performances.

Walky, our host, the director of Tribe Ghytias and the master mind behind the WildCard Intensive had asked if we might be willing to do an interview at some point during our stay in Mexico City. Her vision for the interview was to have it translated into Spanish and put it out on YouTube so that dancers all over could have the opportunity to have their ITS horizons expanded.

Sure, no problem, we all said…

Then as each day passed there was never the right time for the interview.  I thought that maybe it just wasn’t going to happen….but no…Walky knows how to organize and bend the universe to her will.  Our last night in Mexico City she transformed her apartment into a television studio, complete with an interview host ( thanks Kika), put glasses of cherry liquor into our hands and the camera began to roll.  The questions were deep and thought provoking and we all took a collective deep breath and opened our hearts and began to share what rolls around in the individual and collective mind of WildCard BellyDance.

Enjoy.  I did.

 

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WildCard Bellydance en México – A travelogue by Seba

by on Jun.23, 2013, under Festivals, Stories, Teaching Events

Tribal Puro y duro Litha 2013

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After over a year of planning the WildCard BellyDance Intensive in Mexico City has come to its end.  There was an earthquake and a volcano erupted, the earth was just as excited as all of the dancers that participated in the event.  Reyna, Robin and I showed up sleep deprived and a little jet lagged on Thursday afternoon, June 13th into the bustling airport of Mexico City.

We were welcomed by the zaghareets of Walky and Kika and we knew that we were going to have a great time. Walkyria Ardaat was our workshop host and coordinator and she was amazing!  I cannot give enough thanks to Walky, her husband Oso and her tribe of Ghytias as we were welcomed and cared for our entire stay in Mexico City.

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We stayed in Coyoacan, a beautiful part of Mexico City. Friday morning we took a stroll down to the Frida Kahalo museum.  The museum is the house that she lived in and it was fascinating to walk around and see where her inspirations came from.  There is even a photo of Frida doing Basic Egytptain!  As we were very interested in trying Pulque, a beverage that is not available in the US, for lunch we were whisked away to a restaurant that specialized in the indigenous foods. We feasted on a variety of foods, but enjoyed the ant eggs, pulque and mescal.

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Then it was time to get ready for the evening show.  The Friday night gala show was held at a beautiful theater.  The house was packed with a very enthusiastic crowd.  Walky had hand picked the performers to showcase Improvisational Tribal Style troupes throughout Mexico.  I was happily surprised at the diversity of ITS troupes in Mexico.  The quality of the dancers throughout the whole show was superb.

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The next day, Saturday started the WildCard BellyDance Intensive.  The intensive was held in a large, well lit, sunny room that had wooden floors, and much to my delight had mirrors!  A great place to teach for  10 hours.  Almost 30 dancers attend the intensive and they were incredible.  Never have I taught a more talented group of women.  They were all thirsty for the knowledge of the dance and were incredibly quick to learn the moves and concepts that we had to offer.

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A special thanks to our translator Xiaron Kerr.  Not only is she an amazing dancer and ITS inspiration for all of Mexico but her own knowledge of the dance and language helped make sharing our ITS format with the dancers present all that much easier.

Saturday night was the Hafla.  Sooo much fun!!!!! The word Hafla means party and the Ghytias Tribe did just that.  Everyone dressed up in skirts and choli’s brought tequila, snacks and finger cymbals.  Music played all night long and whenever the mood struck ( which was often) dancers would hit the floor and start dancing ITS.  It was beautiful to be a part of and I felt so honored when the new moves that we had taught that day flowed into the vocabulary of the dancers.

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That night while we were tucked into our beds  a 5.8 earthquake happened.  We awoke to the shaking of our beds  and an immediate check in from our host Walky making sure everyone was okay.  We joked that the earth was shimmying from all the dancing. The next day Sunday brought about the end of our intensive.  All the dancers loved the scimitar and floor-work workshop and my thighs were burning by the end of the day from all of the laybacks.

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Sunday night we were whisked off to a beautiful resort in Tepoztlan. Where we drank tequila into the wee hours of the morning talking about troupes and tribal and the in and outs of the business of belly dance. Monday was all about the pool and hot tub  and drinking micheladas bought to us by our cabana boy.  I so miss micheladas! I have been trying to make them at home and its just not the same.

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Tuesday we were off to Teotihuacan, the pyramids.  Lots of sunscreen, plenty of water and an epic hat and I was ready to go.  The pyramids are amazing and you can actually walk up to the top of the sun pyramid and  part of the way up the moon pyramid.

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Walky had the great idea of dancing ITS on the pyramids….check out the YouTube video.  It only captures a little bit of the joy we were all feeling while dancing together on top of these ancient and powerful creations.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWal_LQjZG8&feature=share

 

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After walking for so long we were all so hungry and went to eat lunch in a beautiful restaurant that is in a cave.  Once we discovered that another indigenous food …worms aka grubs …was on the menu we had to try it! The chef came out to our table and prepared the worms right in front of us. Sautéing them in butter, with onions and peppers.  When I say it was a once in a life time experience, that is exactly what I mean.

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That night Walky had us scheduled to do an interview with Kika so that we could share WildCard BellyDance with all of Mexico and the surrounding Latin countries. The interview was fun  and I am looking forward to seeing it on YouTube.  That was also the night the volcano erupted.  Not that we even noticed.  It happened about 40 miles away and we didn’t even see any ash in the night sky.  The only reason I knew it had happened was because of the frantic texts from my husband Dan.  Wednesday was a last mad dash for shopping before we packed and rushed off to catch our flight back home.

WALKYThere is so much beauty in Mexico.  So many people to miss.  Thank you so much to Walky Ardaat of Tribe Ghytias for having such a strong vision to bring WildCard BellyDance to Mexico City.  She is an amazing organizer and we felt cared for the entire time we were there.  Thank you to her husband Oso, for being an amazing belly dance husband. Thank you to our marvelous translators Xiaron Kerr and Kika Villagra for helping us to communicate. A special thanks to the Ghytias Tribe, Dafne, Velkana, Adriana, Indriuxx and Miriam, for laughing with us, drinking much tequila, pulque, mescal and micheladas, dancing with us and opening your hearts and allowing us to join you in this incredible journey of dance and sisterhood.

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How far do you drive to get to your favorite Belly Dance festival?

by on Mar.31, 2013, under Festivals, Performances, Stories

I go to a lot of belly dance festivals…I mean ….a lot.  I also drive a lot.  :)  Don’t get me wrong I am eternally grateful that there are so many amazing belly dance festivals that are with in driving distance. ( and I am talking crossing bridges and driving for hours kind of thing)  But Tribal Fest is different.  Not only is it an amazing festival that started back in the day to provide a space for Tribal Troupes to showcase their art form, but it also has a very open arms policy to just about any alternative style of belly dance you can imagine.  I have seen a lot of trends get started at Tribal Fest.  TF also has an amazing array of workshop instructors ….I lost count after 42.  The topics of the workshops are as broad as the styles of belly dance that get represented at the festival.  Over the years it has been harder and harder to get a performance slot at Tribal Fest because everyone and I do mean everyone wants to have the bragging rights that they performed at Tribal Fest.  And why not, its a great festival and the caliber of performers is super impressive.  With that said, I am extremely pleased to announce that WildCard BellyDance will be hitting the stage on Saturday May 18th at 1:20pm.

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Oh, I forgot to mention the reason I love  Tribal Fest the most…..its only a 1/2 drive from my house.

 

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Newest Addition to WildCard BellyDance!

by on Dec.31, 2012, under Stories, Troupe News

Christmas - The Newest member of WildCard BellyDance

We are excited to introduce you to the newest member of WildCard BellyDance; Christmas.

Read all about Christmas in her dancer bio and look for her in our upcoming performances.

Congrats Christmas!

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Scenes from the Las Vegas BellyDance Intensive 2012

by on Sep.15, 2012, under Festivals, Performances, Stories

Reyna, Seba and Kristen danced as a trio in the Las Vegas BellyDance Intensive Festival Show.  Vegas was a blast as always.

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Dancing at the 2012 Las Vegas Belly Dance Intensive

Running into friends and fellow dancers… one of the best parts of any festival!

WildCards with Andalee

WildCards and Troupe Hipnotica


 Seba Reyna and Kristen had a great time teaching at the event despite the 8:30am Sunday morning schedule.

Seba’s teaching WildCard’s Scimitar workshop – Dancing on the Edge

 

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Upcoming Workshops with WildCard BellyDance!

by on Aug.28, 2012, under Festivals, Performances, Reyna's Rants, Stories, Teaching Events

Would you like to take a workshop with WildCard BellyDance, but live out of the state or country? Well, we may be coming to a city near you! We are elated to be teaching upcoming workshops in Las Vegas, NV, Offenburg, GERMANY, and Eugene, OR this year! We also have a few international workshops & intensives already lined up for next year, so keep checking in to see if we will be in your neighborhood!

Las Vegas BellyDance Intensive & Festival Sept. 7-9, 2012

https://www.bellydanceintensive.com/

3rd Black Forest Tribal Festival Offenburg, Germany Oct. 5-7, 2012

http://tribal-festival.jimdo.com/ for workshop times see http://tribal-festival.jimdo.com/workshops-2012/

More info on Eugene, OR coming soon!

 

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What puts the Wild In WildCard – Interview in Hagalla Magazine

by on Jul.22, 2012, under Stories, Teaching Events

From Hagalla Magazine:

Kristen and Reyna of WildCard BellyDance (photo: Dano Blanchard)

“WildCard Bellydance are one of the wildest and freshest tribes you will ever see on stage. And if you see them you imagine that “Neas Tribal” is not far, which is no coincidende. Both tribes exchange ideas, moves and literally everything else. In fall two of the members – Reyna & Robin – will come to us to the 3rd Black Forest Festival in Offenburg. In the following interview Seba, the artistic director, tells us how the “WildCard Bellydance” came into life and what makes it unique.”

Read the whole article (in English)

http://www.hagalla.de/hagalla%20com/Texts/E%20Interview%20Texts/engl%20WildCard%20Interview.html

For the original (auf Deutsch):

http://www.hagalla.de/Texte/Interviewtexte/WildCard%20Interview.html

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WildCard BellyDance 5th annual Hafla

by on Jul.12, 2012, under Festivals, Performances, Stories

WildCard BellyDance 2012My mind is a little blown….WildCard BellyDance’s 5th annual Hafla,  it’s amazing.  Our first halfa as the newly rebirthed WildCard BellyDance happened in December of 2008.  We weren’t sure where exactly we were headed but we knew we wanted to keep on dancing.  Fast forward to 2012 and I realize exactly how much we have accomplished.
(continue reading…)

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