Archive for the ‘The Sparkly Life’ Category

Have You Failed Lately? Thoughts on Growth and Challenge in Belly Dance

February 12, 2013

FAILWhen was the last time you failed at one of your belly dance pursuits? You haven’t lately? That’s too bad. If you have, good for you. Last week I was listening to an episode of The Accidental Creative and this topic really hit home.

Failure is good – and it’s good for you. Not only does it keep your feet on the ground, failing means you are stretching the borders of what you are willing to try in expanding the range of your skills. If we take challenging new workshops, we can find ourselves struggling through unfamiliar drills or long choreography. A lot of experienced dancers shy away from this kind of situation because they’re afraid of being seen by their peers doing anything less than perfectly.

There is so much to learn in belly dance and the associated regional folkloric styles; we could live and dance a full lifetime and still have new ground to cover. One dancer who I’ve always admired in this area is Helena Vlahos. When she still lived here in Phoenix, she would regularly show up at the workshops of dancers who weren’t even born yet when she was already a star on the ethnic club circuit. Not only did she show up with a gracious attitude, she was never afraid to try things someone else’s way and say with good humor “that’s hard, I’ll have to practice that.” A great example for us all.

There’s another up side to this kind of failure – one that is especially  important for belly dance instructors. I firmly believe that it is essential for teachers to consistently challenge themselves. Not only does it grow your dance skills, it reminds you of how your students feel when they are learning new material from you. New skills may feel awkward or require new levels of coordination they haven’t yet mastered. As teachers, we should never lose touch with what that feels like.

Personally, I relish this kind of failure, which is only temporary if we persevere.I try to follow Helena’s excellent example and laugh at myself, then get back to work.  I find that things  just beyond my immediate reach don’t discourage me – they fire me up. It’s why I keep going back to aerial yoga and knitting, even though I’m not particularly good at them.

Some failures are a little harder to take. I’ve produced some truly innovative belly dance shows with quality dancers and musicians… that were all but ignored by my dance community. The financial hit is just as tough as the emotional hit, but hey – this isn’t a business for the thin-skinned or faint of heart. Do I regret these risks? Not at all. It was awesome – too bad you missed it!  I may have lost enough to buy a Bella, but I know that I pushed my creative and production experience to new ground and even more importantly I learned a ton along the way – that will never be lost.

When belly dance opportunities present themselves in the form of a visiting instructor, a new style or the inspiration for a show, maybe we shouldn’t ask ourselves “why should I?” but rather “why not?”.  No, it might not work. Or it might. Either way, there is a “win” in there somewhere if you’re willing to look for it. We need to step away from the idea that failure to fully reach the goal line is a badge of shame. It’s a badge of courage that you try with all you’ve got.

What belly dance challenge (large or small) have tried and failed? What good things did you learn from it? Tell us in the comments below…

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Every Picture Tells A Story

November 16, 2012

This spring  I looked around my bedroom and decided that it had reached critical mass – something had to be done. I was getting ready for a gig. I pushed aside a pile of clothes on the floor and sat down on my pillow in front of the lighted makeup mirror perched on top of a foot locker and started my stage makeup. Yes, this had been my makeup setup since I moved into my tiny 1928 house four years ago.  One tiny closet built in an era when people likely had 2 work outfits and a set of church clothes just doesn’t cut it these days.  It’s even worse when a not-so-tiny costume collection crowds out the un-sparkly wardrobe.

For weeks I ruthlessly cleaned out boxes, getting rid of clothes and books and other what-nots that I could do without. I even decided to let go of some costumes. It felt good to downsize. My room feels SO much bigger, I can move around without picking my way between piles and I can even do my morning yoga  in there now!

I knew all along that a proper makeup space was going to be the reward. I set up two drawer stands and went to Home Depot for a finished board for the top. As I walked out to the car with a fresh looking white melamine shelf, I thought about hanging pictures… then I had another idea… and my dream of a makeup table got that much better.

My new makeup table is covered in a collage of fond dance memories and the fabulous women I’ve shared them with, surrounded by fallen costume coins and of course…. GLITTER!  I arranged them all on the board then covered it with a piece of glass for easy cleaning.

Here’s what it looks like. If we’ve ever met it person, you just might find yourself on my new makeup table 😉

A close look…

I know you’re a creative bunch! Have you done anything fun and creative with your belly dance mementos? Tell us about it in the comments below…

Sign On The Dotted Line – Contracts for Belly Dancers

May 11, 2012

Belly dance contractLast week I got an email from a local dancer asking about performance contracts and what to include in one. I’ll admit I was uncomfortable with contracts when I first started to do private gigs. Some part of me felt it was a gesture of distrust toward my client, but twelve years and a several hundred parties later, I wouldn’t do a private gig without one.  I’ve come to realize that it’s just a document of clarity and commitment that makes sure we are in agreement on the details, and most people aren’t put off by them. I call mine a “Performance Agreement”; I think it accurately describes its purpose and sounds less intimidating to the sensitive client.

Before I venture on a word further, I will say that I am not a legal professional and my contract has not been written by a legal professional. It also has never been “tested” in court – thank goodness! If you want a legally water-tight contract, I suggest you go straight to a lawyer.If you would like to draw up a document that will help you and your client  get all your gig facts straight for a smooth booking experience, the information to come should be helpful for you.

The Five W’s of a Belly Dance Contract

Like a good reporter, you’ve got to cover Who, What, Where, When and Why.

  • Who is the person hiring you and responsible for paying you? If they are representing a company, the company name should be included too. Get their full name, an address, email and a phone number. Ask if that is the number where you can reach them at the time of the event. Be sure to get an on-site phone number in case you have to call on your way there for more directions, help getting into the venue or anything else.
  • What type of performance is it?  I have several types of performance services that I provide. Include a specific description of what you will be doing. How many dancers? How long is the show? What props are to be used? Does the client want audience interaction for a party or will it be contained on a stage for a cultural festival?
  • Where will it take place? You will need the physical address of the venue, including the specific room or hall if it’s in a hotel. Be sure to ask if it will be inside or outside. I always ask about the flooring or outside surface as well.
  • When does the show start? Be clear about this. I always ask “What time do you want the show to start?”. I do not ask “What time should I get there?” I list the “Performance Time” and the “Arrival/Set-Up Time” as two separate items with the arrival usually 15 minutes before the start, unless I feel I need more than that for some reason. Everyone has different tolerances for show delays. If you will be on a tight schedule, make it clear in both your conversation and in your contract. You can do this by including something like this…”A waiting fee of $XX per 15 minutes will be incurred if the show is delayed.”  In my experience, this alone is enough to keep people on time.
  • Why? Find out the reason for the occasion and if there is a guest of honor that they would like you to pay special attention to.

But There’s More…

  • Your Fee Details Specify the total price, any deposit amount and when and how each of these can be paid. Do you want cash?  Can you take a credit card on site?  Put it in writing.
  • Changing Area Some dancers arrive fully dressed. If you will be dressing there, you may want to include your needs. For example, I will not dress for a show in a public restroom and my contract has a nicely worded line to let them know that.
  • Cancellation Policy This is very important! Be sure that it is very specific and includes what happens if either you or the client cancel.  Of course we would never cancel on a client outside of an emergency, but the fact that it is in your contract is a matter of equality and protection for both parties. This should include a date beyond which any deposit is forfeited. In my contract, I agree to “provide a suitable substitute dancer at the same fee” if I cancel. I’ve never cancelled, but I am letting my client know that I cannot and will not leave them high and dry for any reason.
  • The Sound System Does the sound system play CDs or iPod? Do they have an iPod dock or cord or do you need to provide one?
  • Special Instructions Include in the contract any special requests such as theme colors, keeping your arrival a “surprise”, leading a dabke line  or dancing out the birthday cake.
  • Additional Services If you are including live music or any other professionals, I recommend having them draw up their own separate contracts rather than adding their services to yours.

Sealing The Deal

When you have filled in the contract and it’s been approved and signed by your client, be sure to sign it yourself and return a copy to them promptly.

A Contract of Your Very Own…

If you would like a sample contract to customize to your needs, you can download a Sample Belly Dance Performance Contract. From this starter document, you can add or edit any items that are specific to your needs. I hope you find it useful!

My Battle with the “B-Word”

February 3, 2012

Last week I was doing an informal talk on bellydance at a bookstore. A woman came in, not even knowing there was one scheduled. She heard the Pandora bellydance station playing on the store sound system and did a little dance to herself as she waited for the clerk. She dropped in to chat with me. It turns out that this woman, who was in her 60’s, used to dance with Anahid Sofian in New York City when she was in her 20’s. She shared many stories of the New York scene in its heyday when people like Morocco were headlining clubs, backed by fabulous bands.

When she first walked in, I didn’t know her background of course.  Thinking I was talking to a complete civilian, I told her we were going to talk about some popular ideas and misconceptions about belly dance. She replied, “like the word bellydance itself.” Oh yes! Myself, I’ve had a very ambivalent and reluctant relationship with the “B-word.”

When I started studying about 15 years ago, I didn’t think much about the word and accepted it on the face value of what I understood it to be in the general public at the time. For me, this was minus the stripper notions because I’d seen plenty of classy cabaret dancers growing up in the Philadelphia area. My parents loved live entertainment of all sorts and took us to tons of ethnic events and restaurants. It may have been a year or two into dancing that I even became aware of the unfortunate and uninformed association between the two.

After I’d been in the sparkly mix for about 5 years, I started to explore the folkloric roots and cultural information. At this point, I developed a distinct dislike for the world “bellydance” because even in its best general public definition, I felt it really didn’t convey the culture and tradition of this worthy dance style. At its worst, it did convey a lot of sexpot stereotypes.

When I began to teach and do more culturally oriented performances, I made a concerted effort to not use the word “bellydance” on my advertising, website or in conversations about what I personally was doing. I used terms like “Middle Eastern dance”, “raks sharqui” or “Egyptian dance” to try to get my message across. Face to face conversations usually went something like this:

Joe Public:  Oh, you perform! What do you do?

Me: I do Middle Eastern dance.

Joe Public: <blank stare>
(Maybe he’s not the brightest crayon in the box.. I wait for him to process this.)
<still staring>

Me:  You know, like bellydance. <grits teeth>

Joe Public: <lights up in recognition> Cool!

Me: <sigh>

I swam upstream with this for about 2 or 3 years. Yes, I am stubborn. Eventually I realized that right or wrong, this was really a losing battle – and one that was not very pragmatic from a business standpoint. So I reluctantly, and carefully began to include the word “bellydance” on my cards and in my conversations. There was definitely still some teeth gritting going on at first.

Perhaps I think too much, but for me I really needed a way to live and dance peacefully with the “B-word.”  In the bigger world at the time, Bellydance Superstars was becoming more visible on the pop culture scene.   I absolutely have some gripes with the project, but at least it wasn’t a stage full of scantily clad belly-bunnies.

My personal paradigm shift happened around year 12. I decided to accept the word “bellydance” and use it openly and with conviction. I decided that I would claim and wear the badge with integrity and be the best example I could be of the culture, grace and joy our dance has to share with the world. And if the masses want to call me a “bellydancer”…. well, I will do my part to help them redefine it.

Now the conversation goes more like this…

Joe Public: Oh, you perform? What do you do?

Me: I bellydance professionally. I teach and perform the dance styles of Egypt and around the Middle East – the ones you’ve probably seen as bellydance and the folkloric styles also.

Joe Public: <no blank stare!> Cool!

“BELLYDANCE” Do you love the word or loathe it? Have your feelings about being identified as a “bellydancer” changed over the years you have been involved?  

I know you’ve got opinions!  Tell us in the comments below…

Dance For Your Life

January 28, 2012

Belly dance class at East Prince Senior Initiative

Many women who shun the gym do belly dance as their main exercise and enjoy the fitness benefits along with the fun. Unlike some forms of dance, such as ballet, belly dance is more physically accessible to most women in the general population. It also remains an activity they can safely pursue as they mature. In fact, belly dance is very well suited as exercise for maturing women.

Studies tell us that by age 75, 66% of women report no physical activity whatsoever. A certain level of fitness and range of motion is needed to perform daily activities and live independently. This doesn’t happen suddenly at age 75, but creeps up on these women starting in their 40’s and 50’s when they could be dancing against the tide of aging to prevent this.  Let’s look at some ways that belly dance can benefit mature women.

  • Belly dance is a low or no-impact activity so it protects joints that have seen some wear and tear over the years.
  • Belly dance improves balance. 30% of women at 65 and 50% of women at 75 suffer one fall per year. Dancing strengthens the muscles we use for walking and standing up straight to improve stability while moving or standing still
  • Belly dance is a weight-bearing activity so it helps to preserve bone density in the hips and legs. Fragile bones combined with impaired balance often lead to hip fractures, which are devastating and sometimes fatal in older women.
  • Belly dance helps to strengthen core muscles, protecting the spine, improving posture and reinforcing balance.
  • Belly dance is a light to moderate activity. This fills the bill for recommendations of accumulating 30 minutes most or all days of the week. This kind of conditioning helps minimize daily fatigue and shortness of breath while climbing stairs or carrying groceries.
  • Belly dance is a group activity. Staying socially engaged improves mental outlook and feelings of well-being, especially important for seniors.
  • Done on a regular basis, belly dancing at a moderate level of acitivity can help prevent or reduce the age-related accumulation of fat in the abdomen. This not only makes you look better, but improves your insulin sensitivity, warding off Type II diabetes which develops in 1 in 4 of people over 65.
  • For the 29% of women over 45  that have osteoarthritis, belly dance (and gentle exercise in general)  helps to maintain joint function. It cannot reverse joint damage, but it will not hasten it or exacerbate pain either, according to research studies.
  • As a low to moderate level of regular exercise, belly dance can lower blood pressure 8-10 mm Hg in healthy women and in those with mild hypertension. That might be just enough to keep some borderline women off blood pressure medication.

If you already dance, as many of my blog readers do, then you already know that above all it is FUN! It can also be challenging, keeping you learning new things which is good for your brain too. The beauty of belly dance as a lifetime pursuit is that it can positively change the way we age – and face it, nobody gets to stay 25 forever! It is also a dance that can change along with our bodies. Most of us will give up splits, laybacks and Turkish drops at some point, but the dance remains full of the beauty, subtlety and grace that drew us to it in the first place.

So whether you are in your 20th year of dancing or just starting out at age 50, know that you are doing something good for yourself today, and for the health of the future, more mature you.

How has your experience with belly dance changed as you have gotten older? Did you come to belly dance later in life?  How has it affected your health? Tell us in the comments below…

Taking On Your Worst Critic

December 27, 2011

Most of us know we are our own worst critics. Never is this more apparent than when we watch our own performance videos. As tough as the experience can be at first, there is a lot that can be learned and it doesn’t have to be an entirely painful, cringing experience. The first thing I suggest you do is to make a promise to yourself that you will be fair and look for the things you did well along with the things that could use improvement.

I like to view videos a few times with a different objective for each one. Depending on what you are currently working on (specific goals are good) you may choose just a few of these or come up with ideas of your own. If you’re doing more than 2 or 3, try to do it in different sittings. You can use this to evaluate improvisation or choreography.

Here are a few ideas to start:

  • Watch solely for posture. Few things can upgrade a performance as wonderfully as great carriage. Are you starting out strong and staying that way? Are you fatiguing toward the end?
  • Turn off the sound. Watch for a good mix of body variety. Are you using hips, upper body and arms? Don’t get picky on the movement quality on this one, you are looking for mix and variety. Do you use both sides of the body fairly equally?
  • Again with the sound off, watch your floor patterns. Are you using your whole space, however small or large?  Are you coming toward your “center stage” for the impressive and impactful portions of the music? Do your floor patterns have some structure – circles, travelling side to side or front to back?  Did you use any strong diagonals from back toward front?  If you are performing in a round, did you give all parts of the audience some “face time”?
  • Turn on the sound and listen for the phrasing, instrumentation and accents in the music. Did you use them effectively or pass too many of them up? If you did a good job catching your accents, did you do so with variety – some on hips,shoulders, chest, arms?
  • With sound on or off, watch just the arms. Are you keeping them moving from one interesting place to another? Do their positions have purpose (framing, showing direction, etc.)  that enhances the body line or movement?
  • Watch for the technique of each movement. Are your shapes and directions distinct? For example, do your hip ups and outs clearly look different? Are you completing each shape or movement? How is the variety?
  • If you performed with zills (yay for you!!) did you stop and start your playing in places that make sense musically? Is your timing steady? Give your self a pat on the back if you embellished on any rhythms!
  • Watch your face.  Is your expression engaged and fitting to the mood of the music, whatever it is? You don’t need the super-happy face all the time. In fact subtle, introspective moments with soft music can really draw your audience in.  Do you look like you have to think about what’s next? Does your expression truly reach your eyes?
  • On your last run through, pick your favorite moment from the performance – don’t skip this! Did you flash a great smile over your shoulder at the perfect moment?  Did you have one really elegant backbend with great arm position? Whatever it is – OWN IT –  you did it and it’s yours! Ask a trusted fellow dancer to tell you their favorite moment – you may be surprised what they pick!

Performances get better a little bit at a time. We can cultivate that progress by taking an objective and fair look at ourselves.  If you’re feeling down and need some perspective, maybe check out a video of yourself a few years back and see how far you’re come! Maybe make a resolution to tape yourself this January – no one but you ever needs to see it. Give yourself a fair critique and decide one or two specific areas to work on. A few months from now it could look very different.

How do feel about watching your performance videos? How do you use them to progress? Tell us in the comments below…

Holiday Stress – A Balancing Act for Dancers

December 3, 2011

You can balance a sword or a tray of burning candles on your head – but can you balance your life for the next few weeks? The holiday season is upon us and that means good times, good  friends and good cheer, right? Yes, but if you’re a working dancer, it can be a time of overwork and extra stress too.  You can be torn between taking advantage of the party performance season and the needs and wishes of your family and friends who want you around.  If that wasn’t enough, the physical stress of keeping up with your classes – whether you teach or are taking them – your workouts to keep you fit, and late nights performing make this a good time to talk about the antidote… rest and recovery!

Every serious dancer should have a supplemental exercise plan to keep up stamina, balance muscle strength and help prevent injury – and I hope you do! That’s what the Saturday Strength & Stretch DBQ is all about!  The schedule disruptions of holiday work and play can really throw a monkey wrench into your routine. If you’re anything like me,  when that gets disrupted, not only do I feel it physically, but I also feel guilty for “falling off the wagon”. Take a few minutes to step back and look at the larger picture. If your performance schedule is heavy for a few days,  give yourself permission to skip a day or do half the volume – for example, 1 set of each exercise instead of 2 or 3 and less cardio time. This is usually my approach on days that are just a time-crunch, even if it’s not because of lots of dancing. Some exercise is always better than none.

If you work a day job, getting up early and performing late are not an ideal mix. In a perfect world we’d all take an afternoon nap! Look ahead at your week – if you can see that early/late scenario coming up, get some extra sleep in the 2 or 3 days preceding it and plan on catching up afterwards. Rest, both as sleep and as a refrain from exercise, lets the body make those small repairs to keep you going. Just like your house or car, if you let those “small repairs” go unattended, you can count on a big one down the road. Rest is as much a strategy for injury prevention as your supplemental exercise.

The other healthy habit that falls through the schedule cracks this time of year is good nutrition. I know I haven’t touched my stove all week and it’s not because I don’t love to cook! If you know you’re the type to make a frantic run for the golden arches when you’re pressed for time, think ahead. Pre-made hummus , pita and baby carrots in my fridge have saved me more than once from fast food! Keep fruit in a bowl in your living room, and grab one on the way out the door. (I learned this from my Mom – thanks Mom!)

Got back to back gigs? Yes, you need to fuel up in between. All that dancing depletes the stored glycogen in your muscles and it needs to be replaced before you hit the stage again. What happens if you don’t? You may find yourself passed out in your dressing room after your 1 am show.  Ask me how I know this….

My solution is to keep a ziplock bag of dried apricots and raw almonds in my gig bag – and of course always some water.  The apricots  (or any dried fruit)  are a compact source of carbohydrates for energy and the protein in the almonds (or other nuts)  helps slow down the sugar rush to keep you from spiking. Of course, diabetic dancers will need to pay special attention and follow their physician’s advice.

Balance your activity and plan ahead to keep your stresses from getting the best of you. I hope you are set up for a fantastic holiday with lots of bookings and fun shows as well as  plenty of fun with your loved ones!

What stresses you out during the holidays? How do you deal with it? Tell us in the comments below…

Developing a Taste for Belly Dance

July 15, 2011

It’s no surprise to anyone reading this blog that my first love is dancing – but what you may not know is that I am an avid cook too! I love all kinds of ethnic foods and have amassed a cookbook collection that has well over 250 titles.  Years of hanging around Middle Eastern restaurants for gigs have transformed my diet. Hummus, tabouleh and the like are “normal” food in my house – no more unusual than peanut butter and jelly. But it’s the long-time friendships I’ve enjoyed with two Lebanese women in particular that have introduced me to delicious dishes not usually found on the typical Middle Eastern restaurant menu.  One of these is Burghul bi Banadoura or Bulgur with Tomatoes.  My friend Nadia whips this up like it’s nothing and it smells and tastes so heavenly I can eat bowl after bowl.  It’s as good warm as it is cold. She never wrote her recipe down for me so I have adapted one from Claudia Roden’s “New Book of Middle Eastern Food” to be more like hers.

Burghul bi Banadoura (Bulgur with Tomatoes)

1 large onion, chopped

5 Tbl olive oil

3 cups coarse bulgur, rinsed and drained

1-14 oz can of diced tomatoes, drained and juice reserved

1 Tbl tomato paste

2 tsp sugar

1 tsp allspice

salt & pepper to taste

Water added to reserved tomato juice to total 1 1/2 cups

Fry onion in half the oil till golden. Add bulgur and stir well.

Add diced tomatoes, paste, water and juices, sugar, allspice, salt and pepper. Stir and cook covered over low heat for about 15 minutes. Check after 10 minutes to be sure it isn’t drying out.  If  there isn’t any liquid left in the bottom and the bulgur is still too chewy, then add a little water and cook 5 minutes longer. If it’s too wet, then cook uncovered to let liquid evaporate.

Let sit covered 10 minutes after it’s done cooking. Stir in the other half of the oil.

Serve warm or cold as a side dish. I like mine as a main dish with a green salad. Yum!

Has being involved with belly dance brought new foods into your life? What’s your favorite Middle Eastern dish?
Tell us in the comments below…

No sweat, huh?

June 3, 2011

If you read online discussions with bellydancers talking about makeup, you will find an awful lot of them commenting on how much they sweat when they perform… most seem to think their problem is unusual. For those that give their show their all, I don’t think they sweat any more than any other athlete that puts in the same effort, but nobody expects a runner or soccer player to still look fresh and glamorous at the finish line or final buzzer. It’s no surprise that so many dancers are looking for that secret technique for sweatproof stage makeup. This exact request was sent to me from long-time Daily Bellydance Quickies subscriber, Sasha, so I thought I’d dig up some info on this hot topic as we head into the extra-sweaty season, especially here in the solar oven we call Phoenix.

Before I go any further, I have to tell you that I am not a makeup artist by any stretch of the imagination. Anything I’ve learned has been through lots of trial and perhaps even more error in doing my own stage face. This post is also not a recommendation of any products. Think of it as a summary of what dancers are using and recommending to each other online. I haven’t tried many of these personally since I’ve already found what works for me – but it may not work for you.  So, if you haven’t found your solution, maybe some of this information will help you experiment intelligently.

My personal choice is MAC Studio Fix base. I like it because it’s full coverage and stays put (on me). I tend to get red-cheeked when I dance hard and this keeps that under cover. I go light on the moisturizer and make sure my face is completely dry before I buff it in with a short, flat-topped brush. After a show I carefully and lightly blot my face with a towel and before the next show might touch it up with a light dusting of Studio Fix pressed powder if needed.  No, not sophisticated but like I said, I’m not a makeup artist and it works for me.

The suggestions I gathered from online conversations seem to fall into two categories – primers and sealers. Relatively few talk about actual “sweatproof” foundation formulas.  There were a few sketchy suggestions too, so before we go on let me just say that applying roll-on antiperspirant to my entire face or misting my finished face with hairspray do not sound like anything I’ll be trying!

Primers are liquids or gels applied before foundation. They are formulated to create a smooth surface for the foundation to stick to and (supposedly) improve the staying power of your makeup. A quick search shows that just about every makeup manufacturer from drugstore Revlon to high-end Clarins and NARS makes a primer. The ones with the most positive reviews seem to be MAC Prep and Prime and Smashbox Photo Finish. The theatrical makeup line Kryolan reportedly makes a price-friendly one.  The thing I’ve found most odd is that the official product descriptions from the makers do not claim their products will improve the durability of foundation. It’s the users that are circulating that information.

Sealers are applied over finished makeup; some are sprayed and some are brushed on. MAC Fix Plus gets a lot of good chatter in stage makeup discussions, but again, the official product description doesn’t make any claims to keep makeup in its place. Another product called Model In A Bottle, claims to do exactly that however. SheLaq by Benefit is one of the “brush on” sealers and some users have said it feels heavy, but reviews are generally good. There were a few good mentions for Make Up For Ever’s Mist & Fix too.  Ben Nye Final Seal is made for the stage and makes a bold claim, “Apply over any completed makeup for smudge and water resistance. Final Seal keeps makeup in place on performers who heavily perspire.”  I’m curious to see what happens to my makeup in the steam room with this one….hmmm. Check back with me on that.

Do you use any special products to keep your stage face from melting? What has worked for you and what hasn’t? Tell us in the comments below.

“She’s Got Hips” Podcast Episode #7

April 11, 2011

LISTEN HERE: SGH Episode 7 (April 2011)

Final installment of the interview with “The Costume Fairy” aka Rukshana aka Gail Wolfenden-Steib on costume maintenance, post-show cleaning and storage, caring for silk veils and…..safety pins!  Review of Sadaqah’s self-titled CD, event news and more.

SHOW LINKS

Episode Sponsor: Fairy Cove Silks

“The Costume Fairy” Rukshana Raqs website

Daily Bellydance Quickies

Jenn Shear at the Grisly Pear April 10th

Mahin’s Teacher Feature Night – May 7th

MECDA’s Cairo Caravan – June 3-5th

Levant al Sonora’s Desert Shakedown – Oct. 8th

Milsoft

Synthropol

Sadaqah’s Homepage