A Magpie is the peacock of the Crow Family. Members of this family of birds are fond of bright, shiny objects, and will steal rings and other jewelry.

I’ve heard belly dancers compared to Magpies (my favorite desert bird, btw.) since we share a love of shiny, sparkly things.  With that in mind, I thought I’d share some of the things am excited about today–my sparkles, so to speak.

The High Desert Belly Dance Guild’s Spring Showcase is this Sunday, downtown at Common Table.  I haven’t missed one of these showcases yet because they are always so much fun!  I usually perform, but this time I’ll be enjoying the show as a spectator.  Looking for something fun to do on a Sunday night?  I highly recommend attending!

Last night I started choreographing a song for Saqra’s Showcase at the end of this month.  I’m a last minute sort of gal when it comes to choreography, but I’m getting better about giving myself more time.  I’ve got something new up my sleeve for Mezdulene’s Belly Dancer USA competition in June, and I’ll need to do some shopping at Saqra’s event.  The vending there is always excellent!  Can’t wait to watch hours of performances and catch up with friends at the event!

Tax refunds!  I got a refund this year so I’ll be able to register for JamBallah Northwest this week.  I’m so excited to have an event like this in Portland again.  Yay!  Yay!  Yay!  What’s not to love about a “wild weekend of bellydance and fusion?”

Students can be such a joy and inspiration!  The video below is a group of my most recent students performing a fan choreography at the High Desert Bellydance Guild’s Student Showcase at the end of February.  I am such a proud bellydance mama!

In February I got to see my dance partner, Samara, at Reigning Down on Oregon, hosted by the fabulous Zephyr ladies in Salem.  We reunited for our first performance in almost 9 months, since she had her daughter and moved from Oregon to Washington.  It was such a joy to dance together again!

First Friday Art Walks have been lots of fun lately with a variety of musicians and dancers collaborating at Azura’ Studio 22nd Century Self Healing Center.  The event is organized by Kathy Stahlman, Director of Tribal Moon, and features a different theme every month.  The musical backbone has been Imzadi Tribal Music, but we’ve had special performances by Julie Southwell, and Fiesta Flamenco as well.  You can see photos by Nils Eddy here.

And last, but not least, I’m loving my Daily Bellydance Quickies (DBQ’s) with Mahin.  If you haven’t signed up to receive yours, check them out, then sign up!  I’m always getting new ideas for drills and practice techniques from these.


Put some shimmy in your shake with Tribal Fusion Classes this Fall!

Fluid arms, shimmying hips and a slow, sensuous undulations are only a few of the captivating movements that make belly dance one of the most hypnotic and enduring art forms in the world.  Would you like to learn to express yourself through movement and discover the ancient, yet modern art form of belly dance?  Join Kamini, award-winning performer and co-director of the Bijou Project, for beginner Tribal Fusion Belly Dance classes this fall.

Kamini offers belly dance classes for beginning and advanced students, as well as private and semi-private lessons.  Join a class and discover why belly dance continues to grow in popularity! Class sessions will focus on improvisation, dance technique, group dynamics, and increasing and refining a vocabulary of belly dance movements.  Each class will include stretching, drills, and conditioning exercises while providing plenty of opportunities to practice dancing in a fun and supportive group atmosphere.  All body types and experience levels are encouraged!

The best thing about belly dancing is that you don’t have to have special training, a specific body type or years of experience to do it.  Belly dance originated as a folk dance and women of all ages participated.  Although the dance has evolved, the inclusive nature of it has remained.   You can start taking lessons at any point in your life and continue dancing as long as you have the desire to do so!  Do you like to dance?  Then what are you waiting for?

Beginning Tribal Fusion Classes @ Gotta Dance::
Learn isolations, unique Tribal Fusion moves and improvisational dance skills in a fun and accepting group environment.
Saturdays, October 2nd – November 20th
$70/seven week session
$12 drop in
11am-noon @ Gotta Dance, 917 NE 8th St. Bend, OR.

No previous belly dance experience is needed for this class.   Drop-ins are welcome!  Email Kamini if you have any questions at  For more information visit

Thinking About Retreat

Kamini the Bellydancer

Kamini by Brian Bulemore/abacus photography

This week has been a busy one in my little belly dance world.  Yesterday I finished a photo shoot with Brian of Abacus Photography.  It was my first shoot in a couple of years and we had a good time trying out different urban and natural settings close to Bend.  It was also my first photo shoot outside and I must say, I loved it!

Brian was a pleasure to work with and he posted a few teaser images today.  I can hardly believe those are photos of me!  He took some great shots so I thought I’d include the teaser photos here.  If you like what you see, hire him!  He does fine art, portrait, wedding, commercial and event photography.


Check out the bling! Photo by Brian Bulemore/Abacus Photography

Now that the photo shoot has wrapped up, I’ve been thinking about some down time.  You know, the time we all need to relax, unwind, and get inspired again?  Usually I head to the woods or the mountains for some R&R.  That’s in the works, but in my belly dance world, nothing beats retreat!

Each year Mezedulene hosts a women’s only bellydance retreat in Southern Oregon and for the past two years, I’ve made the five hour drive to teach and perform with my dance sister, Samara, as the other half of the award winning duet, The Bijou Project.

Each year retreat grows on me.  The first year, I


Sam & I with Mezedulene at my first Retreat

was nervous about spending time with so many other women I’d never met before.  (Did I mention that I can be shy?)  Last year, I knew what to expect and I could relax into it a little more.  This year, I feel like a seasoned pro and I’m looking forward to performing as a soloist (although I’ll miss my Sam!), visiting with friends, relaxing in the woods, sharing food, laughter and chocolate, watching a delicious buffet of performances every evening, and being inspired by new workshops.   If this sounds like fun, you can find more information here.

Next on my belly dance calendar is a performance at Joolz, the Middle Eastern Restuarant in downtown Bend.  I’ll be performing with the lovely and talented Sitris on Tuesday, July 27, 2010 at 6:30 pm.  It’s a small restaurant, so reservations are recommended.  Tell them you’re coming to watch the belly dancers!  541.388.5094