Highlights from 2021: Carolena Nericcio, Jillina, Ebony, Kamrah, and More

2021 Highlights Belly Dance Podcast

Get inspired by these dance, health and beauty tips from some of the most influential belly dancers in the world who were interviewed on this belly dance podcast in 2021. Feel grateful, make a dance goal, drink some water, and dance yourself down the sidewalk.

Thank you for another beautiful year of sharing this podcast A Little Lighter! When I am creating these recordings with incredible dancers and recording this right now for you, I want to be clear. It is your heart that I want to touch. Your body that I want to sway. Your smile that I want to rise. So thank you for being here with me. You help me grow in ways you will never know! Just by listening. Thank you.

Are you ready for another year of dancing and music and costumes? I hope you are!

How will this year be different? What are some of your deepest desires for the next 12 months?

Over the course of this podcast episode, we’re going to turn the spotlight on to the soft shadows inside of your mind where decisions are yet to be made. Let’s put some of our intentions and dreams into words so that they come into fruition and we can then take celebratory bites into that fruit during the upcoming year.

I’m going to guide you and give you time to choose 1 dance move you will perfect in the next 12 months, and choose 1 life upgrade that you will gift yourself, and do a little look back at the insight of exceptional dancers recently featured on this podcast.

We’ll enjoy some flashes of wisdom from 2021 podcasts guests Carolena Nericcio, Jillina, Ebony, Eshe, Kamrah, and more. And at the end I’ll give you time to consider the unique role you play in our dance world.

I want you to get something out of this episode that makes your life easier, we’ll start with something easier to figure out.

How to Create a Dance Goal – Smallest Achievable Perfection

Let’s start with a concept from a book that Rachel Brice has used to become the dancer she is today. The term is “smallest achievable perfection”, and it is from the “Little Book of Talent” by Daniel Coyle. I learned about this book from an interview with Rachel Brice’s friend Rachel Fisher in episode 53 of this podcast.

So what is the “smallest achievable perfection” that you will work on this year? What will you, the dancer, be able to do 12 months from now, that you can’t do now?

The Monster dance move from Ebony’s episode #57?

The Turkish finger snap from Eshe’s episode #56?

Finding 3 more places to balance a sword like Kamrah suggests in episode #59?

In episode 60, the glowing Amanda Hart of Kansas shared a nugget of wisdom that has really helped me with attaining my smallest achievable perfection.

Amanda Hart: “My favorite quote is a little progress. Each day adds up to big results. I saw what I was working towards. It helped me keep going. To be better than the dancer that you were yesterday.”

My Dance Goal

In 2021 I wanted to strengthen my quads and incorporate floorwork into my dance. Laying down and rising up from the floor gracefully has been my smallest achievable perfection of 2021. I asked the amazing Ciana Ariel from episode 47 if she could train me to do that, and during a series of incredible 1 on 1 personal training sessions she showed me how! I do those exercises almost every morning, and I am getting there.

Anna Horn of the Salimpour School and episode 36 also helped me with this recently!

So what is my next “smallest achievable perfection”? I want to be able to use my increasingly strong quads to do a back bend while seated on my knees with fire bowls in my hands floating above my arched chest. I have a photo of another dancer doing just that. I have the training plan and the visual, and I will enjoy the practice that will take me to the moment when I can do that!

I’m going to play some sweet music that I recorded at a jam session this year so you can think of a few moves you want to master over the next 12 months and pick one! Once you decide what “Smallest Achievable Perfection” you are ready to commit to, write your next step toward achieving it!

Will you have trouble remembering this? Here are a couple ideas. You can set it up as a daily reminder or weekly reminder in your phone, so that it pops up and you need to think about it and click on it in order to clear it. You can hand write it on a piece of paper or print a photo of someone else doing it and post it where you stretch or dance. You can add it to whatever you do daily. I added floor work and back bend strengthening work to my daily pilates routine that I do for 12 minutes on the floor next to my kids while they eat breakfast.

“We’re not going to run out of stuff to learn and stuff to discover. That keeps us from feeling bad from not knowing stuff right away. We’re not ever gonna get done. So there is no done. You ain’t going to finish.” – Ebony

How to Upgrade Your Life

Let’s think of this as a habit will bring us continuous growth or ease or joy.

Seems like now we either upgrade or become outdated. So what are some impactful upgrades we can make to our lives this year? I love to say “We are what we repeatedly do”. What habits can we upgrade that will bring us closer to achieving the perfection we just chose and more after that?

Take a deep breath. You might be flooded with ideas or you might feel stuck. Either way, we’re going to find 1 awesome upgrade for you.

Sometimes it’s easiest to start with a complaint. A problem.

For me, it is the classic problem of lack of awareness. I’m spending hours each day in my monkey mind. Getting distracted from my true purpose by things that don’t matter and feeling too rushed to appreciate each moment. Too rushed to be in my body and breath. This is robbing me of my power. This is blocking my access to joy.

I started meditating each morning back in 2020, and I have meditated each day for at least 10 minutes for more than 600 consecutive days now. That has definitely helped me increase awareness of the workings of my mind and body! I’m on the path, but so much more is possible.

What are the frustrating parts of life that we can smooth out by establishing an upgraded habit?

What small adjustments can make a big difference?

What are some recurring events or memorable events help us understand our problem better?

Here’s what I’m working with.

When I wash dishes, I judge myself.

My mind says, “You could be listening to a podcast or music right now and growing while you wash dishes.” But I don’t stop washing the dishes and make the small adjustment of clicking on a podcast and putting a speaker in my ear so my kids don’t ask me to change the damn thing to Thomas stories.

I keep washing dishes and beat myself up for not stopping. Even if I don’t listen to a podcast, I could be enjoying just washing the dishes, grateful for the water and soap and abundance in my life, or learning something from a podcast while I wash the dishes or dancing to music while I clean up.

What are some things that are hindering growth for you? What is holding you back from making the upgrades you truly want?

Focus on what is in your control. Your own actions, thoughts and patterns. If you slip into blaming other people or things or forces, acknowledge that and return to being curious about how you may be holding yourself back. Let’s start there.

What’s not working?

Listen to Podcasts

Did you get clear about something you’ve been just putting up with that can actually be upgraded? Do you see the opportunity for an upgrade? I did. When I sat down with this, I’m going to get a cheaper set of earbuds to keep on the window sill above the kitchen sink so that they’re always there ready for me.

Part of what was holding me back from turning on a podcast while I wash dishes was bringing my AirPods into the kitchen. I have trouble keeping track of them because I don’t always have pockets in what I’m wearing. So I keep them near my desk in another room or in my coat pocket by the front door. Now it will be easier to establish a good habit of listening to podcasts or music when I cleaned the kitchen. I just needed to set those ear buds where I am looking every time I washed dishes, and seeing the earbud case will also remind me to just enjoy and be present when cleaning if I’m not ready to listen to something.

If I want to turn on the belly dance, body and soul playlist on Spotify, because there’s so much good music on there and dance, while I clean up, then I’ll enjoy it more. Just in case you haven’t checked it out and followed the belly dance body and soul playlist. It’s incredible.

So check it out.

I’m becoming more intentional with time whenever possible, not rigid, but relaxed and flowing into growth and enjoyment whenever possible.

My husband listens to podcasts when he washes dishes and it inspires him every time.

So I want a part of that.

I know where I want my mind to be. I want to either be in the present moment, gaining clarity or learning or enjoying myself.

Subscribe to podcasts that inspire you and put past episodes in your queue because these past episodes that have been created for you, and that would inspire you get pushed down the line and then you never get to hear them. So sometime go to the show and scroll down the list and put the episodes that you want to listen to in your podcast queue. Then when you have time to listen to a podcast, it pops up.

I want to sit down and curate my podcast feed based on my goals. So that’s my upgrade. I hope you found an awesome upgrade.

Your upgrade might be to drink three or four pint glasses of water every day, so that you stay hydrated and your brain and body have what they need to reach all of your other goals.

Here’s what comrade Chicago shared with us in episode 59, about drinking water and moisturizing.

Stay Hydrated

Kamrah in episode 59:

Moisturize. And that actually means from the inside too. I drink a lot of water. So any type of moisture, water, moisturize your face, they’re going to really help with basically everything. So it helps with preventing wrinkles, that is going to eventually cut down on acne. I know people are like, Oh my God, I need to dry my face out. No, you need to make lots of moisture for your face. And so drinking water and moisturizing, it is the best thing.

Ebony in episode 57:

“Every morning. I have coconut water with aloe in it, and I love it. I start my day with it. Well, before I drink that I drink 16 ounces of water. That’s the first thing I drink in the morning with lemon and I put like a greens powder in my little shaker. Okay. I put more than the greens powder in there. It’s my aloe and coconut water with a greens powder, some spirulina and some mushroom powder. That’s my jam in the morning.

Alicia: Oh, that sounds good. And I hear you with a big glass of water. My husband and I started doing that a few months ago. Just drinking the biggest glass of water we possibly can with either lemon oil in it, or our squirted lemon juice. Like the stuff you can get in a little fake lemon or fresh lemon juice, whatever. And the first half of my day is hydrated. Even if I forget to drink.

Ebony: Yeah. Just get it mostly done in the morning. And it’s so good. Sometimes I’ll be drinking water and I’ll be like, this is delicious. Like I just scream out.

What did we do to deserve this?

Alicia: Seriously. You’re making me thirsty. Good. I went on a camping trip when I was 17 with people that I’d never even been around vegetarians before. And one of the women said, you know, if you ever feel sad, just drink some water. And I was like, she’s crazy. And then I was like, no, she’s not.

Ebony: I never thought of that. No, it makes sense.

Sometimes people are really just dehydrated.

I mean, sometimes there really is something wrong. I’m not trying to bypass, but sometimes you just feeling a little off. Cause you know, it happens when people realized that they were just hungry and that’s why they were acting crazy. Same thing with being thirsty. But a lot of times we don’t think about that.

So I say, just make sure that it’s not that and just stay hydrated.

Alicia: What you’re saying to where you drink it and you’re like, oh my God, this is amazing. It’s a gratitude opportunity to when you have clean water to drink, like, that’s amazing. That’s what I’m talking about because everybody doesn’t have that.

What Will Your Legacy Be?

All of the dancers I feature on A Little Lighter have a legacy that they are leaving to other dancers and audiences. If you already got one thing out of this episode that will make the next year of your life even more full of health and joy and dance, you can sit back and relax for this part. If you want a little more to ponder, I’ll leave you with this question that is related to the smaller goals we worked on earlier in this episode.

What will you leave as your dance legacy? Where and how will your special sauce be savored even after you leave this planet? Empowered students? Family members or friends that borrowed confidence from you and started dancing? Or maybe you make music, or costumes or shows for others. Or maybe the precious moments you spend wordless in movement and music are the legacy that will be absorbed into our world.

This podcast and the show notes are part of the legacy I’m leaving to the dance world, and I am honored to do that.

We drastically overestimate what we can do in a year, but drastically underestimate what we can accomplish in a lifetime. Tony Robbins says something like that. What will you look back at and say “I am so honored that this is what I have left for others to enjoy”?