Belly Dancing to Dubstep and Mixing Metals – 004
Find out why dubstep songs like “Crave You” are great to dance to. Get tips on how to mix metals in your dance costumes. Try the belly dance move “Dripping in Gold”, and discover delicious (golden) white miso sauce by dripping it on your dinner tonight.
It’s the gold episode!
DANCEABLE RITUAL: The Golden Touch
Think of dance move that makes you feel really good. It might even make you giggle. You might remember the first time that you did this move well because it felt different from the moves you were doing before. It might be the move in a choreography that you always look forward to, where you connect with the audience because you know you look good when you do this move. It might be the move you so when the music picks up and your energy goes up.
For me, the choo choo shimmy is a feel-good move. I honestly can’t do it without smiling. If you’re struggling to come up with the move, scan through your body. Is it a move you do with your head or eyes, your shoulders, arms or hands, your chest, belly or hips or legs? If the move doesn’t come to you now, dance to a song that makes you happy until it shows up.
When we change our physiology, the way we are holding or moving our body, it changes our mood. Emotions can be sped up or savored when we consciously bring our body into the equation. Dancing is done all over the world because it prolongs the experience of joy, love, and connection.
This danceable ritual, The Golden Touch, actually begins with anger. Anger is useful. It helps us realize our own standards and values better, and what unique gifts we have that we are sharing in a way that is working. And anger sucks when it sticks around too long and consumes our thoughts and energy.
Many researchers now say that the time between stimulus and response and release of an emotion like anger is 90 seconds. Not a bad day, not a bad week or a bad year, but a bad minute and a half. Something stimulates anger, it flows through us for 90 seconds, and then we have the opportunity to let go of the anger, observe what we learned from it, and move back to what Tony Robbins calls “A beautiful state”. His goal is to spend as much of his time alive as possible in a beautiful state. That is a goal with a serious ripple effect.
And nothing “makes us angry”. That’s a story we make up. The anger comes from inside of us, not outside of us. No one forces us to be angry. And when anger lingers within us, it can be from a lack of training, a lack of awareness, and a lack of lightness. Some people encounter a situation that would make us angry and they don’t get angry, so there you go.
When there’s something in life that pisses us off, like a piece of trash in the yard or pee on the toilet seat, let’s do this danceable ritual and turn it to gold.
Anger is something we can hold onto so tightly, so let’s loosen it up a little more with a little Pema Chodron.
Pema teaches about the three main poisons: passion, aggression, and ignorance. Passion as a negative emotion involving craving, needing to have something. Aggression meaning irritation, rage, hatred, and anything else in that negative category of emotion. Ignorance meaning denial.
Her example is that you are sitting at the wonder of the world, the Grand Canyon. If passion is your poison, all you can think about is a piece of chocolate cake or something else you are fixated on, and you miss out on the vast beauty. If aggression is your poison, all you hear are the angry words someone said 10 years ago. If ignorance is your poison, you are sitting at the edge of this gorgeous canyon with a paper bag over your head and you can’t see a damn thing. All three of these poisons can capture us completely so that we do not even perceive what is right in front of us. I will put a link to the full description of this in the show notes in case you want to read more. Pema is really tapped into how our minds work, and she’s so down to earth.
So aggression is the poison we sip when we find something we need to clean up again and again. There may also be ignorance there, because sometimes we are part of creating what is making us angry and we can’t even see it.
When we touch this thing, whether it’s someone else’s hair in the shower drain, dirty dishes in the sink or trash in the car, let’s turn it to gold.
Take a deep breath and close your eyes.
Think about a time when you recently got miffed when you had to touch something that you didn’t want to touch or you didn’t want to be where it was. Start with something small that you haven’t created a big story around. Start with some minor irritation in life, like picking up a stranger’s used tissue or stuffing that unruly piece of hair back into place each time you look in a mirror. Take a step out of yourself, and see what you look like when you encounter this irritation.
I’m envisioning myself looking at a tofu container from the grocery store that my husband just placed on my clean cutting board. I see myself grab the container and take it off the cutting board, looking at the man I love and shooting daggers at him from my eyes. How dare he put a potentially dirty thing on my clean cutting board again. It’s kind of funny how much it bugs me. Such a silly thing to spend my energy on. I’m done with getting funky about this. I’m bringing in the Golden Touch. I’m doing my feel-good move and he’s smiling at me and I’m smiling back.
So what is this thing that irritates you? Envision yourself encountering it. Not through your eyes, but from outside of your body. Can you see yourself in this situation? Can you see your posture and your face? Take another deep breath and smile softly. Is this irritation worthy of distracting us from all of the good stuff happening in the world? Is it worthy of our energy? Now picture yourself smiling softly and dancing your feel-good move. If you can actually do your feel-good move where you are now, do it. Now see yourself touching that thing and smiling. You have just turned it to gold. And you can keep doing this again and again.
This minor irritation is a gift. It gives us the opportunity to practice moving through anger, so that when the big stuff comes in life we are ready to approach it powerfully. We can dance through anger. We can shimmy it off and return more quickly to a beautiful state.
“Dance, when you’re broken open. Dance, if you’ve torn the bandage off. Dance in the middle of the fighting. Dance in your blood. Dance when you’re perfectly free.”
― Jalaluddin Rumi
As a side note, Midas of “The Midas Touch” lived in what is modern day Turkey. He was granted the power to turn everything he touched to gold, and then he realized that didn’t work so well because he couldn’t touch food or the people he loved. It’s actually a story about greed, not about having the power to make things shiny and wonderful. Regardless, this gift became a hardship and helped Midas figure out what was important to him. I hope this danceable ritual of “The Golden Touch” helps you see what is important to you. And you can also do your feel-good move if you’re nervous before you perform or if you are low-energy and it’s time to dance.
DANCEABLE SONG: “Crave You”
A song by a group called Flight Facilities. Similar to Beats Antique, they mix live music with electronica and often feature singers who are not in the group. They don’t focus on bellydanceable music like Beats Antique, though. This song features a singer named Giselle who has a lovely young voice. The really fun version to dance to is remixed by DJs called Adventure Club. And my favorite lyric is “I walked into the room dripping in gold.”
Disclaimer: if you are a Burner (meaning someone who goes to Burning Man) and you hate dubstep, just open your mind for a moment and think about the song rather than dismissing the whole genre. I think that’s actually a good practice for all of us. Listen to the song before judging it by its genre. At least hear intro.
And if you only belly dance to the top 40 belly dance songs, you might want to reflect on why. Are you worried about someone else judging your song choice?
When I choose dance songs it’s because of three things:
- The song makes me want to dance
- I want hear this song over and over and know it really well
- The audience will most likely enjoy the song
Audiences remember the parts of a belly dance show where a dancer does something different. Where we get a mini-break from beautiful Arabic music and get transported somewhere else. I feel the same way about shows where there’s a lot of electronic music performances. I love it when someone busts out some folkloric music with a loud mizmar or some serious oud action.
There is a lot of great dubstep for belly dancing. Occasional vocals inspire costumes and cue the audience about the mood of the song, sub-bass notes give us the chance to do really earthy moves, sonic effects call for big and expansive moves, and the wobble bass is like a drum. I’m a big reggae fan, so hearing syncopated rhythms makes me happy.
The lyrics of this song, like so many songs, are about craving someone. It’s very high school, which is a fun part of life to reflect back on.
Why can’t you want me like the other boys do?
They stare at me while I stare at you
Why can’t I keep you safe as my own?
One moment I have you the next you are gone
Rehearsed steps on an empty stage
That boy’s got my heart in a silver cage
Why can’t you want me like the other boys do?
They stare at me while I crave you”
DAMN SEXY DANCE MOVE: Dripping in Gold
“I walked into the room dripping in gold
Yeah dripping in gold” – Crave You
Dripping. Your hands are like a stream of gold dripping from above your head onto your face, chest, belly, and parting at your hips.
Raise your arms above your head finger tips up with your palms facing behind you. Arms are nice and almost straight with soft elbows and your shoulders are low and relaxed. Tilt your face up slightly and close your eyes. You don’t want to get gold in your eyes! Teeheehee. Sweep your arms straight down in two lines so your palms almost brush your eyes and cheeks, and then your chest. Palms still facing your body, your hands rotate so fingertips are almost touching as you brush your belly. As you drip down to your hips your hands rotate so your finger tips point to the ground and open your eyes.
Do it again, this time making it smoother. Arms up, palms slide down in front of your face, chest, rotate at the belly and hips and let that gold drip to the floor. Keep the movement going, sweeping your arms up and dripping gold down the front of your body again. This time add belly roll or an undulation. Damn you look good dripping in gold.
The theme of this show was Bedouins from Mars, so I’m wearing silver spandex pants to be more space age. Ha!
FEATURED LIGHTEN MY BODY FOOD: White Miso
I even have a delicious golden food for ya. White miso which is actually more of a golden color than white, is so much fun to drip when you mix it with warm water.
It’s the secret ingredient in polenta from the Great Life Cookbook.
It’s delicious with lentils and chickpeas
Here’s a simple and delicious savory appetizer for your next party. Cut a daikon radish into thin circles, mix equal parts white miso and tahini, spread it on and top with pitted kalamata halves.
MAKE YOU SHINE COSTUME TIP: When mixing metals, showcase one metal color and let the others glitter around it.
Gold is a tough one for me, just like silver probably is for some people. I like to wear gold when dancing to the song Crave You because it talks about dripping in gold. And other times when dancing with a more cabaret style troupe, everyone is wearing a gold dance bra, etc.
Some people pull off the mixing silver, gold, brass and copper really well.
Kuchi coins often silver with brass accents. Kuchi is the Persian word for nomad, by the way. And the biggest concentration of this herding group is now in Afghanistan.
The key is to showcase a belt or necklace or big bracelets that contain all of the metal colors you are wearing. So if you are wearing a gold bra and belt
FEEL GOOD LOOK GODDESS HABIT: Help others feel beautiful
We’ve all heard the golden rule, “treat others how you want to be treated”. It’s funny how commonly known that is.
A big part of looking like a goddess is helping others feel beautiful. We are reflections of each other.
So the platinum rule “Treat others how they want to be treated” actually makes a lot more sense. We all have our own concept of beauty. And it does feel good to give a friend a gift that they want to have, not necessarily the gift you want them to have.
Our beauty routines go deep around here. And our habits say something about our values and who we are in the world. When we authentically default to making other people look good, we look good. People want to be around us if we make them feel good.
When we default to making others look bad, we actually look bad too.
SAINT OF TRUTH
Even though my mother loves gold, I buy her silver. Looks like I have some work to do with the Platinum Rule!