Monday, September 22, 2014


On the eve  of the Autumn Equinox I  wish you a very  Happy First Day Of Fall!

 Even though it’s sunny and hot here in my native Los Angeles and doesn’t feel like autumn at all, every Solstice, I get the urge to prepare for the new season dance-wise. And for those of you in places where the weather actually changes according to the season, it’s even more imperative!

The first thing I do is go through my costume closet and take a look at everything to see what needs mending, alterations or some other kind of attention. I get out my sewing kit and re-do hooks and snaps,  repair any loose beads or dropped hems, and see if anything needs to be washed or dry cleaned.  I check my dance shoes to see if they need to be repaired or replaced, steam or iron my veils, and add new elastic to my finger cymbals, and replace the cedar chips in the air-tight boxes where I store my feather fans.

 Most of us have costumes that we wear less often during summer- like those with sleeves, more coverage, or stage creations hade of velvet…now’s the time to bust out those beauties, cause they’ll come in handy during these colder months.

 I also re-stock my gig bags and class bags with new supplies for the chilly season, adding a heavier cover-up  plus things that come in handy in drafty dance studios or back stage, like leg warmers and a light dance sweater or hoodie.  I make sure each gig bag includes a little emergency kit with bobby pins, safety pins, needles and thread, Band-Aids, feminine protection, pain reliever tablets, and stuff I blow through constantly, like breath mints, hair spray and body glitter.

 Fall is a great time to check your stage make up, too. This might not be pertinent for Goth chicks, but as the seasons change, your skin tone is probably changing, too!  The transition from being a sun-kissed, beach  babe to your non-summer complexion means that you’ll need to address your  skin products and foundation.

 Now is the time to get a slightly thicker moisturizer or serum to protect your skin from the cold and rain- might as well get a jump-start on it, right?  And you'll probably have to blend a couple of tones of foundation to get your “transitional” skin evened out. I usually take a clean new travel-sized container and mix the two colors directly into the container. Remember that for stage work, if your foundation is a shade or two darker than your actual skin tone, it won’t look odd; it’ll just make you appear healthy and robust.

 At the change of seasons, I also throw away any cosmetics that have run their course- especially items like mascara or creamy eye shadow or eye make up primer.   Because these are wet and can attract bacteria every time you use them, in order for these products to not potentially cause an infection, their life span is usually only three months, anyway. I date mine with a sharpie pen and get rid of them at the three-month mark.

  Right now is also a fantastic time to get a jump on your holiday season gigs, too!

Show producers and private parties begin booking for the holidays well before the end of October…because if they don’t, the prime days-  especially weekend nights  between Thanksgiving and the middle of December, will already be taken!

 Send out emails with descriptions of what shows and service you can offer during the holidays   now. Make the tone friendly and professional, and alert your previous clients as well as sending an email (or hard copy promotional package) to venues like nightclubs, theaters, restaurants, banquet halls and to individual event planners in your area.

Tune up your technique and  start making your warm-ups a little longer and more thorough; the cold weather can seize muscles  and some of us feel the damp in our joints, too.  Start setting choreographies  for your holiday gigs now… and take the next few weeks to  make sure that  your special  holiday costumes are either gig-ready, or  at least  that construction has started!

 If you teach, this is also a fantastic  time to contact the studio where you’re work- or where you’d like to work, to discuss class and workshop plans and time slots for 2015!

 And as of right now, it’s only a few days until October!  Can you believe it?  I sure as hell can’t!

 Now is also the time to practice saying NO…because in a couple of weeks, everyone and their baby sister are going to be hitting you up to borrow your expensive stage wear to use as Halloween costumes!


Get yourself  a signed copy of The Belly Dance Handbook: A Companion For The Serious Dancer  here:

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