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Shimmying into a New Year

” As long as I am breathing, in my eyes, I am just beginning.”  — Criss Jams, Killosophy

Dear Friend,

If you substitute “dancing” for “breathing” in the above quote, you’ll just about get how I’m feeling going into 2015.  Even though I must admit that I unfortunately fell out of practice with my newsletter writing, 2014 was far from an idle year for me.  Through dance, I forged some wonderful new relationships and unforgettable performance opportunities, teaming up with local band Amun Raqs as well as the lovely and talented Lalita, winner of the 2012 Belly Off Competition, to perform at events such as Luvest 2014 as well as the Cathedral of Learning’s annual Holiday Open House.  Performing to a huge receptive crowd in the Cathedral’s impressive lobby was truly a one of a kind experience.
Cathedral of Learning Performance
** Photo Courtesy of Marcel Walker

For something completely different, I put my dance (and new LED fire fans) to the test with Colonel Eagleburger’s Highstepping Good Time Band this holiday season, performing as the eclectic Marching Band’s “fireguard” at Light Up NIght.  I look forward to more performances in 2015, especially as the weather warms.

This year, my goals (I don’t believe in resolutions) are simple; Show Up and Shimmy.  To dance more, to breathe more, and to bring more entertainment and belly dance to the Pittsburgh area…and beyond.  So far, just 12 days in, I’ve gotten off to a pretty good start.  My morning practice has a new life and resolve, and I am excitedly working on a brand new, unique piece that I’ll be debuting at the Anti Valentine’s Hafla on Feb 7, alongside many other great performances by Pittsburgh’s talented belly dance community.  Check out the event page here.

I’m also happy to announce that I am now offering a belly dance fitness class as part of Carnegie Mellon University’s Group X program.  At 4:30 pm every Tuesday, students, staff, and outside community alike can get a great core workout with me while learning and drilling belly dance moves in a fun, relaxed atmosphere.  Classes are low cost and open to the public, click here for more info.

Stay warm and I hope to see you dancing soon!

Morgiana

Morgiana’s Notes – August 2013

“Do one thing every day that scares you.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

This past month, I have been working and learning quite a lot outside of my normal comfort zone.  A creative thinker by nature, the “logical” world of technology is frustrating, confusing, and yes, a little bit scary to me.  Despite this, I have taken it on, welcomed the new challenges, found some great resources, and not only redesigned this newsletter but started a new website, southwestpabellydance.com . While it is an ongoing work in progress, one of my favorite features is the calendar on the right hand side, which allows you to scroll over dates and find the next class or performance.

So how about you? Are you currently learning anything outside of your comfort zone?  Feel free to share it with me!  Whether trying out Belly dance or Zumba for the first time, getting back into a regular fitness routine, or adding a new move or prop work to your already developing abilities, it’s easy to get frustrated with yourself.  The best skills are rarely learned overnight, so cut yourself a little slack, use your resources (I am always happy to answer what I can, refer what I cannot), and be proud of what you’ve accomplished.  Because if I can face Technology, anyone can dance.

Here are some upcoming chances to dance or watch a performance:

Wonderaddo Launch
August 31, 2013 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM
Pittsburgh Public Market, FREE (tips gladly accepted)

A fun, world-culture oriented family event.  I will be performing with talented local dancers. Enjoy the dancing as you sample local delights from the market’s vendors, then get up and dance with us!  A mini lesson will start at 12:30.

Fall Classes in Shadyside (Wednesdays, 7pm)  and Fox Chapel (Thursdays, 6:30pm) will begin the second week of September.  I’ve looked forward to them all summer, and hope you have too.  I will send out information on how to register soon.  Meanwhile, if you have mornings free, join me in a Zumba Gold class at Alba Fitness in Monroeville (just down the road from CCAC Boyce) on Thursdays at 9:30am.  Classes are only $5, and support a wonderful locally owned new business that I hope will thrive.

Wishing you many reasons to dance!

Morgiana

aka Kristin Ward

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