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Geez, I go away for a little while and now these are a thing. Anyone seen them in the flesh?

Jade Belly Dance

I have not seen them on stage yet but I can imagine these beauties will be everywhere soon.

LED wings!!

Very effective for a dramatic stage performance.

The only limitation is the price, they start  at $270 and range up to $675 – ouch!!


What do you think? Are you going to rush out and buy a pair? If so , post a video of yourself below!!

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The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 5,600 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 9 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

The wonderful Sarasvati Tribal hosted workshops with Onça O’Leary, so you may already be familiar with her.  Onça is looking for funding and writes, “Please, help our Work Be Seen! Visibility is an essential element of resistance in the War against Women. Offering a stage and a classroom to the dancers, musicians, and circus folk we work with gives them a Voice for social change, hilarity, satire, and rebellious joy. An Uncensored Voice & Unhindered Vision can free the world.”

The money would go towards purchasing an eco-friendly, professional, portable lighting system.  If you want to read more about this fundraising campaign, and possibly help fund it you can read more on Indiegogo (Indiegogo seems to be similar to Kickstarter, except that even if the funding goal isn’t raised the campaign can keep the contributions that were offered)

The background to the bellydancing Wookie and Klingon band! (if you’ve not watched the video you really must!)

Mae Mai


  • (Oct. 8, 2012) Word of the Nerd Podcast interview with me about the Wookiee Bellydance video!
  • (Oct. 22, 2012) Just signed a release for the usage of the video on Objective Scotland‘s “50 Funniest Moments of 2012” programme to appear on Channel 4 in the UK.

Several months ago Deserae, a wonderful bellydancer dancer I’ve known for years and who I’ve finally had the pleasure to play for about a year ago, decided she wanted to do a performance as a Wookiee bellydancer.  Back in March I recorded an excerpt of what such a Wookiee bellydance tune would sound like.  I pulled some phrases and words from the Star Wars Galactic Phrase Book and Travel Guide and created a sample audio with drums, cello, cow horn and vocals.  I titled it “Muaarga” (the Shyriiwook word for “Peace”) and posted it to my Soundcloud account:

A couple months…

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I just got my ticket in the post for this – very excited! I think there may be a couple of tickets left if you don’t have yours yet – contact Susan.

I’m going to take a bit of time to talk about some other people in this blog post.  There are a couple of events coming up that I’ll be at, and I’m going to talk about the inspirational young women who are involved in them.

Katy Meehan is a talented young artist whose work is currently focusing on the mysterious qualities of water, exploring the symbolic relationship between women and water. There’s often something creepy and thought-provoking about her work; have a look at her artist blog, and the short film below.


Katy’s work will be featured in the up and coming DJCAD Degree Show that starts this Saturday (May 19th) and runs for two weeks (19 May to 27 May, Monday – Friday 10am -8pm, Saturday – Sunday 10am – 4pm,  admission is free).  If you are going to be in Dundee around that time, please do take the time out to have a look at Katy’s work (and those of her peers if you feel like it too).  I’m going there tomorrow for the preview showing and I can’t wait.

Hester McQueen is the other talented young woman I’m going to tell you about. Her talents lie in the direction of business and marketing.  She’s about to complete her Master’s degree in International Management and Leadership. As a part of that qualification she is required to do some sort of ‘community input’, and she’s chosen to put her time and energy into trying to make a real difference by hosting an event to raise funds for St Columba’s Hospice.  Working to help others isn’t new to Hester – she previously gave up her summer and volunteered (as a full-time intern) for the Royal Association for Disability Rights (now Disability Rights UK) in London.

She hosting the fundraising event on June 2nd (which I will be teaching at).  It’s only a tenner, so if you have the time do come along and take part in some, or all, of the activities.  It’s for a very good cause, and it’s being organised by an awesome young woman.

I read this interesting article about bellydance appearing to be spiraling back downwards in terms of public perception (from the authors experience) and thought I’d share it.

I wonder if it ties into the loss of ground we’ve seen in the last several years in terms of equal pay and (effectively) gendered UK budget cuts, to name but two…

I love this little snippet Tamsyn put up – very informative!



As I mentioned earlier, we were spoilt for choice on International Bellydance Day.  Habiba Dance went to the hafla in Glasgow and has a few, lovely pictures of some of the performers, as well as a video of her own performance up on her blog.  I went to the Leith hafla (which raised £100 for Shakti) camera in hand, and was thoroughly entertained. Despite the event being cut short Martina managed to squeeze all the performers in.

And beyond? Well next month we have two haflas to look forward to in Edinburgh/East Lothian:

– A Bit of Cairo on Duke Street: Leith Bellydancers Hafla on Tuesday 14 June, 7.30pm-10.30pm, at  The Parlour Bar, Duke Street, Leith.  This is running as part of the Leith Festival and has… free entry!  

The annual Musselburgh Hafla on Thursday 30 June, 7.30pm – 11pm, at the Musselburgh Rugby Club, Stoneyhill Farm Road, Musselburgh.  Tickets for this will be £5 with the proceeds going to charity.

Elspeth SwishandHips is organising both events – if you’d like to perform do get in touch with her: swishandhips at

Now I did say I had brought my camera to the Leith International Bellydance Day hafla… Here are just a few pictures from the night to give you a taste.

Below is the lovely Constantina (who we won’t have here for much longer – we found out at the hafla that she’ll be moving back to Greece shortly!)

The elegant and polished Natalie!

And the hhhhorrible Elspeth – topping off the show with a Sha’abi piece:

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