Regarding Piracy

To the People of the Free World

I found a 9gag post today about piracy. Here it is:

I read some comments left and right and it just struck me as weird that so many people indeed agree: downloading wares illegaly is theft. I’ll explain to you why I thought this was weird:

I’m from the age where buying albums was the only thing you -could- do. A long, long time ago. And back then, there was no intarwebz. Can you imagine? We’d hang out in record-stores for hours and hours after school, trying to find the best tunes. We used the headphones at the store, stood for hours behind a counter, asking people to play you a certain record. And if the album was good enough, we’d spend our pocketmoney on it.

There are alternatives to piracy. Like Spotify, for instance. But when entertainers don’t provide alternatives or revoke rights for services like Spotify, there are no alternatives imho to the old fashioned record-store headphones and services, but piracy.

So if you really don’t like it; come up with a solution instead of beating down those who want to get to know you but don’t have money growing from trees. You don’t buy a car without a testdrive, you can’t judge on the quality of a movie based on a brilliantly marketed teaser or trailer, you can’t judge a game on 5 minutes of gameplay and you can’t judge how good an album is on listening to 3 songs.

Yes, I do know stores like offer free listening services. And I know there are trials to games and programs. But again; in times when money doesn’t even seem to be growing from bushes anymore, how can you expect people to pay for stuff they don’t know?

Assuming anything different, acting upon those assumptions and expecting people to pay the full load -before- knowing the entire deal, is theft too.

I think someone needs to be the first one to say; “Hey guys. This going back and forth obviously isn’t working and we’re just accusing one another of theft, being greedy, being assholes, being bitches, whatnot. How about, we find a solution to this issue that works for both parties?”

The man who’s going to come up with the answers, is going to be rich. 


History of Dance: The Serpentine Dance (1896)

During my adventures of diving into the world of belly dance and its history, the following has left me quite breathless today. I stumbled upon a movie made in 1896 by the Lumière brothers; a frame by frame hand coloured stunning piece of art.

Click this link to see the film -> Danse Serpentine

Background information

The Serpentine is an evolution of the skirt dance, a form of burlesque dance that had recently arrived in the United States from England. Skirt dancing was itself a reaction against “academic” forms of ballet, incorporating tamed-down versions of folk and popular dances like the can-can. The new dance was originated by Loïe Fuller, who gave varying accounts of how she developed it. By her own account, which is widely reported, having never danced professionally before, she accidentally discovered the effects of stage light cast from different angles on the gauze fabric of a costume she had hastily assembled for her performance in the play Quack M.D., and spontaneously developed the new form in response to the audience’s enthusiastic reaction upon seeing the way her skirt appeared in the lights. During the dance she held her long skirt in her hands, and waved it around, revealing her form inside.

The Serpentine Dance was a frequent subject of early motion pictures, as it highlighted the new medium’s ability to portray movement and light. Two particularly well-known versions were Annabelle Serpentine Dance (1894), a performance by Broadway dancer Annabelle Whitford from Edison Studios, and an 1896 Lumière brothers film of Fuller performing the dance. Many other filmmakers produced their own versions, distributing prints that had been hand-tinted to evoke (though not quite reproduce) the appearance of colored light projection. (Source Wikipedia)

I think -this- is what genuine, bedazzling entertainment looks like. Isn’t just everything gorgeous about this?

Stage presence – stop belly dancing and start show dancing

I was looking at some youtube videos today and as per usual I wasn’t agreeing with a lot of the fan-boys and the fawn-girls liking and commenting their praise because:

  1. someone is a superstar
  2. someone is part of their troupe
  3. they were family
  4. they were being paid to do so

One of the videos had a question posted that got me thinking a bit. It went:

This is a serious question. How does one differentiate between a good belly dancer and the best belly dancer?

And it was posted at this video: Shahla Belly Dancer at Saqarah Jan 2010

I’m sure she’s a great belly dancer and all that but if you ask me; she’s not as awesome as the comments predicted.. and that’s partially because she lacked the Show-Dancing aspect. She’s belly dancing ON STAGE without understanding show-dancing. Argh. Let me explain to you why this in my modest opinion, is wrong.

Warning: incoming pet-peeve:

I might be a complete, utter noob to belly dance but as a 6-year old girl I was dancing show dancing solo’s when none of the other girls dared to do so. I’ve had my share of performances and contests whilst I was growing up and was taught really well how to perform for an audience. Which stuck with me very well. Partially because I was so young when I learned it, I think.

Now with recent events, the auditioning and the upcoming Halloween performance all the old teachings about stage presence the parts to dancing of finishing moves and coming across to an audience seems to bubble all the way up again from that deep, dark place within where they were kept silent for years. And from that perspective I do not understand the praise to that video. I don’t care how Turkish you are; I don’t care how well you do belly rolls; I don’t care about the clothes you wear and I don’t care about the make-up you put on:

When you’re sloppy and don’t finish your moves, you’re a sloppy show-dancer. And when you’re a sloppy show-dancer you shouldn’t be on stage.

When you’re a sloppy show dancer, it doesn’t matter which sort of dance you dance, you’re not going to look pretty or convincing. You’re not going to entice your crowd. And you will simply not look like you’re good at what you’re trying to get across. They might cheer but it might not be because of what you think it is. Until you are able to dance -and- finish your moves you shouldn’t be on stage. Stage is for performing and entertaining. So make it count. You’re going to have only one chance to make that mind blowing impression so take it.

I’m sorry for sounding harsh there. But that’s just how it is. Not just for my stress levels but also for anyone who takes this advice. If you want to improve your dancing, do not underestimate stage presence.


After I’d done eye-rolling at all awkward comments, I luckily found this video that completely restored my faith in show-dancing.

Drum solo, Asena – Akustika, Dovile from Lithuania

Do you see what knowing your music, adapting your choreography to your music, listening and playing with your crowd and actually getting out of your shell can do for you?

So, please stop hiding behind all the techniques you learned during your dance classes. They might get you far but they will not do it for you. Technique and skill is one thing but believing what you do and making sure your crowd believes you is something entirely different. Don’t just dance to show how awesome you can move your body, dance because it’s the only thing you can do. Study your choreography like you are studying a new language. Learn to dance with the music instead of just with your body. Don’t be afraid of what I just said; don’t let it intimidate you. Don’t let any of this hold you back. But take it to heart before you decide to make your belly dancing performance a show dancing performance. Because it’s entirely something else to do.

When you decide to perform make sure you are prepared, get out there and knock. them. dead. Your crowd deserves nothing less.

Eager to see more another good belly dance performance? Look at this gem:

Cihangir Belly dance Parody as Sibel Istanbul

Do you see the difference between the first link and the last one? Apart from the obvious? Because -that- is the difference between belly dancing and show dancing.

Of course… if you’re solely dancing to display your techniques or aren’t interested in ever performing, then of course please completely disregard this entire post… 🙂

Coming to you from DancingSnobInc. this was Kim. Over and out.

Belly Dance Props – Poi

In a number of posts I will investigate a variety of belly dance props. Props are a wonderful way to add something special to your dancing, designed to dazzled and awe your audience. Aside from that they will force you to try out new ways of enhancing your dance. Different props have different effects and might require a different sort of dancing, a faster or slower rhythm or different costumes. In these posts I will explore where the to-be-described props originate from, how they are used and where they are used most commonly.

This entry is about Poi.

One prop I’ve been very interest in for a while and want learn to play with even more than the veil or the fan is the poi.

Poi are basically things hanging from a string that you swing about. Back in the days when I was going back and forth between the UK and the Netherlands I met a couple of people who were heavily into juggling and one of them was completely hooked on swinging her poi, making intricate patterns in the sky all around her by dual-wielded long threads with balls on the end. And I’ve always thought the idea quite intriguing so I was very much pleased to find posts on Youtube that included poi in belly dancing. Even more incentive to start doing this!

To explain my interest in poi, maybe it’s best to first view some videos:

Do you understand my fascination?

So here’s the history

That's real tribal right there!
That's real tribal right there!

‘Poi’ is the Maori word for ‘ball’ on a cord. Poi is a form of juggling where the balls are swung around the body. Poi can take many shapes and forms from LED lighted glowing, fabric like veils or socks (not real socks! Kevlar socks!) on fire. From it’s beginnings Poi had the purpose of enhancing dance and rhythm. It was soon realised that Poi swinging had several other benefits from wrist strength, flexability and improving co-ordination to name a few. Mastering simple Poi moves can quickly improve self-esteem and gain respect from others. Hence the reason it quickly becomes addictive. And like all performance arts you are only limited by your imagination. (courtsey of


From the wiki:

Originally, poi were most commonly made from harakeke (Phormium tenax) and raupō (Typha orientalis). Makers stripped and scraped flax to provide the muka (inner flax fibre), which was twisted into two strands to make the taura (cord) as well as the aho (ties). A large knot was tied at one end of the cord, around which the core was formed from the pithy middle of the raupō stem. Dampened strips of raupō stems were then wrapped around the ball and tied off around the cord, forming the covering . The other end of the cord was often decorated with a mukamuka, a tassel made from muka formed around a smaller knot. Occasionally, smaller tassels called poi piu were affixed to the base of the poi ball.[7]Construction and design varied widely depending on regional, tribal, and personal preferences.

Another variety of poi is poi tāniko. In this construction, the outer shell was made of finely woven muka using a pattern based on a fishing net;[8] these poi sometimes included strands that were dyed yellow to form a diamond pattern known as Te Karu ō te Atua (the Eye of God).

In the late 19th Century and the first half of the 20th Century, a cottage industry developed from the manufacture of raupō poi for sale to tourists, especially in the Rotorua area. Tourist-friendly variations included miniature poi that could be worn in buttonholes and as earrings.

Traditional raupō poi are less likely to be used by modern poi artists since traditional materials wear quickly with frequent use. Also, flax and raupō are becoming increasingly difficult to find as the wetlands where they are naturally found have been drained or made into conservation reserves (although traditional harvesting is, generally, allowed by law).

Today, most performance poi are made from durable and readily available modern materials. Cores are often made of foam or crumpled paper, while skins consist of plastic or loomed fabrics, such as tulle. Tassels are usually made of wool.

Does this look like bedroom toys? Or is it just me?
Does this look like bedroom toys? Or is it just me?

Though that’s all really cool and I would -love- to own a set of those at some point. But for regular practice I think any juggling-store poi would do to be honest. has quite the variety of available sorts and though they may not have veil poi, it might be best to practice spinning with a poi and not hitting my face before I start adding veils and sorts. So I’ll be having a look into where I can get a set of normal poi.

Sorts of poi?

So I found a number of things to do with poi. The regular poi for normal practicing, traditional poi for when you want to be exquisitely interesting, single or double fire poi for dangerous a feral Mad Max kind of thing, single or double veil poi for more eastern dancing.. Quite a lot of variation; a versatile prop that leaves a lot to the be creative with, depending on what sort of choreography I want to have.  My personal favorites are fire poi, LED poi and of course veil poi. But there are plenty more different sorts to play with.

And what do you think of using LED lights?

For more info on which types of poi there are: They give a very detailed and interesting description of the most commonly used ones.

I’m eager to start using these things and will soon be looking into buying some.. I even have the music I want to end up dancing too sorted: Juno Reactor – Pistolero. Just the right speed and bounce and not too boring.

If you want to start just like me to learn to use the poi to later on integrate it in your dancing maybe these videos on Meenik’s Youtube videos will help you out. Good luck and let me know how it works out!

Belly Dance Props – Veils

In a number of posts I will investigate a variety of belly dance props. Props are a wonderful way to add something special to your dancing, designed to dazzled and awe your audience. Aside from that they will force you to try out new ways of enhancing your dance. Different props have different effects and might require a different sort of dancing, a faster or slower rhythm or different costumes. In these posts I will explore where the to-be-described props originate from, how they are used and where they are used most commonly.

This entry is about veils. 


Photo and design by A’kai Silks


Another lovely prop to use is going to be a veil I think. I’ve already enjoyed a workshop about using veils and have had some lessons with them so I’ve had a little bit of a taste about the weight, length, possibilities and sheer beauty of using a veil.

Usually veils are used whilst dancing on slower music. Drum-solos or folkloric music just doesn’t suit. The veil moves with the speed of your own movement so you have to be careful not to take a piece of music that’s too fast or too much staccato. Any sort of music will do. Movie score soundtracks sound good (check out James Dooley or Globus; both names create movie score soundtracks that have yet to be used in movies. Extremely epic. Can you imagine yourself dancing to this?) and bands like Nightwish, Epica and Within Temptation might provide you with excellent tunes.. Personally I think I’m going to be using music from Emancipator for the first time I integrate the veil into a dance. This music sounds so mystical and beautiful, without becoming a “chore” if you catch my drift. Lots going on will invite me to do lots with the veil. For an idea of what I’m thinking of follow this link. I especially recommend the song “Ares” which in my opinion is just hauntingly beautiful.. Sounds good, right?

So where does Veil dancing come from? 

Interested as ever in why things come about and how things develop as being a “thing” to do, I’ve had a bit of a look into where veil dancing originates from. And this is what I found:

The use of veil in belly dancing was made popular by Samya Gamal (one of the bellydance legends during the first half of the XX century) who used the veil to improve her arms carriage. Since then, more and more belly dancers started using a veil as a prop. However, nowadays, in Egyptian belly dance style the veil is only used briefly at the start of the performance during the entrance. American dancers instead, have made an art of the veil as a prop. In American cabaret style the veil is used in a lot of different ways. Dancers usually enter on stage with the veil wrapped around their costume, which is then unwrapped and made to spin with dexterity. American belly dancers have also invented the use of two or multiple veils at the same time. (courtesy of

“Doing the burka” whilst making an entrance

So plenty of styles and techniques to look into. And over a wide spectrum of cultures too, which is always wonderful. The intro for a dance was already studied briefly during the workshop I followed. Depending on the effect you’d like to establish, you may start out with the veil being folded over your arms and face as if you were wearing a transparent burka. But there are also ways in which you make your veil to drape around you in a Greek-style dress over your shoulder, which you can then unwrap graciously during a subtle turning around. You can tuck the veil under your belt so it looks like just another addition to your skirt initially and suddenly; bam. Wings appear on both sides and there you are, ready to dazzle and stun your audience with your chin held high.

I’ve looked at many videos with gorgeous veil performances and these are some of my favorites:

Veil types and materials

There are various shapes, sizes and materials to choose from when you go buy yourself a veil. Depending on what you want to dance like or what you want to do, you should pick a different veil. The length of a veil is usually chosen according to the dancer’s height. Sometimes when the dancer is specifically trained to use veils he or she can use the extra long ones but more veil is more to handle so -I- not going to delve into that just yet. Maybe in a couple of years.

Veils can be rectangular which makes them more versatile in usage or semicircular which makes them a bit easier to use.

Now that’s working a veil like you mean it!

There are veils with sequined and plain hedges. I looked into that too and the difference is (plain logically to be honest) that the ones with sequined hedges don’t float so well. These veils are used in Egyptian cabaret style and are dropped after the first minutes of the performance. So not fit for spinning then.

Materials vary between silk, rayon chiffon, polyester chiffon or georgette. The cloth should be light enough to float gently in the air but they become more difficult to handle as they grow lighter so I’m going to have to make sure I know which cloth is a better beginners’ cloth. Silk is the most expensive type of of those but also the one that floats nicest. And of course the veil should be transparent enough to give the audience a glimpse of the gorgeous lady behind it.. To raise expectations to that which is about to appear.

That’s the entry about veils! It’ll be fun to practice with them. Next entry about props will be released soon but for now that’s enough studying in one day.