Posted on April 05 2016
We've come a long way since our first year at Art of the Belly...
Year 1 - A couple boxes of merchandise stuffed into the back of Karen and Dan's car, and off to share a booth with their company, Pyaara, and Ginger Seibert's Midnight Orchid Designs. A lot of mix-and-match and cross-selling that year, along with a great time.
Year 4 - We are still having a great time, only this year we had our own gigantic 20 ft. vendor booth! Lots of merchandise, lots of space and a brand new logo designed by Cielo Productions' Ken Vegas. Another thanks to Ginger for her display advice, and our booth looked amazing. With Debbie and her trusty sidekick Cleo manning the booth, it was The Place To Be.
Along with our own pieces, we decided to feature merchandise from some of the instructors who didn't have a booth (and who wants to walk around all weekend with a big bag of books or cds? Erg...) These instructors included The Groove Merchant Drum and Dance Ensemble's CD "Dansa", Tava Naiyin's book "Tava - The Little Book of Big Advice" and Rosa Noreen's DVD "A Dancer's Hands and Arms". Because it's always good to share the love with our belly dance family, right? And their products are truly wonderful.
As good as our stuff looks in the booth, a number of our favorite dancers proved how phenomenal it looks on stage, as well.
Photo by Shimmy Support!
Brenna Crowley performed as a featured instructor in her Brennzilla Pants and D.Webb Velvet Layering Skirt.
She made her own bra...isn't it beautiful?
Arroh Meuse wore a smartly styled Angelina Skirt while drumming with Maharal.
but here she is in the booth before her performance
Donna Manalo killing it in the Liquid Metal Bustle Skirt ad Loco Pant combo.
In this set she did an improvisational fusion belly dance.
The 1st piece is an Afro-Cuban inspired belly dance fusion and the second song is a modern more Afro-pop belly dance piece.
We also want to thank Rose Carballeira for blessing the stage in our Angelina Skirt!
Photo by Shimmy Support!
And that's not all!
This is the first year that our founder Debbie Despina Cartsos was an instructor at AoTB with her very own workshop "Paying Attention to Details in ATS® belly dance". First thing on Saturday morning (ouch), but still sold out (yay!). We started a warm-up to some high energy music by Groove Merchant and then moved on to technique, the basic vocabulary and how to add layers and embellishments, like a cake, while dancing in formations. We just wish we had more time (because the students only got a taste of that cake), but Debbie sent everyone home with drills they can work on by themselves, and then...
Debbie was thrilled to share a piece of the dance style she has dedicated so much of her life to to a brand new group of dancers who were so willing to suck up the information.
But wait there's more! ;)
This was also the first year Debbie performed at AoTB! She was so honored to be able to bring some of the classic ATS® moves to the stage. A performance to two very different pieces of music: The first was one of her favorite songs by Eleni Vitali, "Balamo", a sad song about the Roma Gypsies, losing their home and having to start over, a song about being alone and finding their place in the world again. The second, a good energetic Saidi, "Wendish Queen" by Mahmoud Fadl, and Debbie loves dancing to the Mismar, that very grounded and folkloric Egyptian instrument.
And last but not least a huge shout out must go to the organizers of this amazing event: Patti Cakes and Naimah Lauren. They have given dancers, teachers and vendors a beautiful and safe home where everyone can come together and create magic. For that we love you dearly! Putting a dance festival together is no joke but the AoTB team put an amazing festival together! Thank you, we love being part of the Art of the Belly family!
Whew! Ok, that may not be everything but it is certainly enough for now (and hey, every gal needs her secrets, yes?). But no rest for our weary bones, nope. It's straight into filling our latest online orders and preparing for D.Webb's next events...
So, until next time, from the D.Webb Designs family to all of you.