Seize the day to dance: A heartfelt reminder & memorial to Elisheva

A memorial and heartfelt reminder to take face your fears and to follow your dreams.

Some of you may know that a well-known belly dancer has recently passed. Elisheva of Bellyqueen will not be gracing the stage in this world any more.

I am pretty shocked because it was only a year and a few days ago that I was dancing in the Perth show of Journey along the Silk road with her. Thus my recent Facebook feed has been full of those memory reminders from a year ago featuring her and the other women that made it such a memorable experience and I have been happily reminiscing.

After the silk road perth

Such a fun person to be around! I wish my hand was steadier for this selfie but she had me giggling!

To then see Kaeshi, Irina, Maki and Nathalie posting memorials just seems bizarre! How can it be that one so vibrant is no longer with us any more?

I learnt so much by participating in that show but I particularly learnt a lot from Ellie. She drilled me in her sword dance and I took a fantastic workshop on choreography theory. Several concepts from which I have been incorporating into my own pieces and dance. Only last Friday I was thinking of her while participating in a Biodanza class. I was again playing with the feeling of leading from different parts of the body – being aware more consciously of where the energy starts – in my own improvisation.

Journey along the silk road after party

Journey along the silk road after party, Elisheva and I at the back.

To be honest, I was not even familiar with Elisheva’s work before the show, but sometimes someone crosses your path for a brief time (in this case 2 weeks) and makes a profound impact. She was a great teacher and a very friendly and caring woman who danced with great feeling.

Signing up and sending in audition videos for the show was utterly terrifying for me. I had to face some deep-seated beliefs.

Some of you may know that I have had to face many auto-immune issues, and at one point was so ill I couldn’t walk more than a block (and that was with assistance). When you have been that ill and ill for a prolonged period of time; even when you work so hard on your health and make great gains; it is hard to think of yourself as truly vital. I was so scared I would not physically be able to keep up, that my body would revert to all the issues of the past, that I would become an object of pity and waste everyone’s time.

I was also scared that I would not be able to keep up with the last-minute choreography changes that are often common in such productions. Learning choreography has always been a challenge for me and again, even though I made great gains and learnt so many way to improve on it (hence the ebooklet I wrote). I was still fearful I wouldn’t adjust in time.

Fear and anxiety are crazy things, they can make simple tasks difficult and difficult ones seem insurmountable. Yet I really wanted to try out, so I faced all those fears and went ahead. If I hadn’t gone ahead, I would not have met Elisheva and the opportunity to learn from her in person would have passed for this life time.dance on this earth

So I am sharing this story to express my grief that one so young has died, but I am also sharing this so that anyone that is standing before a big opportunity in hesitation and needs a bit of a nudge of encouragement to go ahead, does so.

This is the hint, the sign you were wanting

– if there is something you have always wanted to do but haven’t, take the plunge!

 

 

In memory of Elisheva ❤

How to flip videos to make learning dance choreography easier.

As some of my belly dancers may know, I am currently cast to perform in the Perth version of Bellyqueen’s ‘Journey along the silk road’ production. 🙂 I am super excited!

As I live in a regional area, most of my learning of choreographies for the shows comes from watching videos posted on youtube. Some of the clips are in front of mirrors and shot from behind which makes it easier, but some are not. Flipping the video footage of dances shot face on makes it much easier to get left from right as you can just mirror the dancers in the clip.
It is not only big shows that flipping a movie clip is useful, if you are collaborating with anyone online, this simple trick can be useful. I realised from comments on the shows forums that not everyone knows how to this, so I thought I would share the quick method I use. You can also use video editing programs such as iMovie but it is a bit more fiddly – this way is fast and easy.

STEP 1

  • Go to youtube (or whatever platform you are sharing video clips from) and find the clip, copy the URL.
  • Open another tab and load “youtubeinmp4.com” (if you don’t like this one just do a search for ‘youtube to mp4’, there are several websites that do this – beware of ads, etc when using these sites) belly dance video help
  • Paste the URL into the field and hit ‘download mp4’ , in the case of this program it takes you to another page where you can select other formats you  may want it in. I always use mp4.

Now you have a copy of the clip on your own computer.

 

STEP 2

  • Open QuickTime player (this is available for both Mac and PC) and open the clip (if it didn’t automatically open for you on download of above clip).
  • Go to ‘File’ and ‘Duplicate’ if you want to keep the original view as well. OR skip this and go straight to
  • ‘Edit’ and ‘Flip Horizontal’
    belly dance video turning
  • Next save the clip. This was a bit tricky for me as the name field kept being greyed out BUT if you try and close the clip it offers you the chance to save and re-name it.

And that’s it – your clip is now flipped and you can mirror the moves – just be aware that if the dancers turn around at any time in the clip then following can get confusing 🙂 Happy dancing!Belly dance show in Australia

If you are in Western Australia at the end of the month be sure to catch the fantastic show!

 

Do you have another method of flipping videos for dance? Please comment below.

 

 

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