Many of you may have seen me post these at one time or another over the years on my fanpage covering all things belly dance in Orlando and around the world, but here are my top 5 sources for fun, to the point information on culture for belly dancers that are online and free.
1. AfroPop Worldwide
This is hands down amazing! Now, there is no video, it is a podcast but everything on the different regions of the world is covered in big detail by combining information through interviews, musicology, politics, arts, history, and culture; all intertwined in each recording to give a really in depth look into a region. http://www.afropop.org/wp/category/hip-deep/
It is FREE!! I typically like to listen to it on long drives as these typically last 45minutes -1.5 hours a recording, but man is it worth it if you are serious about boosting your cultural knowledge.
2. Sahra Saeeda Website and New Blog
If you have not been to http://journeythroughegypt.com/ it is time you gave it a look especially if you are interested in focusing a bit more on Egypt. She started a blog on her site (YAY) that covers a different region in Egypt and then goes further into detail on related topics. Really great stuff, nice easy to understand pictures, and I am left waiting for the next weeks blog and wanting more.
3. Daily Bellydance Quickie
I have to thank Cassandra Fox for bringing this one to my attention! She told me I was in it, and when I went to see what it was totally fell in love with this newsletter because it was uber short (I am hella busy), straight to the point and hassle free.
Now while this might not be a dedicated source for culture and history, this daily newsletter believe it or not has been so much fun to pop open every day. It is designed for dancers, to inspire them with clips of talented artists, give quick technique and tips to better your dance, and every so often, includes information on rhythms, cultural regions, celebrations, customs and etc… all short, to the point, and taking no more than 3-7 minutes of your time max. Sign up for it here: http://shes-got-hips.com/learn-to-dance/daily-belly-dance-quickies/
4. Bellydance Geek Clubhouse
I have nothing but good things to say about this. Nadira you go girl! Every month a guest speaker is invited to be interviewed on a subject pertaining to middle eastern dance and for an hour they talk in depth on the topic of their expertise. Everything from what it was like in the 70’s to breaking ground topics are discussed openly, free for listeners to ask questions and discuss the topic in a drama free platform. If you are not signed up, don’t even hesitate, do so here: http://www.bellydancegeek.com/clubhouse/
5. Find a History Mentor
When all else has been tried, there is this AMAZING thing called Facebook where you can simply contact a dancer you feel “knows their stuff” and request online mentoring in history, cultural understanding and etc… One amazing person I worked with and plan to go back to again is Andrea Beeman. What a wealth of information this woman is! http://www.enchantressofbioluminosity.com/
I hope you use these sources, they are perfect for the busy belly dancer seeking more in depth cultural knowledge. To learn more about me please click this link or to learn how my private coaching can help finally get you to the next step, click here. Hugs and until next week’s blog by this crazy Orlando Belly dancer :)