Archive for the Articles Category

Fake Bake, meet Toffee Tottie!

December 12th, 2011

toffee body shimmer bronzer tanning oil

★★★★☆

When you just can’t get time off to weekend in St. Tropez sometimes it’s great to treat yourself to a spray tan or “Fake Bake” for your impending performing gig or big night out but lets face it sometimes you can overdo it and windup looking, well.. fake and baked! It’s easy done and not so easily undone! …Then there’s the time and cost involved in this high maintenance treat and *then* there’s the interesting research I’ve been reading on the effects of excessive prolonged use of tanning treatments …so here it is, the bottle to look out for …I’ve recommended this product *a lot*

…Enter Mr. Indulgent Toffee Shimmer body oil. He’s bronzed, slick and smells pretty darn fine too. Spare just a few moments to enjoy using this product before your event and your skin, of any tone, takes on an instant contouring, healthy glow and you’ll smell positively edible too!

These days I’m gravitating a little closer towards the “less is more” centre of gravity and I believe that well cared for, radiant skin is what we should all aspire to first and foremost, then enhancing our natural beauty and letting our personality take the place of that third layer of mascara!

This is a dry oil so it doesn’t feel heavy on the skin. I have used it on my cheeks before but would recommend just for body. Spray it into your hand then apply straight from there as it will mark fabric and polished surfaces (hence the 4/5 stars) If you have very sensitive skin do one of those funny patch tests they always tell you to do, you know, just in case.

The bottle reads: ”Just a kiss of the sun” said the wise man “is that moment at dusk when sea turns to molten caramel, smooth like toffee and creamy soft. What if the sun turned water into gold? Take a melting moment to discover the Forbidden Fruit of nectar that surrounds you like caramel rain”. Take the indulgent pleasure of Toffee Shimmer with silky Sweet Almond Oil and Vitamin E, add the wisdom of Nirvana, make time in your day and turn your bathroom into a blissful spa.

Ingredients: Paraffinum Liquidum , Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride , Isopropyl Myristate , Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis Oil , Silica , Tocopheryl Acetate , Tocopherol , Parfum , Mica , CI 77891 , CI 77491

…and just to make it an even sweeter tip off, it’s available in Asda for only £2!

Zumba Hurricane Bawbag

December 9th, 2011

Our beloved BellyJam class didn’t run on Thursday 8th December thanks to Hurricane Bawbag.

My decision to cancel was in line with the Edinburgh Council and Lothian & Borders Police advice not to travel and I considered it would be quite irresponsible to tempt people out on a potentially dangerous night. High risk does not always equal high reward… Take Zumba Fitness for example;

Zumba is a MACHINE driven by marketing and exploitation. Harsh you might say? well here’s why…

Zumba is essentially a 1989 aerobics fitness class that has been branded, heavily. The concept isn’t new, the branding is, oh… and the message that “it’s doesn’t matter if you’re not doing it right, just have fun!”

Zumba was reportedly born when aerobics instructor, Alberto Perez, forgot his music for a class he was delivering one day. He ran out to his car where he had a tape with salsa and merengue music on it. In the fitness industry forgetting your music for an ‘Exercise To Music’ class is incompetence and general salsa/merengue music doesn’t have the progressive bpm or 32-phrasing for an effective aerobics class so this wouldn’t actually meet the aims of participants. Oblivious to either of these things, apparently his class loved it and so “Zumba” was born.

Zumba grew and Mr. Perez’ students began to instruct their own classes. Over the next ten years investors came on board and the Les Mills – Body Training Systems (BTS) revolution that sold to public & private gyms globally had successfully blown open the group classes market and then plateaued, and salsa dancing was also at peak popularity, paving the way for the expansion of Zumba. A pyramid structure was then set up to secure the rapid growth of Zumba and paid endorsements from various celebrities elevated it’s status and the ball was rolling…

The emphasis of a Zumba class is not on having the best fitness technique you possibly can in order to get the results you want, it’s on having fun and dancing around like you’re at a party to burn calories. Great! …Brilliant! Except, eh dude? …that’s actually bloody dangerous when you’re standing in a 54m x 33m sports hall lined with 10 rows of 15 people. You’re at the back and can only follow the person in front, who is following the person in front of them and so on and so forth …all the way to the front where 1 instructor attempts to lead you all visually with little or no verbal instruction or teaching points. Movements we did in the classes I attended were decidedly iffy even for me and definitely not for the exercise inexperienced target market of Zumba. There were no proper warm up, main section and cool down structures to the classes I attended and generally, knowing what I know about fitness and exercise I wouldn’t rush back. Ever. I did however give Zumba a really good open-minded taster and I can say on the positive side it was good fun …but then realistically I could have had that fun standing in my living room flailing my limbs around to a music channel “…all the single ladies, ALL THE SINGLE LADIES… …all the single ladies, ALL THE SINGLE LADIES…”

A safe participant to instructor ratio is considered to be no more than 20 : 1. Teaching should take the form of naming the move, the areas of the body being worked, the individual muscles, a silent demonstration, explained demonstration, teaching and correction. Instruction should be at a minimum.  

A “Certified Zumba Instructor” is an individual who has paid £190 (US$300) to attend an 8 hour course which includes a short tutorial, receiving an instuction manual, 3 x DVD’s to watch, 1 x music CD and a certificate of completion. There are no prerequisites, you’re 80 year old granny with a heart condition and chronic osteoporosis could become a Certified Zumba Instructor, as long as she hands over £190 and turns up on the day. There are a number of very good professionally qualified fitness instructors who have sadly felt compelled to pay up to “join the party” as they’ve had their regular teaching slot taken from them in favour of adding Zumba to the timetable, so it’s a case of either beat them or join them. Zumba apparently contains salsa, Bachata, Merengue, Reggaeton, Hip Hop, Street Dance and “Belly Dance” There are additional class types including Aqua Zumba which is inherently flawed. The skills of each individual instructor will vary drastically, be warned.

By 2011 Zumba has now rolled out its pyramid structure within 125 countries with a reported 2 million people taking part in weekly classes at studios, gyms, community centres, schools, you name it Zumba will be there. It has it’s own fitness equipment range, training shoes, the most popular wii game this year, clothing range and as I sickeningly discovered the other day a Zumba newborn baby onesie, so now your treasured little bubba can endorse Zumba too!

Zumba gets people off the couch and introduces a new spectrum of people to dance fitness classes, all be it training the majority of these people to value industry crippling low prices and low quality sessions which make claim to more than they are realistically capable of. As with all things in life, there is a balance to be found within. There are positives to Zumba and it will leave it’s creative legacy within the dance fitness industry paving the way for another trend to follow. I just hope people can use their common sense, take initiative to learn about quality & movement and that there aren’t too many injuries & court settlements along the way!

This post is likely to come under pressure by unknowing enthusiasts and the teams of people Zumba employs on a full time basis to police the internet for such outing truths. As a professional dance teacher & fitness instructor who has studied the industry for many years I am qualified to own these opinions and I do so proudly. Safe & honest exercise will always be my passionate motivation. My participants will always come first.

Of course the flip side of “high risk, high reward” is that you might just reach out to the best thing you’ve ever done! Make informed choices, limit the risk and you’ll rarely go wrong.

If you’ve had enough of Zumba for a while, come try my BellyJam class. It’s a safe, effective & good fun fusion of Belly Dance Aerobics. Ironically, the only real challenge I face with BellyJam is sourcing more BellyDance Aerobics music as it’s so specialised it’s not in mainstream production! 

Ditch the Zombies, join our Jams!

(btw if you own a couple of Zumba branded tshirts you want rid of, don’t think about trying to sell them on ebay, they’ll have your account suspended in a bid to control the supply/demand/value of the Zumba brand, yeah I know, SHOCKING! You can buy the above t-shirt for £14.50 from GetAroundGlasgow …they have my size!)

Silent Night, Arabian Style!

December 6th, 2011

Time truly does fly when you’re having fun!.. It’s December again and as some of you will already know, I love this time of year for it’s magic and it’s sparkle.

…The frost that covers the ground like a million shimmering diamonds glittering in the moonlight, the crisp air as it fills your lungs and makes you feel fresh & alive. Of an evening, enjoying candle light with its warming ambient glow and the scent of cinnamon, cloves and clementines as you buckle up your boots & sweep through the room tossing your favourite long scarf over one shoulder, heading out to meet friends and family for showers of celebratory cheer! Anytime you stay in feels comfy and everytime you go out feels like an adventure…

Whilst I, like many others, believe in my own inner strength and spirituality I still enjoy many of the things traditionally associated with Christmas. Songs like this for example…

Silent night, holy night,

All is calm, all is bright

Round yon virgin, mother and child, holy infant so tender and mild

Sleep in heavenly peace, sleep in heavenly peace

or in Arabic…

Li-Laton thick-ru-ha,

Khalidon Wa-atheem

Ith taja-lat lil-wara, nematu-rabbil karim

Fee wajil massi-ih, muf-taddil atheem

Apparently the Christmas holiday has its roots in the middle east and whilst the area is now largely Islamic, Christianity exists, hence the translated hymns!

I’m providing Belly Dance entertainment at a number of events over the coming weeks and also planning lots of recreational excitement (and a little chill out) over the sparkle season too, including a fabulous party night for all of us BDB girls, more on that very soon…

Add some sparkle to your life!

Shimmies,

BDB Xx.

Belly Dancing at the Apple Store, London

October 15th, 2011

Lindsey Marie Silver, Rob Shoesmith & Phillip Schofield

I’ve just returned from a trip to London where amongst other things I was belly dancing at the Covent Garden Apple Store as part of the iPhone5Experiment which saw Rob Shoesmith, a PR wizard & genuinely nice guy, camp out on the street for a full 10 days to be first in line for an iPhone 5 (4S) That’s 240 hours! His experiment called for him to spend no money and survive on only the generous donations of businesses and individuals, to see just how strong the Apple brand’s marketing pull could be. Would he survive? Would it even work? When he started the experiment he had absolutely no idea but to his amazement in no time at all he started to see an incredible thing happen… everyone from Dominoes Pizza, Duracell, Skype, Helly Hansen & Cadbury flooded him with products Radox, Weight watchers, innocent smoothies & Gillette the list goes on… he was gifted the use of a 4X4 (think it was a Land Rover he said) and donated a luxury yachting holiday to Dubai and then there were the offers of a personal assistant & security guard… and entertainment from…

I heard about the experiment and said “hell yeah, that’s my kind of gig, I’ll travel from Edinburgh to London and donate some bellydance entertainment for sure!”

After confirming I’d do it I watched his blog heighten and media interest soar, before the experiment started he’d had over 100,000 views to his site and countless Read more »

Bellydancing – Flexible Enough For All

June 8th, 2011

“Belly Dance” as we know it today is derived from prehistoric feminine ritual.

Within the crazy world of Bellydancing you’ll encounter differing opinions as to who can and indeed who should Bellydance. My own personal opinion is that if it makes someone healthy and happy then their age and gender are irrelevant, they should be empowered.

Granted here in the western world we have adopted the idea of female bellydancing over male bellydancing and there are many cultural throwbacks which uphold this idea here however if we look to the middle east we see both female and male performers deeply rooted in history. In ancient egypt these performers were the entertainers of kings and queens during court banquets and their shows contained prescribed and improvised “bellydance” movements as well as contortion, acrobatics and styles which I can only best describe as “cheesecake burlesque” Both female and male performers wore a length of fabric tied round their waist and hanging long at the front, this allowed for freedom of movement and covered basic modesty. Later and very gradually the preference towards female entertainers lead to a demise in professional male entertainers. Females are believed to have been favoured for their aesthetics, grace and increased flexibility.

In ancient egypt overall everyone danced for everyone.

In the Turkish Ottoman Empire religion dictated the segregation of women of the family into an area known as the “harem” and this area was closed to male non-family members. The sultans harems contained several hundred women and were guarded by eunuchs - castrated men. Despite music and dance being banned by religion at that time the government were lenient and female dancers and musicians then called “rakkase” entertained the women of the harems. It was strictly forbidden for any muslim female to become a “rakkase” however in private these women did dance for each other. With a complete absence of female presence in social living males opted to watch “rakkas” – male bellydancers, to fill their aesthetic desire. These young, attractive male “rakkas” had more freedom than their female “rakkase” counterparts and could be muslim or non-muslim. They appeared as either “tavsan oglan” – wearing a hat and tight trousers, performing largely acrobatics with athleticism or “Koceks” – wearing womens clothing and imitating the movement of womens bodies. Both were reportedly very sensual and this was widely accepted at the time as a substitute for female social company. All “rakkase” and “rakkas” were considered very skilled in their respective style of the art. ”Koceks” were banned in 1856.

In turkey women danced for women, men (sometimes posing as women) danced for men!

Today controversy still surrounds male bellydance, particularly in the middle east. In some parts of Egypt and Turkey male dancers still perform at celebrations, although in a more folkloric sense, illustrating an era long gone by. In the western world there is growing interest from men who wish to learn the art form as well as a number of very talented professional male bellydancers, all flexing their right to bellydance for centuries.

Here is the very talented Diva, a Turkish professional male bellydancer. I performed with him in Turkey in 2008.

Positive body image in a media driven world…

May 18th, 2011

My friend Louise highlighted this article on Facebook today

Airbrushed Images Make Children Worry About Their Shape, Warn MPs

This is a topic very close to my heart.

I believe as adults we need to lead youth, we need to show them what happy living is and what it looks like, otherwise how can we expect them to know what true happiness feels like! We need a return to inner spirituality – that is what creates peace within ones own skin. I remember reading a research paper about perceived attractiveness, it revealed that if someone is happy within themselves and is confident, they are without exception, perceived as more attractive. It went on to state that the brain can’t distinguish between perception and reality so these people actually are more attractive.  This goes to show that it’s not about what you look like, it’s about what you feel like within yourself.

So what of the barrage of unrealistic “fake” media images?.. To get an idea of what we’re talking about check out these before and after retouch photos UNBELIEVABLE!!!! This level of retouching requires a skillful professional eye and hours of painstaking-zoomed-in work. To my mind at this level a photograph becomes art and to this end it’s fascinating – there’s something strangely more-ish of the retouched images – the reason for this is that the retouched images then apply hugely to the ‘laws of attraction’ – your brain is actually fooled into thinking that what it sees exists. For me the issue arrises when images similar to these are portrayed in the media and advertising as real life photographs. The saying “the camera never lies” may still be true but with new technology in some instances there seems something of a betrayal at final product stage. We must all be aware of this. Next time you see a mascara ad on tv, look for the bit flashing up that says “styled with lash inserts, enhanced in post production” Recent advertising regulations call for certain ads to disclose trickery and this is a great step forward towards keeping it real! Some weekly magazines still prey on the low self-esteem of a percentage of their readership, seems negative emotion in this world is all too often met with negative emotion. We need light and some of us need rescuing. Women in particular need a wholesome role model, someone with class, intelligence, self belief and belief in a sisterhood. Someone to reinstate what women once valued. We also need to remind ourselves that no one is perfect. No one should be perfect, that’s unnatural. What we should be is unique and a little bit “imperfect” Strive to be yourself and to do that well.

This recent campaign is the tip of the iceberg and a step in the right direction for society as a whole. Technology appears to be evolving faster than human behaviour right now, lets up our game, get socially educated and move with the times, enjoy art for art, stay true to yourself!

Perception appears to be reality.

BAA Edinburgh New Africa Route

Photograph subject to copyright and used with the kind permission of Gareth Easton Photography.

Share your views on this topic below..

Happy World Bellydance Day!

May 14th, 2011

Welcome to BDB v2.0!

April 30th, 2011

Welcome to the new website!!

This site better represents the fabulousness & uniqueness of each of us who visit, it’s more intuitive and I’m sure you’ll agree, it’s pretty damn **gorgeous** It conveys the energy, joy and vitality of Bellydance and I hope you like it.

I’d like to say a ginormous thank you to Shaun who devoted the last 6 months to the project turning my message & vision into a “virtual reality” The last site was good but this takes the biscuit …I think it’s testament to Shaun’s belief in me and it’s quite possibly the best gift ever, well apart from the “froggie socks” he got me 2 christmasses ago, obviously! :) )

Thousands of decisions, very very late nights, cups of tea, cheese toasties, sing songs and  kitchen dances went into the making of this site and we’re pretty proud of the results.

We’ll continue to add bits and bobs here and there for functionality & fun and we’re currently working a few minor tweaks for some older browsers..

If you see any “Oopsies” please..

1. refresh your page

2. delete your “cache” and “cookies” (in your history)

3. update your browser to one of the following: (it’s quite easy & will hugely improve your whole interwebs experience) safari google chrome firefox internet explorer 9

Remember if you need a hand with anything just “HOLLA”

 

I’d love it hear your feedback & there’s a reward for anyone who finds a technical/functional error.

I’d like to thank all of *you* for your friendship, support and for allowing me to live & share my dreams, we make each other strong.

..better go before my eyes well up.. rats, too late!..

Love always,

BDB ♥Xx.

Welcome to Bellydancingbarbie Chat

April 26th, 2011

Welcome to Bellydancingbarbie ChatThis page is a little hub of Belly Dance information, it’s your community page & Bellydancingbarbie’s blog in one. It’s open to everyone, avid bellydance fans and those who just want to stop by to socialise!

Gain an insight into the world of belly dance, find out about events, discuss hot topics and exchange ideas, chat about health, fitness & handbags! Read through in date order or use the search bar to find specific topics of interest.

Website members have the ability to create a profile, post comments, pictures, videos and private message other members. Members will also receive special discounts and other exciting opportunities along the way.

You can sign up to the RSS feed for notifications of new posts as they go live! Read more »