This life we's strange, painful at times, but oh so beautiful.

I am a fusion dance artist and teacher, a fire dancer, and a visual artist. I draw inspiration from nature, music, and the amazing people that come into my life. I am also a conservationist who makes jewelry and found object multimedia craft type art in my spare time (when I'm not reading, writing, or lighting things on fire and dancing around with them). I love to dance barefoot on the beach, watch the stars move inexorably across the heavens, and to laugh with the people that I love. I am currently based in Greenville SC, working with Discordia Arts to provide unique and exciting entertainment to the Upstate.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thee Inner Cirkus Meets Elby Brass Band

Self Henna - Hip Flowers
Thee Inner Cirkus went a-traveling far far away to a land filled with soft fluffy cat, massive amounts of pasta, spectacular coffee, and gnomes. Let's call it Fredricksburg, Virginia.

I have had the opportunity over the last year or so to do some work with a talented group of freaks from Greenville SC who call themselves Thee Inner Cirkus. Most of the gigs we have had thus far have been in the upstate of South Carolina, so the 8 hour road trip came as a bit of a surprise, but I was super excited to get on the road.
Kenny Phoenix All Sparkly

As always, one of my favorite aspects of performing is the opportunity to practice multiple arts. For this gig, I chose to do some self henna. All of my pieces for this gig were belly dance and fire dance, so I kept the henna classic and discovered exactly what kind of contortions I have to do in order to decorate my own side.
Shinola and Pasta

Pre-show with Thee Inner Cirkus
We got on the road Friday around mid day. The most pertinent discovery of the ride was the fact that North Carolina has nicer rest areas than Virginia...and as always, traffic on I-95 sucks. I was ecstatic to reach our destination. In order to thank our host, I proceeded to cover his patio in glitter. This way, he'll think of Thee Inner Cirkus every time the light hits and the ground sparkles. I have discovered that as both a body artist and a bellydancer, that I almost exude happens.

We had a lot of spaghetti. We had some rum, and some beer....some vegan chocolate and plenty of boiled peanuts. We did silly magic tricks and counted each others fingers. Then we had our pre-show meeting, planned a set list, set up our music, and said good night.
Relaxing in the Parlor

Saturday dawned bright, beautiful, and Freakin' hot!

Fredricksburg is a fabulous little town - not at all what I expected, but filled with antique stores and cute little niches, one way streets, and historic buildings. We spent some time downtown before we met up at the Silk Mill and walked through the show. The venue was fabulous - a renovated mill with concrete floors and super high ceilings. Misters and fans were set up to beat the heat, but the heat fought back.

Thee Inner Cirkus pre show meeting
Luckily, the kind owners of the bed and breakfast opposite the concert venue allowed us into their parlor, so we had a place to cool off, sit and relax, drink water, and escape too.

After checking out the town and the venue and getting ice cream (because you can't cirkus without ice cream - well, I can...but I'm in the minority on this one), we returned to gnome headquarters and got ready. Costumes and make up and last minute plans....and then it was time to got back to the venue for the last time. 6:30 show time.
Mr Greenleaf and Fire Dart (the socks make it)

We set up our fueling area and started strolling. Mr Greenleaf and SparrowCat entertained the crowd with some fire eating and contact outside while Dei-adis, Shinola, and I hooped, veil poi-ed, and danced around the inside of the venue while people were trickling in.

Official performance started with a short set. We couldn't forget the reason we were there, so Thee Inner Cirkus serenaded Seth with a fantastically cackophonous happy birthday remix led by our MC, the amazing Bella Bonsai.

Bella Bonsai and a hoop
I opened our set with fire fans, followed by Dei-adis with LED hoop. Mr Greenleaf surprised us all by taking his pants off and performing fire dart in sparkly hot pants (Hot in so many ways!)

Dancing to Elby Brass
Thee Inner Cirkus pumped the crowd up, but everyone was there to see Elby Brass Band, and oh how did they rock! An absolutely fabulous mix of irreverence and musical talent, Elby Brass brought the crowd up and kept them there. They finished out their set with Virginia Creeper and invited me onstage to dance with them. I thoroughly enjoyed myself!
Jaidra Solo to Virginia Creeper

We followed Elby Brass's first set with an hour long Thee Inner Cirkus extravaganza! SparrowCat and Mr Greenleaf ate some fire and then Bella Bonsai entertained everyone by attaching beaver traps and mouse traps to herself and lying on a bed of nails. The fantastic Kenny Phoenix awed everyone with his contact juggling, SparrowCat fascinated with her fantabulous Fire Staff. Mr Greenleaf got back up and stuck a screwdriver in his face, Dei-adis spun fire hoop, I danced with fire palms and my sword, and our lovely Glow Poi spinner, Psyryn did a beautiful  performance with glow poi to Dude Looks Like a Lady. Shinola closed out our set as she let the crowd staple money to her beautiful body....and Thee Inner Cirkus was done!
Mr Greenleaf and Shinola dance the night away

But our work is never done. We returned to the stage while Elby Brass played and continued to have a grand ole time!

SethFest XXX was a rousing success. We probably had as much fun as the crowd did! Now we have a new home away from home....and there are gnomes there!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Introducing Jaidra's Bellydance Calendar

The more computer literate I become (and I started at negative 0 - I swear), the more I come to appreciate google and all of the wonderful free gadgets and products that they have to make my life easier.

I am really enjoying my belly dance classes, but as I add more classes, I face the difficulty of disseminating all of this information to the public. I have facebook event invitations running and have sent out emails, but since I am using my blog as my major web presence right now, I was having difficulty trying to figure out how to add that information in here. I found the "gadgets" for calendars in the design section of blogger, but I couldn't find what I was looking for - a customizable calendar.

Da-da-da-daaaa....Google to the rescue. Once again, I find the answer in the simplest of places. Create a google calendar and paste the html right into my blog. So, without further ado - if you're looking for more information (including times, places, and descriptions) about my bellydance classes and/or any events where I will be performing, you can find a link to my calendar on the right side of this blog.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I will never forgive you Practice Video

Recently, I have had the opportunity to work with an extremely talented group of musicians in Greenville, SC by the name of "Wasted Wine." In addition to jamming and improv work, I've gotten to go on the road with this group and am really looking forward to where this new avenue of artistry may go in the future. Above is a video from practice before our Knoxville, TN show with me performing a sword dance to "I will never forgive you"

Hopefully I will have more pictures and videos to share soon - because this is just TOO MUCH FUN!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Introducing Bellydance Fitness and Fun at Equilibrium Zen Gym

I am very excited to announce that my new class, Bellydance Fitness and Fun, is starting TONIGHT at Equilibrium Zen Gym. If you've never been there before, it is a beautiful space in Greenville on the corner of Augusta Rd and Faris Rd behind Alpine Ski and Firehouse subs - look for the red door.
This class will run from 7:30 until 8:30 every Wednesday. In celebration, I am continuing my BUY one, GET one deal for your first class until the end of July, so if you know anyone who may be interested, get them hooked with this deal :)

Bellydance Fitness and Fun Class Description:

Come try bellydance in this fantastic, upbeat, low pressure environment.  Jaidra will introduce simple bellydance isolations and traveling moves and then combine them into easy to follow combinations so that you’ll be dancing by the end of class!
Each class will open with a brief warm up and strengthening workout followed by instruction in basic bellydance technique and moves. Then, once you’ve learned how, we’ll shimmy and hip bump all our blues away!

This class is perfect for the beginner dancer and anyone who has ever searched for a workout that they actually enjoy!

Classes cost 15$ per class OR 10 per class with the purchase of a 6/8/or12 class card. Class cards are good for any of my classes.

Bellydance Basics continues on Thursday at Taal School of Dance on Butler Rd followed by Advanced Topics : Sword Dance.

Drop in students are welcome in Bellydance Basics and Bellydance Fitness and Fun. Advanced Topics require instructor permission.