Prepare for the Unexpected!

Samia PinkExpect the unexpected.  This was a term I often used for my cheerleading squad that I coached.  In cheerleading the unexpected happened often.  There were times when one or more girls were injured, absent or had simply just quit the team.   What did this mean?  It meant we had to adapt to our surroundings.  That means a girl who was a spotter suddenly had to become a flyer or a stunt pyramid completely needed to be changed and it needed to be done quickly for a performance or competition.  However, one thing was for certain, the girls never missed an event. They expected the unexpected.  The same philosophy is true for belly dancers.

Rule Number One: Always have a well-fitted costume on hand for performing.


This past spring I had drove out of town to Monticello, NM.  I had signed up for a few different workshops.  Monticello is a nearly deserted place along a twenty-five-mile drive of valley.  While I drove alone to the dance workshop I imagined a whole slue of things that could happen along the way.  What would happen if I suddenly became stranded?  Would a man with a chainsaw come after me?  Would I run out of water and die in the sun?  Would a rattlesnake bite me?  Luckily, I still had two bars left on my phone.  I stopped along the way to take pictures of where I was to send to a couple of friends – just incase.

When I arrived at the workshop I felt relieved that I had made it.  I took a candle workshop and then drove back along the valley to my hotel in Truth or Consequences.  Awe. There was an air-conditioned room with a bed and restaurants nearby.  I was content.  I bought take-out food, ate and then fell asleep while watching Signs on television.  I woke up a few hours later, showered and traveled all the way back to Monticello.  I was looking forward to some middle eastern cuisine and entertainment from the musicians and belly dancers.

It was a lovely place.  The hostess had created a wonderful event.  It was welcoming and the catered food was nice.  I sat, ate, drank and was happy.  Then something occurred.  Apparently, one of the performers had to leave back home due to an emergency.  The hostess asked if I would be willing to take her place in the show.

“Oh, I don’t know. I don’t have a costume with me.” I said,  “I’m sure we can find you something.” she said, “You can borrow one of my costumes.” she continued, “Ok.” I said hesitantly.  I really don’t like to turn down any opportunity to dance, especially to live music.

She asked me to follow her.  We walked into a trailer where the dressing room was located.  “Here this should fit you.” She said.  I looked at the costume.  It was about 4 inches too long for my five foot two frame.  Also, as boobalicious as I am, the cups were one size too big for my frame.  However, I tried it on.  It was a full-skirted costume with a belt attached to the skirt.  I thought, “Maybe if I tuck the top part of the skirt into the belt it will work.”  The bra was the tricky part.  Let’s just say there were a lot of safety pins involved.  I looked in the mirror.  The room was very dim but I thought this was definitely a costume I could pull off.

After all the pinning and tucking I needed to go to the little girls room.  The little girls room was a public port-a-potty.  Now, I do not think I am too good to use an outside toilet but the seven hundred-dollar costume I was borrowing for the show was definitely too good to be in there with me.  However, I did not have a choice.  I grabbed a flashlight and made the short journey to the toilet, high heels and all.  Halfway down the hill I stumbled. “I’m ok!” I said to no one but myself as I pulled myself together to walk again.  I did my business and walked to the performance area.

I gazed as the professional hired belly dancers did their thing on stage.  I hoped by some sheer luck that the song I would be dancing to would be Classical Egyptian or folkloric since I am decent with a cane.  I walked to the side of the building down a dirt path covered in rocks.  There was an entrance to the side of the stage I wanted to start my performance at.  I watched as the girl before me performed with the band.  And then suddenly “Ouch” I yelped.  Something had crawled up my leg and bit me on the upper thigh.  I turned red.  I was embarrassed that the audience heard me and that I had interrupted the performance.  But as usual, my powers of invisibility were in gear and not a single person noticed.  Then as the tingling continued my imagination continued as well.  Did a scorpion bite me?  Was it an ant?  There was no time to panick.  My name was being called.

“From Albuquerque New Mexico, Ranee!”  The music started, I waiting for about thirty seconds and entered on cue.  The pain in my leg suddenly disappeared and I danced – badly and mostly in placed.  You see the costume did not work out after all and was coming apart from where I had tucked in the skirt.  I could barely travel, bend or spin but I smiled!  This seemed like the longest set of my life when the drummer finally started his solo.  Now, I can fake a pretty good drum solo even as nervous as I was.  For me drums mean this is nearly the end of the performance.  I motioned to the drummer to finish.  I spun around and ended in a dramatic Turkish Drop.

My bra popped. The halter had snapped and I was on the floor, my head toward the audience.  I grabbed the halter with one hand and tried to get up as gracefully as I could and exited the stage.

Now, I have seen this happen before.  I never expected it to happen to me.  After a few moments of sheer shock I composed myself.  I walked up the hill back to the trailer and changed as quickly as possible.  Hey maybe they won’t even realize it was me that was dancing?  I returned to watch the rest of the show and enjoyed it.  This was a lesson learned.  Now, I always have a costume on hand.  And in the event I don’t?  Well, I won’t be borrowing one either.

Oh, and I did mention this earlier but just incase you forgot, I did this all in heels.


Cute, Chunky Girl

Samia PinkC.C.G that’s what I call myself.  Cute Chunky Girl.  I don’t go a week without someone telling me how adorable I am.  It doesn’t matter how awesome I think my choreography is or how inventive my new move is or even the fact that I can slide into the splits or spin into a Turkish Drop.  I am just so damn cute.  In my earlier years, this just burned me up.  In my selfish mind, I believed that cute was a compliment that covered up what people thought of my dancing.  I wanted people to say “That dance was awesome.” or “You danced beautifully.”  Instead, I felt like a newly born puppy that everyone has to love.  You know what I am talking about, that puppy that poops and pees and tears up the house, but you have to love it because it is cute.
Now, the chunky part.  I blame the Lovato’s for this.  Horrible genetics.  The woman have huge boobs and flat butts.  It would not be so bad if my tummy wasn’t so thick and squarish.  And, no matter how many squats and legs lifts I do, I will never have a Kardashian ass.  I still haven’t learned to deal with this, although some days are better than others.  “Maybe if my stomach was smaller, you could see that I do have some roundness in my booty.”  I think to myself often.  My stomach is not round because of lack of exercise or overeating.  It is my deep addiction to soda.
“Damn you Coca-cola! Damn you straight to hell!” I often say out-loud.  Now, I don’t blame the soda company for its yummy goodness.  I mean one soda is fine but for me, Ranee: cuteness extraordinaire, one soda sometimes is not enough.  I can drink Coke morning, noon and night.  A fountain from McDonald’s for me is like ambrosia for the Gods.  It’s the corn-syrup I am addicted too, as it is for so many.  I tried drinking the real sugar one that is found in some of the Mexican owned stores in the South Valley but it just does not do the trick for me.  I may need some tough love, a hypnotist or a new addiction to cure my undying love for Coke.
Recently, I have tried something new: soda water.  Yes, you know what I am talking about, club soda.  The drink of recovering alcoholics or recovering corn-syrup drinkers.  Many people around me now ask, “How can you drink that?  It taste like Alka-Seltzer.” I have no idea to answer this question. Honestly, I think it taste fine.  It is bubbly with zero calories.  I mean I am down from drinking six Cokes a day to about two Cokes a day.   For me this is a start.  You can’t forget your first love;I mean first addiction.
So that explains my chunkiness.  As for my adorable cuteness, it must come from the fact that I love what I do and that is dancing and performing.  I have been a natural ham all my life and although I am not skinny I have a nice smile. I enjoy my Facebook picture postings and videos that I put up.  When I danced with Souhail Kasper recently I wanted to put an additional seven pictures up on my posting, but I thought that may be a little too much even for me.   I don’t think any of the other dancer’s, who danced with him that night, posted pictures of themselves and believe me they took some hot photo’s.  I assume they just are not as needy as I am.  I get giddy with all the comments and likes I received from those photos I posted up on Facebook, even from the people who do not really know me or like my dancing.
I mentioned my cute issue with one of my male students recently.  He told me that was probably the nicest compliment that someone could give me and insisted that it was a term of endearment from other dancer’s and audience members.  He also told me, “It’s easy for a twenty something to be cute.  You have to earn being cute when your older and that just shows how young you look and how young at heart you are.”  “Ouch” I thought,   “I really must be a total ass to have thought otherwise.”
So, now as I near to my fortieth birthday this year, I appreciate the cute compliment.  I look in the mirror, see the newly gray hairs that need to be dyed and look at my wrinkles made from laughter and smiling.  I like the way I look a think of the positive things.  I mean I love my legs, boobs and mischievous grin.  I am cute, not beautiful or gorgeous but cute is awesome. Hell, I could be the next Betty White.  And wouldn’t that be nice?  I hope I can be a cute old gal.
As for my pancake ass – more squats.