Degreed, Dancing, & Driving

Two months ago I was chained to my office desk, writing my thesis and final research papers for my last classes in grad school. Today I am in a very different place.

All that work paid off and one month ago I collected my Masters degree in Culture and Performance and my BA in Dance from UCLA.

Immediately after graduating my husband and I vacated our beloved Los Angeles apartment and he drove to Texas with half of our earthly possessions and our two best feline friends Reyna and Butterbean.

I drove my car, loaded with the other half of our things, home to Sacramento to visit friends at Hot Pot and my family. I took off for a three week tour abroad, teaching dance and performing.  I worked in Switzerland, Rome, and Moscow where I met amazing people and saw some of the most beautiful sights in the world.

Now I am back in Sac where I have rendezvoused with my husband and we are about to drive to Texas….again.  We have a habit of doing this drive halfway across the country a lot.  But this time we plan to see the sights: Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Painted Desert, White Sands…hopefully with another short dance film to show for it.

When I land in Houston I have a month or two to reset before my schedule sets into full gear again.  There is a lot going on and I want to mention it here.

The LA bellydance community is the best and I will miss everyone so much.  So many dance communities are divided and we are very lucky to be comprised of dancers who go out of their way to build a family.  In my absence two great teachers have stepped up to keep up the Hot Pot ITS studies in LA.  If you want to get started call Jenn or click here.  If you have a few levels under your belt from classes with me or at Hot Pot, email Rodin (who also happens to be the photographer who took the first two photos in this blog).

In August I will be editing excerpts of my thesis on the disputed history of American bellydance and the identity and community-forming experience of improvisational tribal style for Gilded Serpent.  Gilded Serpent is an amazing source for articles on bellydance history and discussions of relevant issues. (Here is a review of the 2012 IBCC conference in Toronto by Shelley Muzzy to get you started on an evening of endless reading).  I’ll be submitting some work to academic journals in 2013 and I will be rolling out a plan of my own for sharing my research very soon. Many dancers have asked to hear about my research or read my thesis and I am working on an inventive and accessible way to share.

In September I will be teaching at the Miami Bellydance Convention as well as in Spokane, WA with Mystik Dream Dance Company, and at Bellydancer’s Ball in Kansas City, MO.

In October I hit the road with Bellydance Superstars again!  We have a brand new show: The Magic of the Dance. We will be touring this new show in October and November.  Check the dates on the calendar here (there is also info about auditions for those of you who may be interested).  We start in San Francisco and make our way around the Coasts.  This means a lot of work this summer –new costumes to make, new choreographies to learn.  I love the challenge.

There is a two week break in the BDSS tour at the absolute perfect time and for this reason I am able to dance in the most epic Blood Moon Regale yet.  The 10 year anniversary!  I will be doing a very “controversial” dance –this being one of the words that describes the work of UNMATA.  I have begun working on this performance and it will be even a little stranger than this one I did as a parasite for the disease-themed show a few years back.  If you can be in Sacramento October 20, this show is not to be missed.  Speaking of UNMATA, we are putting together a photography book of UNMATA-symbol tattoos (there are a lot of them).  You can donate to the kickstarter campaign here.

I hope to upload some photos from our road trip as we drive into the desert.


About April Rose

Bellydancer | Choreographer | Researcher M.A., Dance Studies, UCLA Dance Thoughtfully. Dance Playfully.
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10 Responses to Degreed, Dancing, & Driving

  1. Jenny Rivero says:

    wow hi! auditions in LA!

  2. April Rose says:

    Yep 🙂 Get ‘er done. See you there.

    • Jenny Rivero says:

      what do the auditions in tale? I will give it a shot and try my best, I’ve never been in an audition before.

      • April Rose says:

        The large group of dancers who have come to audition is separated into smaller groups. Each group of about 5 or so dancers learns a short piece of choreography from one of the Superstars company dancers. You run through this choreography a few times and then perform it in the group without the company dancer. Based on how well each dancer does in the small group choreography, she may or may not be asked to do a short prepared solo of about 2-3 minutes. So, to prepare for this second round you bring a CD with just your solo song on it and your name printed on top. When your name is called you perform your solo in front of a table where management, production, the drummer, and company dancers sit (although, sometimes the group at the table is much smaller). I suggest you bring a “press packet” -including a photo, CV of experience, and any business cards you might have. They do look for a great dancer and an aesthetic, so you need to have both, but the best dancer will not be looked over if she doesn’t have the perfect costume. So remember, your dancing is primary. Good luck!

      • April Rose says:

        DATE: Sunday, September 9, 2012
        TIME: Noon until 3:30pm

        LOCATION: Los Angeles Bellydance Academy
        8503 Pickford st.
        Los Angeles, CA 90035

        We will start the registration at 12:00 and the auditions will start at 12.30pm promptly. Please arrive early to sign up!

        Come in full costume, hair and makeup, and bring a CD with a 3-minute song for a solo.
        PLEASE NOTE: Part 1 of this audition will be focused on your skill in learning, retaining and executing choreography under pressure. Those who move on to Part 2 of the audition will be asked to perform solos.

        THIS IS THE ONLY AUDITION SESSION WE CURRENTLY HAVE PLANNED. At this time, we do not intend to hold auditions while on tour. Should that change, our office will post any and all information on our website and social media outlets.

        If you have any questions, please e-mail us at

        Good luck!

  3. Natascha says:

    Glad to hear you are afe back home. Enjoy your trip with your husband, i hope to see some pics! *hugs*

  4. Jenny Rivero says:

    what size photo is best and what is a CV of experience, is it like a resume? Any costume will do?

  5. i find lout that your blog really do have some sense.hope to find more about your blog.and by the way my girlfriend name is April.

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