Wednesday, December 29, 2010

New Year's Playlist

It's probably time to get started on your new year's resolution, which is to shake it. And if that's not your resolution, it should be.


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Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Please visit my 100% non-outdated website, now available at!

Upcoming Classes!

My goal as a teacher is to help you access your body's own style of dance and open the doors to your creative intuition. I teach Fusion Bellydance to this end, to allow students to develop their own approach to bellydance. I want to help you dance in a way that isn't just safe for your body, but makes you feel beautiful inside and out. My classes are centered around your experience; I am always open to your requests, criticism and suggestions. Come out and see what your dance can be!

My next session of classes at World in Motion is starting soon! For more information on how to register, please visit

This session will run from January 15-February 19 (six weeks of classes with no breaks). Classes are on Saturdays.

Please note that I must have 5 people registered for a full session of each of these classes in order to run the class sessions.

Fusion CORE Swiss Army Choreography 1:00-2:15 PM
In CORE, we will be learning a choreography ready for solo or group performance that also integrates critical movements into sequences that can be used in place of or in addition to traditional drills to help students improve their dancing at home. We will combine core isolations and shimmies with a variety of traveling patterns and arm movements to create dynamic combinations that can be simplified or complicated based on your personal preferences and comfort level. Students of all levels are welcome in this class. Expect to see some core conditioning exercises and to receive specific individual feedback.
Drop-ins are welcome but because this is a choreography class it is recommended that students attend as many classes in the session as possible.

Fusion FLOW Stagecraft for Soloists 2:30-3:45 PM
In FLOW, we will be switching over to a seminar format for this next session, which is designed to help solo performers of all levels of experience improve their stage presence and refine their dance technique. All students will be asked to present a 1-2 minute solo performance (choreo or improv or a mix) in front of the class twice during the session. During the session, we will use concrete and thorough exercises exploring musicality, tension and release, and visual composition of movement to improve our solos and help everyone develop their own unique creative voice. Performers or aspiring performers of all levels are welcome in this class. Expect to receive a lot of individual feedback and to have the opportunity to participate in discussions and critiques.
Drop-ins are welcome but because this is a seminar class it is recommended that students attend as many classes in the session as possible. Drop-ins may demonstrate their performances for the class if they ask me about it beforehand (i.e. at least the day before the class they plan to attend).

Register online at .
Find more information about class prices and policies at .
Get directions to the studio at .

Feel free to email me with any questions at skbeaman at gmail dot com.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Weekly playlist

This is what we're playing in the lobby here at the SKB corporate headquarters.

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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Progress update

Image from A Journey Round My Skull.

The third draft of my novel is done! I finished the final chapter earlier today while listening to Mastodon's album Crack the Skye on repeat. Very motivational, let me tell you.

The new version is 92,585 words long-- over 20k words less than the first draft! I do plan to write an epilogue, but I that will take more than 5,000 words, so I should be able to get everything done in under 100k. SUCCESS!

The next thing I will do is print it all out and attempt to read it as if it was someone else's novel. Then I will think about it for a while, following which I will most likely decide to do a fourth draft.

I've edited at least 2k words every day for a good while now, at least the last two or three months. I never had to force myself to do it. I enjoy this work more than anything else I've done in my life. I hope that someday I can make it my vocation.

The third draft is now available to test readers for free as a single PDF. Please email me if you are interested!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Dreams for the future

Image from A Journey Round My Skull.

I am typically the kind of person who sets goals (e.g. tasks I can complete through hard work and perseverance) rather than dreams (which I tend to view as asking the universe for favors). I don't consider myself a pessimist, nor an optimist. I prefer to avoid thinking about what the world will churn out in the future, instead focusing on the small list of things I can directly affect. I believe that good things can happen to me and mine, yet I operate under the assumption that if I'm not making them happen, they probably won't.
Just like everyone, I have things I wish for in secret, little miracles and such, but I don't spend much time contemplating them-- maybe out of fear that, should they never come to pass, I'll feel a greater sense of loss or regret for having paid them any attention.

As I grow older I'm beginning to realize the flaws in my way of thinking. I wonder if my unsentimental pragmatism wasn't part of the reason my recent attempt to make my way in the world as a professional bellydancer was such a disaster. Looking back, I realize I started out with the assumption that I would most likely fail, which was no way to go about pursuing something so unorthodox.
Perhaps if I'd spent some time indulging in some fantastic vision of how it all could go, I would have had a better idea of what I wanted out of the experience. Maybe I would have had a fire underneath me that would have propelled me to work harder and to think of elegant solutions to my everyday problems.
Maybe I would have failed anyway. Who can say? Either way, my pragmatism couldn't save that endeavor. I learned a lot from what happened and I don't feel bitter about it, but I can't help but wonder how things might have gone if my outlook had been different.

I think it might be time to admit to myself what I'm wishing for, to say it out loud and make the risk of hoping. I feel nervous about writing any of this down, but maybe it'll get easier as I go. What do I really have to lose?

In 2011:

I want to find a job that allows me to support myself without draining all my energy. The lower stress the better, with a steady paycheck (it doesn't have to be big).

I want to start selling out at least one of my Saturday classes. Max capacity at the studio where I teach is 12-13 students.

I want my health to continue improving.

I want to have at least one of my short stories published in an anthology, magazine, or online publication and get paid for it.

I want my family's dance studio to be a financial success.

and most of all

I want to find an agent who's excited about representing my novel.

Monday, December 13, 2010

This week's playlist

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Gloomy music for the season.

I'm so vain.

I had to share this picture of myself from a performance at the Pinhook. I'm not used to seeing performance photos of myself wearing so little makeup, but I kind of like it!
The photographer is Paul Cory.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

November recap and goals for December

Let's see how I did with my November goals!

-Finish third drafts for 1/3 of the remaining chapters of the novel.
I actually managed to do this, despite it being tons of work!!

-Keep practicing new solo choreographies and work on solo improv.
I made a half-assed effort vis a vis the choreography, but, still, that's better than nothing. I also did some solo improv I didn't hate for the first time in ages!! This was really exciting. I have been utilizing the time honored techniques of: 1. not beating up on myself and 2. not giving an eff how things turn out, to great effect.

-Do more dance-related strength training.
I did this. I don't know if I can feel any difference yet, aside from being sore and physically miserable, but I'll keep trying.

-Work on promoting my new classes at World in Motion.
This didn't happen at all. I'm usually pretty bad at promoting classes that are already in session, so perhaps I can force myself to be motivated and promote the crap out of my January and February session.

-Update my website. (this is a big one.)
I have updated files waiting to be uploaded, but technical issues with my host are keeping me from finishing this project. Sad life.

-Start working on the Christmas present situation. (I always give handmade presents to my family and friends, usually because I am totally broke, and every year it is a huge time investment.)
This information is confidential.

-Make some more costuming items to sell.
Yeah, I totally didn't make anything. I've got to be honest. My sewing machine is still broken, and I don't really have any interest in sewing things by hand I could otherwise sew on the machine. I don't know, I just haven't been feeling crafty lately. I've been feeling wordy and dancy, and that's fine with me so whatevs.

So now that I've done that victory lap slash walk of shame, here are my goals for December:
-Promote my January classes at World in Motion. NO, FOR REAL THIS TIME.
-Update and simplify my website.
-Practice all of my choreographies from 2010 so I don't start to forget them.
-Come up with some new combinations.
-Prepare a performance for Blue Moon's Winter Hafla (i.e. avoid doing this two days before the actual performance).
-Blog more regularly about things that other people may actually find amusing.

I'm not even going to bother making 'edit some of the book' as a goal because that is all I have been doing in my free time lately. I don't need to tell myself to do it any more; it's all I want to do. If anything, I need to slow down a little, stop neglecting other areas of my life and avoid letting my obsession become too pathological.

That is all. Let the cold dark winter season descend, enveloping us all in its bleak embrace.