Gothic fusion style belly dance?

Well, why not? There are all sorts of fusion styles. This one is held by the founder of the Elysium fusion Belly Dance format, Ma’isah of Raqs Gothique who has just launched her new classes

She uses tribal style format and is absolutely mesmerising to watch. So graceful and elegant, cheeky and dramatic. I also like her teaching style as I have taken several workshops with her. I can also say that she is a genuine and warm person who is passionate about what she does and gives so much to her students. I am so excited for her that she has started this new project.

To give you a taste of what she offers, she has 6 free Neophyte Elysium eClasses as a gift for just putting your details in. Here is a sneak peek of the free Neophyte classes on her website – check it out and let me know what you think!

Duet of Inspiring dancers: she with one arm, he with one leg

In one of my recent posts about the lovely bellydancer with a veil performing in a wheelchair I used the phrase “confined to a wheel chair”, it was rightfully pointed out by the Limit-less Campaign that this is limiting langauge and I should have said “wheel-chair user”. So my eyes have been opened and in the process I came across two extraordinary dancers, Ma Li and Zhai Xiaowei. She only has one arm and he only has one leg. They dance the most beautiful and inspiring duet which brings tears to your eyes.

Shown on China’s Got talent September 2010. I was so moved I did some research on this unique and talented dance duo.

In 1996 a promising 19 years old professional ballerina Ma Li lost her right arm in a car accident. Her life changed forever, her boy friend couldn’t handle what was going on and he walked away from her. She tried to kill herself only to be saved by her parents.

She had to learn how to do everything again such as: how to dress, comb her hair, cook, and write. She had to learn how to be an independent person again. For years she did not dance and opened a bookstore.

Five years later, Ma Li returned to theater and dance and met her soul mate Tao and the two of them worked in the performance arts industry. Then in 2004 after the theatres were closed due to the SARS outbreak in China, on a cold snowy night, both broke and hungry, Ma Li suddenly had the urge to dance in the snow with Tao. She had told him her story through dance before, but this time, after their “dance” ended, Tao suddenly realized that this could be a unique performance that only she could execute and should be shown to the world. Then the hunt for an equally unique partner started.

In September 2005, Ma Li met 21-year-old national Special Olympics cyclist Zhai Xiaowei. When Zhai was 4 years old he fell off a tractor and lost his left leg. Zhai has always been very optimistic and athletic with a great sense of humor. But when Ma Li first told Zhai about her plan for him to dance, Zhai initially didn’t understand how he could “dance,” and laughed it off, seeing as how he had never dance before, so Ma Li invited him to see her performing “Hand in Hand” with another male actor. He felt that he saw a perfect soul dancing on the stage and agreed to give it a try.

For over one year, day in day out from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m, Ma Li, Tao and Zhai did intensive training and practice. Most of us cannot even imagine the kind of challenges and difficulties they faced and overcame. So much determination has gone into the making of this performance. Zhai must have dropped her more than a thousand times during rehearsal!

Well all that hard work paid off, and shows what you can do when you apply persistence, tenacity and a great idea. Truly an inspiration.