Adventures in Costuming: The Bustle Skirt

May 25th, 2013  / Author: Louise


Hi everybody!

I have been looking around for a pattern for the perfect bustle skirt and I found the following one on line – which I think looks amazing! So I set about making one myself. It was a much longer process than I thought it would be – I am not the most confident sewer, and my scissors were pretty blunt.

I used some old gold curtains that I used to have hung in our van, and picked up 8 meters of lace from the haberdashery!

I got my pattern from Becca. K at Cut Out and Keep.

Only things I would add is when pinning on your lace, make sure you add little gathers so that it doesn’t pull the hem of the bustle, otherwise the lace will fold under (I worked this out after my first ruffle). I also didn’t add the 2 inch band around the waist for the extra detail she talks about.

It did take me a solid 2 1/2 days, but like I said, I am certainly no sewing pro!

– Bex

Tribal Fest memories

May 18th, 2013  / Author: Louise

With Tribal Fest in full swing this weekend reading the updates from those attending not only got me super jealous but also had me reminising over my own visit to the tribal dancer mecca in 2008.

It was 5 years ago this weekend.  FIve years! Which means its also been 5 years since I met Sashi.

Looking back over the blog posts I wrote at the time is quite a giggle.  I had planned on writing every day but the posts go Day One, Day Two, Day Five.  To give you an idea, my day one post started like this:


Tribal Fest…

Yeah, I was a tad excited.

My day one consisted of stalking, drooling, squeeing, shopping and drooling.  So many famous faces, dance heros and icons and SHOPPING!  I did actually dance too, doing workshops with Shakra and Ariellah.

Not to name drop or anything… but I did meet Kajira today, and saw Kami Liddle, Maduro and Mavi… Oh and I spoke to Ariellah again on my return trip to Black Lotus clothing. Tomorrow I’ll be stalking Sashi (I have a workshop with her in the afternoon) and trying not to spend any more money! Some of the big vendors (Melodia, Tomba Studio, Geisha Moth) don’t arrive until Saturday. Apparently the Melodia stand is an absolute feeding frenzy – I get the impression that people camp out in their spot Friday night just to be in first. Thank goodness I don’t have any workshops booked for Saturday!

Anywho, its 10pm, my legs ache, I’m sunburned and its only day one of five – I’m LOVING it! Sounds like there is a bellydancer party happening by the hotel pool…

I learnt later on that the loud voice outside at the pool was Princess Faharna.

Day two’s post was pretty much more name dropping of all the famous faces I’d seen and talked to and going on about how amazing meeting Sashi was.

Well the day started off with seeing Rachel Brice (from afar as she was teaching) and then Tempest, who I was too chicken to introduce myself to until this evening. Next was Zoe and then Mardi Love… (We ended up sitting at the table next to Zoe and Mardi for dinner tonight). I did the second Shakra workshop with Asharah dancing next to me (also cool and very friendly) and then this afternoon I met Sashi. <sigh> She is such a lovely person and is really keen to visit NZ.

Thankfully, I didn’t send Sashi running screaming with my extra over-the-top enthusiam at meeting her.

Sashi is increadable in person and yes I’m still gushing about having met her – the drool puddle is at dangerous levels.  Her workshop was great and she taught the first part of a choreo her troupe did last year, and its to a piece of music that I already have and love.

I could go on about what a wonderful person Sashi is, but that could get a bit much – don’t want to sound like a stalker!

Yeah, waaaay over the top, BUT dorky fan girling does pay off folks!  That approach was also how I met my girlfriend too, but thats a different story…

Instead of cutting my favourite parts out of my Day Five post I’m just going to paste the majority of it as it pretty much says it all.

Friday was the beginning of the 3 days of performances and there is just too much to mention!

The Saturday show started at 10am and I unfortunately missed a few great acts as I was busy stalking the Melodia stand outside. OMG! Talk about a feeding frenzy! I managed to get pants for the girls who asked me and bought 4 pairs for myself. Yes thats right FOUR – don’t worry I can completely justify each and every pair.  Saturday night show ended with the Indigo – not only were they incredible they brought the Brass Manazeri Balkan Brass Band with them!  It was a total hoot and I have 90% of it on film – the damn camera battery died just before the end, which involved cup cakes.  There was a fire show outside afterwards but we didn’t end up staying for it as we headed off with Sashi, Tempest, Aradia and a few others for pizza.  (How cool is that!!!)

Sunday was amazing as well. I had a workshop with Tempest, which was brilliant and then spent the rest of the afternoon watching the show – Rachel’s solo nearly made me cry and Kami Liddle was spectacular, as were many of the other dancers who names have unfortunately blurred into one big mess in my tired brain.

Highlight of my entire week/end was meeting Sashi and spending time with her and meeting her friends. That woman is amazing, beautiful, funny, talented and I’m so lucky to be able to call her a friend. I’ve met so many fantastic people!  Oh, another highlight was getting to witness Laura proposing to Bonnie on stage at Friday nights show.

Click here to see the proposal video.  It moved the entire room to tears.

I have so many memories and witnessed so many incredible moments at Tribal Fest ’08 that if I wrote them all down in one post it would be a novel.  If you ever get the chance to go DO IT!

– Louise


Margaret Cho on Bellydance

May 7th, 2013  / Author: Louise

This is quite an old post (2005) by Margaret Cho but I just love what she has to say about Bellydance.

Because for many of us, we would have never imagined we could wear something that would expose our midriffs and now that is all we wear! Because bellydancers are never too old, too fat, too ugly, too anything that we are too much of in the ‘real’ world.

Read the full article here.

I couldn’t find any clips of Margaret Cho dancing but I did find this interview with Suhaila Salimpore which features her.

I’ll leave you with my favourite quote of the interview:

 I bellydance because I can


– Louise

Workshop brochure available!

May 3rd, 2013  / Author: Louise

Check it out!!!   Winter Ascendance Festival Booklet 2013

Winter Ascendance Festival 2013

May 1st, 2013  / Author: Louise

Winter Ascendance Festival brings you a weekend of workshops and the Winter Ascendance Dark Carnival alternative bellydance show

2, 3 & 4 August 2013

Windblown Tribal is proud to present the Winter Ascendance Festival featuring Sashi of Ascend Tribal (USA), Sakuntala (USA), Ziva/Sylvia Edge-Perkins (NZ) and Christine Haviland (NZ).

Now in its fifth year running, Winter Ascendance Festival 2013 is set to bring a night of carnivalesque entertainment to Auckland, with alternative bellydance, sideshow acts and a mini marketplace PLUS 9 workshops set over 3 amazing days!

For more information email