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Studio Davina Updates – July 2018

Mid Year Business Review

Hello Gang!

It’s that time again, the mid-year business review.  In June/July and again in December, I make the time in my schedule to sit down and evaluate my business. I gather up all of my business documentation. This includes my journal, planner, sewing log book, and sales figures.  Basically, all the data related to my business.  Once I’ve assembled it all into a big, and quite daunting, pile, I go over it all.  I ask myself key questions.  How has the business done?  What projects have been accomplished? What goals need to be re-evaluated?  What’s working?  What isn’t?

This spring my personal life took a front seat.  May and June and set me back in my business goals.  I’m in that season of my life, where my elderly in-laws require hands-on help.  Needless to say, I had to put my business on hold for two months.  This has lead to some major changes in my plans and future goals.
Check out my Last Business Review: End of Year Review 2017 Part 1 & Part 2

Newsletter Reboot

I just want to thank everyone who is part of my mailing list!   We’ve rebooted our newsletter starting this month, and moving forward through 2018, we’re going to be sending out more newsletters.  I like to share links to blog posts, news articles, classes, and websites that are useful for belly dancers and costumers.  If you would like to check out the last newsletter, check it out here.  If you would like to get more delivered bimonthly to your email box subscribe in the box at the top of the bar.

I really enjoy getting curated content in my mailbox and look forward to dancers who send out interesting and informative information in their newsletters.  So the Costumer’s Notes Newsletter has been moved up on my priority list.

Workshops and Teaching

Over the spring, I’ve had the opportunity to teach a few in-person and digital workshops. I really enjoy the opportunity I get to spend with students sharing my passion for costume design, history, and construction.  I’ve really enjoyed being hosted in-person by local Bay Area instructors like Adriana or in my own home studio.  Moving forward I’m looking forward to teaching more online via one-time digital workshops and through online courses.

On Saturday, July 14, Mahin, the owner of One World Dance and Music Studio in Phoenix has developed a digital workshop series.  She hosts top leaders in the belly dance world in intensive workshops.  I was thrilled to talk about my favorite topic – belly dance costume history.

There are many ways to approach the subject of belly dance costume history.  For this workshop, I focussed in on the development of the bedlah set. The matched bra and belt set is the “uniform” of the professional belly dancer.

In this workshop, I focussed on how changes in technology and paradigm shifts in communication have impacted the evolution of the bedlah, or uniform of the belly dancer.  From the most famous early dancer “Little Egypt” and her appearances in books and newspapers, through the modern era of the internet and instant global access to visual information.

Take a free class: 5 Layers of Belly Dance Appearance on the Belly Dance Business Academy website.

Belly Dance Performances & Events

Over the past six months, I’ve had to cut back on attending and performing at events.  Moving forward in 2018, I’m hoping to either perform or attend a belly dance event each month through the end of the year.  I love belly dance, and I’m making it a priority to engage with my local community.  I’m fortunate to live in the greater San Francisco Bay Area where the opportunities to watch and perform are plentiful!

Asheq Collective Presents Ozgen – July 15, 2018

I recently was delighted to head north to San Francisco to catch a fantastic belly dance show featuring touring celebrity dancer Ozgen of Turkey via London.  The Asheq Collective, a troupe of award-winning professional dancers hosted Ozgen in a series of workshops.  This event showcased some of the most talented local professional performers and dance instructors.

Info on Asheq Collective
Info on Ozgen

The Marrakesh is a classic Moroccan style restaurant in the heart of San Francisco. They have belly dance performances every day of the week.  The food is tasty if a bit expensive, but they were happy to accommodate the unique dietary needs of all the ladies at our table. They were busy and hopping, but the took care of us and even split the check at the end of the night.

When the belly dance community turns out to enjoy a touring celebrity, the audience is almost as sparkly as the dancers.  I spotted two of my own designs in the wild on Zemira wearing an assiut cocoon coat and Shalimar in an assiut swing dress.

Because I’m obsessed with assiut, it was thrilling to see Malia perform in an assiut skirt.  If you would like to see a clip from that performance, I’ve posted it on both Instagram and Facebook.


We are hard at work completing the manuscript for our upcoming book, Pose: A Dancer’s Guide to Making the Most of their Photos.  After several author meetings this spring, we’ve made some great progress on this upcoming publication.

I’ve created a page here on my website where I can share updates, images, and information about the development of our next book.  Two of our chapters got a little “big” so we’re doing a modest re-organization of the content at the moment to create better flow as you move through the book.

In addition to working on Pose, I’m working on illustrations for an upcoming coloring/history book about the history of bedlah. So far, I don’t have a fixed title, but I do have the subject planned!  I have to admit,  It’s nice to be back at work sketching and drawing, but it’s going to take a few weeks for me to get nice and loosened up.   As soon as I know more about this project, I’ll be sure to let you all know!

Moving Forward

So over the next few months, I’m going to be a busy bee!   I look forward to sewing more, writing more, and sharing these projects with you in future blog posts. Now it’s time for a coffee break and an afternoon of sewing!

I hope you are enjoying your summer!
Dawn Devine ~ Davina
July 18, 2018





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