Teaching Finger Cymbal History – Free Workshop For Subscribers

January – Topic & Talk

This month my “Topic and Talk” is all about the ancient history of finger cymbals.  Over on my Facebook page, I’m sharing lots of images of bronze-era finger cymbals from the collections of museums around the globe.  My goal is to help my fellow instructors, self-directed students, and belly dance history buffs build an easily sharable body of knowledge. 

Teaching Finger Cymbal History Workshop
A gift for my email subscribers!
Sunday, January 31 at 4:00 pm PT

Live Slide-Talk via Zoom
45-minute slide-presentation followed by a 15 min Q&A session
Join the Newsletter & Save the Date
Details will arrive in your mailbox soon!

What is it about?

During this talk, I’ll be sharing “sound bite history” facts that you can add to your patter when talking to your students, or simply to build your knowledge base if you’re a belly dance enthusiast. It’s not just for teachers!
This talk is accompanied by a printable reference .pdf which includes:
    • Bullet list of “Cymbal History” talking points
    • History Timeline
    • Vocabulary List
    • Links List to resources around the web

The link will be sent to my Newsletter Subscribers between Jan. 20 – 24th.
Not subscribed to my newsletter?  You can join from any page of this site, look at the top of the right-hand column just below my face and the Coloring Book Cover.

Celebrating our New Name
“Studio Davina – Belly Dance News”

This year we’re overhauling our newsletter.  “Costumers Notes” has been a title I’ve used for, quite literally decades.  But over the past five years, the content here on my website has become much more diverse.  In amongst the DIY costuming content I’ve been including tons of information about the history and general dance information.  So we’re changing the name to “Studio Davina – News for belly dancers.”   

Thank you so much for joining me on my costuming and research adventures! 
Dawn Devine ~ Davina
January 15, 2021



Permalink: https://www.davina.us/blog/2021/01/teaching-finger-cymbal-history-free-workshop-for-subscribers/

Happy New Year & a World’s Fair Article Series

Happy New Year 2021

WHEW – I’ve never EVER been so happy to see the turn of the year!   What a wild year we had in 2020, and I am glad to put that rollar coaster behind me, and I must say, after all the hassle and frustration, the loss and isolation, I feel prepared to deal with the bumpy road of 2021, but I hope that as time passes, the bumps will smooth out to a new – and liveable – “New Normal.”

On New Year’s Eve, I took advantage of the amazing opportunity to see really high-quality fireworks displays from around the world. The UK display featured light-up drones telling a story in floating pictures. New York had a harbor full of barges setting off synchronized fireworks.  And of course, Sydney is always amazing. However, the best that I saw on my tour around the world was the AMAZING display put on by Dubai.  I find fireworks are very inspiring to my design work. The colors, the shapes, the sound, the music, there are so many moments that just fill my creative bucket.

Dancing at the World’s Fairs

One of my long-term research projects has been to trace the presence of belly dancers at the World’s Fair.  When Donna Carleton released her now seminal book “Looking for Little Egypt” in 1995, I was already embarked on my own archival research on the history of belly dance costuming.  I was thrilled to find her book, and it inspired me to investigate the history of belly dance at other international exhibitions.  I love her book and recommend it if you are an avid belly dance history fan. 

Clockwork Alchemy Newsletter

I am thrilled to work with the team over at Clockwork Alchemy newsletter. For my contribution, I’ve created a series of short pieces about dance at World’s Fairs in the 19th and early 20th centuries.  I’ve been working on this archival research for so long, it’s great to have this opportunity to share all of this info. 

Steampunk, Belly Dance, and Prince Albert

The first article in this series, “Steampunk, Belly Dance, and Prince Albert,” came out last November, and my brief was to stay, well “brief.” So this article has a lot of information packed into a quick read! Set in London in 1851 at the Crystal Palace, the Great Exhibition was the brainchild of Prince Albert.  This event brought all the industry and arts from around the globe for the people of London to enjoy. Read the Article Here

Cairo On the Seine

Thankfully, my article got great feedback, so they invited me back in December.  Best part?  They gave me a bit more space for text and images too!  For the second piece in this series, we fast-forward in time to 1889 and the Exposition Universelle.  The Rue du Caire exhibition at this fair went from a single stall in a large building, to a reconstruction of a street in ancient Cairo.  The danse du ventre was performed within a space evocative of an Egyptian coffee house.  Read the Article Here

Live History Lecture: “History of Belly Dance at the Fair”

Once the world opens back up, I’m delighted to present “Dancers at the Fair: A History of Belly Dance at World’s Fairs” at the next Clockwork Alchemy in the Greater Bay Area.  Right now, everything is understandably TBA, but I’m looking forward to presenting this hour-long history slide-talk to attendees.  In the meantime, I’ll be sharing several more articles, so sign up for their newsletter to catch some more! 

Live History Lecture: “Cairo On the Seine”

If you liked the article, you will love the history slide-talk I’ll be presenting at the next Gaslight Steampunk Expo in San Diego.  The 2021 event will be Sept. 30- Oct. 3, and the theme is Exposition de L’Exposition Universelle de 1889.  I’m looking forward to this and other presentations at Gaslight.  Join their mailing list to get updates on the convention.

So watch for more articles and more opportunities to see me live at a steampunk convention in your area!

Wishing you a happy, healthy, and safe 2021,
Dawn Devine ~ Davina
Jan. 4, 2021

PS: Throwback to Gaslight Steam Punk Expo 2019 and my “All About Assiut” talk at the Egyptian themed event.  Photo by Alisha Westerfeld.

Permalink: https://www.davina.us/blog/2021/01/worlds-fair-clockwork-series/

My 2020 Study Project – MAKEUP

Hello Gang! I hope that this email finds you well and surviving, if not thriving in this coldest of winters. I am in the middle of going through my end of year review for my business. Each December I make time to look at the stats of my small independent business and this year was quite grim. However, I’m happy to say that my little business will survive the train-wreck that was 2020!

In 2020, I struggled with injury, so I decided to focus my continued education on developing more makeup skills. Dance is a journey and there are many aspects to study and grow. There’s no escaping the fact that we’ve been cooped up inside for the better part of the year. But that lead us to new distance-learning opportunities in the form of classes and workshops with instructors across the globe.

Makeup Classes

Since I couldn’t dance, and I wanted to continue to invest in my skills building. As you know, I’m a big believer in that 5-Layer breakdown of Belly Dance Appearance. If you have taken my free class over on the Belly Dance Business Academy, they you know that makeup falls into layer 2. So I decided to do a deep dive into a skillset where I could learn some new information while continuing to let my body heal.
Last spring I was thrilled to find that one of my makeup mentors, DeVilla, was taking her performance makeup training program on line. I was so happy that DeVilla was joining the “Zoom-a-sphere” and sharing her personalized classes with her fans across the united states and around the globe.

DeVilla, Pro Belly Dancer & Hollywood Makeup Artist

Since May, I’ve taken 5 digital makeup class with the amazing DeVilla. If you’re not familiar with her work, DeVilla is an LA-based powerhouse who is living the artist’s life working by day in the TV/Film/Stage word as a makeup artist. By night, she’s a dance instructor, troupe leader, and professional performing belly dancer.  But rather than writing up DeVilla’s whole resumé, I’ve put together this essential bullet list of her accomplishments.
  • DeVila is an Emmy Award Nominated TV/Film Makeup & FX Artist
  • Professional Makeup Instructor – Glamour, Theater, and Beyond.
  • Video – Bombshell: Dramatic Makeup for Stage Photos & Glamorous Occasions with Princess Farhana. This video changed my makeup game when I got a copy a few years back.
  • Working Performing Belly Dancer –  I saw her perform at the iconic Moun of Tunis restaurant on Sunset Blvd in Hollywood, California – http://www.mounoftunis.la/
  • Troupe Leader – Sekhmet Dance Company who can be caught participating in shows throughout the greater LA area and beyond. At the time of this writing, there’s an event coming on January 1, 2021 – More info on Facebook.
  • Belly Dance Instructor – DeVilla teaches regular classes at the renowned studio Dance Garden LA
One look at my before and afters will show you how having a small-group or one-on-one makeup class with DeVilla can up your game! At this moment in Dec. of 2020, she’s doing a complete head-to-toe renovation of her website, so the best way to find out more about DeVilla’s workshops is via social media. I’ve learned so much that I’m inspired to do another edition of my YouTube Makeup series to reflect the new skills I’ve learned over the past few months.

Biggest Makeup Discovery?
Magnetic Eyelashes

Late in 2019, I discovered magnetic eyelashes.  I’ve always had troubles with traditional false lashes due to a latex allergy.  Discovering latex-free magnetic lashes was a game-changer for me!   I got a cheap and cheerful kit last year and wore them to a few performances in 2019.

But with some extra time on my hands in 2020, I decided to do a deeper dive and conduct some research and experimentation in the world of magnetic lashes.  Here are my top three tips if you plan on experimenting with this type of product.

The magic is in the liner – I started with a no-name product with no ingredients listed.  Though they didn’t injure my eyes, not knowing what I was using made me a little, well, leery.  So I while I still use cheap and cheerful lashes, I’ve got better gel and liquid liner.

Note about false lashes. There are many options on Amazon and I want to just take a moment to say thanks for using these links.  These are affiliate links that don’t add any expense to you but gives me a tiny drop of earnings that supports this blog.  I always support local businesses, and if you can find these products in a local store, keep your money circulating in your community!

Purple Eyeshadow

For me, 2020 was the year of experimentation with affordable purple eyeshadow.  Although my budget was greatly reduced, I did manage to experiment with a few purple eyeshadow palettes. The one I found that gave me the most bang for my buck is also from Amazon.  You can see the results from one look in the images below.  I’ve got a few others that I’m trying out too, and I’m looking forward to doing another YouTube makeup series early in 2021.

I’m looking forward to sharing more of the techniques I’ve learned over my past year of exploration in makeup looks, styles, tools, and techniques.

But until then, happy holidays!
Dawn Devine ~ Davina
December 20, 2020



Permalink: https://www.davina.us/blog/2020/12/2020-maekup-project/