As the island breezes dance lightly upon your skin with the kiss of the sun, the fragrant scents of tropical flowers further delight your senses. Drums, off in the distance, dum dum tek a tek…wait! I know that rhythm, and while it certainly shares the spirit of aloha, that’s the call of the 12th annual Hawaii Belly Dance Convention!! Yes, a five-day convention in the beautiful state of Hawaii hosted by the beautiful Malia Delapenia is happening on October 13th-17th!
I have attended several of these over the years, and have enjoyed it enough I keep coming back! Malia added me to the HBDC team, so that is even further incentive not to miss the fun in the sun, but I'm not biased! Everyone I've taken with me or has gone agrees. How easier could this be to combine my loves of Hawaii and Bellydance? Malia makes sure there is something for everyone, with a unique range of activities based in Honolulu. Each year, Malia and her team work very hard to put on a class act and I am again looking forward to this year’s! There are still airfares and deals to be had to make it over there, and you will be glad you did.
Malia always has a number of different instructors providing seminars over the weekend portion of the event, and this year, they include Mira Betz, Petite Jamilla, Henna, Tiffany Ahdia, Courtney DuChardt, while Frank Farinaro is a returning guest instructor. There are over 20 hours of instruction this year with topics ranging from shimmies, layers, tribaret, double veil and more, and there's even a free beginner’s intro class!
The Middle Eastern Marketplace has vendors with all sorts of great costumes, accessories and services such as henna and massage. This is set up at the Convention Center (yes, workshops and vending take place at the large Honolulu Convention Center!) over the weekend, with minimal vending available at the evening gala event. This year, Malia adjusted the format a little again to keep it fresh and the Thursday welcome gathering has changed to “Cultural Middle Eastern Dance Journey” including a panel with audience Q & A, and the addition of last year’s “Reflections,” a peer review dance opportunity!
The Friday evening Shimmy Showcase is actually two shows, one family friendly (The Essence) and the later one (The Reveal) aimed at the 21 and over crowd. These are held at the loveliest of settings, the Honolulu Art Museum in the Doris Duke Theater. The pre-show receptions take place in their outdoor courtyard and include food and beverage for purchase as well as entertainment, picture taking opportunities and a chance to mingle with everyone. This portion of the convention alone is worth the trip! (And come on, Hawaii!) Then there is the After Party, with more entertainment and a chance to “hang loose!” Monday includes optional activities that Malia will be announcing soon.
I have been attending festivals, conferences and conventions for several years of all types throughout America, and I have to give kudos to Malia for the aloha spirit that permeates her event. She is so welcoming, and her convention is so complete that you can’t help but want to go back year after year. And the setting of Hawaii? Stunningly breathtaking. There is SO much to do, and I speak from experience having stayed on 5 different islands for a total going on about 3 dozen trips now… And that's on top of all the Convention fun! There is still time to make plans and attend this year! For more info, click here