Belly dancing in Destin

I have a beautiful and amazingly talented friend, Claire who is a belly dancer. She teaches, attends workshops and even planned part of her wedding around belly dancing. (Best wedding ever!) She is affiliated with Fat Chance Belly Dance which has studios all over the world. This is her in the middle of a dance:

Considering the grace with which Claire dances, it can be a little intimidating to want to try belly dancing. However, when TheXperience posted that they were hosting a belly dancing class on the first Fridays of each month, I had to give it a try. I’ve already conquered the fear of working out, so why not this?

20130915-131704.jpg (Photobomb from Michelle!)
I showed up in just yoga pants and a workout top. The studio let us borrow the jingly scarf to properly learn the moves. I totally bought my scarf to bring home and practice. Some moves needed additional work when I wasn’t ready to fall over.

(My partner in belly dance, Susanna showing off her scarf.)

I had worked out with Karna that morning (hello 5am!), so I was a bit sore going in. I thought the class would be easy-peasy. Silly me! It was as much of a workout as my morning class, so my already sore oblique muscles were screaming. An hour long class and by the end, I had worked up a good sweat and a healthy respect for my hip swinging friend in Texas.
There were approximately 9 ladies there, including Michelle who you might remember from the kids yoga class. I expect there will be even more ladies in attendance at the next class. Hopefully with time, I can work up to Claire’s level of expertise.

Checking out TheXperience’s schedule, I am trying to figure out what I should try next. Any suggestions?

Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this blog post and all opinions are my own.

DragonCon 2013

Every Labor Day weekend we travel up to Atlanta for DragonCon. We’ve done this since 2001, and we haven’t missed a year. Some years it was the only vacation we took. Other years, it was a stop in the wild and crazy path for that year. Since we’ve started going we have bought a house, had two kids, and I have changed vocations. The first two years that we had Riley, he went with us. I couldn’t bear to leave him for such a long time. By the third year, I realized that some time away would be good for both of us. When Gavin was born, we went with us the first year. Then he stayed home with his brother at his grandparents too.

This year Riley is 9 and we decided to bring him back with us. I’ve got to admit, it’s fun seeing something through the eyes of your child. They absorb things differently. They notice details you might overlook. And the enthusiasm!

This is Riley entering the MechCorps Battle Pods. These were, hands down, his favorite part of DragonCon. Forget seeing the spectacular costumes, meeting new & interesting people, riding overfilled elevators with strangely behaved adults – he really wanted to sit in a dark, enclosed, 360 degree experience video game where you chase your dad and his friends around in a giant robot and shoot rockets at each other. I can’t say I blame him. It was probably quieter in those pods than in the lobby of the Marriott after 7pm.

Riley also developed a new crush – Ice. I’m not sure if the crush is on the character or the person cosplaying the character, but I did get a full wiki education on Ice before we left the con. Yay for Scandinavians!

Riley met Wreck-It Ralph….

20130907-115743.jpg Ironman…

20130907-120014.jpg Hawkeye…

20130907-120133.jpg and Power Girl.
After we asked him to pose with the first costumer, Riley got into taking photos more. He also enjoyed watching the parade, robot battles and a few puppet shows. He wore his convention badge to school his first day back so he could inform his classmates of his epic adventures.
In addition to living the con through the eyes of my first born…

20130907-120828.jpgI even got to meet Aquaman, give blood and shop a little in the dealers hall.

Have you attended DragonCon? What are your favorite parts?