Saturday, 2 April 2011

Simply The Best : JoY so far

Well, the fabulous twice-yearly Jewel of Yorkshire festival is now well under way, so we thought we'd fill you in on events so far - it's going to be another good 'un! It all kicked off last night with the dance competition, and Sakura made one of their frequent trans-pennine expeditions to take a look at what was going on. The journey across wasn't as tortuous as we'd feared, given that it was rush hour on a Friday - and the time just flew by for SOMEONE who crocheted all the way across!!

From the minute we stepped into the magnificent building we were amongst friends- some from near who we see regularly, and some from afar who we only get the chance for a chat with at events such as this. We bagged ourselves a table at the back (handy for refreshments, toilets and for piling up our raffle tickets/voting slips/drinks/nibbles - and much more comfortable than sitting in the rows nearer the front. We are creatures of comfort!) and set about catching up with the latest news (gossip!) and eyeing up the deliciously colourful souk. We had intended to spend NOTHING but needless to say were soon among the pretty shiny things and the pennies were flowing ... earrings from Tribezuza for Cayte (in justification of this she has been craving these since Tribe Vibe last November - and she WAS their very first customer of the festival!), hand made journals (for dance notes) for us both and a remnant of fabric (a bargain at only £2!) that is just perfect for a costuming idea we're working on! We also took delivery of some luscious velvet  tribal pants that the equally luscious Pauline Qu has been running up for us - they're gorgeous! She had more fabulous stuff on her stall, and our friend Kate soon had a beautifully colourful tribal skirt off the display dummy and  into a carrier bag!

It was soon time to settle down, voting slips in hand, ready for the first part of the competition, the EnJoY award - a category for students who dance purely for pleasure. Despite nerves the girls all did really well (no mean feat when you're being judged by a panel including Yasmina of Cairo, Chris Ogden, Khaled Mahmoud and Moirai Tribal!) and Jasmine, in a stunning deep scarlet ensemble, was a worthy winner.

This category was followed by the Alternative Entertainer award,  a fun category for dancers of all levels who have an original idea to amuse, surprise or amaze the judges and audience. And were we entertained - circus dance. angels and devils, cartwheels and high kicks - you name it!
The lovely Malika walked away with the trophy for this one. We just loved her whole presence and sense of fun and the fabulous 'belly laugh' as Jo named it! The wonderfully eclectic 'Dancers Bizarre' earned second place here.

Finally came the 'Rising Star' category - for professional/semi-professional dancers. As you might expect there were some lovely performances here, with Queenie coming first and Emma second. Queenie's outfit was to die for - a stunning deep turquoise - and we loved the graceful extended quality of her movement.

Whilst votes were counted there was time for more chat, performances from last year's winners Heather and Helena, and a tribal fix from lovely Angela of Tribezuza. Then came the raffle - which left us all bereft of prizes and rather disgruntled (we had been totally spoiled by our recent successes at Kate's Merhaba hafla!). All too soon the evening was over and it was off to the car (too dark for crochet this time) and over the hills to Lancashire!

This was our first bellydance competition and we weren't sure what to expect - but of course being a JoY event it was a total treat! The whole 'feel' of the evening was relaxed and friendly, but impeccably well organised. Although we would never enter a dance competition (firstly because it's the community-led, non-competitive spirit of tribal that draws us to it, and secondly because we'd only sulk when we didn't win) it's horses for courses, and all the girls who took part tonight  are obviously really open to the idea and gave it their all which was wonderful to see. The whole topic of competitions and their benefits and drawbacks is a hot topic for debate, but in all honesty we enjoyed it. REALLY enjoyed it. Having said that, you still wouldn't get us up on that stage for all the tea in China ...

We're having a day off today - well, laundry/blogging/crafting/art journaling/finger nail painting - but we'll be back in sunny Yorkshire tomorrow for a couple of workshops (Bollywood and zils) so we'll let you know how that goes. In the meantime. if you're over there right now - enJoY! And if not - what DO you think you're doing?!

Speak soon - and happy dancing!

Thanks to the fabulous Pauline Qu for the photo of Malika

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