INTERNATIONAL DANCE DAY International Dance Day on April 29th is an annual celebration of how dancing positively impacts our lives. The human body’s ability to move, groove, pop, and lock has captivated the way we interact with music and express ourselves artistically.
This day was created to allow the world to recognize dance as a professional art form. Dancing gives us the ability to communicate emotions frequently deeper than our own language. International Dance Day is a tribute to millions of people across generations who have dedicated their lives to this craft of enchantment.
“People reflect each other constantly, but when they dance, perhaps what they reflect most is that moment of honesty.”
-Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, dancer and choreographer, message author for International Dance Day 2012
Dancing is an action shared by both professionals and amateurs alike and is enjoyed in all parts of the world. This day is all about celebrating the history of dance and recognizing its monumental place across all cultures.
HOW TO OBSERVE
Challenge yourself by learning a new dance you’ve always wanted to know. You can do this by yourself or with a group of friends! Whether it’s your best macarena or ballroom waltz, share all things dance on social media using the hashtag #InternationalDanceDay.
The Dance Committee of the International Dance Committee of the International Theatre Institute chose April 29th as International Dance Day to honor Jean-Georges Noverre’s birthday. He is renowned as the creator of modern ballet. The day was officially recognized in 1982.
Each year, a guest speaker is chosen to deliver the message of the International Dance Council to the world. The speaker is involved with the world of dancing in some way, shape or form. Prior speakers have included names like Sasha Waltz, William Forsythe, Maguy Marin, Robin Howard, and Yuri Grigorovitch.
A bit later I'll discuss movement and the power of dance in magic spells and meditation as written in my Historical Fantasy Series Children of Stone. First, however, let's revisit Lauren Salisbury and meet her character from Strength, Reemah.
First she has to fight to adopt her son; then she has to fight to keep him. Reemah is a Ra’hos. She has led a life of privilege and luxury, flouting the rules to suit her every whim. Now she must face the consequences of breaking those rules to save a human infant. What will her father demand in return for allowing her latest, most reprehensible, disobedience? Mahsan has grown up in a world where he doesn’t belong—always alone, always less than his peers. He longs for a place to fit in, a place to be himself. Can discovering the truth about his past hold the key to his future happiness? Amidst court intrigue and deadly plots, will one mother and son out-manoeuvre unseen enemies to stay together, or will rash decisions tear them apart? Strength is a science fiction reimagining of the Biblical story of Moses’s childhood
1. Go ahead and introduce yourself.
Officially, I am Ra’hos Reemah, First Daughter of Ashal, the Ra’hon of the Esarelian Empire, but I rarely use my title and prefer to go by Reemah.
2.Tell us where and when were you born.
I was born on the Esarelian Primary Cruiser in orbit in the U’du system on 311.177.128.
3. How would you describe yourself?
I would say I am unusual among my kind. I leave my emotions turned on and enjoy spending time with other species. I am loyal, inquisitive, I love everything about flying arrows, and I am cautious of anyone wishing to improve their status through me. I admit I have rebelled against my position for the majority of my life, but I aim to settle down from now on and be more responsible.
4. Tell us about where you grew up.
I grew up on the cruiser, spending most of my time escaping the Nursery school rooms to explore below decks and then sneaking out to fly. My mother trained me in political and social manoeuvring and tried her best to make me more like her, but it did not work. The upper deck of the cruiser is the exclusive domain of the Ra’hos, and we have access to everything and anything we could possibly desire except space and freedom.
5. How old are you?
I am two hundred and fifty two years old.
6. Did you have a happy childhood? Why/why not?
The time I spent with my father or Velay, my best friend, was happy. Father would tell me stories of Esarel before the wasting that led to our leaving the planet. He was never strict with me and often covered for me with Mother. Velay was the only youngling who never wanted to be my friend solely for gain. She was set apart from the others as well, being a half Oeal empath, and we had many adventures together. Those were fun times. The rest of my childhood was filled with lessons from Mother, tedious schooling, and younglings constantly trying to be my friend so they could gain influence for their families. None of that was particularly pleasant.
7. Past/ present relationships? How did they affect you?
I have had only one relationship that lasted beyond a few dates. It ended badly, and I will not go into details, but it taught me to be careful where males are concerned. Any mate of mine will have access to sensitive information and vast resources, so I will need to choose carefully. I am happy to avoid relationships, and males in general, for now.
8. What do you value above all else in life?
Freedom. It used to be simply the freedom to fly and do as I pleased, which was so rarely granted to me, but now I value what freedom I have to make my own choices regarding my future.
9. What are you obsessed with?
From my answers thus far, it would appear I am obsessed with either flying or freedom.
10.How do your beliefs make life better for yourself and the people you care about?
I bend the rules so I can have the freedom I crave but also so those close to me know I can be trusted to do anything in my power to help them if necessary. Our mutual honesty, and my preference for allowing my emotions, may seem foolish to the rest of my kind, but the bonds I make with others run deep and cannot be broken by the machinations of any in my father’s court.
11. Biggest fear?
Not living my own life, and telling my father about my new son.
12. What line will you never cross?
I will never betray the Empire.
13. What is the best thing that ever happened to you? The worst?
The worst thing to ever happen to me was being banned from flying. I feared Father would never forgive me for that last arrow race and hated the thought of him giving up on me. Besides, the cruiser is so claustrophobic, it is like I cannot breathe. The best was finding my son, Mahsan. He is so innocent and pure. He knows nothing of political gamesmanship and needs me for who I am rather than what profit he can gain from the connection. I also believe he is special—there is a connection between us that I cannot fully explain.
14. Most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you?
My coming of age ceremony where I had to wear my full Ra’hos regalia. The headdress made my head itch, and it somehow tilted to the side. Mother was livid and made me practice walking in it for cycles every day for a month.
15. Biggest secret?
I have adopted a human infant that I found on U’du after a culling of the slaves there. Only Velay knows about it so far, but I need to find a way to tell my father soon.
16. What is the one word you would use to define yourself?
17. What is your current goal?
To keep Mahsan safe and build a life for him on the cruiser with me.
When most people think of meditation, they usually picture a person seated in full or half lotus pose, with their hands in a particular position, eyes closed and quietly communing with the universe. Another form of meditation can occur during walking, exercising and even dance.
In many early cultures people and shamans danced to open themselves to messages from the gods or from the spirit world. In Children of Stone, Inspector of the Way Prince Wserkaf is a physical movement and dance instructor. He teaches a form of movement and posing known as smai tawi or Kemetic style Yoga, which is believed to be the original form of yoga.
In the early Christian Church, Catholic priests and nuns would pray and chant as they walked a labyrinth. This is believed to be a hold-over from Greek and Roman mystery religions which had roots in ancient Egypt. Again in Children of Stone, Heart of the Lotus The Akaru mentions the Lotus pattern which is also a meditative prompt and could be walked if drawn on the ground in rays.
A final form of dance with meditation is a "spell-casting" dance. Young Naibe, Book 2 Going Forth By Day has been told Marai died. Distraught, she pulls herself together over several weeks. Then at a Royal celebration she performs a dance to conjure his love from another world. Here is an abridged version of the passage with as many spoilers removed as possible
The music began slowly at first. Naibe raised her arms to the sky. Her pose symbolically implored and sought the energy of the goddess. The almost mystical light that had been formed by the radiance from the torches in the open courtyard caught her arms as she began to draw the sense of magic quietly down. Throwing her hands up in supplication then quickly down again, her body drank in the glowing of torchlight and waning moonlight. This time, she did not try to hide the glow she exuded when the spirit took her or hide any of her sensuality. No one could speak. All sounds stilled except the shake of the sistrum, the pluck of the harp, and the pat-a-pat of the small drums, along with the tiny shimmering sounds of her belt of little brass serpents.
Naibe danced, circling gracefully. She seemed to rise from the ground in total ecstasy and abandonment, as if she was being lifted up by moonlight. Some of the people who saw her would later swear that she had been glowing, and that webs and trails of stars swirled in her wake as the veils and garlands of flowers she carried trailed behind her. From time to time she let a veil waft to the floor. The first one fell near the edge of the assembled crowd. She picked it up, teased with it, slithered in a snake-like fashion with a sigh and a shoulder roll, and then dropped it a little closer to the throne. She faded into the edge of the crowd, almost vanishing like a girl playing hide-and-seek, then re-appeared, whirling and leaping, settling and swaying.
When she drifted into the group of prophetesses, she drew them out into the plaza with her. Soon, these holy women began to sway, as if the immense spirit of sensuality in the air had entered them too. This foreign dancer had called so much of the goddess’ passion that it could not be contained in one mere human form. Following her, they danced in a wonderful serpentine that wound about the plaza. If a veil came loose, they revered it, passed it back, and graced the floor near the throne with it. The king was almost on his feet by that time, beaming in joy; his heart melting. His eyes misted with the thought that the women, his prophetesses and truthsayers, could show him so much love after he had brought such a sense of quiet-but-troubled sterility during these last six years of his reign.
Naibe felt the rolling surf of a distant sea inside of her body as she moved. She became part of the ocean and felt the memory of Marai, come to her as if his ghost was transformed into the strong surf that crashed down on her, briefly owned her, and then drew back out of her. That was her last clear thought before the ecstasy overwhelmed her. The faces blurred, her mouth gaped joyously, and she knew nothing more. The dancing continued, though, more intense than before. Some of the women wept in ecstasy as they danced a little more slowly and reverently. The men’s faces were chalk. They wanted to be with her too, but knew oblivion waited in her sweet arms. This was a woman’s prayer to the spirit inside all that is a woman in her passion.
Then, suddenly, it paused. (They) heard Naibe’s sultry, but child-like thought voice.
Oh Marai, for you,
my first true love.
Would that you had lived.
If my dancing could wake you.
To return you from death
would be my delight.
Burn through me.
Take all of me so that
I cannot exist apart from you.
Naibe bowed her head. Her chest heaved slightly as she panted and sighed. She genuflected near the throne, just short of King Menkaure’s foot. He bid her rise, his hand grasping hers and he lifted her so her dance could continue.
Next up? ANDREA LAMOREAUX who is ready to tell us about her life as a writer!
What made you want to be a writer?
Ever since I had to start writing stories in school for English class I wanted to become a writer. Creative writing always felt natural to me. I believe it is partly due to growing up as an only child. I had to come up with stories to entertain myself. Back then, most people didn’t have the internet.
When is the release of your next novel? Name genre or if it’s part of a series. If your book is part of a series tell the readers about the others that are out for sale.
My next novel, which is titled Auralina (Book Four of The Elemental Diaries), will be out at the end of this summer. It is the final book in my dark and romantic YA fantasy series. Zephyra (Book One), Chelela (Book Two), and Sepheus (Book Three) are all available at most ebook retailers and as a paperback through Amazon.
How important is it to read books when you want to be an author?
It is one of the most important things if you want to be a good author. You catch on to certain story-telling skills the more you read. You learn how a story is put together. How can you become an expert on something if you never experience it yourself?
Do you remember the first book you read?
Not specifically, but it was definitely one to do with something about horses.
What book are you reading now?
Phoenix Unbound by Grace Draven
How did you come up with the idea for the book or series, especially the title?
I had the idea for The Elemental Diaries in my head for years before I started writing. It evolved once I began actually writing it. Originally it was only going to be one book.
I came up with each book’s title by using an online translator and warping certain words into the names of the main characters.
The series title I came up with on my own because each book is told from a different elemental perspective.
The Elemental Diaries just made sense.
Which character do you identify with most in your novel?
I identify most with Zephyra, the main character in the first book.
How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Only the first book is based somewhat on my past experience. Zephyra is bullied as a child and it makes her timid and unsure about herself at first, which was something I experienced.
To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I do not travel. The world in my books is created from my imagination.
Tell us how the atmosphere needs to be for you to be able to write. Example, music on or quiet etc.
I need to be in my office and I need to have instrumental music playing quietly or music with non-english lyrics.
What is one goody you must have at your desk when you’re writing?
Either a smoothie, a latte or coconut water. I don’t generally eat while writing.
Which part of the publishing process do you detest most?
Marketing! I suck at marketing!
What is the worst thing you’ve had to overcome before publishing your novel? IF it’s too personal just make a generalized statement if you can.
Dealing with an unreliable editor on my first book.
When you need some extra encouragement who do you turn to?
Usually a Facebook writing group. There are many out there.
How do you market your book?
By writing the next book! That’s what everyone says is the best way to market.
I use Instagram to share pictures of my book covers. I have a Facebook page and a newsletter to share any information about my books. I only recently began dabbling in Facebook ads. My plan was to have the series finished before I throw too much money at ads.
Have readers ever contacted you? If so, tell us the best thing they’ve said to you.
I had someone on Goodreads add me as a friend recently and tell me that they were thrilled an author accepted their friend request.
Who do you trust to read your finished books before publication?
My beta readers and my husband.
Tell us all about your very first book signing. Take us there with your description of people, place, food, décor etc.
My first book signing was at a Chapters bookstore (a big Canadian chain). There was no food, but I had a table near the entrance with my books on it. I brought my own décor for the table. It was a neat experience. I only had one book out at the time.
Is there a message you’d like to send through your book?
Don’t give up, even when things get tough.
If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
That’s a good question! Probably Ellie Bamber. She’d make a good Zephyra.
Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
I would love to meet Jacqueline Carey. She’s one of my favourite authors and she seems like a nice lady. I’d be interesting to talk to her about writing.
Do you have any hobbies?
Other than reading, I go horseback riding in the summer and I also enjoy dancing.
What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Lots! My current favourites would have to be Supernatural, The Handmaid’s Tale and Game of Thrones. I really enjoy shows and films set in medieval times and fantasy is my favourite genre.
Favorite foods Cheese and lobster. I love salty food.
What’s your sign, lucky number.
Gemini and 6 if I had to pick on because it’s in my birth date.
What’s your favorite color.
What music do you hear in your latest book.
Anything with piano and violin.
Do you have hobbies other than writing?
Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Cry?! Honestly, I’d probably continue doing the other thing I enjoy, which is cosmetics. It allows me to be creative too.
You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
I’d want to be with my loved ones and listening to music.
What do you want written on your head stone? I don’t think I will have one, but if I did I’d want it to say something like, “Andrea was a free spirit.”
Are there any mistakes you made with your first book?
Yes, it was too wordy and I missed some of typos. I will be revising it once I’m finished the final book in the series.
What kind of advice can you give to other either aspiring authors?
Never give up! And don’t write only for money. Do it because you love it.
When in doubt, who do you trust to help you out?
Tell us how we may get a copy of your book. (Kindle, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, paperback etc.)
You can find all of my books on Amazon, Kindle, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, and Google Play. The paperback is on Amazon and I believe you can order it on Walmarts website.
Social media links and websites?
The Mothman Files(UA CLASSIFIED Book 2) Kindle Edition by Derek Borne (Author), R. A. Milhoan (Editor) 4-22-19