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The stagecraft handbook that answers 1001 questions, provides theories & strategies for taking your belly dance to the next level.
54 backers pledged $2,809 to help bring this project to life.

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"Becoming a Belly Dancer: From Student to Stage" Is a stagecraft handbook for belly dancers. It provides valuable information, learned-in-the-trenches tips, and guidance for belly dancers who are ready to take the step from student to performer.  

Cover of "Becoming a Belly Dancer: From Student to Stage" by Sara Shrapnell, Dawn Devine, Alisha Westerfeld, Poppy Maya
Cover of "Becoming a Belly Dancer: From Student to Stage" by Sara Shrapnell, Dawn Devine, Alisha Westerfeld, Poppy Maya

Sara Shrapnell, author of “Teaching Belly Dance” and Dawn Devine, author of “Cloth of Egypt” and 13 other belly dance and costuming books, including the bestselling “Embellished Bras” and the now classic “Costuming from the Hip”, are teaming up to bring out a new book in the Fall of 2016. Between them, they have more than 50 years of combined experience as performers, teachers, dancers and costume designers. 

Authors include Sara Shrapnell, Dawn Devine ~ Davina, Alisha Westerfeld, Poppy Maya
Authors include Sara Shrapnell, Dawn Devine ~ Davina, Alisha Westerfeld, Poppy Maya

Alisha Westerfeld is exploring the established and upcoming talent of the Bay Area to bring her beautiful photography to the project. International belly dance celebrity and costume designer Poppy Maya brings her own special brand of “Additional Awesomeness” to the book, and the input of a young dancer, currently making her living through belly dance.  

The authors hope to bring the warmth, support, and humor of a teacher in absence, a true friend, and a trusted adviser who has only one main goal: you, the belly dancer. 

Sara says, "We want to focus on helping you be the best prepared physically and mentally for the challenges of performing for friends, family, the dance community, and the greater society, both in person at public venues, and via media available on the internet."

The book covers everything a performing belly dancer needs to know, from improving dance skills, good practice habits, preparing physically and emotionally, critiquing, picking your music and venues and dancer etiquette. In addition the book will include extensive sections on costume design and selection, sewing and no sewing costumes, accessorizing, hair and makeup and presenting to the world the very best belly dancer that you can be.  

Dawn says, " It is our hope that the reader will find this book a useful and inspiring tool that will help them be ready for the big day, so they can dazzle, impress and wow with talent and style."

"Becoming a Belly Dancer: From Student to Stage" is an 8x10 book with 402 pages packed full of nearly 800 stunning black and white photos. Alisha Westerfeld has done a magnificent job of photographing belly dancers of all ages and styles. We have also included photographs by Micheal Baxter and Kelle McAbee.

Backer Rewards

We've put together a collection of fun and useful things crafted by our team of authors for you to consider.  All the descriptions are in the bar at right.  Everyone who pledges at $35 and above will receive a copy of the book signed by all four authors.  Not only is this a great price - as our MSRP will be higher - but it's one of the rare opportunities to get the book signed by all four authors. 

If you're interest in supporting our project, but not keen on having a book, we've got three ways that you could help us achieve our aims. You can pledge $3 which will buy one of our tireless authors, costumers, photographers, or dancers, a cup of coffee or tea.  You can also contribute $10 and choose a digital copy of Dawn Devine's 48 page illustrated booklet, "Style File: A Visual Vocabulary of Middle Eastern Belly Dance."  Or, you could select to receive our Digital Resource Guide which includes a bibliography, glossary, and research guide for pursuing your own studies in belly dance.

For a pledge of $35, you will receive a copy of our book signed by all four authors.
For a pledge of $35, you will receive a copy of our book signed by all four authors.

There are three options for folks interested in getting one of our handcrafted premiums.  For a pledge of $55, will get a signed copy of the book and one of these wonderful costuming accessories.

Pledge $55 for one of these three premiums
Pledge $55 for one of these three premiums

If you're building your book collection, we've created some special pairings for contributions in the $60 - $90 range.

Three options in the $60-$90 range with book pairings and bonus gifts.
Three options in the $60-$90 range with book pairings and bonus gifts.

For $150 - We are offering a 5 book bundle of "Becoming a Belly Dancer: From Student to Stage" a great value for teachers who are buying for their students, or troupes who are teaming up to make a bulk purchase.

For $200 - You can also get all of Dawn's Books, the full collection of 8 titles including her latest title "Zills: Music on Your Fingertips," and "Becoming a Belly Dancer: From Student to Stage."   Also included is "Costuming from the Hip," "The Cloth of Egypt: All About Assiut," "Embellished Bras," "Bedlah, Baubles, & Beads," "From Turban to Toe Ring," and "Skirting the Issues, Pants for the Dance." For more information on each title in this bundle, visit her website here: http://www.davina.us/blog/books/ 

Our two designers, Poppy Maya and Dawn Devine are also offering two custom costume options as shown below which includes a signed book. and costume pieces made just for you!

Hand crafted designer costumes by Poppy Maya and Dawn Devine
Hand crafted designer costumes by Poppy Maya and Dawn Devine

Chapter Summaries  

Chapter One : Learning the Craft - Defining the styles of belly dance, selecting a teacher, attending workshops, home practice and goal setting. 

Chapter 1 - Becoming a Belly Dancer
Chapter 1 - Becoming a Belly Dancer

Chapter Two : Mind over Matter - Motivation, stage fright, rehearsing, malfunctions, critique and evaluation.  

Chapter 2 - Becoming a Belly Dancer
Chapter 2 - Becoming a Belly Dancer

Chapter Three : Five layers of Personal Appearance - Getting a professional look, from costuming to jewelry, make up and hair.  

Chapter 3 - Becoming a Belly Dancer
Chapter 3 - Becoming a Belly Dancer

Chapter Four : Wardrobing Strategies - Putting together a working wardrobe, making wise purchases, selling costumes, storage and packing. 

Chapter 4 - Becoming a Belly Dancer
Chapter 4 - Becoming a Belly Dancer

Chapter Five : Sounding Good - All things musical. Selecting music, editing, and planning a performance set. 

Chapter 5 - Becoming a Belly Dancer
Chapter 5 - Becoming a Belly Dancer

Chapter Six : Performances and Venues - The variety of venues, planning performances and being the perfect dancer for every venue. 

Chapter 6 - Becoming a Belly Dancer
Chapter 6 - Becoming a Belly Dancer

Chapter Seven : Etiquette, Ethics and Staying Safe - Class rules, social norms and protecting yourself and those around you. 

Chapter 7 - Becoming a Belly Dancer
Chapter 7 - Becoming a Belly Dancer

Chapter Eight : Sharing it with the World - Marketing, promotions, photographs, business cards and websites. 

Chapter 8 - Becoming a Belly Dancer
Chapter 8 - Becoming a Belly Dancer

Chapter Nine : Going Pro - The realities of dancing for a living, and other ways to make money from belly dance. 

Chapter 9 - Becoming a Belly Dancer
Chapter 9 - Becoming a Belly Dancer

Chapter Ten: Simple Costuming Projects - Instructions and inspirations for full bedlah, belts, skirts, dresses and a cover up. 

Chapter 10 - Becoming a Belly Dancer
Chapter 10 - Becoming a Belly Dancer

In addition we have lots of further info, such as the glossary, selected reading and further research ideas. 

"Becoming a Belly Dancer: From Student to Stage" is the stagecraft handbook the belly dance world has been waiting for.  With your help, our completed manuscript will become a full realized book in November.  We hope that you will take a moment to look at our premiums at right and join us in our mission.  Thank you for your support of our project.

Author Poppy Maya performing at the Kabob House in Sunnyvale, CA wearing a design she created for the cover of our book "Becoming a Belly Dancer"
Author Poppy Maya performing at the Kabob House in Sunnyvale, CA wearing a design she created for the cover of our book "Becoming a Belly Dancer"

 

Risks and challenges

"Becoming a Belly Dancer" is currently in its final proof. Of 402 pages, less than a dozen need minor adjustments. Dawn Devine has published more than a dozen books through Amazon, and completed a fully funded kickstarter for her last book "The Cloth of Egypt : All About Assuit". Sara Shrapnell has published a previous book through Amazon. We are confident that "Becoming a Belly Dancer" will be completed by the end of 2016.

There are a number of sewing projects offered as rewards. We expect to work on these early in the new year. Supporters can help us by providing their bras and other measurements as early as possible.

Please be aware that Kickstarter will collect addresses for posted items for us, so check your spam folder for their emails.

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Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $3 or more About $3

    Buy Us A Coffee

    "Becoming a Belly Dancer" is running on coffee. Please help us make it to the launch date by buying us a steaming cup of joe.

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    Digital Reference Guide

    Our digital reference guide includes a bibliography, reading list and research notes so you can conduct your own research onto our favorite subject, belly dance. These will be shipped digitally via email the week the kickstarter finishes.

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    Style File: A Visual Vocabulary

    This 48 page eBook is by Dawn Devine. Style File: A Visual Vocabulary of Middle Eastern Dance is the first booklet of its kind. It’s a handy reference that uses images and text to identify the most common costume styles used by performers of Middle Eastern belly dance. Will be delivered via email in November.

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    Signed Book

    "Becoming a Belly Dancer", signed by all four authors. The expected retail for this book will be between $40 and $45, so this represents a great offer. $35 shipped, this offer is open to everyone in the USA.

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    Pledge $55 or more About $55

    Jean Jingler + The Book

    Is it a necklace? Is it a tummy chain? Is it a belt clip? This beautiful, handmade jewelry piece is all that and more! With a clip at each end, there is no limit to how you can wear this beautiful chain. Comes with a signed copy of "Becoming a Belly Dancer".

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    Saroyan Earrings + The Book

    These beautiful, handmade earrings are adorned with hand stamped coins from the Saroyan zills factory. This offer also includes a signed copy of "Becoming a Belly Dancer".

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    Pledge $55 or more About $55

    Assuit Hair Flower + The Book

    You can never have too many hair flowers! Made from Assuit, each handmade flower has the power to sparkle under stage lights. Perfect for every style of dancer, these also come with a signed copy of "Becoming a Belly Dancer".

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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    Teachers Set

    Get a signed copy of "Becoming a Belly Dancer" and a signed copy of "Teaching Belly Dance" by Sara Shrapnell. This is the perfect set for belly dance teachers and those who see themselves teaching in the future.

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    Pledge $70 or more About $70

    Zill Players Set

    For the belly dancer who loves to play zills ! This collection includes a signed copy of Dawn Devine's new book "Zills: Music at your Finger Tips", plus a hand made zill bag and a signed copy of "Becoming a Belly Dancer".

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    Reward no longer available 6 backers
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    Pledge $90 or more About $90

    Assuit Lover's Set

    For fans of the Egyptian textile, Assuit! This set includes signed copies of "Becoming a Belly Dancer", Dawns recent book on Assuit, "The Cloth of Egypt", and a book bag, topped with a row of Assuit.

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    Mix and Match Book Set

    Mix and Match!
    We will send you three signed books, "Becoming a Belly Dancer", "The Cloth of Egypt", and a book from our collection. Simply let us know which book you would like to add to our collection from the following;
    "Embellished Bras"
    "From Turban to Toe Ring"
    "Skirting the Issue and Pants for the Dance"
    "Costuming from the Hip"
    "Bedlah, Baubles and Beads"
    "Zills: Music at your Finger Tips"
    Or "Teaching Belly Dance"

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Five Signed Copies

    Buy five copies of "Becoming a Belly Dancer" to gift to your classmates, troupe or students. This collection will all be signed by the authors.

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    The Dawn Devine Collection

    This set contains the full library of costuming books by Dawn Devine:
    "Becoming a Belly Dancer"
    "The Cloth of Egypt"
    "Embellished Bras"
    "Zills: Music at your Finger Tips"
    "From Turban to Toe Ring"
    "Skirting the Issue and Pants for the Dance"
    "Costuming from the Hip"
    "Bedlah, Baubles and Beads"
    All of these will be signed by Dawn

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    Pledge $210 or more About $210

    Treasure Chest Costume (sm/med/l)

    Would you like to own one of our signature "Treasure Chest" bedlah sets? This stunning costume looks fabulous on all sizes and body shapes and can be worn with a huge selection of dresses, skirts and trousers to create a look for every occasion. Buyer is responsible for providing a well fitted padded bra in their size. Send the bra to us in California (buyer pays for shipping), and we will return it to you adorned with coins. Please make sure you check your spam filter to allow us to contact you. A copy of "Becoming a Belly Dancer" is also included in this reward!

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    Pledge $220 or more About $220

    All the Books !

    This collection includes the full library of books by Dawn Devine and Sara Shrapnell.
    A total of 8 signed books!!
    "Becoming a Belly Dancer"
    "Teaching Belly Dance"
    "The Cloth of Egypt"
    "Embellished Bras"
    "Zills: Music at your Finger Tips"
    "From Turban to Toe Ring"
    "Skirting the Issue and Pants for the Dance"
    "Costuming from the Hip"
    "Bedlah, Baubles and Beads"

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    Pledge $230 or more About $230

    Treasure Chest costume XL - XXXXXL

    Would you like to own one of our signature "Treasure Chest" bedlah sets? This stunning costume looks fabulous on all sizes and body shapes and can be worn with a huge selection of dresses, skirts and trousers to create a look for every occasion. Buyer is responsible for providing a well fitted padded bra in their size. Send the bra to us in California (buyer pays for shipping), and we will return it to you adorned with coins. Please make sure you check your spam filter to allow us to contact you. A copy of "Becoming a Belly Dancer" is also included in this reward!

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    Pledge $230 or more About $230

    Assuit Bra (sm/med/l)

    This one of a kind Assuit bra will be designed for you by Dawn Devine. Assuit is the fabric of choice for belly dancers of all styles, and this black and silver bra is bound to be a show stopper. Buyer is responsible for providing a well fitted padded bra in their size. Send the bra to us in California (buyer pays for shipping), and it will return to you covered in beautiful Assuit. Please make sure you check your spam filter to allow us to contact you. A copy of "Becoming a Belly Dancer" is also included in this reward!

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Funding period

- (30 days)