Oasis South 1999

Review: Oasis Dance Camp South, October 1999

by Sherezzah Bint al-Waha

Camp South was my second Oasis Dance Camp ("ODC") in 1999, since I had been to ODC North 3 weeks earlier. Almost the whole troupe came along this year: Joani, Katina, Akasha, Adena, and Mona (Mona's first time!) Per requests from ODC North, we also brought along Rocks Sharky (see my review of ODC North for an explanation).

As before, I'll just focus on the highlights. (If you want more general info about ODC, check out the section devoted to it at my troupe site, here.)

Preparations

Tahini, a student of Joani's who was going to be staying in the same room with Joani and Katina, didn't have a thobe for the Saudi classes with Kay. She's good at sewing, so she decided to make one. As with ODC North, our pre-Camp note advised us that the secret color was animal print. (No, we never had a "secret color" in any previous years.) So Tahini made her thobe out of animal print fabric, and it looked great! She also worked with Joani to make a thobe that would fit Rocks Sharky, using wild tropical-type fabrics.

Room decorations

We used the secret "camp color", as well as the leftover "Florida tropical" theme from Camp North, as well as some middle eastern stuff, to decorate our rooms. Of course, starting with a hotel room that's already got its own decorations makes decorating a bit of a challenge, but we rose to the occasion. Joani, Katina, and Tahini did especially well. (Right: the Rising Phoenixes pose in the room with Rocks Sharky (in his thobe)).

Location

The hotel we were at was right on the ocean. Although the water was a bit too rough and cold to actually go in, it was nice to be able to go walk on the beach. (Left: Kay Campbell doing it.)

Classes

Cassandra and Kay taught the same choreographies as they had at ODC North, which was a good thing because now Joani and I didn't have to re-teach them to the troupe :-)

Drum classes with Nicole (right) were a big plus.

Costume show

Our troupe members, as individuals, had a number of things to show off in the costume show: dressy clothes, salwar kemeez outfits from India. But we had two things we presented as a troupe: one was the "Dog and Camel Show", where we showed middle eastern costumes we'd made for stuffed animals (Taco Bell dogs and dollar store camels). The other was a sort of skit we put together to show off Rocks Sharky. It was an interactive multimedia event, with references to Saturday Night Live, Jaws, George Abdo, and Jimmy Buffet, featuring a cast of the entire troupe plus extras, acting, animal crackers, costumes, music, swimming, dancing, and partying. You kind of had to be there :-)

The show

The highlight of the show was unquestionably Cassandra. She was especially hot that evening, plus she wore the "camp color" (right). (Look here for another photo.) There were several middle eastern people in the audience (because this camp is held in a hotel, the show is a bit less private than at the other camps), and they went crazy over her!
Another highlight was Kay and Cassandra performing Saudi style togther. They were obviously enjoying themselves (left)! (More photos of them here and here.)
Here are some more photos: (Thanks to Akasha for taking some of the photos.)