A few months ago, I got connected to a male ATS dancer, the first male to ever receive the Teacher Training 2 certification for the FCBD format. His name is Valizan. I shot him an e-mail, asking him about the costuming guidelines for male ATS dancers. He told me about two more dancers, one of them is Michael McElhaney (formerly of Azure Bellydance, the first male ATS dancer, and part of FCBD student troupe in the nineties). Michael's name came through quite a few times during Teacher Training 2 where we discussed male ATS dancers, and both Ms. Nericcio and Ms. Sandi Ball agreed that he was very handsome. Valizan sent me Michael's photo and I had to concur.
In our e-mail exchange, I told Valizan that I was envious of the fact that our dance sisters could wear skirts that accentuated their movements (have you ever seen ATS dancers spinning while wearing the full, 25 yard skirts? It's a gorgeous sight to behold!) and he told me to try one of those Banjara Skirts.
So, thanks to Valizan (he's the male dancer in the video above that showcases how awesome Shades of Araby is), I caught the Banjara Skirt bug. After many months of the fever, I finally relented and began my quest for the perfect skirt. Tribal Fest 11 came and went and still the skirts were too Goldilocks-and-the-Three-Bears for my taste (too blue, too red, too orange, too many colors, too little colors, too wide, too short, too expensive, too new, too old, and other toos). Then I scoured for many nights and days (mostly nights, therefore sacrificing my precious sleep time) for the perfect one. If I had to be broken in, it must be perfect.
My trusted Amazon.com didn't have anything, and so, with a heavy heart, I opened an eBay account. Then I found Sirik's store. It's like a candy shop for kids, a sex shop for lonely adults, a sequin shop for Cabaret Oriental dancers. It has so many things to offer for ATS dancers, and then some. And I saw it. The Skirt.
Alas, it was still quite expensive (USD 89, plus USD 10 for shipping and handling), so I retreated. From time to time, I stalked Sirik's page, looking at the beautiful thing (and some others), and then it happened.
A 30% discount. So I bought it without thinking more.
After a few hassles (Erec, Sirik's owner, didn't respond to my initial messages asking for the tracking number, and then during my search on the Interwebz, I realized that the USPS Priority Mail didn't offer tracking number unless requested - and there's a fee for that; I ended up not knowing when the package would arrive, and finally received a notification in my mail slot that the package was waiting for me in a nearby USPS office), at long last, I received it.
And yes, it is beautiful. Despite the initial mixed-up, I highly recommend Sirik. He replied to my other messages with genuine concern, so yes, there is a good chance that I will buy from him again.