Audio & Video

Follow Your Fetish: I Was A Precocious Bellydancer

by little woo

Follow Your Fetish:  I Was A Precocious Bellydancer

Curiosity and attraction are powerful breadcrumbs to follow.

If you notice these feelings arise around a certain topic, I recommend exploring with an Experiment (or an Adventure)!

We learn more by taking action than by wondering endlessly…

And often, being overly bold rather than overly cautious, can be very informative.

Here’s how Bellydance piqued my curiosity and the odd journey that followed…

It’s 2002.  I’d just completed a long-term relationship.

My body says:  You’re gonna help me heal.  Let’s bellydance.

Me:  Bellydance?  Wow, where did that idea come from?

My body:  Just do it.  Trust me.

Breadcrumb #1

Follow Your Fetish:  I Was A Precocious Bellydancer

Follow your body’s guidance

Summer 2002. I drop in for a few nights at a community center bellydance class.

Strangely enough, I don’t feel compelled to take a full course.


Breadcrumb #2

Follow Your Fetish:  I Was A Precocious Bellydancer

Be enthusiastic and audacious

Fall 2002. Despite my lack of training, I am bitten by the Bellydance bug!

I start doing performances around town.


Follow Your Fetish:  I Was A Precocious Bellydancer

Teaching classes (2003)

Breadcrumb #3

Gulp! Say Yes To New Challenges

January 2003. I’m improvising in the empty studio at a local gym. The manager comes in.

Manager:  Can you teach dance?

Me:  (slight pause) …Yes!

Suddenly, I am a guest instructor there.

Week by week, I teach myself how to dance by teaching others.

Guess the saying by Richard Bach “You teach best what you most need to learn” was never truer…


Follow Your Fetish:  I Was A Precocious Bellydancer

One of my classes (2003)

Breadcrumb #4

Take more action to get more clarity

May 2003. I rent a lovely dance studio downtown to continue the teaching experiment.

I don’t see it as a business or profession – I am just following the energy that compels me.
(I call it “Tantric Bellydance” – allowing room for my own concepts and differentiating it from traditional styles that I knew little about)

As I teach, I recognize that it’s not my mission to propagate this genre of dance AND I don’t want to keep building as a bellydance instructor.

With this clarity, I stop teaching bellydance after two years of experimentation.

However, ALL of the skills I acquired were crucial to projects I did later on…

Follow Your Fetish:  I Was A Precocious BellydancerWhat I Learned To Do:

~ How to move & dance
~ How to be confident in my body
~ How to choreograph & teach movement
~ How to facilitate a group workshop
~ How to develop original curriculum
~ How to build a following from scratch
~ How to promote an event
~ How to take care of venue logistics

What I learned About Myself:
~ That I love facilitation & group work
~ That I love developing curriculum
~ That I want to teach something I’m very invested in
~ That I have a knack for “building the plane as I fly it”




Breadcrumb #5

(Ocean and I – rehearsing choreography at my place in 2011)

It’s a good habit to answer when curiosity calls

Summer 2011. A recurring curiosity about Fusion Bellydance drives me to ask my friend Ocean (an advanced fusion bellydancer) to perform and teach with me at Entheos Festival…  No agenda.  Just honoring the desire to do it.

Follow Your Fetish:  I Was A Precocious Bellydancer

Performing at Entheos Festival (2011)


Follow Your Fetish:  I Was A Precocious Bellydancer

Leading a free workshop at Entheos Festival (2011)

Breadcrumb #6

Sometimes it’s magical to do things ass-backwards

January 2014. Twelve years after the first breadcrumb, I take official bellydance classes! (with Luciterra Dance)

Follow Your Fetish:  I Was A Precocious Bellydancer

With my level 1 classmates (photo by Rufio of


Follow Your Fetish:  I Was A Precocious Bellydancer

With my level 2 classmates  (photo by Rufio of


I bow to all dance instructors for their loving dedication to their practice and their students.

My journey was unconventional but I really wasn’t being irreverent about the art of bellydance.

Sometimes, it’s very important to be precocious.  This attitude has led me to do some pretty interesting things.

Sometimes, it’s better to jump way ahead yourself, than to never jump at all.


Follow Your Fetish:  I Was A Precocious Bellydancer

What’s your story?

Did you ever follow a curiosity with some audacity?  What did you learn about yourself?

Please share in the comments below – I would love to know your story!!


Follow Your Fetish:  I Was A Precocious Bellydancer

              (My two costumes for the student show in April 2014)

Our Level 1 performance on April 12, 2014.  (I’m on the farthest right)

Our level 2 performance on April 12, 2014  (I’m on the farthest left)

Follow Your Fetish: New Age Girls

by little woo

One of the highlights of my trip to Ojai, California was meeting Andros Sturgeon.

He is the producer of a satirical web series called “New Age Girls”.

It’s a brilliant reality sandwich – with real and unreal mixed together on multiple layers!

Find out more about his colorful roots and hear how this hilarious niche show came about!

Hint:  His father was inducted into the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame…

Bang, Bang, My Baby Shot Me Down

post by little woo

Click the orange play button above to hear the track!!

A delightful dose of melancholy…

If you like the song “Bang Bang” from the Kill Bill soundtrack, this is a live recording of my performance at In the House festival from 2006.

(With Matt Dawson on guitar!)

Fun Facts:

The song was written by Sonny Bono, recorded by Cher and released in 1966.

Nancy Sinatra did a rendition that same year but it was not til 2003, that her version was featured in the Kill Bill soundtrack.

Lyrics for Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)
Written by Sonny Bono

I was five and he was six
We rode on horses made of sticks
He wore black and I wore white
He would always win the fight

Bang bang, he shot me down
Bang bang, I hit the ground
Bang bang, that awful sound
Bang bang, my baby shot me down

Seasons came and changed the time
When I grew up, I called him mine
He would always laugh and say
“Remember when we used to play?”

Bang bang, I shot you down
Bang bang, you hit the ground
Bang bang, that awful sound
Bang bang, I used to shoot you down

Music played and people sang
Just for me the church bells rang

Now he’s gone, I don’t know why
And till this day, sometimes I cry
He didn’t even say goodbye
He didn’t take the time to lie

Bang bang, he shot me down
Bang bang, I hit the ground
Bang bang, that awful sound
Bang bang, my baby shot me down

Bang, Bang, My Baby Shot Me Down

Matt Dawson (guitar) and Little Woo (vocals) in 2006

Follow Your Fetish: A Cowboy’s Dream

post by little woo

It’s never too late to invest in your dreams!

At age 87, retired businessman Angus followed his passion for the cowboy’s life and built his dream home.

I was there on a quiet summer’s day in July 2013 as he was finishing construction, so we took a tour with my video camera.

Then, in December, I got the news that he was very ill and could die anytime.

Thankfully, I was able to edit this video and share it with him in his final days.

He loved it so much, he showed it everyone who visited him at the hospice!

Two weeks later, Angus rode into the eternal sunset at the age of 88.

Sweet dreams dear Cowboy…

2 Questions For You (please post a reply below)

What is a passion or curiosity that you want to experience in your lifetime?

And if applicable, what is the main thing that tends to delay you from exploring it?

Would you like and share this post? 

Pechakucha Presentation: “Love Your Legend”

by little woo

In September 2013, I was invited by the City of Richmond to do a PechaKucha presentation about my artistic practice.

PechaKucha is a presentation format where you prepare 20 slides that are shown for 20 seconds each while you speak.

Pechakucha Presentation: Love Your Legend

Presenting at PechaKucha Richmond on September 28, 2013

My PechaKucha talk:  Love Your Legend”.

In 6 minutes and 40 seconds, I shared the brief history of my love affair with Fairytales!

Warning:  There are multiple images of Unicorns and Mermaids.

Click play on the youtube video above to see the presentation!

These were the inspiring speakers who presented at PechaKucha Night Richmond Volume 3:

Rachel Lafo – Director Richmond Art Gallery
Carrie Walker – Artist (Drawing/Painting)
VETO (Wynne Palmer) – Vancouver Experimental Theremin Orchestra
Little Woo – Magical Mentor & Muse
Sean Arden / Erin Siddall – Artists (New Media + Installation)
Jovanni Sy – Artistic Director, Gateway Theatre
Miles Thorogood – Artist (New Media)
Vivian Chan – Artist (Performance/Participatory Art)
Kristina Fiedrich – Artist (Drawing)
Durwin Talon -  Illustrator/Graphic Designer/Art Director, and Educator

Many thanks to the City of Richmond for this opportunity!!

According to Wikipedia, PechaKucha Nights were started in 2003 by a Tokyo architecture company to encourage designers to meet and share ideas.  By 2012, PechaKucha Nights had spread to 534 cities worldwide!

Follow Your Fetish: A Manta Ray Odyssey

I met a Manta Ray before…

It was in the Andaman Sea of Thailand and it had a wingspan of at least 15 feet.

I was with 4 other scuba divers.

The manta came at high velocity but slowed down dramatically as it neared us.

This appeared to be a conscious gesture NOT to “alarm us”.

It was majestic – like the Starship Enterprise coming out of warp speed and hovering over your head.

Then, as it floated there serenely, I felt it look right into my eyes.

A giant surge of emotion went through my body; I felt an overwhelming love for the Manta Ray and for all creatures in the ocean.

I began to weep with joy – my salty tears joining its fellow droplets in the ocean.

It was an unforgettable and otherworldly communion…

The next time I encountered Manta magic -

was during an epic night dive in Kona, Hawaii. (see the video above)

The ocean is pitch black but lights shine down from the boats to attract Manta food: tiny plankton.

Shortly, a flock of manta rays arrive to enjoy this all-you-can-eat-buffet.

All the divers lay low on the sea floor, completely enchanted by this incredible sight. Snorkelers floating on the surface are also watching.

The Mantas glide within inches of our gawking faces… giving us magnificent views of their bellies but they never touch us.

Brilliant beams pierce the blackness of the ocean like stage lights… and the Mantas look like giant prehistoric birds performing a cosmic ballet.

Sometimes, the lights look like an alien mothership hanging out in deep space and the Mantas are spacecraft preparing to dock.

I definitely feel like one lucky astronaut exploring another planet.

It is an utterly surreal evening… of absolute Jaw – Drop – Awe.

Moms Are Forever

Friday December 20, 2013

This fall, my mom asked me to accompany her on a bus tour to Yunnan China, a place she’d wanted to visit for years.

Though a bus tour in China did not interest me, supporting her dream was a higher purpose.

So I put my work studies on hiatus to go as Mom’s sherpa and chaperone.

Moms Are Forever

Alas, the tour turned out to be a sales gimmick.  After only one day of sightseeing, they dragged us to sales presentations ranging from spirulina, silk duvets, miracle underwear to high-end teas and jade jewellery.  The days were long with so many hours sitting on a bus or in a sales room.


Mom was having a great time connecting with the other tourists and I got to witness her social side – including a sense of humor that flowed easily in her own language and culture.

It’s good to see our parents in multiple dimensions – to know them as full human beings.  When you understand your parents better, epiphanies abound.

I also heard stories of her past struggles which revealed a specific family wound that I’d inherited.

This ghost had shown up in my life a few times but I didn’t know where it’d come from.  Now I see that it had haunted my mom too – even though she never spoke about it while I was growing up.

Some epigenetic studies are showing that traumas, fears and behaviours can be passed onto future generations through DNA.

While contemplating the complexities of her hopes and fears, I felt ever more accepting of her exigencies and ways.

Even though I’ve been my mom’s confidante for many years now, every new understanding awakens more patience and peace.

So despite the tour being a bust, the inner trip offered many precious insights.

Moms Are Forever

Mom and I in Yunnan, China

And then, it all turned out to be priceless training for the shock that came next…

Shortly after our return from China, my phone rang and the call display showed Mom’s cell phone number.

me:  Mom?

Caller:  This is BC Ambulance Service… Is this Little Woo?

me:  (gulp)  Yes! What’s happened??

Caller:  Your mom was hit by a car while walking across the street.

me:  (oh god!)  What???

This is the moment when your heart drops into your stomach. Time stops and shock prepares to hold you in its embrace depending on the news you’ll hear next.

Caller:  But we think she’ll be alright… We’re taking her directly to Vancouver General Hospital.

I immediately jumped into a cab and so began the next phase of our Mother-Daughter time…

Mom ended up at the hospital for 5 weeks with fractures on her pelvis, lower vertebrae and ankle.

Moms Are Forever

The accident scene

She and another elder pedestrian were crossing the street on a walk light but the driver didn’t see them in his haste  (The other woman sustained some injuries too)  In this image of the accident scene on Clark Drive and East 3rd – the car outline shows where the car struck them on the crosswalk and the X’s mark where Mom and the other woman landed.

With both of our normal lives on hiatus – a marathon of healing and caregiving ensued.

Mom faced the challenges of hospitalization, extreme pain, loss of independence and feelings of helplessness.

I experienced the exertion of full-time caregiving, the roller coaster of her suffering and some distressing family dynamics.

But the cosmic workshop I’d received while traveling with Mom had been perfect preparation…

Those epiphanies paved the way for me to serve more devotedly as a caregiver.

What a rite of passage it is to switch roles and become caregivers for our parents – they who carried us into this world!

It’s humbling to recognize the labour of love that is motherhood.

And it’s also humbling to honor that bond as a daughter.

Moms are forever.

Even though they will not live forever, they will forever be Mom.

What about you?

How have you bonded with your Mom over the years?  What has helped your relationship strengthen? 

Please post in the comments area below if you have stories or thoughts to share!!

Waves of Love,
xox little woo

Update:  Mom is recovering at home now. Her fractures have healed but surrounding tissues need more time to recover. Her doctor estimates it will take 6 months to regain her basic mobility and a year to know the full prognosis.

Moms Are Forever

Follow Your Fetish: September in Provence!

September 2013

Suddenly this month, a dear friend invited me to spend time at his beautiful place in the south of France during my writing/study sabbatical!

I decided to follow “his” fetish and experience this region through his eyes and his enthusiasm.

Upon arrival, I saw that he’d gifted me the perfect retreat space:  a private “hermittage” suite!

It was a beautiful 2-week period of idyllic solitude in the countryside of southern France…

The strange thing was, it was pretty much exactly how I’d imagined it!

Quaint stone walls, farmhouses and cobblestone paths, orchards and vineyards, hidden cafes and little countryside churches…

But experiencing it was way more delicious – as you’ll see by our meals in myvideo diary…