Pure Onyx Movement



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Posted by pureonyxmovement on May 20, 2015 at 2:15 PM Comments comments (341)



We can't express what a true blessing and wonderful ride this has been. At inception and conception we never imagined we would be celebrating 5 years of Pure Onyx Movement excellence. We are excited to share our joy with you!

Join us Saturday, May 30th for our Sister's Keeper Anniversary Party!

We are going to party like Raqstars! Here's what you can expect:

Dance performances by POM Empresses that worked together to create their own choreo

Of course our Angels will be performing!

We are inducting one new Empress

Two of our lovely Angels are moving up to Diamonds status!

We welcome a new Diva

DINNER is included!

So....pull out that fancy gown that you have been dying to wear. This is a formal dinner, show with dancing!

Tickets Prices:

Adults: $30 before May 25th....$35 after

Children (12 and under): $20 before May 25th....$25 after

Costuming 101

Posted by pureonyxmovement on October 3, 2013 at 2:05 PM Comments comments (0)

So you're on the train and the woman next to you whips out what looks like a bra out of her bag. You look around confused...you look around to see if anyone else is seeing what you're seeing and you look around for Ashton Kutcher to see if you are being Punk'd! You then wonder is she going to switch bras here on the train?  From the size of it, the bra looks like it may even be a hat. You are all kind of confused. You decide to sit and wait.

WELL....chances are you're sitting next to Jeannie Mitchell, co-founder of POM, president of Visions of Gaia Dancewear or Candace Crawford, president of CocoaBelly LLC.   That bra she just whipped out will most likely be turned into a fabulous belly dance costume and featured on stage

The costumes we have lined up for our upcoming show, Pure Onyx Movement present "Paradise" are nothing short of fantastic. If you've ever been to a Pure Onyx Movement show then you've seen belly dancing TREES, snakes, and flowers.  I've been sworn to secrecy about what these new costumes will be BUT I can give you hint....To get to Paradise with POM you have to soar!  And by soar I mean on the wings of a BIRD (hint hint)!  

We wanted the inside scoop on what really goes on when it comes to costuming, so we interviewed both Jeannie and Zuri.  Read below to find out how you too can be your own belly dance seamstress!

How did you get into costuming?

Jeannie: I was 1st taught how to sew by my mom. Then Jasmine, my daughter, being a dancer, I was often asked to help backstage with costumes!

Zuri: My mom taught me how to sew as a little girl. When I started dancing, I started to experiment with designs for myself, since plus sized costumes were a little hard to acquire.

What was your first costume design?

Zuri: I made a choli and a skirt for my first performance at a social

Jeannie: My Barbie’s were the hottest chicks in the “PJ’s”! LOL

What comes first the costume or the dance piece?

Jeannie: For me the costume!

Zuri: That's so hard. I try to let it happen organically. Sometimes it's the music for the dance piece that flood my head with images for a costume. Then sometimes, I get inspired by fabrics that I come across while shopping.

For a newbie who decides to make a costume what can they expect for an average budget?

Jeannie:  It depends on what they are making. But a bra and belt can cost them at least $200. Part of that is costly mistakes, having to do it over.  A large part of it is not knowing your prices and where to go to get the best prices.

Zuri: I would say for a simple base costume without a whole lot of embellishment, you can make yourself for $100 or less if you pick the right fabric. But yes Gia is right, you have to factor in mistakes, and that can add to the cost.

5 tips on how a simple non-sowing girl like me can jazz up a bra for a show


1. VOG (vision's of Gaia) says glue!..Glueing on stones saves time…But watch Cocoa belly say different.

2. Also some of the best trim can be found in the good will on used dresses.

3. Ribbon also does wonders for colors

4. Broken sparkly jewelry is a nice addition to a bra.

5. Lose one earring. Don't toss it – adhere it to the center of your bra.

Ooo here's bonus #6 get cowrie shells in natural color or you can paint them with spray paint or nail polish, then cover with glitter then paint again with clear nail polish.

Zuri: OMG JEANNIE NOOOO glue lolololol! No, just kidding. Glue is ok, but I think you have to be mindful of the purpose of the costume, how long you want it to last, if you ever want to make changes, etc. I have learned from experience that using glue can actually add up the costly mistakes category-especially as a beginner. But it can also be an easy fix for a quick costume. Totally agree with GIA on all the creative things to use on the bra. I would add:

1. Choose a well fitting bra with PLAIN, STIFF cups, no lacey ribcage straps, and make sure you change or reinforce the shoulder straps so you don't get any giggle.

2.Proceed to bedazzling! I have costume tips posted on my FB page about ideas on creative items you can use www.facebook.com/cocoabelly , and also two videos on my YouTube page: one about glue, and one about as few basic items you might want to keep in your toolbox if you decide that you want to make costumes for yourself www.youtube.com/cocoabellycostumes

I don't know about anyone else but I'm ready to head to fabric store and make me a costume! Happy Sewing!!!

POM Mentoring Program & Diamond Costuming

Posted by pureonyxmovement on March 13, 2013 at 3:30 PM Comments comments (2)

A good mentoring relationship begins with sharing your professional knowledge and expertise with a student who at the time may or may not know they need it. A good mentor is available to answer any questions relevant to the mentee. This requires a genuine interest in your mentee and a willingness to help and be there for them. Listening to them and giving suggestions and recommendations as well as communicating with the parent to assure them that the child is in excellent (POM) care!


We are so proud of this Vision of Gaia mentoring program. We currently have 10 teen girls aged 13 and older enrolled in this program. Not only are the Diamonds assigned a POM Empress as a mentor but they are also tasked to create their own choreography and help create their own costumes that will be worn at our April 6th event! Want to attend, here’s our eventbrite link to purchase tickets http://www.eventbrite.com/event/5835392817


On February 22, our young ladies headed out to Yonkers, NY for a costuming slumber party. Little did they know slumber really was not a part of the plan. They would be sowing their own bra’s for the costumes, altering gowns and cooking a healthy dinner. Teens Naima, Chelsea, Najah aka Baby Beyonce or Baby B, Taliece, Stanaisha, Achora were in for treat.


Najah, Achora, and Stanaisha made up kitchen duty. They helped prepare catfish, 2 types of pasta, salad and lots of fruit for the troops! After dinner our ladies learned how to measure themselves and others, how to cut fabric and how to sow. After a few pricked fingers, some pleads for sleep and Diamonds falling asleep on the job, the evening eventually began to wind down at about 3am when we lost our first Diamond Chelsea to sleep. The bags under Chelsea eye’s would surely land us in hot water with ACS! Not too far behind her was Taliece who claimed she had to work in the morning…really??! Next on the drop list was Najah, who was quoted saying “I’ll be back, I’m taking my bag upstairs” She was never to be seen again. No one has any idea when Naima disappeared. Holding down the fort into the wee hours were Achora and Stanaisha both determined to finish their costumes that night/morning! As for the Queens we were quite tuckered out ourselves and retired at 5am! And to leave off here are some notable quotes from the evening!


Naima – “Ms. Jeannie, I thought this slumber party was going to be fun”


Achora – “I’ve never cooked before maybe I’ll cook for my mom when I get back home”


Chelsea – “I don’t usually stay up past 11”


Stanaisha – “I just stab myself again with the needle”


Taliece – starts out laughing, then crying, then laughing speaking something incoherent followed by running to the bathroom..O_o


Najah – Everything Najah says is quotable and too long to type!

What's New in the World of POM

Posted by pureonyxmovement on March 6, 2013 at 12:35 PM Comments comments (1)

So what's new in the world of POM you ask?  

GROWTH....for sure.  This year is the year POM turns 2!  We've been fortunate enough to say we haven't had to go through any growing pains (knock on wood) but that doesn't mean we aren't continously striving for the best.  This year we are focused on the physical, emotional and mental growth of all of our POM members.  We will induct 4 New Empresses into the organization, we've instituted a mentoring program for our youth dancers and our teens aged 13 and older have graduated in new roles, our POM Diamonds.  It's going to be an interesting ride folks!

This year existing POM Divas, Tea, OJ, Mirnova and Casandra will join the ranks of the POM Empresses.  This year they will be tasked to challenge them selves to be all they can be in the dancer world and that means having to cook more dishes for the POM events. Each of these ladies will stay in study of the art and will be seen a lot more on stage.  They were chosen because they have heart!  Their dedication, drive, love of dance and sultry sass puts them in a class of their own.  We have Mama OJ, who has lived in every borough, has a story about every block in Harlem and can make the most edible soup out of root veggies, tin foil, an old banana and cinnamon!  Then there's Casandra whose charisma and charm and her knock your mama's socks off shimmies are too die for.  Good as Gold Tea, is sweet, caring and somewhere between 2011 and 2012 found her inner man-eating dance style .  Last but not least is Mirnova, she is new to the organization but she took us by storm.  Mirnova is Fierce.  Capital "F" kind of fierce.  Who knew our gentle giant had those killer moves under her Haitian belt!

Next week I'll fill you in on what our Diamonds have been up to but just know they are gearing up for our April 6th event "As the POM Turns (2)"  want more info!  friend us on FB!!!!  The Diamonds will be stepping out in their very own handmade costumes!  They have the bandaids to prove it!  

As the POM Turns (2) - https://www.facebook.com/events/501131756588515/

Umoja Dance

Posted by pureonyxmovement on October 23, 2011 at 10:45 PM Comments comments (0)

Pure Onyx Movement is teaching again!!  Join us Saturday, November 12th at Wofabe African Dance & Drum Festival www.wofabe.com

Wofabe means "everybody come" in the Sou Sou language of Guinea, West Africa. The one-day festival is open to dance/drum/music instructors, students, and the general public. In addition to the dance and drum classes, there will be a free children's class and crafts fair.

POM will be teaching during the 11:15am-12:45pm slot.  This is an Open Level class and will feature choregraphy for the POM 2012 repetoire.

Class Price is;


Dance & Drum Classes: $15 at the door / $12 in advance

Five (5) class package $50.00 by 11/5 ($10 per class)

Five (5) class package $65.00 day of ($13 per class)

To purchase tickets visit: http://www.wofabe.com/event-calendar.php


10:00am-11:00am Vanera Aponte - Zumba (All Levels)

11:15am-12:45pm Pure Onyx Movement - Belly Dance (All Levels)

11:15am-12:45pm Jerome Hunter -Free Children's Class

1:00pm-2:30pm Brandon Allbright - Hip-Hop (All Levels)

1:00 pm-2:30 pm Kolipe Camara - Drum Class (Djembe & Djun Djun)

2:45pm-4:15pm Baba Chuck Davis - African Dance (All Levels)

2:45pm-4:15pm Mariama Koumbassa - Guinea Dance (All Levels)

4:30pm-6:00pm Youssouff Koumbassa - Guinea Dance (Intermediate-Advanced)


Stand Up to Cancer

Posted by pureonyxmovement on October 23, 2011 at 10:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Pure Onyx Movement is Standing Up to Cancer!

Join us this Wednesday as we host a belly dance charity class. All the proceeds will be donated toward breast cancer awareness & research.

Class is $12 or $10 (if you wear something pink). It can be a pink head band or flower or shirt, whatever pink you can find!

Class will be held at:

The Creative Wellness Studio, 44-02 11th Street, Suite 308, Long Island City, NY


"The Onyx Release"

Posted by pureonyxmovement on August 9, 2011 at 1:10 AM Comments comments (0)

Join us - Friday September 16, 2011 7:00 PM - 9:30 PM

The Onyx Release is the debut production of Pure Onyx Movement Dance Company founded by its three regal members Gia, Segulah and Samirah. The company features the art dance and movement celebrating afro-centric history and the ability of women to create and carry life. This 90 minute show will showcase all elements of belly dance and shows through this art expression why women are the Queens of the world.

Our cast features over 20 adult dancers known as the POM Divas and over 10 children dancers known as the POM Angels. Not only will the show feature group performances BUT we will also showcase signature co. pieces, solo dances and spoken word by our guest artists. The performance will have a special presentation by Balance Dance Theatre. This is a family show and we welcome everyone to attend!!!

Friday, September 16, 2011 at 7:30 PM. Doors open at 7:00pm

Kumble Theater for the Performing Arts

One University Plaza

Brooklyn, NY 11201

Phone: (718) 488-1624

June 12th Fundraiser

Posted by pureonyxmovement on May 16, 2011 at 12:47 PM Comments comments (0)

Pure Onyx Movement is happy to announce we have over 9 confirmed vendors attending our 2011 June 12th fundraiser.  So not only will you dance but you can also SHOP 'til you DROP!

Beyond Adornments- one of a kind jewelry, Lapas, and Bethios. Beautiful –Slips worn under lapas, can be adorned with lace, beads and/or sequins.


Xhale-Xhale- Homemade Natural body care products. Pain be gone ointment, this ointment will remove any dancers pain…BE 1st on line to see her.


Sheny Nefer- Natural hair products, hair jewelry


Patoka Rivers- Handmade jewelry, stained glass panels, and home accents


CocoaBelly- Orginal Belly dance fashions


Visions of Gia- Belly dance clothing, costumes, Beaded pom pom belts, Friends of Gia Dolls


Sistah Soul~Stars- T-shirts and waist beads


Naja ~ Maria- Zills, American Tribal Style belly dance items and skirts


Eto’O Coreen- Congolese raffa belted skirts!

POM Performance: DanceAfrica's Pre-Opening Ceremony at Weeksville

Posted by pureonyxmovement on April 1, 2011 at 11:02 PM Comments comments (3)

Dance Africa is a Memorial Day weekend tradition!

DanceAfrica is packed with dance, music, art, film, and community events—plus the one-and-only DanceAfrica outdoor bazaar. Acknowledgement of ancestors is an integral component of DanceAfrica. The festival for it begins at the historic Weeksville Heritage Center in Brooklyn with music, dance, and the Council of Elders performing libation ceremonies to honor those who have passed on to the ancestral grounds.  

During the 19th century, the village of Weeksville was a vibrant and independent African American community. The contemporary center includes three historic structures and will expand in 2011 with the completion of the 19,000 square foot Education and Cultural Arts Building. Visit weeksvillesociety.org for more information.

And this year Pure Onyx Movement will be honoring the ancestors too!  Join us as we perform Saturday, May 21, 2011.  Location TBA!


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